In my mind’s eye, it’s either of these three things:
You are excited about the prospect of starting that new business or it feels like sales are at a standstill these days or you simply want to be proactive about the success of your business. I feel you, being an entrepreneur especially in Nigeria is not an easy feat. This is why we are going to discuss market research today and why you should take it seriously. Ignoring market research can lead to costly mistakes and missed opportunities in this fast-paced and competitive business landscape.
Tell me about Market Research First
Market research is what you do when you gather valuable data about your consumers which informs you about their choices, personalities and motivations which will in turn empower you to make strategic decisions for your business. I think I must mention that market research is not a one size fits all and all businesses require it. It’s high time you prioritize it as a key element to the success of your business.
So how do I start?
Good question. There are basically two ways for you to collect data for market research.
Primary research is the data you delegate an expert to collect for you, straight from the source. Sometimes, it’s called field research. You can conduct primary research either to do a market deep dive or to uncover insights about a particular aspect of your business. A basic method for data collection used in primary research is survey.
Secondary research is what you do when you use data that is readily available which has been collected by a third party, for instance; National Bureau of Statistics. This only gives you a holistic knowledge about the market and what’s out there. Most entrepreneurs always start out with secondary research.
Why Market Research
Now we have come to the tea part of this article, we will look at five reasons not to neglect market research.
1. Planning that works
At the fundamental level, market research should be part of your long term business plan because it will guide the development of your business goals, and objectives by providing consumer insight and behaviour. Market research lets you be at the forefront of your target customers’ wants and needs. You have first hand information about their desires and preferences and how you can meet them where they are. Think of that one friend that really gets you even when you don’t say too much.
2. Connection that pays
It is when you have a significant understanding of your target audience that you will be able to connect with them on a meaningful level. You get to save funds and resources in your marketing campaigns because you are informed on exactly how to reach your target consumers. Two ways to connect with your target audience are the marketing channel used and the content you put out. Are you speaking their language? Are you seeing the world from their perspective? What are their economic motivations? These and more are what you should ponder on in order to make a connection that pays
3. Growth through Opportunities
Market research is not just a one time thing because both your consumers and the market are dynamic. Like I mentioned earlier, it is also not only for new businesses. As an entrepreneur, you must conduct market research periodically. This lets you unearth new market opportunities to optimize your business. Who knows? You can even come across beneficial partnerships to spur your business forward.
4. Competition with Clarity
Market research will allow you as an entrepreneur to take a probing look into your competitors for straightforward feedback on how you fit into the market landscape. An insight into your competitors’ weakness is an advantage for you to step and fill that gap. Even if you are just starting out, you can gain the attention of new customers by coming up with superior solutions for your target audience. In the end, you would have positioned your brand as a problem-solving brand to your customers.
5. Stay Close to Trends
I dare you to be nosey. Market research allows you to do this because it keeps you abreast of relevant trends in your industry. As an entrepreneur, the way you reach and connect with your customers will always change. The market as well as the people evolve everyday, so your brand must be on; Mark, Get set and Go! Innovation is easier when you are close to trends.