To stay competitive, successful business owners use the power of market research to understand their customers’ needs and expectations.
Research is where the relationship that results in loyal raving fans, begins!
One may think that it is easier than ever for emerging entrepreneurs. With the rise of crowdfunding, freelance job platforms, and more advanced data analysis, getting your idea off the ground is no longer dependent on corporate investment or large bank loans. Of course, that doesn’t mean the entrepreneur path is an easy one, as more accessibility has led to increased competition. While there are many variables that contribute to a successful business model, one that cannot be overlooked is the power of market research.
From understanding consumer needs to rethinking your marketing strategies, here are four ways that market research will help you improve your business model.
Market Research Helps You Be More Strategic
Start by defining and then understanding whom you are going to serve; your target market. Market research and data analysis help businesses create more meaningful content. Here are some of the key ways in-depth market research helps you improve your marketing strategies:
Market research helps you understand your target market, allowing you to create more personalized content that will generate interest and bolster consumer confidence in your product
Analyzing past consumer behavior allows your business to increase conversion by retargeting potential consumers with personalized messaging based on past activity
Predictive data analytics can help your business offer more exclusive content to their consumers based on purchase history
Knowing what will resonate with your customers helps you build content and messaging that reflect their needs, which in turn makes consumers feel confident and interested in your product.
Research Provides Knowledge and Drives Actions
Whether you’re developing an app, physical product or intellectual property, you will need to make sure that there is a need and or desire for your product or services. Working with an expert market researcher will get you behind the scenes, showing you what’s on trend at the moment, and why. Market research reflects consumer behavior, such as mapping out seasonal patterns and consumer activity.
In addition to being in tune with consumer needs, predictive data analytics allows businesses to understand potential fluctuations in the market, based on past data history. Knowing what works and doesn’t work in your industry allows you to adjust your business model based on consumer demands, while simultaneously giving the competition a run for their money.
Test the Waters … Then Test Them Again
Once you’ve entered the development stages of your product, you will probably be tempted to go full speed ahead. After hours and hours of preparation, it’s normal to be excited. But when it comes to launching your product, it is always wise to launch in stages. Now that you’ve got a feeling for who your target audience will be, and you’ve got a business plan in place, it’s time to have a soft launch to test systems, receive feedback and then fine tune the process and procedures again…..and again.
Testing a product can be done in a variety of ways, like offering free trials, working with test groups, conducting qualitative research, and surveys, all of which can help you build relationships between you and your customer. Consumer research will help you understand who will be testing your product and help you take the first big steps to building a loyal customer base. Many companies say they put their customers first, they may even have it in their mission statement, but, sadly, as consumers, we have all felt the pain of being treated like an unwanted child.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
~ Bill Gates
Market Research Helps Companies Build Trust
With a variety of resources comes a crowded and noisy competitive environment, which makes building a relationship with your consumer, essential. A major part of any relationship is trust, and to earn the level of trust in a relationship it means you have taken the time to understand not only the needs but, also honored the viewpoints of your consumer.
Doing research from multiple points of view will allow you to build the relationship with your consumer because you will know, like and trust them. The time, effort and budget you put into building this solid foundation for those you serve with your product or service will return dividends to you 10-fold. This understanding will drive your actions. This is exactly what will differentiate you in the competitive marketplace. You may customize your initial messaging to follow-ups, special offers, and updates. Maybe your target customer is the type that would rather reach out to you, or maybe they love getting ‘old fashioned’ mail. (Inc. Magazine) Your communication plan will show your customers that you are not only aware of their needs but, that your value them.
“People are attracted to businesses that make them feel valued; give people more value than they expect on a consistent basis and they will be loyal raving fans!”
– Joyce White Nelson
Today, it’s imperative that your business has an in-depth understanding of their target market, while also being willing to adapt to the on-the-go digital consumer’s needs. The ongoing market research and adjusted action steps will allow your business cultivate a differentiated edge that will keep you flexible and ahead of the curve in the marketplace.
Our friend Bob Burg, Author of ” Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts into Sales” states,
“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer people to, those people that they know, like, and trust.”
Joyce White Nelson’s global network of People-First professionals has guided hundreds of top entrepreneurs, businesses, and organizations in building lasting professional relationships. At JoyceVentures, our goal is to serve through a collaborative, process-oriented approach that will exceed your intended outcomes. We do this through systems analysis, assessment, observation, and open dialogue to provide qualitative and essential qualitative data for decision-making. Contact us for a Discovery Session today.