HOW MARKET RESEARCH MATTERS
Market Research today has indeed become a fundamental element of setting up or expanding any business. In fact, its scope has grown much wider than that. It also helps in pinpointing and identifying the mistakes in the current business model or operations based on an in-depth analysis of the market, the prime competitors, their strategies, the loopholes in strategy made in the past, consumer insights of the product/service; all of which help understanding the complete picture of the market scenario. Simply put, market research involves gathering and analysing data, and using this data to make efficient and informed business decisions or amendments in the already adopted order of things. Market Research helps reduce the risks associated with business too. The idea is to manage the money and the business set-up better, without employing heavy financial resources.
Market Research can give any business a picture of the market situation, what products and services are available, which areas exhibit opportunity etc. It is essential for all businesses, irrespective of their sizes (start-ups or multinationals) and product, looking at making more data-centric and informed decisions and minimizing losses due to weak decision making. The exercise can also accurately indicate to the respective companies if they are adequately meeting their consumer base’s needs and expectations. Addressing small, yet specific questions can help business owners and administrators to make changes, revisions, new introductions and tweaks in their current mode of operation.
The steps below were compiled by Barclays indicating the purpose and process of external market research:
A good insightful and exhaustive market research can aid in a number of things ranging from the need of a product/service, its potential, its likelihood to sell and the desirable geographical and market details. These market researches are of great use under four broadly classified scenarios:
- While starting-up or hitting the market
- Tapping a new market- Expanding into new geographical locations or segments
- Introducing a new product or service
- Adopting a high-technology concept or Innovating
Market research has four main uses:
- Finding out things crucial to business: Market size, share, revenue, opportunities, current usage pattern etc.
- Monitor performance of any business activity such as customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction, advertisement impact tracking, brand building and awareness etc.
- To test existing ideas (Also known as Testing)
- To help create new ideas: New products, services, advertisement campaigns and offers
One does not need too many resources to conduct such a research. If one’s organization is big and established in terms of the presence of a good research team, adept at handling competitive intelligence and consumer insights, it can be handled internally. And in most cases, when the required resources and expertise is not available within the company, reports can either be purchased and customized based on individual needs or can be tailor-made based on the particular requirement. The market indeed has many alternatives today. There are numerous techniques being employed today to uncover information, ranging from online research and questionnaires to counting customers and focus groups.
One should prioritize Market Research for the following reasons:
- It helps centre the business around the customers
- It keeps the focus on the things that really matter
- It keeps the business prepared and opens lucrative growth opportunities
- It keeps the business future and data oriented
- It reduces risk by improving the quality of decisions
- It helps in developing more effective strategies
- It solves specific business problems
- Identifies existing and potential customers
- Helps set realistic and achievable targets
Contrary to popular perception, Multinationals outsource much of the market research today. This is a very interesting trend; as such firms utilize the research talent pool inside and outside of their organizations optimally and effectively. A Multinational Manufacturer in the field of diversified technology and consumer electronics approached Mordor Intelligence for a customized report on the overall market scenario of the Cloud Security Market, more specifically of the Software Market excluding services/consulting offered as part of the service. Such specific requests from renowned and established firms have become common place in the field of Market Research today.
Another incidence indicating the fast pace adoption of market research by big multinationals is the tailor made research request by a leading auditing firm offering Professional Services around the world on the European Pharmaceutical Packing market, again specific to the countries and segments leading in the sector. The increasing adoption of Market Research by small, medium and big enterprises is an interesting trend indicating the degree and scale to which the benefits and contributions of market research have been penetrating.
After conducting such a research, the results can either indicate some changes to be made in the current plan or create a new plan altogether.
This, however, requires the right questions to be asked to the right people at the right time. After all, your business too has to be in the right place at the right time amongst the right people!