What is market research? Doing market and competitor research is a vital part of your marketing strategy and this article is to help explain why.

The process of market research involves identifying questions about your intended industry and/or potential customer base then finding the answers through testing and resources. Market research can also include competitor research where we find information on your competitors business and marketing efforts and analyze the findings. This may include both qualitative and quantitative research. The quantitative research will show statistics and trends from sources such as surveys, social media & website analytics, and existing research data found. The qualitative research methods usually are to get insight on questions using focus groups, observational studies, interviews and other resources to discover motivation and reasoning behind the market behaviors.

It can depend on your business what types of research methods are needed but many times both methods will be helpful. Here are 5 reasons to use market research in your strategy:

Efficiency: It directs you towards the most lucrative growth opportunities.

  • When it comes to marketing, the bottom line is if you are getting a return on your investment. A huge reason to research first is to keep from throwing advertising dollars away. This could impact weather your marketing is a success or not. It reduces your risk. The research will allow you to target the correct audience & demographics to get the most out of your budget.

It helps you center your business on your consumers.

  • It’s easy to focus on the needs of your own business instead of the customer’s needs. The problem with that is when we forget to focus on customer needs, we loose progress. It’s important that the business understands and is continuously meeting and hopefully exceeding customer needs.

Identifying Problems with Your Brand.

  • Research can help to discover issues with your brand to fix that you many not be aware of. It will provide objective ways to evaluate your marketing and get an outside perspective.

Innovation: If you listen to the research it will be the best guide for your decision making.

  • Research on common issues in your marketplace can show you how to make your brand cutting edge and fill needs that may not be met for consumers. If your business can be in the lead on innovation, it will build a quality reputation for your brand as a leader.

Simplify Brand Expansion: It helps you focus on what’s important.

  • By learning about your market, you can promote your brand using the proper terminology, find new uses for your products or services, and discover opportunities for lead generation.   The research can show you how to further extend your reach.

In today’s digital world, market and competitor research is easier to accomplish because of the tools, software and data that is so accessible to us.   Do you typically include research as part of your marketing strategy? If so, how has it helped you?