Data-driven decision making is no longer a luxury reserved for Fortune 500 companies with massive budgets and teams of PhDs crunching numbers in a windowless room. In fact, it has become a necessity for any business looking to maintain its position in the marketplace and reach new customers.
Successful businesses know how to leverage the power of market research to more fully understand where they stand today, identify opportunities to grow their business in the future and develop loyal customers who will come back again and again.
Market research provides the key to optimize your product/service offering; identify the best ways to reach your target market; attract new customers; cultivate loyal customers to champion your brand; and increase sales and ultimately grow your business.
While there are a number of ways that market research provides insights that can help your business maintain and increase its competitive edge, there are three areas in particular that are worth considering.
Find the right message and channel to drive customers through the door
The beauty of market research is its ability to focus on your specific needs as a business. A good market research provider will work closely with you to understand your business goals and identify opportunities where insights can make a real difference. Every customer is different, but there are similarities that can be leveraged to optimize your investment in marketing and promotions to make sure you’re reaching the right audience with the right message. This research seeks to answer questions like those below.
- Which channels are most effective for reaching my customers?
- How do I reach new prospective customers?
- Which advertising platform is most effective: Print? Radio? Digital? Television? Direct mail? Email?
- What message should I lead with in my marketing and promotions? What is going to compel customers to try my business?
Identify customer perceptions of your business’s strengths and weaknesses
Owners and managers are in many cases so bound up in the day-to-day operations of their business that they do not have the time to focus on what customers might think about them. Some focus more on symptoms than problems. Without knowing where your business stands in the minds of your consumers, it can be very difficult to effectively grow your business. Hearing directly from current, former and prospective customers can help to address any number of questions, including the following examples.
- What do my customers know about my brand?
- How satisfied are customers with the products and service my business provides?
- Are my current customers likely to return? Will they recommend my business to others? Why or why not?
- Why do customers come to my business instead of a competitor? What do they perceive as the strengths of what we offer?
- Where are my blind spots? Are there perceptions about my business that stand in the way of growth? What issues — real or perceived — need to be addressed?
Measure the effectiveness of your marketing
Marketing is an essential business function that not only works to make your brand top of mind for the consumer but shapes the perception of the brand overall. Knowing whether your marketing efforts are effective can inform when and how to pivot, either in your product or marketing message (or both).
- How effective is my marketing?
- Do Guam residents know my brand? Is it top of mind?
- Where does my brand stand in the marketplace?
- What is my share of market?
- Who is my competition? Are they traditional competitors or businesses who do not typically compete in this space?
“Without knowing where your business stands in the
minds of your consumers, it can be very difficult to
effectively grow your business.”