How To Perform Market Research (creative process series: part 2 of 6)

What’s The Purpose of Market Research?

Branding can change the way people think, feel and act. It is a powerful business tool to share ideas, stimulate passions and inspire your audience. A compelling story creates a personal connection between your audience and your message. To be effective though, market research is necessary.

Market research is performed by professional marketers to collect important information about target customers which is then used to help shape marketing communications in a way that will resonate in certain people.

It’s the process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, as well as the past, present and potential customers.

It involves studying the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business's target market, the industry as a whole and the particular competitors you face.

Prepare For Market Research

Getting Familiar With The Project

It takes acquiring some primary information before diving into the full market research process. Prerequisites include a business assessment and brand audit.

Allot Time

Planning your research timelines by setting daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals is helpful when conducting market research to stay updated with latest trends and consumer information.

Arrange Resources

Market research requires participants, so it’s important to coordinate and schedule volunteers for surveys.

Develop Questionnaires

Decide how you’ll question your targeted group: by direct mail, telephone, online polls, surveys or personal interviews.

Collect Data From Reliable Sources

Hire a Pro

As a small business owner, it’s best to focus your time and energy on developing your products and services while collaborating with an agency that specializes in market research, who can collect all the data you need to make better business decisions.

Conduct Interviews

Conduct focus groups and one-on-one interviews to learn about consumers’ attitudes and behaviors. Focused interviews are based on questions selected ahead of time, while non-directive interviews encourage respondents to address certain topics with minimal questioning.

Hand Out Surveys

To see how a particular audience perceives certain information, present a series of questions. Surveys are useful brainstorming tools for getting information on product ideas, buying preferences and purchasing decisions among certain populations.

Do a Little Product Usability Testing

Before launching a new product, app or website, it is important to test the usability to ensure the user interface and overall experience is well-executed.

Check Online Analytics

Monitoring website and social media analytics, views, impressions, clicks and page bounces can be helpful in seeing whose interest you’re capturing and trends among their online activity.

Notice Patterns + Trends

By performing extensive market research and collecting real life information from a variety of reliable sources, patterns and trends are discovered, thus data is properly collected.

Where To Apply Data Collected

Market Segmentation

With a large amount of collected information, you can break down trends categorically to determine the amount of participants of a certain age, sex, race, class, demographics, psychographics, etc.

Strategic Planning

The conceptualization of new ideas occur directly from market research. Data helps usher ideas to life in the strategic planning phase.

Target Audience

One of the main areas that are improved by market research is a gained understanding of target customers. By collecting extensive data, sometimes you find the people interested in your mission aren’t who you predicted.

Key Messaging

Data helps to frame key messaging. Depending on your audience, the voice and tone of your brand will be shaped.

Market Positioning

Through studying the market, you will identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats surrounding it. This will help to position your business accordingly so that you have a solid competitive advantage.

Design Decisions

With proper market research comes informed design decisions. By knowing who exactly you’re targeting, it helps to shape messaging to which your audience will relate.

What’s Next?

Coming up on this 6-part series will be digital media analysis: the essential checklist, a guide to positioning your business, how to formulate a comprehensive marketing plan and how to become an industry leader.

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I’m Alyssa Leverenz, a brand strategist helping startups and small businesses articulate their purpose with authority and authenticity.

Head to my website to get in touch with me.