The goal of doing market research is to equip yourself with the information you need to make informed business decisions about start-up, innovation, growth and the 4 ‘Ps’: product, price, place and promotion.
Product — Improve your product or service based on findings about what your customers really want and need. Focus on things like function, appearance and customer service or warranties.
Price — Set a price based on popular profit margins, competitors' prices, financing options, or the price a customer is willing to pay.
Placement — Decide where to set up and how to distribute a product. Compare the characteristics of different locations and the value of points of sale (retail, wholesale, online).
Promotion — Figure out how to best reach particular market segments (teens, families, students, professionals, etc.) in areas of advertising and publicity, social media, and branding.
Part of being prepared with market research is avoiding unpleasant surprises. Intuition and experience can be helpful at times, but research and facts often paint a more accurate picture of your market.
By conducting research on a regular basis, you can keep up with the dynamics of the economy and demography. You can also adjust to new regulations and technological breakthroughs.
Market research can help you:
Understand your customers and their preferences (4 Ps)
- Profile your customers (location, age, gender, income level, etc.)
- Create more effective marketing campaigns
- Find the best business location
- Recognize changes in demand
- Offer new products or services for the new demand
- Find new markets within and outside of Canada
- Shift inventory, price and staff levels as needed
- Identify competitors
- Get information on how your competitors operate
- Learn how customers compare you with your competitors
- Use information, not just intuition, to drive your business decisions