Conducting market research is fundamental to developing a marketing strategy that will extend your business’s reach. Understanding who your customers are, the business environment in which you operate, and what your competitors are doing, is essential to defining your target market. Once your target market is defined, you can extend your reach, increasing awareness for your offerings and obtaining more sales.
To research the market:
At a high level, developing a customer profile includes assessing:
In essence, you want to know as much as much as possible about potential customers in order to determine how you should market your product or service. Consider creating a customer survey to better understand who your customers are and what influences their purchasing decisions.
To understand the business environment, you should be able to answer:
- How will your business be impacted by the state of the economy?
- What role does technology play?
- What social, political, religious, and/or historical trends or perspectives will influence business operations?
- Which industry trends will impede or drive your business growth?
- Which alliances or delivery channels can you leverage to increase growth?
Understanding the business environment will help you anticipate and respond effectively to changes in the market. Be sure to use both primary and secondary resources to understand market trends. Over time, more resources will be made available via this website. Please contact us with your suggestions and submit articles on research topics to share your experience.
Conducting a competitive analysis can help you understand who your competitors are – what they sell, where and how they operate, what their pricing is, partners they have, and how they’re financed – so you can anticipate their market strategies and develop messaging tactics to chip away at their strengths. By evaluating your competitor’s key success factors and customer touch points in comparison to your business offerings, you’ll uncover how to differentiate your business and its offerings. Fortunately, a variety of competitive analysis tools are available to help you analyze the data you’ve collected.
Conducting a competitive analysis isn’t the sort of activity you do once and forget about. To stay a step ahead of your competition, you should plan to maintain your competitive analysis, collecting relevant information and updating your analysis as circumstances evolve.
Your quest for information should be unending
To thrive, you must stay abreast of the latest trends affecting your business – whether market, environment, technology, legal, regulatory, management, or infrastructure related. Use primary and secondary resources to research the market and understand the business environment. If you find a resource you like, we hope you’ll share it in blogs you share.
Once your data is collected and analyzed, the summary of your findings becomes your map or guide to determining the best strategy for your business.