Be honest: when’s the last time you conducted market research?
If it’s been a while or hasn’t happened at all, we don’t blame you.
So much of modern marketing is about taking action and chasing immediate results.
And taking the time to do research might not seem like much of a priority.
But consider that the majority of consumers today feel that brands don’t understand them. This is all despite the fact that we have greater access to customer data than ever before.
Given the wealth of tools and information available, businesses today can’t ignore the importance of regular market research. Conducting research not only helps you better understand how to sell to customers but also stand out from your competition.
In this guide, we break down everything you need to know about market research and how doing your homework can help you grow your business.
Why is market research so important, anyway?
First, let’s define what market research is. It’s the process of gathering information surrounding your business opportunities. From customer personas to trends within your industry, market research identifies key information for you to better understand your audience’s desires from your products and services.
Taking time out of your schedule to conduct research might seem like a drag but doing so is crucial for your brand health. Here’s are some of the key benefits of market research:
Understand your customers’ motivations and pain points
Simply put, you can’t run a business if you don’t know what motivates your customers.
And spoiler alert: Your customers’ wants, needs and desires aren’t static. Your customers’ behaviors today might be night-and-day from what they were a few years ago.
According to CMO Council’s Loyalty That Lasts report, 43% of marketers note that they’re looking to build deeper, more personal relationships with customers. Market research isn’t just about reading graphs and digging through data: it’s about having meaningful conversations with people too.
Figure out how to position your brand
Positioning is becoming increasingly important as more and more brands enter the marketplace.
Market research enables you to spot opportunities to define yourself against your competitors.
Maybe you’re able to emphasize a lower price point. Perhaps your product has a feature that’s one of a kind.
Finding those opportunities goes hand in hand with researching your market. In fact, 52% of B2B marketers note that rich and reliable customer insights are key to becoming a market leader.
Maintain a stronger pulse on your industry at large
Again, today’s marketing world evolves at a rate that’s difficult to keep up with.
Fresh products. Up-and-coming brands. New marketing tools.
There’s a reason why 55% of people are overwhelmed when trying to learn about a new product. They’re being bombarded with sales messages from all angles.
However, brands are tasked with seeing the forest through the trees. By monitoring market trends through research, you can figure out the best tactics for reaching your target audience.
Where should I conduct market research?
If you don’t know where to start with your research, relax.
There’s no shortage of market research methods out there. For the purpose of this guide, we’ve highlighted research channels for small and big businesses alike.
Considering that a staggering 50% of online purchases start with a Google search, there’s perhaps no better place to start.
A quick Google search is a potential goldmine for all sorts of questions to kick off your market research.
Who’s ranking for keywords related to your industry? Which products and pieces of content are the hottest right now? Who’s running ads related to your business?
For example, Google Product Listing Ads can help highlight all of the above for B2C brands.