What Is Marketing Research?
Market research is the process of gathering, analysing and interpreting information to help find marketing opportunities and solve challenges.
Research falls under two main types: primary research and secondary research.
Primary research involves directly gathering data from the end consumer. Some examples of primary research sources include:
- Focus groups
- Visits to competitors’ locations
Secondary research involved using data gathered and published by an outside source. Some examples of secondary research sources include:
- Census data
- Research reports
- News reports
- Academic journals
- Magazines and newspapers
- Universities, colleges, and technical institutions
- Demographics and market research compiled by businesses and media outlets about their clients or audience
Benefits of Market Research
Companies undertake market research for a variety of reasons:
- To understand their audience
Undertaking market research helps companies gain a better understanding of who their customers are, their demographics, and their likes and interests.
Understanding a target audience is extremely important as it can help brands stand out from competitors and build stronger relationships with customers.
- To spot business opportunities
By understanding target customers, knowing where to reach them, and learning what they like a brand will be more capable of spotting potential business opportunities.
These opportunities can come in many different forms, for example, a company could identify new product or services, great add-ons or upsells for their current products or services, or ideas for new locations to sell at.
- To know what works
Market research helps companies to know what marketing materials a customer wants to see and what works. For example, flyers, social media, websites, blogs, outdoor marketing, or offers.
- To solve issues
Research will help companies understand what doesn’t work with their product or service, or what can be improved. For instance, a company could find out during market research that sustainability is important to a lot of their customers and that the amount of packaging they use turns consumers off their brand. Knowing this information, the company can tackle the problem. Not only would this attract new customers, it would also build stronger relationships with past customers as it shows that the brand is listening to their concerns.
- To stay ahead of competitors
By understanding customers pain points and problems they face companies are able to stand out from their competitors and stay ahead of them. This could be through their product or service, your marketing materials, your messaging, your branding, or your customer service.
Market research will also help identify other direct and indirect competitors.