Before you introduce any product or service into the market place, do the market research first! And even if you are an existing business, it doesn't hurt to find out where you sit in the market compared to others. Peoples' wants and needs and competition can change and create new landscapes.
Why do you need to do Market Research?
By going into a market place blind, you risk making mistakes that will potentially cost you money and time. Not too mention the potential of a damaged reputation if it causes, quality, service or business failure issues. Its not a perfect science but its better to research as it will reduce risk.
So how do you go about Market Research?
First and foremost, get some professional advice about what you are trying to achieve. We use a member of the NZ Market Research Association to guide us on the best way to conduct the research. Our consultant might not need to actually carry out the research but assist with the structure of how it should be conducted and be used to write the report with observations based on the data collated. This is all relative to the size and complexity of the research needed. A well thought out research strategy, thinking about the type of data you need, will go a long away to a successful result.
From a marketers perspective, good market research helps us understand the market we are communicating with. The type of customer, the mediums we need to use, the message and where our competitive advantage is compared to competition.
We relate your product and services to the 4 Ps:-
- Who is your product and service aimed at? A broad market or a specific niche market?
- What competition is in that space? What do they offer? How do you compare? Is there a gap in the market for you to fill? Can you create enough market share?
- What mediums are your target market tuned into?
- What is your competition using? What is their message? Is there opportunity in your messaging to create a point of difference?
- How will your customer perceive your price and value proposition? What kind of customer are you aiming at?
- How will you compare on price with your competition? Will you be taking them on or will you be positioning yourself to aim at a niche market providing better quality and value?
- Where is your target market? Locally, Nationally? Internationally? What are their expectations accessing your product or service? Website? Local Outlet?
- What competition do you have and how do they deliver to their customers? Is there an opportunity to offer your product and service in a different manner that will give you a market advantage?
People (5th P)
- People are the most important element of any service or experience. People buy from people that they like, so the attitude, skills and appearance of all staff need to be first class. What is your office culture and morel?
http://www.stats.govt.nz/ is another helpful resource, if you are looking at a snapshot of your market. You can also liaise with them directly for specific information.
There are a few different ways you can conduct particular types of market research including Quantitive and Qualative research. You can see descriptions of these at https://www.themarketingstudio.co.nz/consultancy/market-research.
Doing your homework will go a long way to having a better understanding of the market. It will also provide you fantastic data when developing your strategy and marketing plan, which we will cover in our next blog.