Research is a critical component to any business, large or small. Market research can help you gain valuable insights, better understand your current business space, and determine how to compete and expand your offerings.
There are always new insights to be gained from a fresh look at the business landscape: audience behaviour, corporate culture, industry outlook, and innovative new solutions being created. This is why market research is so important to the success of any company.
Market research is essential for leaders trying to get a firm grip on a market, whether for a start-up or a well-established company. It offers us a way to understand how organisations should think and make informed decisions.
This article offers 19 ideas on how you can make sense of data from market research.
- Use keyword research to understand the search behaviour of your audience. You can be more competitive in the search engine results pages by writing keyword-optimised content when you know what keywords they are using.
- Leverage all the information that you have available. From social media data to survey data to research and analysis, it can help tailor a persona for your target audience.
- Google Trends allows you to track search queries for specific terms and keywords, allowing you to collect, compare, and understand real-time search interest patterns for any topic.
- Analysing correlations helps you to determine how different factors affect each other. It can reveal unforeseen inter-relationships between variables and thus expose you to new opportunities for growth.
- Stats on customer behaviour and consumer preferences will help you understand how your target audience makes decisions. Then, extract patterns from customer habits to predict their behaviour and optimise your customer journey to their preferences.
- Market segmentation is a strategic approach that divides the market into distinct and definable groups based on common characteristics or criteria. So, use segmentation to identify subgroups in the market that have similar needs.
- Visualising data offers a way to present complex ideas in a more accessible way. It can also help you better understand, interpret and remember the stats and metrics you have discovered.
- Do a market opportunity analysis. It helps leaders make decisions about where and how they should allocate their resources. It evaluates your business’s current position and an assessment of opportunities to increase market share.
- Seasonal patterns help evaluate the magnitude and seasonal impact of events to inform decision-making. The data can also be used in a variety of ways to spot opportunities or identify critical trends.
- Business intelligence solutions come in handy for bringing together all the information you need to make intelligent decisions faster. As such, business intelligence helps you make better, faster decisions about products, customers and competitors.
- Data is limited without context. Never leave out the context of the data you acquire. This could cascade into series of wrong decisions based on incorrect assumptions. You have to see the actual picture to unlock any potential.
- Clarify beforehand how the data would be used and the sectors the analysis would apply to. Determine which processes and initiatives would benefit from the study of any particular set of data before the analysis.
- Competitor analysis is part of market research. Evaluate your competitors and their strategies, benchmark your industry performance and understand your sector’s growth outlook.
- Unlike online strategies, it can be pretty challenging to track offline channels. Many offline marketing channels do not provide actionable information, or they don’t provide it in real-time. Find alternatives to this by inspiring measurable actions from customers. In fact, this gives you engagement and more data to work with.
- Do you have what it takes to understand the minds of your users and help them achieve their goals? The information you gather from your users will never mean anything unless you know the why behind that data. Therefore, you need to focus on the motivations behind user actions and not just the activities themselves.
- Data is not just about numbers (quantitative analysis). The significant advantage of qualitative data analysis is that it allows you to really ‘get under the skin’ of the research respondents. Hence, if a qualitative study is not part of your strategy, you probably need to be less obsessed with numbers.
- Make intelligent inferences. When you have to make big decisions but only have a small set of data available, inferential data analysis helps make wise data-backed judgements of the situation. What you shouldn’t do is make baseless assumptions.
- Are you making the most of your unstructured data? Unstructured data may constitute blind spots that make you oblivious to good opportunities to scale operations. Therefore, find the gaps in your current analytics operations and close them to take advantage of all the information available to you.
- Use the correct data sources. Collecting data from Facebook would be almost useless if the vast majority of your customers use Instagram. Your data is as good as how it is sourced. Always go for rich and accurate data.
In market research, it’s not always easy to discern what’s reliable and what’s not, but there are some things you can do to aid your research efforts for more efficient insight extraction. Those methods are what this article has tried to explain.
Each market is unique. The people and businesses in one market may be completely different from those in other markets. Market research helps you understand who those people and companies are to make more informed decisions.
Pay attention to the context as you embark on your studies and analyses.