Along with determining your business’s goals and KPIs, market research is one of the first and most important steps in creating a successful marketing strategy for your brand. Market research should be both quantitative and qualitative, meaning that it is recorded numerically as well as through personal accounts and other non-numerical data. Furthermore, this data can be gathered through both primary and secondary research.
Primary research is gathered by the organization or those representing it. This is a much more personal approach to gathering information and has the advantage of pertaining specifically to a certain brand or business. Some examples of primary research include:
Interviews can be held on an individual level or can occur in a focus group setting with several people. This method can be particularly helpful if the interviewee(s) are experts in a specific field relating to the business.
Surveys offer similar benefits to interviews, but on a larger scale. Often, surveys are not as detailed as an interview, but they are quicker and can be done independently, giving consumers a greater incentive to participate. Quantus Creative is happy to conduct surveys for clients, providing powerful insights into target audiences and identifying both the strengths and weaknesses of a company through customized research strategies.
Secondary research often refers to research that has been conducted previously by somebody else. This type of data can be gathered from textbooks, analytics reports, or even surveys previously conducted by others. Below are two important secondary research techniques that may be overlooked:
We can learn a lot from our competitors. By observing competition, companies can identify ways to differentiate themselves from others in their market. There is an opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes as well as their successes. Monitoring also helps to identify gaps in the market that may lead to an opportunity. Finally, staying vigilant can minimize any surprises and help in predicting a competitor’s next moves.
Social Media Listening
As of this year, the average internet user spends 151 minutes per day on social media. Businesses can gain important insights by monitoring social media conversations surrounding particular topics. Social media teams can gather analytics to inform future decisions such as reacting to current trends or important news, determining which kinds of content are receiving the highest ROI or the most interaction, and tracking reviews.
Companies can use a SWOT analysis to further investigate and organize the data gathered through both primary and secondary research. SWOT stands for strengths (what are the strengths of your company, product, or service?), weaknesses (where or how can your product or service be improved), opportunities (external opportunities that work in favor of your product or service), and threats (external factors that could harm your business)
Market research is never finished. Companies should continue to monitor and grow according to the data gathered by themselves or others. Hiring a team to maintain focus on research is a wise investment regardless of what stage in the business life cycle the organization may be in. Staying diligent when it comes to research ensures that marketing efforts are highly strategized rather than just throwing ideas at a wall to see what sticks.