Recently, we hit home on the importance of conducting Market Research. We discussed the what and the why. However, we didn’t get to the how.
Today, we’re going to briefly run through an easy to apply process of creating, starting, and monitoring a market research project. This process can be broken into five steps.
- Identify the Problem. Here you need to sit back and be completely with honest with yourself, team, and organization. Depending on where you are within your business, it may even mean your business concept. You need to ask yourself what information that if you had would make a difference to your product or service awareness, retention, targeting, and acquisition.
- Analysis of Key Issues within Problem. Next, you take the key problem(s) that you identified and you break it/them down in more detail. Paying particular attention to key issues that lead up to the
main problem. Identifying the problem is the first step to understanding it. Understanding it is what is going to help you design a customized market research plan that fits the objective of investigating not only problem(s), but the issues associated with the problem.
- Design the Research Plan. For example, if you’re trying to penetrate an international market that has an identified need for your product and there has been a long-standing awareness of your product, but your sales just aren’t there. You potentially could have a targeting or acquisition problem. Digging deeper will help you to evaluate the why, how, when, and so on that leads to the key issues that need to be explored and leads the way for your research design. Depending on the issues you may want to do to primary and secondary research. Simply put, primary research is research that you create yourself this could be surveys, focus groups, questionnaires, and so on. The bottomline with primary research is that you create, implement, and do all of it. Secondary research is research that is done by someone else. This could research studies, case studies, data and industry studies, and so on. Here, the research is done, and you review it. You’re going to have to decide your objectives, data collections, methodologies used to analyze data, scheduling key activities (i.e. creating survey instruments, permissions, recruiting participants, facilitation of surveys / focus groups / interviews, conducting research and analysis of secondary data, compilation of your primary data, review and analysis of primary data, protect data, evaluate limitations, and outcomes).
- Do Something with the Findings. Your market research provides you with the opportunity to investigate the key issues to your major marketing problems. It does not, let me repeat, fix those problems. You fix those problems. By truly evaluating and understanding what you research means and how it could be applied within your situation is where not only money, but also the solutions lie for you key problems and issues. So, use this information to brainstorm, create objectives, goals statements, actions, metrics, and timelines for overcoming or at the very least minimizing your key problems and issues. Implement, track, monitor, and adjust accordingly.
- Rinse & Repeat. Just like strategy sessions shouldn’t be a once or twice a year thing. Market research and staying up to date on trends, issues, and key aspects of your market, industries, and so on shouldn’t be. Business doesn’t stop, neither does market research. Fit ongoing, proactive market research practices within your overall business strategy.
We get it, market research can be overwhelming, however, if purposefully organized to fit the needs of working through key problem(s) and issue(s), it can be done. Take time to learn, do, and apply more practices to help you build your understanding, confidence, and application of market research practices. You’ll thank you, and so will people that are impacting by you solving or minimizing the impact of your key problem(s) and issue(s). You can do this. Start your learning today!
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by Katie Doseck, Ph.D.
Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC