How to Do Market Research--The Basics
Is your business a product in search of a customer? Use these tips to create a product or service customers will clamor for. BY LESLEY SPENCER PYLE | September 23, 2010|
Marketing research can give a business a picture of what kinds of new products and services may bring a profit. For products and services already available, marketing research can tell companies whether they are meeting their customers' needs and expectations. By researching the answers to specific questions, small-business owners can learn whether they need to change their package design or tweak their delivery methods--and even whether they should consider offering additional services. "Failure to do market research before you begin a business venture or during its operation is like driving a car from Texas to New York without a map or street signs," says William Bill of Wealth Design Group LLC in Houston. "You have know which direction to travel and how fast to go. A good market research plan indicates where and who your customers are. It will also tell you when they are most likely and willing to purchase your goods or use your services." When you conduct marketing research, you can use the results either to create a business and marketing plan or to measure the success of your current plan. That's why it's important to ask the right questions, in the right way, of the right people. Research, done poorly, can steer a business in the wrong direction. Here are some market-research basics that can help get you started and some mistakes to avoid. Types of Market Research
Primary Research: The goal of primary research is to gather data from analyzing current sales and the effectiveness of current practices. Primary research also takes competitors' plans into account, giving you information about your competition. Collecting primary research can include:
Interviews (either by telephone or face-to-face)
Surveys (online or by mail)...
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