Many small- to mid-sized companies overlook the value of conducting market research when planning their marketing strategies, leaving significant risk in the design of the marketing plan. Consumer research is all about asking customers, or the right prospective customers, what they think, feel, want and expect, and putting that insight to use, just the insight you need for creating optimal marketing strategies for your product or service.
The top four benefits of conducting research when designing your marketing plan include:
1. Evaluating your standing with customers. Knowing how your customers regard your product or service provides valuable information about their satisfaction with your delivery system and the product itself. Without getting feedback from the customer, you’ll have to rely on your own beliefs, which could be optimistic or misleading. Reaching out to your customers directly removes any bias that you or your organization have about your company’s performance, and provides insight into where to place your focus and efforts.
2. Developing new products. You can use the information you obtain from customer evaluations to develop new products or services, keeping your offering from becoming dated or stale, and helping you find the product or feature that will differentiate your offering in the market. In today’s marketplace, staying ahead of the curve ensures that you not only satisfy your current customer base, but evolve with customers.
3. Identify market opportunities. Those “ah-ha” moments are few and far between, but when you apply the information you learn from your customers, you may find that there’s a vacuum in your field and gain from that insight, a vacuum you want to account for in your marketing plan.
4. Learn your clients’ attributes. Depending on the type of research you conduct, you can find the demographic and psychographic patterns that drive customers to your product and factor them in your marketing strategies. Demographic and psychographic information helps you stay within the design and pricing parameters that drive your success. Demographics that tell you the age, income and family characteristics, while psychographic data sets a foundation for understanding why your customers purchase from you, or don’t. You can use the information to plan marketing strategies and apply the information to future development opportunities.
Conducting market research in today’s automated environment has never been easier, but it’s also an effort that needs careful thought and analysis to ensure you are asking the right questions and drawing the correct conclusions. Retrieving good data from current and potential customers has many benefits, as long as the market research is reliably crafted and designed to deliver solid conclusions.
Have you used market research in creating the marketing strategies in your marketing plan? Leave me a comment; I would love to learn about your experience. – Maureen