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Why Market Research Must Be the First Step in Your Marketing Plan

Research Your Opportunities

Most for-profit companies go into business believing they will be successful. Companies are launched with the belief their product or service is in demand; that they will grow and be profitable. Some succeed, others fail. Adding market research as the first step in the marketing plan, before planning the marketing strategy and tactics, can help a company succeed by getting it right before product design or marketing begins.

Market research is a tool for marketing strategy decision-making, adding to the experience and intuition already present in the company. Having accurate information early in the process has tremendous potential for increasing efficiency, effectiveness and profitability, creating a powerful foundation for the marketing strategy. Knowing the depth of your market, what price is optimal for the product or service and having great clarity on your ideal target customer along with what they most want and need from a product like yours is a powerful tool.

Here are some benefits to consider in adding market research at the beginning of developing your marketing strategy planning:

  • Confirm your true Ideal Target Customer. Is your buyer truly who you anticipate it to be? Do you understand the customer and their wants and needs (aka their pain point)? Before you design a marketing strategy targeting the wrong audience, take the time to test for your Ideal Target Customer can make a tremendous difference in your marketing results.
  • Value the offer. Is there enough interest in the idea to make the business a success? Are your Ideal Target Customers willing to pay the price point you anticipate? More? Less?
  • Check assumptions, optimize the idea. Talking with people who match the attributes of your ideal target customer gives you insight into that customer’s perceptions, beliefs, opinions and attitudes about your product or service. We have experienced both outcomes on behalf of clients recently: one client was able to recover from a design misstep; another discovered they had significantly undervalued their product.
  • Surface issues, solve problems. If you are entering a new area or business, knowing all the issues ahead of time gives you time to solve and plan. Planning is the time to uncover and solve these issues.
  • Save money. Do customers value all the details you’ve included in your product, or have you over designed? Are you marketing to the right customer?

Have you engaged in market research as part of your marketing strategy planning? Have questions on research itself? Leave me a comment; I would love to know about your experience. – Maureen

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