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5 Tips to Nail Your Market Research in 2022
Market research is the practice of gathering data in order to better understand a specific demographic or consumer group so that a company can market its products more effectively. Market research is an essential component of any business strategy, regardless of your company’s vertical or the scope of its operations. It empowers businesses with the insights they need to make data-driven decisions that propel them forward rather than backward.
Furthermore, through analyzing consumer demand patterns, pain points and content interaction across the competitive landscape, businesses are more aptly equipped to engage with their customers by meeting their demands. This, in turn, leads to the building of deeper and more meaningful relationships.
Thus, market research creates a competitive advantage that business leaders can use to capture a larger part of the market and generate more revenue.
However, market research is difficult to implement successfully. Firstly, overwhelming amounts of data make it tricky to separate valuable insights from the noise that’s available by scraping web content or analyzing social media conversation, search results and third-party reports.
Secondly, any time you collect first-party data, you run data quality risks, whether from researchers’ unconscious biases or problems when dealing with qualitative sources.
Lastly, if you really want to get the most from your market research, you need to employ a variety of research techniques on different segments of the market, which can be laborious and resource intensive to carry out.
Here are five tips to help you navigate these challenges so you can unlock valuable market research insights efficiently.
Remove all assumptions before you begin
Before you begin, it’s critical to address one of the most deadly traps marketers fall into when conducting market research: allowing assumptions to enter the equation.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, your prejudices will influence how you conduct market research. For example, when creating a survey, your underlying biases may sway how you phrase questions or answers, resulting in inaccurate results. Even when using a data insights service, the information you look for in your research is influenced by whatever hypotheses you’re trying to reinforce, consciously or not.
To make matters worse, your organization may act on this data without realizing anything is amiss, making your market research more detrimental than beneficial. With this in mind, you should eliminate as many biases as possible before starting your research process.
Be transparent with focus group participants
Focus groups can be highly effective for gathering qualitative data. If you intend to use this strategy to collect insights, you must be as open and honest as possible when interacting with the individuals involved.
It can be tempting to try and circumvent biases among the focus group by keeping them unaware of your objectives. However, this might cause the discussion to become unfocused, and it’s also potentially unethical.
Above all, participants must have a precise understanding of how you intend to use their information. Failure to do so can have major consequences later on in the process, and individuals may be hesitant to give their actual opinions if their guard is up, which can distort results.
Analyze competitors’ web traffic
Using a market research tool, you can now obtain treasure troves of data pertaining to the digital strategies implemented by your competitors. With a bit of digging, you can uncover the most effective strategies across each digital platform and type of traffic source during specified time periods.
Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to improve your own market research strategy. You may even discover new techniques that produce better results across your target demographics. Furthermore, online benchmarking tools allow you to compare your performance to that of your competitors, whether that be the industry leader or your closest rivals, in terms of market size.
This will assist your organization in establishing goals, evaluating progress, and maximizing the effectiveness of your efforts.
When running surveys, keep them short and simple
Try to conduct at least some form of quantitative survey across your research strategy. This can provide you with data that is easily analyzed and leaves very little room for ambiguity – as long as you structure the questions correctly, that is. For this reason, online surveys are by far the most popular quantitative methods used in the market research industry.
If you really want to acquire accurate results with surveys circulated among the general public, though, you need to keep them as short and straightforward as possible. The more complex they are, the less accurate the final insights will be. Furthermore, if you ask participants to complete super long surveys, the less engaged they will be, and the more likely that they’ll stop before filling in all the answers.
Remember, you don’t need to ask a million questions to capture interesting, actionable data. Opt for quality over quantity.
Analyze competitors’ social media engagement
We all know how powerful social media can be. According to one recent tally, some 97% of Fortune 500 companies use social platforms to connect with consumers and drive more revenue to their business. As social media algorithms increasingly favor local community content, smaller businesses are also active in these spaces.
So, how effective are your social media efforts compared to those of your competitors? Take some time to observe the types of content they favor, the tones of voice they write with, and the channels they most commonly utilize to communicate with their audience.
If you don’t know where to begin, several useful tools are available to help you get started measuring engagement, so you don’t have to do everything manually.
While it can be a complex undertaking, market research is a fundamental business practice that companies must pursue if they want to gain a deeper understanding of their industry and achieve a competitive advantage.
By keeping a finger on your competitors’ pulse while conducting your own primary research, you will have access to a wealth of actionable insights that will help you shape your future business decisions and capture more of the market for yourself.