Businesses are always trying to find new ways to innovate, cut costs, and improve their brand awareness and reputation. These three factors can make or break a business, and staying ahead of the curve is absolutely imperative for each one. The purpose of market research, the most effective solution, is to determine how to gauge the direction an industry is going in, what customers want, and how to gain a competitive edge.
The first consideration any business has to take into account is who their competition is. Market research establishes a business’s top competitors and identifies the spaces in which there is competition. More importantly, the purpose of market research is to analyze the areas in which competition is doing better or worse. This allows businesses to build on their strengths while avoiding their competitors’ weaknesses.
Analyzing what the competition is doing can help a business identify how it is unique. Knowing how it differs from competitors helps establish a distinct brand image and offer something unique to customers. Market research will gauge how customers see one brand’s reputation versus its competitors’ reputation, allowing for a strategy of informed decisions to become and remain a market leader with a better offering.
Ensure Offerings Fill a Void
Market research not only analyzes the current competition, but also investigates what opportunities have not yet been seized upon. Having this information can help businesses fill a vacuum for customers, and the informed business will emerge as the first in market. The key questions addressed by market research are:
- Has this been done before?
- Can this be done better?
- What problems are not being solved?
- How big is the demand for a solution?
- Is there an untapped market of customers for whom we could make a solution?
An equally important piece of information for businesses is whether the void they are trying to fill is one that people need. Businesses are always looking to create something of value, and the best businesses invest copious resources into making products of the highest value. It is well worth avoiding costly investments to fill voids that do not have a justifiable need or customer base. Despite any financial loss this could cause a business, there is a huge opportunity cost incurred on time that could have been spent exploring a new space with customer demand.
Meet the Needs of Customers
Part of exploring areas where there is a void and determining whether there is a sufficient demand is anticipating the needs of customers. Identifying and ensuring a customer base can guarantee a space ahead of the competition in the market. Research can spot new trends and evaluate where the market will be heading, giving the informed business a huge advantage.
The importance of being in touch with the minds of customers can not be overstated. In this day and age, customer loyalty is key. Loyal customers are likely to give recommendations and encourage others to buy a product or service, which is the most influential form of advertising. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers say this is the most trusted form of advertising. Anticipating and meeting the needs of customers is an absolute must for any business.
Another valuable resource market research provides is consumer feedback. For businesses aimed at improving people’s lives or making the world a better place, customer satisfaction is one of the best, if not the best, ways to measure success. High customer satisfaction can show that an organization is on the right track; lower scores can inform on areas worth investing resources into improving to gain an advantage over the competition.
Customer satisfaction is an imperative resource when improving and optimizing products. Researching and developing new areas can be helped along by surveying customers and using data to adjust the course.
Get a Custom Marketing Strategy from Eastham
Market research enables businesses to make informed decisions and formulate smart strategies to help them improve their products and brand, innovate into new areas, and gain an edge over their competition. In the Information Age, businesses cannot afford not to stay informed with the opinions of their customers and the new possibilities that occur as technology advances. Contact the Eastham Group today for a consultation and see how you can use our research and services to become a market leader.