What Is Market Research?
  • 4-minute read
  • 21st March 2024

What Is Market Research?

No matter your industry, conducting market research helps you keep up to date with shifting patterns and trends. But what’s the best way to collect the information you need for success? Don’t worry – we’ve got the answers. In this post, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about market research to stay competitive in an evolving ecommerce landscape. Keep reading to get started.

What Is Market Research?

Market research is the process of collecting relevant information about a specific industry or market, such as details about a product or service, a target audience, and direct competitors. This research is then analyzed and presented in a business report, and the relevant data are applied to strategic marketing efforts. 

Market research can be primary or secondary – and both have their uses in business. Primary research involves collecting data directly from the source, such as through surveys, focus groups, interviews, or direct observations. Secondary research is analyzing and evaluating existing data from research that has already been published, such as market reports, government publications, or studies. Having a good balance of both is a good idea to ensure your research findings are as well-rounded as possible. 

There isn’t one right time to conduct market research – it can be conducted as often as necessary at various stages of a business’s life cycle. Market research can be especially beneficial when you’re: 

  • Starting a business
  • Launching a new product
  • Expanding to a new market
  • Responding to recent market changes
  • Updating existing products or services
  • Assessing customer satisfaction 

Types of Market Research

Many different types of market research exist, each with its own process and objective. Next, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common forms, ways to gather the data you need, and ways you can use the results.

Target Market Analysis

Analyzing your target market helps you understand the essential characteristics of your intended audience, including demographics, pain and gain points, and behavior patterns, to create buyer personas. Knowing your customer base allows you to tailor your products more precisely to meet specific needs – and ensures your marketing efforts are reaching the intended audience. You can conduct a target market analysis through informal outreach to current and former customers (e.g., surveys, interviews, and social media engagement).

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Competitor Analysis

A competitor analysis evaluates the strengths (and weaknesses) of your closest competitors. Learning from the successes and failures of other businesses in your industry helps you identify areas where your own business can improve. When assessing your competitors, evaluate the basics, such as pricing and size, and gather more in-depth information, such as their marketing and branding techniques, ratio of positive to negative customer feedback, and ranking on search engine results pages. 

Market Trends and Forecasting

Forecasting and evaluating rising market trends can help you predict the success of new products or services and decide the direction in which to take your business. Learning about social and cultural patterns and trends is valuable for adapting to changes and staying ahead of the competition. This approach also applies to technological developments, which often have a major impact on market dynamics, especially for ecommerce businesses. Many forecasting tools are available, so when selecting software, be sure to do your research to find the best fit for your specific business needs. 

Product and Service Feedback

Gathering feedback on your business’s products (or potential products) can help you get a better idea of customer preferences and expectations. To get an accurate representation of customer experiences, encourage all current and former customers to write a review or testimonial and let you know what they’d like to see from your business in the future.

SWOT Analysis

Another example of market research is a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, which helps you identify internal and external factors that may impact your ability to capitalize on market trends and strategize accordingly.

In Summary

Market research can be a valuable tool that helps you better understand your audience and take your business to the next level. No matter what market research strategy you use, Proofed can ensure your business’s reports are clear, actionable, and ready to present to your team. Schedule a call with our team today and start seeing results. 

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