Market research is a support task often admired from afar but not engaged in as much as it should. If you prescribe to the school of thought that we are, and should be, always learning, then market research is something that should be engaged in regularly, to keep an eye on existing competition, updates to the market and any new obstacles or changes on the horizon.

Market research is a way of researching and analysing the market you are looking to enter or currently operate in - it can take many forms, from a quick online search to a full scale, detailed SWOT analysis.

So if you were to open a bar or pub (probably less likely in the current pandemic but an easy-to-understand example nonetheless!), you would research all hospitality outlets in your local area to see their offering, their menus, their theme and vibe, their target market, their opening hours, if they cater for dietary requirements etc…. The list goes on. It is crucial because it tells you where you fit in, what your differentiators and USPs are and what slice of the market you can expect to come your way. If this is something you are exploring currently, click here to download our free, editable SWOT templates.

When we talk about market research, the idea of awareness is very important. You need to be aware of how your market and your competition is moving. Are there new technologies and trends you need to be aware of? Is there a huge gap for you to exploit? Being aware of your surroundings means you have the intelligence to stay ahead of the curve and stay successful.

Market research is also a crucial part of any marketing and sales strategy. If you’re not sure where to start, read our blog on creating a quality marketing strategy here. To nail your target audience and customer profiles takes research and thought, so don’t do a rush job here. Take your time and be really clear in how to approach your target market. Don’t be afraid of expanding your search and exploring peripheral markets as well. If we continue with the new bar opening analogy, once you’ve explored other watering holes in the area, why not also look at hotels, cafes and other establishments in the area. Just because they don’t sell the product, they may give a great indication of what your clientele like and don’t like. Your market doesn’t just have to be product based, it can also be geographical or demographic-based.

Our research methodology is simple; we first make sure we understand your aims from commissioning the research project. Do you have questions you need answered or is a broad research project for you to fact find and gain extra understanding? Perhaps you’re rebranding and need an update on your target market and how they have evolved. The next step is understanding the timeline and expected format. Then, our virtual assistants move forwards to ensure your deadline is met, your questions answered and your expectations exceeded.

Our top tip: always make sure there are confidentiality agreements in place. It may not seem like high level information all the time, but this research could inform your company goals and growth strategy. It is personal to you, so keep it private.

If you want to hear more about our research assistants and how they can give your business a competitive edge, click here to read more and complete the below form to book a call with our team.