Market research is an effective and powerful tool that can help evaluate business decisions using relevant data. Every decision should be backed with relevant research and data in this fast-paced world. The market research process is the key to making informed decisions, and every organization should take steps and allot appropriate budgets for the same. Here, we have enlisted the seven-step market research process that every individual and organization should follow.
1. Identify the Problem
The first and most crucial step in the market research process is to identify the problem. This will help you understand what you are trying to solve and how to address it. This step is necessary to understand the scope of the research. Start listing out questions to understand the problem or find opportunities available in the market. Here are some of the questions you must try to find out:
- What does your ideal buyer or target market look like?
- What are their demographics, psychographics, and behavioral and psychological pattern?
- What are the problems that the ideal customers are facing?
- Are there any opportunities or threats in the market?
You may consider a SWOT analysis to understand this. The problems might have an existing answer. Therefore, you should take time to understand and identify the research analysis. Conduct a deeper analysis and use different ways to determine this.
2. Develop Marketing Research Strategy
After examining the potential problem, you need to underline the marketing research plan. Building a research plan can be a bit overwhelming. While formulating the strategy, you need to keep your mind open to accept different approaches in market research. The first step while strategizing is to set the research objectives. Market research data can be collected in two ways: primary and secondary. The first one may focus on acquiring first-hand information, whereas the latter focuses on gathering the information second-hand. Furthermore, the research can be quantitative or qualitative. The research strategy will help determine how to differentiate between structured and unstructured data and which method will be appropriate for the research.
3. Research Design
The design you choose for the research will certainly depend on the type of topic. There can be different research design types: experimental, survey research, semi-experimental, descriptive case study, review, and correlational. You may even consider conducting a pre-research to help develop the right research design. You can consider interviewing prospects and customers, or conduct a survey, or running user tests. Conducting pre-research may help understand the research project’s relevance or scope. Based on all the data and findings, you can decide whether you should go with a qualitative or quantitative research method.
4. Gather Data and Information
The market research process is incomplete without proper data collection. The qualitative method will help you gather case studies or data, whereas the quantitative method will help you get numbers and analytical data. When collecting data, make sure that the market research plan is free of all kinds of biases and that the research design is valid. You may consider asking a mix of open-ended questions in the market research process to understand the topic better. While choosing the interviewee for focus groups, you should avoid being biased or selective. Keep an open approach and use suitable methods to collect relevant data and information.
Read Also: How Can Data Analytics Improve Your Business?
5. Analyze and Interpret Your Findings
The data you might have gathered in the above step is in raw form. The next step is to analyze the data and get insights from it. Experts should do the analysis of data in the market research process, and dedicated tools must be used for the purpose. Avoid analyzing the data based on your assumptions and understanding. Use relevant evaluation techniques to find out the truth and get a proper understanding of the data. For instance, you can use the Likert scale to analyze quantitative data. In contrast, you can also use a sampling approach or theoretical framework to analyze the case studies. You should take your time to read about the different methods before you start evaluating the data.
6. Report the Data
After analyzing the data, you should proceed to the compilation of the data. Present it in an easy-to-read manner with the help of charts, graphs, and other forms. You may have to report the data to the people concerned, including salespeople, customer service, marketing managers, and other key members involved in the project. Give accurate details and notes at the end to make it easier for others to comprehend. Ensure you present the data as it is and avoid twisting it.
7. Implement Data-Driven Strategies
The final step in the market research process is to put your research into action. Remember that the research is not over until you test and develop the findings. Most data strategies can be summed in two main categories, consumer and market strategies. The former is focused on addressing consumer needs, whereas the latter is based on other aspects such as competitors, partners, technologies, and relationships with vendors. After gathering the data and finding the insights, the organizations can prepare relevant strategies to make the market research process more effective.
With the changing business dynamics and environment, you should keep in mind that the market research process can never come to an end. The trends are evolving every now and then. Therefore, there is a need to analyze and evaluate the trends on a regular basis. The more you research, the more you know about your industry. It will certainly help you in making more successful marketing decisions for your company.
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