5 Basic Methods of Market Research

Focus groups, observation, personal interviews, surveys and field trials are the five basic methods of market research. Read more to find out which method will most suit your enterprise.

There are several ways to perform market research. However, most enterprises use one or more of the five basic methods of market research: focus groups, observation, personal interviews, surveys and field trials. How much money you are willing to spend and the type of data you need will determine the techniques you choose.

  1. Surveys – You can evaluate a sample group that represents your target market with concise and straightforward questionnaires. The larger your sample, the more reliable your results will be. You can choose from in-person surveys (one-on-one interviews carried out at high-traffic locations), telephone surveys (less expensive than one-to-one interviews), mail surveys (easy to reach a large audience) and online surveys (simple and inexpensive way to collect data, though not reliable).
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What Is A Market Feasibility Study?

Find out how you can use a market feasibility study before you start a new business venture or release a new product/service.

Does your enterprise want to start a new type of business? Do you want to tap into the business potential of a new area? Or maybe, you simply wish to expand your current business. If this is your current scenario, a market feasibility study can help. In-depth understanding of the market that you wish to enter and a detailed analysis of the demands in the area is what a market research feasibility can offer you. In fact, there is no other market research report that can offer you with a more detailed analysis and in-depth study.

Here is what a market feasibility study includes:

  1. Detailed interviews with stakeholders – The market feasibility study begins with an in-depth interview with the stakeholders. This is a perfect starting point. The market research team will be able to familiarize themselves with the projects and its objectives by using an open-discussion format. This first step is beneficial to both the parties. A stakeholder can be a key personnel in the enterprise or outside the company. It could also be a person involved in the local economy or any other key person who plays an in important role in the enterprise’s business plan and who can provide the market research team with valuable feedback.
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How to Conduct Successful Market Research?

Market research can point your business towards the right direction. With the right plan, you can find out who your customers are, where they are located and if they will be willing to buy your products or use your services.

Do you need to know what type of product/service will bring in a profit? Or maybe, you need data on whether your products/services are meeting the needs and expectations of your customers. Through effective market research, you can understand whether your product needs a new package design, if you should offer more value-add services or if your delivery methods needs tweaking.

Marketing research can help you in two ways. Your business can use market research to measure the success of your current plan or create a new plan. This is why research has to be done by right way and by the right experts. Poorly done research can steer your company in the wrong direction. Read on to find out how to conduct market research, the methods of market research and what mistakes to avoid.

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Telesales or Telemarketing: Do You Know The Difference?

Find out the difference between telemarketing and telesales and how it can impact your business. 

When it comes to Telesales and Telemarketing, most people do not know the difference. However, both these services are unique and can offer distinct values to every business. If you wish to get the most out of your telephone campaign, understanding the differences and finding out how they can be employed can help your business.

Industry experts use the term “Telemarketing” to refer to all the activities that employ the telephone to connect with prospective customers. Making a customer aware of a product/service, generating leads, offering information, conducting market research, canvassing established customers and selling products/services are all a part of telemarketing. In fact, telemarketing is a blanket term that even includes telesales and other areas.

When you are looking to use one of the two for your business, you must keep the following key distinctions in your mind:

Telemarketing: A service that creates interest, generates opportunities, offers information, makes appointments, avails customer feedback and produces leads over the telephone.

Telesales: A service that directly sells your services/products to a prospective customer over the telephone.

Now that you are aware of the differences between the two activities, you can choose which service to use. The choice you make will depend upon the results that you wish to gain. Continue reading

Seven Business Enhancing Benefits of Using Market Research

Wondering how market research can help your business? Here are seven business enhancing benefits that only market research can help you with.

Do you know your market? If yes, do you have an insight of what your target audience wants and needs are? Instead of guessing and making vague estimates, you can now plan out all your marketing activities through market research.

Your enterprise may have a huge pile of data coming in from different sources, but that would mean nothing, if you do not analyze it thoroughly. By researching your market, you can go one step ahead and gain an advantage over your competitors.

Market research is systematic and objective collection and evaluation of data about your business environment, goals, competition and target market. Market research can increase your understanding of the factors that affect your business. However, market research is not a one-time activity as most people assume. In fact, it should be an ongoing cycle, if you really wish to benefit from it.

The information that market research can provide you with is indeed outstanding. The findings from market research can not only guide you while making important decisions, but also help you benefit from a value that will exceed the cost you have spent on research.

Here are the top seven benefits of market research:

1. Enhances your communication with present and prospective customers

With your research results in hand, you can formulate the most effective way to reach out to your consumers. You will understand more about their likes/dislikes and you can tailor your services to meet their needs.

2. Identify new opportunities in the marketplace

Research will show you if a new product may not be what your target market wants or needs. You can then make appropriate modifications to suit your audience’s preferences or come up with a different product.

3. Reduce business risks

With the aid of market research you can decide if you should take action on a particular subject. For instance, the specific location, where you wished to open a shop may already have a saturated market. Such information can stop you making such a decision and help you look out for an appropriate location.

4. Measure your business against competitors

It is always a good thing to measure your enterprise against competitors. Market research can point out where you are in a competitive market, thereby helping you to take action and move ahead of your competition. Continue reading

Microsoft Excel Vs SPSS Statistics Software: Which Should You Use for Market Research?

If your data analysis is inaccurate, then it’s time to switch over to SPSS from Microsoft Excel. Read more to understand why SPSS wins over Excel.

SPSS Statistics is premium software product that is used for a wide variety of statistical analysis, that includes data compilation, preparation, graphics, modeling and analysis. This program, released in 1968 was originally named as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Soon after its release, it quickly rose to become one of the most used statistical programs in market research, surveying, healthcare and social sciences to name a few.

If your business is currently employing Microsoft Excel for market research or any other type of business related research, you may want to consider using SPSS instead. Not only is the SPSS software specially created to carry out statistical analysis, it also has faster and easier-to-use features when compared with Microsoft Excel.

Read on to find out more about the SPSS software

What can be accomplished using SPSS?

Various types of analysis, such as ANNOVA, Cluster, Discriminant, Factor and Correlate can be successfully completed using SPSS. This software is also ideal for Curve Estimation, Liner Regression, Crosstabs, Descriptive Ratio Analysis, PLUM regression, Multi-dimensional scaling, reporting and testing.

Is SPSS better than Microsoft Excel?

Though Microsoft Excel and SPSS have a similar look and feel, with menus, spreadsheets and built-in statistical functions, SPSS is a definite winner when it comes to data analysis, as this software is especially designed for statistics. When compared with Microsoft Excel, SPSS has:

  • An easier and quicker access to basic functions, like descriptive statistics, in pull-down menus
  • A wide range of charts and graphs to choose from
  • Faster access to statistical tests

Top 3 benefits of using SPSS for market research Continue reading

How To Come Up With A Marketing Plan

Does your organization have a marketing plan? If not, then it’s time to get one right away. A marketing plan is an all-inclusive blueprint, which broadly describes an organization’s marketing efforts. Following a marketing plan can help you successfully market your product/services, reach out to your target audience and stay a step ahead of your competitors.

Here is a simple checklist that you can use to come up with an effective marketing plan:

  • Describe your current market and clearly state the size and characteristics of each market segment that you wish to target. Ensure that you review important market trends
  • Conduct market research on what your customers value the most – like quality, after-sales services, product features, pricing etc
  • Think about the distribution channels that you will be using to reach out to your customers (retailers or direct sales) and compare them
  • Create thorough profiles of your competitors and describe what they are offering
  • Identify the key factors that influence your business environment and conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of your current position
  • Review and study the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives in the past, such as, seasonal sales or advertising campaigns
  • Asses the sales potential and profitability of different market segments and customers. Also assess the scope of different products and activities
  • Decide on the group that you wish to target among your potential and existing customers. Decide on which products need to be pushed and which products need to be updated or replaced
  • Set definite objectives for increasing order sizes, retaining customers, winning new customers or selling new product/services
  • Decide on how your business will price each service or product that you offer
  • Decide on how your company will distribute and sell your products. Come up with a plan on how you can accelerate customer satisfaction and after-sales services
  • Chart out a plan on how you will promote your services/products and how you can maintain a relationship with your customers
  • Create a timetable for your marketing activities by identifying the purchasing cycles of your customers
  • State the implications of your marketing plan and describe how it will affect the rest of your business like production, training or requirements
  • Prepare realistic budgets and sales forecasts
  • Include key indicators into your marketing plan, like average order value, conversion rates, new enquiries or the number of lost customers. Think about a system that you can use to measure these key indicators in your plan

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How to Understand your Market?

If you are keen on running a successful business, then you need to learn more about your competitors, your customers and your industry. The best way to understand your market is to use market research. With the aid of market research, you can analyze data to help you decipher which services or products are in demand and how to get more competitive in the market. Apart from this, market research can also give you valuable insight on how to:

  • Minimize your business risks
  • Identify upcoming and current problems in your industry
  • Recognize sales opportunities

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Why is Market Research Important?

If your business wants to offers services and products that are well targeted and focused, then what you need is Market Research. By basing your business decisions on thorough market research, you can successfully reduce risk and pay dividends.

Market research is the process of collecting, evaluating and interpreting information about a new product/service to be offered, the current market scenario and the potential consumers for the product/service. Market research can highlight the requirements, characteristics, spending habits and location of your target audience. Market research can also keep you aware of the leading competitors that you would have to face.

Effective market research is important, as it can help your business understand what type of service/product to introduce into the market. It can also help your organization measure if you have been able to satisfy customer requirements and if the delivery, packaging or product itself needs to be altered. Armed with such information, your company can come up with a practical marketing plan or evaluate the success of your existing plans.

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5 Ways in Which Market Research Can Help Your Business

Recent research surveys have proven that business market research can be pivotal in determining the success of a company. Has your company given market research a thought? Without effective market research, your firm will know nothing about the latest market trends, the buying habits of your consumers, demographics, economic shifts or even the business strategies of your competitors.

However, if you do invest on market research, you can see that it can bring in a world of difference to your business. You and your managers will be able to single out problems, spot new business opportunities, make calculated decisions, get ideas for new products and even strike up a good rapport with your consumers. All this and more can be achieved with market research.

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