If your business is in the process of expanding, then you’ll understand the constant need to learn more about your market and your customers. Market research is the best way to decide where you should take your business next and what kind of growth you can expect. There are several areas of market research to consider, each of which will help you to build a better picture of your company’s future.
Quantitative research is all about the numbers – investigating the figures you need to gain a better understanding of your market. This could include anything from what percentage of your customers buy particular products, to how many sales you’ve made over the past 3 years. Simple quantitative research can be easily undertaken by one person but for more in-depth figures, you may need to enlist help from other online software or tools. The benefits of thorough quantitative research are great and can help you to identify new target markets and customer profiles.
Market research using existing materials and figures is another way many growing businesses can improve both their sales and brand awareness. This type of information is valuable for any company looking to branch out into a new area, as it can provide owners with a wealth of knowledge about sale trends, market competition and market size. Much of this information can be acquired for free if you know where to look, but it’s often worth paying for access to lists and databases if you know the research is high quality.
Qualitative research is equally important when planning rapid business expansion, as it helps you to get to know the faces behind the figures. This is incredibly important if you’re launching a new product, as you can really get to know your customers thoughts and feelings, instead of just their online habits. Focus groups, questionnaires, free samples and e-marketing are all ways to undertake in-depth qualitative research. Picking apart the research can be quite a tricky task but once you’ve figured it out, the results can seriously improve business growth.
Working With What You Have
The amount of time and money you have will often determine how much market research you can undertake. Nonetheless, no matter how much you do, it should always be a regular part of your marketing strategy throughout the year. Hiring a marketing professional can often be a good way to go, if you can afford it. However, if you’re trying to do things on a shoe-string budget, then you’ll need to put in the extra hard work and research, to ensure you can interpret your results effectively.