Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Market Research Is the New Age Sorcerer’s Stone

Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893 – 1986)
Hungarian Nobel Prize winner in Medicine 

For every failed product or idea in the market, there is a market research gone wrong. Are you nodding your head in positive? It is after all, no child’s play to conceptualize an idea, execute that idea and turn it into a huge success. Every new product, idea or service, being introduced or reinvented in any field, has to battle out its nemesis in the form of copycats or better technology before it can emerge as the winner in the market for years to come. So how do we make sure that our idea paves its way to the hearts and minds of our targeted audience while also ensure us those green big bucks for continued period? This is where market researches come into the picture. Right amount of market research at the right time with a vision is a sure shot formula for any idea, product, or organization.

What is also important to note as to why market researches have become such an unavoidable part of organizations, big or small, start-up or established, entrepreneur or board of members? What if business organizations stop conducting researches of any kind? What if every organization introduces products at their whims and fancies? Introducing any product, idea or service sans market research is practically unimaginable given its growing necessity in virtually every possible field. Let us get started on understanding this potent term and its ever-increasing need that has become the foundation of every business strategy in our modern society.

Market research, as a general concept, is nothing but the process of gathering information via surveys, about an idea, product or service that is not available to the masses at a given point of time. Zora Neale Hurston, American author, best described market research as, “formalized curiosity,” further adding that it is “poking and prying with a purpose.” It is, in fact, quite rightly so. Be it technical, academic or scientific, everyone is driven by the quest for up-to-date information. 

The famous adage, ‘Change is the only constant’ fits more appropriately in the current market scenario now more than ever. With the growing amount of cut-throat competition in every realm of today’s society, it is of utmost importance to get a head start on the general trends, ideas that shaped the global market, products/ideas that worked wonders and those that crashed to the ground, available alternatives, and so on. This is important not just for the purpose of learning but also for making sound and wise decisions. According to Katherine Binns, Senior Vice President, Knowledge Networks, research needs to be part of a an interlocking process that systematically informs targeting and positioning, and getting this right the first time is more than a priority—it is a necessity.

Here are our top five reasons as to why you cannot miss out on market research.
  • Identify and know your existing and potential customers To know your customers is to know your market. Focus on questions like, who is the targeted audience? Will it be on a regional or national level? What is the targeted age group? What is the customer base— Male, Female, Kids, Teenagers, Above 60? Is the targeted audience mainly married, single or both? What is the audience lifestyle? Level of education? What do customers value more—service, quality or brand? What is the purchasing power of the targeted section? Who or what influences their buying decision? Which are the online sites most visited for the product/service? Ways to exceed customer/consumer needs?   
  • Gateway to new opportunities In order to grow your business, it is important to get hold of the possible pitfalls beforehand. Marketing research will help in identifying opportunities like information on unserviced or under serviced market or changing market trends, etc. This will assist in prioritizing those with the highest revenue potential. To think ahead of others is what is required.
  • Risk reduction Every enterprise involves risk but with insightful information on the audience, market trends, products, competition and more can help organizations in reducing that risk to a great extent. This will further provide clarity and better decision making strategies.
  •  Effective strategies Informed marketing decisions can make all the difference when it comes to pricing, distribution, media platform or development. It can also help in starting, building, consolidating, diversifying and reducing business activity.  
  • Forecast future trends Market research not only positions a product/service/idea in the current market but it can also anticipate future customer needs. This will help business owners to identify areas of improvement or expansion and test market’s readiness for a new product or an improvised version of an existing product.
Apart from the above stated reasons, marketing research can also help in setting realistic targets, assist in business expansion or solve hindrances, and provide realistic statistics on changes in technology, customer needs, competition or economic needs.

In today’s global market where changes occur and competition emerges with every passing minute, missing out on research is like missing out on success. Real marketing research is about going out with questions and coming back with answers. Market research is never a one-time task. It is an on-going process and to be a successful enterprise routine researches are required. Yes, marketing researches can be strenuous and time-consuming you would say but it doesn’t have to be elaborate every time. The real mantra lies in thinking harder and working smarter. So next time you plan on conducting a marketing research ask yourself, “Do we need to repeat the whole study or can we examine the areas that have changed and get started?” 

So what are you waiting for? Get those brilliant business ideas up and running and make your competitors go green with these smart moves.

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