Who is buying your products?
Who isn’t buying your products, and why?
How can we reach those people?
How can we influence their decision making processes?
These are a few of the questions that can be answered by conducting market research and examining consumer behavior. Before you can realize the potential that research can have for your brand, however, you must first understand what it entails.
Market research has two components: primary and secondary.
- Primary: focus in on a select sample of relevant sources for a specific purpose. Primary research can be qualitative (focus groups, interviews) or quantitative (surveys). What they have in common is that they’re first-hand accounts collected for the researcher’s specific purposes.
- Secondary: get a broad understanding of a market, product, topic, industry, audience, etc. Secondary research is the analysis and interpretation of existing primary research. Secondary research is a lot less interactive because it mainly involves collecting and comprehending data that is relevant to the market, product, or topic you are investigating.
Good market research will forecast the impact of an eventual advertising campaign. It’s a preliminary process in developing an advertising strategy that allows the agency and client to understand the market landscape and define a direction for the campaign. Regardless of the quality, depth and creativity in an advertisement, it cannot truly be effective if the creative/message does not appeal to the audience. This is where market research comes into play. It enables the advertiser to dive further into the target market and identify traits, behaviors, preferences and motivations beyond their demographic characteristics.
There are many different reasons for why brands should take advantage of market research:
- Find and engage with audiences. By getting to know your market, you can promote your brand using their vocabulary and directly address their concerns. Furthermore, you can find new uses for existing products or services and improve conversations or lead generation.
- Improve dollar/budget efficiency. In marketing and advertising it’s all about ROI, and the absence of market research in your strategy could result in you throwing money away. The right research will help maximize the benefit of each dollar that you invest because it ensures your marketing is reaching the proper audience.
- Identify brand strengths and weaknesses. Issues such as poor image, inconsistent voicing or defective targeting are not always apparent. Market research captures objective insight in regards to your brands’ image and marketing tactics by tapping into an outside point of view. This gives you the opportunity to get a firsthand perspective into your brand’s strategy and test the cohesiveness and direction of your messaging.
- Spur innovation. Authority and innovation are two of the leading factors that contribute to brand reputation which in turn determines whether or not you are a leader in your market. By diligently researching your target market, you will be able to discover some unmet needs and concerns that they might have. This will afford you the ability to place your brand in a position to fulfill those needs and increase positive WOM.
All things considered, market research is definitely an investment worth making for any brand looking to grow and connect well with their audience. It’s a critical first step in the development of any marketing or advertising campaign because it serves as a foundation of powerful information for brand growth.