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Top 3 Questions Businesses Should Ask Before Contacting A Market Research Agency

Written by Jake Pryszlak

On November 24, 2019

To keep yourself relevant in a market, it’s important to keep up with different market trends within your industry. Whether you are a small business or an FT500 company, there are 2 types of market research that can help to understand your target market.

Whether you are a small or a large company it can be easy to hire the assistance of a market research agency but I would first make sure you are thinking about these 3 questions before spending your money!

There Are So Many Different Types Of Market Research

You may already know about quantitative and qualitative research, but there are so many other opportunities out there, such as social media listening, that can help you to understand what individuals are saying about your product or your competitors.

To make sure a market research agency conducts research that provides a Return On Investment, it’s important to have a plan in mind that will guarantee you’re approaching the problem in the right direction.

Market research is vital to company sustainability and growth, a fact backed by the increased budget corporations have dedicated to the science in the last five years, but before you decide to hop on the market research bandwagon, there are some important factors you need to consider.

When done right, market research can give you a leg up on your competitors and help you react better to your customer base, but it’s not going to do you any good if you just rush into it. If invested correctly, market research can help you to create a data-driven marketing plan that is molded behind market segmentation. Think about creating a marketing plan that is geared to the different target audiences you have and the most up to date and relevant market trends.

Before you open your wallet to market research agencies, here are the questions you should be asking yourself.

What is Your Research Objective?

There’s no point in conducting market research just for the sake of doing it. Even if all your peers and competitors are conducting their own research, following along won’t help if you don’t have an end goal in mind. What are you trying to accomplish when conducting a particular type of market research?

1. Do you want to get a better idea of who your ideal target market is? 

2. Do you want to test how well the proposed deals or promotions would appeal to your customers via some focus groups perhaps? 

3. Do you want to get a better handle on digital trends and how they affect the sales of your product or service? 

4. Do you want to understand what messages would touch the nerve of your potential customers when creating your marketing plans?

Make Sure Your Research Is Direct And Tangible

No matter what your objective is, it should be narrow, direct, and tangible.

Understanding who you’re surveying or speaking to via focus groups will give you greater insight into interpreting their answers. It’s important to note that, while they often cross over, the target research audience may not be the same as the target demographic for your company’s consumers. For research purposes, you should be seeking out respondents who will be able to provide actionable feedback after critically considering the specific problem posed to them by the research team.

You may have a quite narrow respondent audience, or it may be quite broad, it all depends on the problem you’re hoping to solve by conducting this research. If you want an understanding of the demographics of your potential target market, a broad market research approach would be best, but if you were, say, thinking of offering a special promotion for Eid, you would want to limit the respondents to Muslims who observe the holiday. Asking consumers who have nothing to do with the questions you pose to them will just waste your money.

What is Your Research Hypothesis?

Market research shouldn’t happen in a vacuum. You know your own company best; you should have a good idea of who wants your product or service and what niche in the market you’re filling by providing them. Market research exists to confirm, validate, and focus the base knowledge you already have.  

The Benefits Of Conducting Market Research

As you use research to enrich your insight into your audience, let your hypothesis guide the type of market research you want to conduct. An example: let’s say you’ve produced a new app that helps people calm down from panic attacks. 

You have a hunch that it will be particularly popular with millennials because of their rates of anxiety combined with their readiness to use mobile technology, but you want to confirm that hunch. When you put your survey together, use questions that particularly target those respondents. If you were right, you’ll get your affirmation, and if you were wrong, the contrary data from the respondents will stand out even more sharply.

Are There Any Secondary Market Research Sources Out There?

This last question may be the most important of all of them: a positive answer would make your whole market research project moot. There are plenty of studies already published on a broad range of market research topics; you may have to pay a subscription to access them, but it will still be far less than what it would cost to try to do similar studies from scratch on your own. 

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. If someone else has already done the research for you, you stand to save yourself a lot of time and money. If not, it’s time to start penning out your research plan and make your market research proposal a reality!

One thing to think about is when you have too much data and not enough understanding

Which can happen especially when you don’t have a dedicated team specialising in data and research. To unpick data at the correct time, think about how and when you might use each individual data set. 

So Before You Hire A Market Research Agency

Think about the particular questions you would like to answer by conducting market research. And then write out the different ways you could communicate with your target market and audience. Whether it is a quantitative survey; a qualitative focus group or social media listening. There are so many different types of market research to choose from which can help small businesses or any business that has a product or service to sell. Finally, if you are going to be conducting market research or if you hire a research agency, think about how your business is going to build consumer trust in your use of their data Its so important in todays world that we are totally transparent as businesses when using data!

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