• Market Research and You: Collecting, Analyzing, and Applying Data

Market research is important to understanding who your target market is and how you can reach them. To reach your target market, you need to know what information and data you need to research, what tools you can use to to expand your research, understanding the data you’ve collected, and how to apply this research to your businesses goals and overall strategy. Each step within the market researching process is critical for your business’ plans and successes and you should learn how to find and use this key information.

Finding Data:

The first step for your market research to begin is creating a plan to effectively locate the data you are looking for. You want to understand consumer needs and desires and how you can fit them. In order to find this information, you need to know what to look for. There are a few factors that you can use as tools to help you find what you need.

Market Information: Knowing how other businesses or products are using prices that compete with yours.

Market Segmentation: Dividing your target market into subgroups whether it be by demographics, psychographics, technographics or other kinds of metrics.

Market Trends: Realizing upward or downward shifts in a market over time and capitalizing on the timing of research and your business plan.

SWOT Analysis: Outlining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that your business has and how these factors can help develop your marketing mix strategy.

Collecting Data:

Once you know what information to look for, you can begin to search for and collect this data. You want to use the most efficient ways to gather the data you need without wasting money or time. There are multiple ways you can approach data collection on your target market that will give you the information you need to make future business decisions.

Surveys: Surveys sent within your community can give you excellent feedback on what you need to know from them. These can be sent in mass and be easy to structure and answer by using multiple choice, true/false, or other simple rating systems.

Interviews: 1-on-1 interviews provide great insight in the minds of consumers. Open ended questions that leave room for the interviewee to answer help you understand your target markets’ thoughts and attitudes towards the product or service you are trying to sell. These interviews focus on qualitative data, the gathering of non-numerical data.

Focus Groups: Focus groups are small groups of your target market that you interview together and focuses more on quantitative data, the gathering of numerical data. Qualitative data can also be collected but it is less focused on within these group interviews.

Analyzing Data:

After you collect and gather data from your target market you want to begin to analyze the information you have received. Processing, organizing, and knowing what to do with your data and information is the next big step in your market researching plan. Without being able to understand and know what you have collected, you cannot properly utilize this data to benefit your business. Once you have a clear understanding of what you’ve learned, you can begin the next part of your marketing research action.

Applying Data:

The final step in your marketing research process consists on applying the data you collected to best fit the advertisement, product, service, etc., you are trying to sell. You want to sync what you have learned into what you are trying to promote or sell. By blending your data with your selling point, you can effectively reach your target market with your advertisement or promotion. Focus your advertisements and selling power towards the core audience you researched in order to maximize potential earnings and publicity or begin the marketing research process again to expand to a new demographic or target market.

Thorough market research can provide a significant boost to your business’ promotions, services, or products. You want to have your business in the forefront of the minds of the people in the demographic you’re trying to reach. Knowing what to look for, how to find it, and how to apply it to your strategy is important for your businesses growth and success. If you follow each of these steps and apply yourself to finding information through this research, you begin to effectively market towards your target audience.

-Jake Marcus