Digital Marketing | 5 minute read
The Importance of Market Research for B2B
Alana Mulligan
Written by Alana Mulligan
The Importance of Market Research for B2B

Market research can seem like a daunting task, but it’s incredibly important to your business that you do it right. If you don’t thoroughly understand your customers and competitors, your new product or service will never be the success it deserves to be. To learn more about market research and how to do it well, read on.

What is Market Research?

Market research is the act of researching your target audience, competitors, and other factors that affect your product before developing it. When you plan to release a new product or service into an already established market, there are certain things you should keep in mind. You’ll want to take a look at how many competitors there are for your product or service, what your target market is looking for, and if there is a need for any complementary products or services. While performing market research can be complicated, even on a small scale, it will give you valuable insight into whether or not your product or service will succeed. It may save you time, money, and heartache in both launching your product or service and continuing its development. 

The 2021 State of Marketing Report shared the following statistics showing the value of market research:

  • 83% of marketers are conducting market research.
  • 88% of companies are using market research to make business decisions.
  • 67% of marketers plan on increasing market research spend in the next year.

Why Carry Out Market Research?

Because products and services fail for three main reasons: The product or service is poorly developed, developed by people who don’t understand customers or developed without understanding how customers behave. And you can avoid all of these failures by carrying out extensive market research. 

But what, exactly, does market research involve? It’s a broad term that covers everything from quantitative data to qualitative input. Essentially, it’s any information that will help you understand your target market better and predict how they might respond to your product.  To do it well, there are five key areas you need to consider: 

  • Your business idea
  • Your competitors
  • Customer insight and personas
  • Competitor insight
  • An analysis of customer & competitor insights using a tool such as Google Analytics

Market research doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact, we tend to find that simple methods produce better results than more sophisticated approaches. Tools like surveys and interviews work perfectly well for most situations. Once completed, you'll be armed with an invaluable tool set capable of guiding your business successfully.

How Market Research Can Help Your Marketing

Market research is an important aspect of your marketing strategy because it helps you tailor your message to a targeted audience. Conducting research on industry data, competitors and consumers can help you create a product or service that meets customer needs, as well as reveal weaknesses in your business plan. You’ll also learn what factors might hinder or help your business, how potential customers perceive you, and if their needs align with what you have to offer. By researching online reviews, blogs and forums you can find out if people like your product or not, which will give you immediate feedback on how well your offering resonates with its target market. For example, when Apple released its first iPad tablet in 2010, pre-launch market research indicated users wanted more applications; Apple reacted by revamping its app developer program just two weeks before launch—and created 1 million apps available for download within nine months after launch.

Types of Market Research

There are many different types of research available, and it is important to make sure that your research is comprehensive enough to provide answers for all your questions. In order to ensure that your research provides answers, here are some common types of market research.

Primary Research: Primary research involves asking people about their experiences or beliefs through survey tools or interviews. Through primary research, businesses can gain valuable insight into exactly what consumers think about their products or services. 

Secondary Research: Secondary market research allows people to gain insight into what other businesses have experienced by researching existing data sources such as reports, surveys, and publications based on analysis of publicly available information. 

Online Research Tools: There are many tools available online that can help you conduct simple or sophisticated market research. Depending on your needs, these tools can range from focus groups, telephone polling services or even through social media sites like Twitter.

Other Types: Depending on your needs, there are a range of other ways to conduct market research. These could include professional services, focus groups, and user feedback.

Market Research Examples

Having an idea for a new product or service is only half of what it takes to start your own business. The other half is knowing if people will actually want what you’re selling. Here are two ways you can learn more about your audience, and how they might respond to your product idea. 

Surveys: You can survey potential customers in order to get an idea of what they want in your products or services. By surveying your audience you can identify gaps that exist between what they want and what is currently available in today’s marketplace.

Focus Groups: Conducting focus groups is also an excellent way to learn more about what people think about existing services, as well as how they feel about upcoming ones. Focus groups allow you to talk directly with potential customers about their wants and needs so you know where to focus your efforts regarding the development of new or existing products or services.

Some of these tools can help you pinpoint not just who wants your products, but why and at what price point. Knowing those things before you take out loans and spend too much money developing your idea gives investors peace of mind...and saves everyone money in the long run. These strategies aren’t just useful when it comes to selling products, they can also help identify hot topics that you could write about. 

Pay attention to consumer trends by researching articles posted on popular news sites, blogs, Reddit threads and online forums related to your niche. Surveys conducted by think tanks such as Pew Research Center provide further social insight into attitudes and behaviors that might lead consumers to find value in what you have to offer.

Presenting Your Market Research Findings

Once you’ve completed your market research, you’ll want to take a look at some presentation and visualization tools. You can use these tools to help you present your findings in a way that is easy for others to understand. Visualizing information in different ways allows people who aren’t as familiar with your subject matter—such as investors or entrepreneurs—to see what you are talking about, which increases their understanding. It also helps make your findings more memorable, which may lead to future investment opportunities or new business connections.  Having some tools on hand will help you structure all of your results into something that looks professional while still making it clear how it will benefit others.

A few ideas for presenting your findings include: creating an infographic, publishing a slide deck using tools like SlideShare, or building an interactive application such as an interactive map. There are many free and inexpensive options available to choose from when deciding how best to share your data.

Market Research and Then Research Again

A successful business plan requires solid research on your target market. Survey your customer base and collect feedback from them about their likes, dislikes, wants, needs and desires. This information will be invaluable to you in developing a successful marketing strategy for your business. To conclude, good market research is vital to any great business; it’s also an activity that can never end once you’ve launched. It should be part of everything that you do as a decision maker; every action should be supported by sound market data so that you always know which actions are working and which aren’t. When it comes to saving time and money, outsourcing your market research is one of your best options. If you need a headstart on your market research activities get in touch with the experts here at GrabSome to get the process started!

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