What if you could get into the minds’ of your clients without having to spend large amounts of money or take up too much time? How would your business change if you could write messages, build product ladders, and develop strategies that were all tailored to your audience and actually meet their needs? Imagine no longer having to think about what your clients want from your business but rather finally knowing what they want.
The bottomline is that you need to incorporate market research into your overall business strategy. Now, you might be thinking, Rachel, I DO research my ideal client. I know who they are, what they like, what they do, and even their favorite snack, but do you know what your industry is currently doing? Do you know how your competitors are reacting to changes in the market? Do you know if you’re price competitive?
Market research is the foundation to all marketing strategies. No matter if you are doing a three month or three year campaign, doing market research is a must.
Here are three reasons you need to do market research!
What is Market Research?
If you’re like me, you can sometimes become overwhelmed when someone mentions market research. What does that even mean? I’m glad you’ve asked. Market research is when you learn as much as you can about the market you are in or entering. This means researching the industry, trends in the market, what factors are impacting the market, other competitors in the market, their products/services, their price, where they are marketing, where are clients learning about competitors, and so on.
It sounds like a ton of information at the start, but understanding the market will help you understand how to fit your business into an already established market (or an emerging market).
1) Understand the Overall Market
Now I know you might be wondering where to start when conducting market research. I know how scary it can seem with such a large task, but the best way is to break it down into sections. Look at the market in different pieces and at the end put it all together. The market and industry trends are going to show you where the gaps are. Maybe all the travel Instagram influencers are hiking, but you see that no one is biking.
One great example of a market or industry trend is COVID-19. This impacted every industry worldwide, negatively and positively. The travel industry crashed, while streaming services and DIY projects went up. Analyze different trends to see whether you can take a negative and turn it into a must have positive for your market!
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2) Factors Impacting the Market
Another reason to incorporate market research into your business is because at all times there are various factors impacting you and your business. A great tool you can use to help guide you in your research is called the PESTLE analysis. PESTLE stands for- Political, Environmental, Social, Technological, Legal, and Economic factors. For example, if you are wanting to ship from India to China, you will have to look into Legal factors like whether or not you will have import fees, the cost of import fees, laws for shipping to China, etc.
Knowing what factors are impacting your market is a must because it will give you the opportunity to see opportunities in the market, as well as knowing what you will need to prepare for. Moreover, it will give you a better insight on what trends are important to your audience. If you’re in the travel industry, it is becoming more and more popular to travel in an eco-friendly manner, and tailoring your business to that can help you attract clients.
3) Competitors in the Market
Believe it or not, but knowing what your competitors are saying and promoting can help you build strategies of your own. For example, if you’re in the makeup industry and your business sells foundation, like three other companies, you can research how they are positioning themselves in the market, i.e. are they saying they are going to help you be beautiful, connect with your inner goddess, cover up unwanted marks, etc. If their message is all the same, use this to your advantage and change up your message.
Many of us can sometimes fear our competitors, but it’s time to change our thinking from a negative one to an opportunistic one. Use their weaknesses to your advantage and learn from their strengths.
Having a strong understanding of your market is so important to the overall success of your business. You will be able to better position yourself and highlight your differences from your competitors. Finding gaps in the market will land you moments of serving the market in a new and needed way. Just like having a business name and logo, market research is a must have for any and all businesses.
To learn more about market research jump over to this website. Don’t forget to check out this blog on 5 Essentials Every Small Business Owner Should Have.
J. Rachel West
Marketing Executive | Women Thrive Media
Rachel West is a marketing & branding devotee who loves empowering women in business. She is a “she-boss” running her own marketing agency, JRW Consulting LLC. When she's not at her desk you can find her traveling the world.