Learn More About Your Market And Competitors Through Targeted ResearchPosted October 31, 2014 in Articles
Improving Your Position Through Fact-Based Knowledge
Your company can benefit from conducting focused, well-designed research in order to learn more about your target demographics, market saturation point, competitors, reception of a particular product or the effectiveness of your business’s internal processes. The research method you choose to gather and assess information can affect the outcome and influence the decisions you make for your company. For this reason, you should carefully consider what data you want to collect and how you plan to collect it.
Secondary Market Research of Existing Data
Secondary market research involves reviewing the results of previously conducted research. Similar to the adage, why reinvent the wheel, why redo research that has already been done? Analyzing existing data can save you time and money because another organization has already gathered the data for you.
However, analysis based on flawed or inaccurate primary research produces erroneous conclusions. Secondary research must, therefore, be based on reliable primary sources. For example, information contained in peer-reviewed articles, university studies and trade group findings could be helpful primary resources upon which you could base secondary research. Verifying the accuracy of the primary resource is an integral part of conducting effective secondary research.
Quantitative Research and Statistical Analysis
Statistics can demonstrate the big picture, such as historical sales figures, trends in the marketplace or size of the target demographic in a given location. You can then draw inferences from these numbers. For instance, if statistics show that sales skyrocketed during a specific advertising campaign, you may want to look closer at whether the advertising was responsible. Likewise, if statistics show a certain age group is no longer buying your products, you may want to delve deeper into the reasons why.
Surveys to Gather Data from Your Target Market
Surveys allow you the opportunity to learn about the opinions, impressions, likes and dislikes of your target audience. Because the purpose of the survey is to collect accurate information, the questions should be carefully phrased so as not to elicit biased responses. Also, larger samples generate more reliable results. Who you choose as your samples and the manner in which the survey is conducted — via Internet, telephone, mail or in person — can also influence the results. Asking participants in a technology convention whether they find a program easy to use, for example, would likely produce more favorable responses than if the general population were poled through an online survey.
Focus Groups to Understand Your Target Market
Focus groups include you in the conversation within a certain demographic. More in-depth than a survey, a focus group gives you more details about the opinions of the group. Focus groups target one specific population segment and are conducted in a comfortable setting that is conducive to unfettered discussion. A moderator guides the discussion and allows the focus group members to candidly express their opinions about a product or company.
Mithras Investments, LLC can help your company plan and conduct effective research. We often choose a combination of methods to accumulate accurate, reliable data upon which to base our comprehensive analyses.