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How to begin doing market research

If you are the owner of a business then it is important to realize that your entire marketing plan and its resulting success or failure will be dependant on the quality of market research that you do. Market research is a valuable tool that will help you to guide your business to success.It is also important to understand that marketing experts stress that market research is not a one time task but rather something that savvy business owners will continue to do as they run their business. It can be overwhelming to get started with market research but here is what you need to know about how to begin doing market research-

- Start with the basics-Asking yourself some basic questions will help you to begin to focus in on what type of market research that you need to do and where you should do it. Here are some questions to get you started-
1. Will you be marketing a product, service or both?
2. What part will price play in your marketing strategy?
3. What will be the focus of your marketing message? Will you be self-promoting, offering quality, showing your wide selection of offerings, focusing on the service you provide, or a combination of the above listed items?
4. What part will your competition play in how you market?
5. Who is your competition?
6. Who are the people who are most likely to want to buy your product or service?
7. What is the income level of your target market?
8. Why would they want to buy your product or service?
9. Where does your target market live?
10. Is your target market more likely to buy online or will they need a physical location to shop at?
When you know the answers to these questions you will begin to see what direction you will need to go with your market research. Keep in mind that you will need to know where to look for the market information that you need, know how to gather the data, understand it, and know how to be sensitive to your customer's privacy.
- Really get to know your target market-Once you know the basics of the customers that you want to attract you shouldn't stop there. You now need to make sure that you really understand what your customers are looking for and what their reason will be for buying your product or service. You should get to know everything that you can about the demographics, income, location, motivation, and shopping habits of your target market. You also should spend some time on finding out why your customers should choose you over your competition. In addition, it is also beneficial to understand what your competition offers your customers if they decide to leave you and move on.
- Be consistent with your market research-Today's business climate can change in an instant. Savvy and successful business owners understand that in order to stay in touch with their customers they need to constantly be doing market research. Keep in mind that the dynamics of your market can change rapidly. This can be from a change in your customer's demands, a market change, or a change in overall economic conditions. Savvy business owners will make sure that they have the market research that allows them to make changes in their marketing that will better position their business to be successful. Market research is the best way to stay current with what is happening in your market. If you fail to do this and rely on market research that is old and out of date it could mean a serious is not fatal setback for your business.

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