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The basics of market research

Every business owner(no matter the size or type of their business), should understand that market research is the key to designing an effective marketing plan. You will need the essential information that market research provides in order to formulate a successful marketing plan. If you fail to do the amount of market research that is needed the chances are high that your marketing plan will not be effective. Many business owners are overwhelmed by the idea of market research and don't know where to start. The good news is that by following a few basic guidelines you can gain valuable insight into how to market effectively and successfully. Here are the basics of market research-

- Know what you are looking for-The first step in market research is to understand what you are looking for. Many times business owners will assume that everyone will want to buy their product or service. This is simply not true. However, there will be a certain segment of the population who will be more inclined to buy your product or service. These are the people that you are looking for. Once you find out whom these people are you will need to find out everything you can about them. This will include but is not limited to: gender, age, lifestyle choices, income levels, and shopping habits.
- Know the types of market research-There are basically two different types of market research. The different types of market research include: primary and secondary research. Primary research refers to any type of market research that contains data about sales versus marketing strategies. This type of research is most often done by communicating with the existing customers of any business. Many business owners do this type of market research after a product has been launched in order to determine how successful it has been. The other type of market research is known as secondary research. This is most often data that is obtained through market research statistics that have been published. The business owner will obtain this information and then analyze it for potential marketing strategies. It should also be stressed that this type of market research is most often less expensive then primary market research. This type of market research will most often be used to see how much interest a particular target market will have in any given product or service before it is released.
- Know the ways to get market research-There is a lot of different ways that market research can be done. Many times business owners will take on the task of market research themselves most often due to the cost of hiring someone. However, it should be stressed that market research can be time consuming and often this means that the business owner is taken away from other more important tasks. Any business owner who is considering doing their own market research should weigh this against the cost of hiring a market research firm to do this for you.
- Know the benefit of market research-Finally, it is crucial that every business owner understand the benefits of doing market research. Market research will allow you to focus your marketing so that it can be sent out in the most effective way possible. Many business owners who fail to do market research go with the "shotgun approach" to marketing which is to send out marketing through multiple channels and hope for the best. This is simply a waste of time, money and effort and rarely produces the desired results. Effective market research is the first step toward designing an effective marketing plan that will successfully grow business.

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