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What is market research and why it is important

Market research is perhaps the most essential information that any business owner will need in order to formulate a marketing strategy. If for any reason the gathering of market research is overlooked it can literally mean that any marketing plan done without it will not be effective. Market research is the gathering of data that will inform you of the most important characteristics of the groups of people you are targeting with your marketing. Market research will include but is not limited to: demographics of the group, consumer behaviors, and information about competition in the marketplace.

It is important for business owners to realize that it is crucial to be able to focus their marketing. Trying to be everything to everyone or believing that everyone will want to buy your product or service is simply a waste of time, money, and effort. If you are careful and thorough about the amount of market research that you do, it can help you to avoid mistakes that can cost you big money when you are putting your marketing plan together. The bottom line is that when businesses take the time to do market research they are better able to identify market opportunities and communicate their marketing message.

Every business owner needs to know that all market research falls into 2 different categories. These categories are-
1. Primary Research-This type of market research is data that relates to the amount of sales versus the type of marketing strategies that any business is doing. This is often done with communication that comes directly from the business' customers. This type of research is most often done after a product launch in order to measure how successful the product has been.
2. Secondary Research-This type of market research is data that is collected from statistics that have already been published. This information is gathered and then analyzed. It is important to keep in mind that this type of market research is much less expensive. Secondary research is most often used to generate interest in a particular target market before a product is released.
Whatever type of market research that a business uses there are multiple benefits to market research. Business owners should be aware of these benefits when determining how much market research to do. The benefits of market research include but are not limited to:
1. Market research allows a business to devise better marketing strategies-As mentioned above it is simply not efficient for any business to try everything in their marketing. Market research will allow the business to narrow in on the target market that is most likely to buy their product or service.
2. Market research allows a business to see opportunities in the marketplace that they may not have been aware of. Sufficient market research can indicate niche markets that may have been overlooked in the formation of the marketing plan. This means that the business is better able to measure the market potential of the current product or service they are marketing.
3. Market research allows a business to gauge product satisfaction-Market research should not be done only to find a target market but also to measure the satisfaction of the current customers. Market research can let a business know how happy their customers really are with the product or service they are selling.
4. Market research allows a business to see what their competition is doing and respond to it-Market research is a tool that can help a business analyze their competition and then create a plan that will help them gain on them. When a business knows what their competition is doing they are much more able to respond in a proactive way that increase their potential for sales.

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