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What you should know about market research

The most important thing that any business owner can do when formulating their marketing plan is to do plenty of market research. By marking sure that you have done sufficient market research you will have the right foundation to build your marketing plan on. Far too often, many business owners make the mistake of thinking that they don't need to do market research and that their product or service alone will bring in customers. This is always a mistake. The reality is that your marketing plan will not be effective without the right amount of market research. Here is what you should know about market research-

- Doing market research allows you to see who your customers really are-Many business owners make the mistake of assuming 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 are far more likely to buy your product or service. This is known as your target market. These are the people that effective market research will lead you to. If you do sufficient market research you will also learn the demographics of your target market which include but are not limited to: ages, gender, lifestyle choices, income levels, and shopping habits. All of these factors will determine how you market to your target market.
- Doing market research allows you to come up with more effective strategies for your marketing plan-There are almost a limitless number of ways to market any given product or service. However, not all of them will be effective with your target market. This is what makes market research so critical. Once you know who your target market is you will be able to determine the best ways to market to them. This will not only make your marketing far more effective but save you considerable time and money.
- Doing market research allows you to see where there are gaps in your market that you can take advantage of-When you do market research you can also see the complete picture of your market. Many times business owners will assume that there is only a certain percentage or part of their market that they should market to. However, with the right amount of market research you may find niche markets that you haven't thought of who would also be interested in what your business sells.
- Doing market research allows you see how satisfied customers are with your product or service-Many time's business owners assume that market research is only for devising new marketing strategies or obtaining new customers. However, effective market research will also show you what your current customers think about your product or service. This can give you valuable insight into making sure that your product or service stays viable and relevant in your market. You can do this type of market research quite easily through the use of social media, customer satisfaction surveys, or phone calls to your current customers.
- Doing market research allows you to clearly see what your competition is doing-Another crucial benefit of market research is the insight that it gives you into what your competition is doing. You will need to have a clear understanding of what your competition is doing and how they are marketing their product or service. When you understand your competition's strengths and weaknesses you will be better able to position your business as the expert in your field. You should keep in mind however, that today due to the internet your competition is not just the store down the street but could also be the company that is half a world away.

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