Market Research Services: Understanding and Collecting Market Research
Marketing is all about meeting consumer’s needs and requirements. Adlai E Jr. Stevenson rightly said, “Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them.” It is essential to know what these needs are before creating or introducing a new product in the market. Businesses usually conduct market research to analyze the gaps in the market and business opportunities.
Understanding the market
A business sells a product or service to customers in markets. A market can be termed as any place where sellers and buyers meet to trade products. This could be a road-side shop or an online shop. Any business existing in this market is often in competition with our business establishments offering same or similar products. Business meeting customer needs and requirements are more successful than the rival’s offerings.
Markets are constantly changing and dynamic. A business entity should be aware of market changes, the trends and ever-changing consumer needs and perceptions altered by innovative trends, fashion and economic conditions prevailing in the market.
Market research primary steps
Selling or advertising is not the ‘All’ of the marketing. There is more to it. To make it simple, it is more about identifying and fulfilling customer needs. The first step in the process is to collect information about the consumer needs, competitors and market trends. There are various methods of collecting this information such as primary market research and secondary market research. Business organizations can then use these market research results to develop and introduce competitive products.
Often new businesses offer trial purchases to attract new customers and then take an effort to convert them to regular and long-lasting customers. For example, a new print magazine may offer special offers to attract customers to try to the first edition in a hope to generate recurring sales. The magazine might be closed if it fails to gain the required sales in the long run. The only objective of trial purchases is to convert them to repeat sales.
Collecting market research
There are two main methods of collecting research information – primary research and secondary research.
1. Primary Research (field research) – consists of collecting new data that is never accumulated before. For instance, studies using questionnaires or interview with groups of men and women in a focus group.
2. Secondary Research (desk research) – requires collecting existing data that is already generated. For example, internet research, newspapers and company reports. This factual information is termed as quantitative data whereas information gathered from opinions and views is termed as qualitative data.
Accurate & authentic market research helps a business by decreasing the risk of launching new or improved products. A few businesses leave of field research and rely instead on the know-how and instincts of the businessperson to ‘guess’ customer requirements. This is done mostly due to the high market research costs and time involved. Businesses, however, can also use direct customer contact to identify changing fashion and market trends.