Easy ways to conduct market research
Market research can help businesses understand if they have enough money to expand their business, develop new products, and market to a niche audience. Market research is a great way to understand a little bit more about your customers. You can identify some of the reasons why they buy from your company, when they tend to purchase products, how much they will spend, and what influences them to buy your products over your competitor's products.
Several companies will pay larger corporations to conduct market research through a series of surveys and other methods that involve scouring magazines, newspapers, and social media sources. Conducting market research on your own is not as expensive as many of the companies try to make it seem. Here are some easy ways to conduct market research:
Practically everyone knows that social networking sites are continuing to grow in popularity and they attract a large audience. With millions of users on sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn, businesses have the opportunity to go online and create relationships with their customers. Social networking provides you with the opportunity to participate in discussion groups and forums where customers will talk about some of the issues they are facing that may pertain to your company. It's a great way to find out what your customers really think about your company and your products. It's also a great way to gain information about your competitors and the best part is social networking sites are free to join.
For a long time, surveys have been one of the only ways to collect customer information. Surveys are a great way to collect market research and they are easy to create. Depending upon the responses you are looking for, you may need to invest more money and time into your surveys. Surveys give you a greater understanding of the demographic of your customers and their needs. A survey can be sent through the mail or you can use online surveys to gain faster results. Social networking sites will allow you to create your own surveys for free or you can build one for your own web site. Send out invitations for the survey through your email list. Consider offering some type of incentive like a discount on their next order or a free product.
A great way to gain insight on your customers is to purchase the magazines they use. This allows you to read some of the articles that address current issues and it also provides you with some insider information on your competitors and what they may be up to. Magazines can help you find out what people are buying and how you can get in on some of the revenue. Check online for magazines that are related to your industry and research how popular the magazine is before you start using it as a reference in your market research.
A simple way to find out what is popular right now is to visit some online shopping sites and blogs. This is a great way to see how your competitor's products are selling comparing to yours. Read the customer reviews about the products that are hot items so you can look for ways to make your product better.
Telephone interviews and focus groups are another great way to gain customer information. Focus groups are typically used before a product is released. This is helpful for a company that is trying to release a new documentary as you can gain great information within in a few minutes if the film will be well-received by others outside your company. Plus, you have the option to ask additional question if the customer gives a response that intrigues you.