Market research can be a vital way of identifying improvements that need to be made to your business. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when conducting research.
Relying solely on secondary research
Whilst you can learn a lot from the findings of other people, it’s important to also do some of your own personal primary research. There may be pieces of advice specific to your company that you can’t learn through a book or an advice blog. A few sources of primary research include surveys, focus groups and analytics. You can create surveys for free at sites like SurveyPlanet.
Targeting the wrong groups
It’s important that your research is aimed at the right demographic. When conducting surveys, don’t let anyone and everyone answer them. Instead, try to find specific people who are likely to be interested in your product – and therefore likely to give genuine and helpful answers. For instance, if your product is accounting software, you’ll want to focus your research on self-employed professionals and people working accounting roles.
Ignoring your competitors
You can learn a lot about your target market from your competitors. By keeping an eye on the tactics they’re using and the types of clients they’re taking on, you can help to improve your company in order to attract some of these clients. Alternatively, you may notice a gap in the market than none of these companies are appealing to. Tools like Tussell can offer reports that can allow you to keep an eye on competitor contracts. Tools like SpyFu meanwhile may be able to help you identify competitor keywords.
Sometimes the best form of research is to trial and experiment. If you own a restaurant and want to know whether customers are going to like a new dish, giving it a week’s trial could allow you to see whether it sells well and if people enjoy it. Experimenting with different combinations of the same dish meanwhile may allow you to find the best combination. You should still rely off customer feedback and not your own opinion, otherwise you’re simply working off your instincts.
Not doing enough of it
The biggest mistake companies make with market research is not doing enough of it. Surveying a handful of people isn’t enough in most cases – surveying a larger amount of people will give you more reliable data to work from. Market research should be ongoing too so that you’re constantly finding ways to improve your business – the best companies get into a habit of surveying every customer and constantly keeping tabs on competition.