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How to Conduct Market Research for Small Business: Guide

Market Research Guide for Small Businesses
Published on Mar 01, 2023

In the world of business, the art of research has not gone away. It remains a complex job, given the volume of data required to be analyzed. However, with the right market research tools, businesses are undertaking sophisticated research, enabling them to focus more on incorporating new action on what matters. 

Market research today is empowering as well as helping businesses make the best decisions for you and your business. If you are a small enterprise, it is vital to gain a clear understanding of the customers as well as competitors. 

Market research assists businesses in gathering consumer feedback on their product or service, along with collecting pertinent information on current market trends. This information also includes relevant insights into competitors and what they are doing. It is an essential step when designing a business plan.  

Consumers enjoy a lot of power as they have the right resources to research a product or service and make purchase decisions based on accumulated insights. Moreover, instead of talking to sales reps, consumers are more likely to ask for referrals from members within their networks.  

Read more: 21st Century Outlook: The Rise of Pragmatic Technology in Businesses 

Market Analysis

What Is Market Research?  

Market research or marketing research is the process of identifying the viability of a new service or product via research conducted directly with potential customers. Market research authorizes an organization to explore new target markets and gain consumer feedback about their interests and purchase preference. With the emergence of easy-to-use tools, market research is now being perceived as an essential component. 

Market research can be conducted through surveys, product testing, or focus groups. It is a critical element in the research and development of any new product or service for any business. With the industry making huge strides, businesses are being driven by fast product cycles, tighter competition, and business imperatives that are structured on data-driven decision-making.  

Understanding Market Research  

The purpose of market research is to discover the market value associated with a particular product or service and to understand how the audience will interact with it. This involves gathering information for market segmentation and product differentiation. These insights can then be used to design and tailor advertising efforts or to identify which features can be seen by the consumer as a priority to work on since the discovery stage.

Market research types

Market research is a critical tool assisting companies in understanding what consumers want, developing solutions that those consumers are likely to use, and maintaining a competitive advantage over their companies in their industry. Today, businesses must undertake various tasks to design their market research process. It requires- 

  • gathering required information based on the market sector 

  • analyzing and interpreting the resulting data to understand the presence of any patterns 

  • identifying data points to be used in the decision-making process 

Read more: Future of Work: Top Hiring Trends to Look Out for in 2023 and Beyond 

Types of Market Research: Ways to Gather Information  

Market research incorporates a combination of primary information that is gathered by the organization, whereas secondary information is gathered by an outside source. It is broken down into two categories, primary research and secondary research. There is a distinct difference in what they are and how they are used. 

Competitor Analysis

  • Primary Market Research 

Primary research is conducted by the organization to collect the information. This is often the raw data collected through a range of different means, including surveys, statistical analysis methods, and interviews. While previously, it was a daunting concept for brands as they didn’t quite know where to begin or how to handle the volumes of data. But with the emergence of technology, brands today have access to simple and easy-to-implement tools that assist in identifying the problem. As a result, businesses have become more confident about their own projects and the data. Primary market research has another significant advantage. It helps in collecting fresh and unused data, enabling businesses to gain a perspective that is current. It can also be used for targeted data insights

  • Secondary Market Research 

Secondary market research involves using data collected, analyzed, and published. Secondary research can also be used to support primary research. Secondary research is beneficial for small businesses as it is sometimes easier to obtain data through research companies. It is also a cheaper alternative for businesses with low marketing budgets.  

While both primary and secondary market research have their advantages, they can be best used when paired together. They help businesses in gaining the confidence to act knowing that their generated hypothesis is robust. 

Market Research

Why Businesses Should Conduct Market Research 

Businesses cannot be operated based on a gut feeling or hope. For a business to succeed, a strong plan of action is important. This is where market research comes into the picture. Market research enables businesses to determine whether there is a fit for your idea. To lay a solid foundation for a business, it is vital to gain a clear idea of the following questions: 

  • Who is the targeted customer? 

  • What are the spending habits of the audience? 

  • What are the existing market trends like? 

  • Who are the industry competitors? 

  • What are the opportunities to grow and shift the business? 

The more information you have, the easier it becomes to decide. 

Read more: How are Technological Advancements helping to Reshape Global Economic Growth? 

Competitor Research

How to Conduct Market Research for Small Business 

To conduct a precise marketing strategy, it is important to be aware of a couple of items before getting started. 

  • Deciding on a budget: Businesses do not have to assign a large budget. They should be mindful of where and how they are spending. 

  • Keeping the team informed: If you have a staff, it is important to ensure that everyone is aware of their role in the market research task. 

  • Assigning the next steps: Businesses should decide on their next steps based on the insights generated from market research. This will help them gain a precise understanding of consumer insights. 

There are several ways to conduct market research, and it doesn't have to cost a business a lot of money. They can integrate their social media channels for cost-effective analysis and gather feedback for their new product or services through Twitter polls or Facebook ads. 

Key Highlights 

  • Businesses are integrating market research to test the popularity of their new products or services by communicating with potential customers. 

  • By conducting thorough market research, businesses can identify their target market as well as receive opinions and feedback from their targeted consumers in real time. 

  • Market research can be conducted in-house by the organization or by outsourcing it from an outside company that specializes in it. 

  • The market research contains product testing, surveys, and focus groups. 

  • It can also be considered as a combination of primary information that is gathered directly and secondary information, which is an already gathered outside entity. 

Read more: Anatomy of Consumer Data: How is it driving Changes in Decisions for Businesses? 

Market Research Company

The Bottom Line 

It's time for businesses to incorporate market research into their business strategy framework to grow their business. 

Market research allows businesses to identify and understand the demand and viability of their product and ways to perform in the real world. After uncovering major discoveries about the customers and what they want, businesses can utilize the insights and apply them to their marketing channels. When conducted through primary information or secondary information, market research presents unique insights into a company's offering. It is now emerging as a key aspect for success and growth for small businesses. 

Businesses need to adapt innovative marketing strategies into their operational framework to reach their targeted consumers. However, businesses need to have a deep understanding of their buyers, their market, and the factors that influence their purchase decisions and the behavior of their target audience members. 

With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.       

A leader in Market Research services, SG Analytics enables organizations to achieve actionable insights into products, technology, customers, competition, and the marketplace to make insight-driven decisions. Contact us today if you are an enterprise looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.