Market research serves as a pillar of well-informed business. All industry markets are always evolving and trends are continually changing, making a strong market research strategy the key to consistently staying on your target audience’s radar. Starting out and establishing an effective plan can be intimidating, so we’ve formulated five steps for a strong market research strategy.
Step 1: Define the Problem
The first step to developing your market research strategy is to understand exactly what answers you need and the insights you want to find through the research process. You’ll want to determine what problem you need to solve, what questions need to be answered, and what opportunities will lead you to the data that you need in order to make informed decisions on the future of your business. Whether your goal is to develop a new product, run a successful marketing campaign, or garner insights on competition, beginning with a solution-seeking mindset is essential.
Step 2: Develop Market Research Plan
Now that you have the problem you’re trying to solve nailed down, it is time to determine how you can reach your selected target audience and gather appropriate data from them. You can go the quantitative route, which is often a survey with quick, simple questions with multi-select answers. These studies are great for answer-gathering at scale for use in data analysis. Alternatively, you can utilize qualitative methods, which allows the researcher to go more in-depth with questions to one customer or professional in an interview setting. InnovateMR offers both quantitative and qualitative research services as a one-stop shop for all research needs. Remember that you can run quantitative or qualitative research to execute your market research strategy, but depending on the problem at hand, you may want to consider a hybrid approach for a more holistic understanding of your problem, and your target customer.
Step 3: Collect Data
Data quality is essential to ensuring that you’re getting the result that you need. Start by ensuring your sample providers are utilizing multiple barriers of entry to confirm the validity of the panelists. The quality of your sample is of utmost importance because it directly reflects the quality of the data you will collect. Always review survey questions with a keen eye to ensure the survey does not lead the participants astray. The goal is to be as clear and to the point as possible in order to avoid confusion. Lastly, set a game plan for analyzing your data so that when the survey concludes you’re as prepared as possible to solve the problem at hand.
Step 4: Analyze the Data
Once the data has been collected, it is time to analyze it and draw conclusions that will inform your business strategy.
- First, it is important to call out any information that jumps out such as outliers that seem inconsistent. These might be incoherent answers or poor-quality responses. Your sample provider will do their best to eliminate these in the final data set, but some might sneak through and require review.
- Next, take note of any trends in the data which can help solve the problem at hand. Notice if those trends are what you expected to see or if there was a twist in what you anticipated – did your survey respondents hate your favorite logo idea? Did they not resonate with your product at all? These twists are what you can use to alter your market research strategy in effort to reach your overall goal and better position your business.
- Lastly, note any additional findings that may help your strategy even if they do not pertain to the original research questions. Directly speaking to your target audience may spur more questions and opportunities for insight – be open to following where these paths lead.
- Now that you have a clear understanding of your quality data, it is important to paint a picture of what this means as it pertains to your overall business and market research strategy. Think about it – would you rather sort Legos by colored piles, or put them all together to create a beautiful Lego masterpiece that tells a story? While sorting the data is a helpful step, the data is more insightful when made to convey a story that will further solve the problem and strengthen your business.
Step 5: Take Action with Insights
Now that you know your target market’s specific wants and needs, take advantage of your knowledge. By understanding how the data is trending for or against your product or campaign, you can now capitalize on new opportunities and stand out from your competition. Utilize the data story created to improve your marketing or product strategy, advance your marketing efforts with informed content, and notice how your investment in a market research strategy pays off.
About InnovateMR – InnovateMR is a full-service sampling and ResTech company that delivers faster, quality insights from business and consumer audiences utilizing cutting-edge technologies to support agile research. As industry pioneers, InnovateMR provides world-class end-to-end survey programming, targeted international sampling, qualitative and quantitative insights, and customized consultation services to support informed, data-driven strategies, and identify growth opportunities. Known for their celebrated status in customer service and results, InnovateMR combines boutique-level service with extensive global reach to achieve partner success.