In our previous blogs on communication and marketing, we’ve covered getting the right message, to the right people, in the right format. But how do you know who are the right people?
Market research can help you to identify the needs of your target customers, if the market is large enough and the expected demand strong enough to provide a viable business opportunity. But market research isn’t all about new markets and customers – often overlooked are your existing customers. You have all the information, but you might not be exploiting it fully. Organisations often spend limited resources chasing new customers before fully exploiting their current!
Questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have a typical customer or range of customers? (customer profiling)
- How do you get feedback from customers?
- Do you know why your product/service was selected?
- How do your customers find about your organisation?
- What is your customers spending profile?
- Is there a market for repeat or follow up business?
If you’ve decided that the current market is saturated, or decided to develop a new product or service, questions to consider include:
- Who are the competitors? Could they be partners?
- What is development time?
- What are costs of development, and how will you fund this?
- Do you have the skills to develop or do you need specialist advice?
- Who are the potential customers, and how will you reach them? (customer segmentation)
- What is the likely demand? (eg market penetration)
- What will be the return on investment (ROI)?
- What are the risks to the current business?
When applying for funding, the market research undertaken will demonstrate the need for the project ie it will identify the gap in the market. The initial stage will be desk research (known as ‘secondary research’) looking at what is already publicly available eg web searches, reports, articles, statistics. The next stage will be field research (‘primary research’) where you would do your own investigation into market eg survey, interviews.
If you require assistance on undertaking market research, our qualified advisers can help you. Please contact Sophie Price on 01837 658643.