After you draft your first version of your business plan you want to now get more understanding of your market and any existing competitors in your market. You’ll be doing this initiating in Market Research. You want to research your competitors to get ideas of who your target customer is and take note of what things they are doing that you can improve on and do better.
What Is Market Research?
Market Research is the action or activity of gathering information about your target consumers’ needs and preferences. Market research provides relevant data to help solve marketing challenges that your business will most likely face–an integral part of the business planning process. In fact, strategies such as market segmentation (identifying specific groups within a market) and product differentiation (creating an identity for a product or service that separates it from those of the competitors) are impossible to develop without market research.
Why Is It Important To Understand Your Market and Competitors?
Understanding your market and competitors are important because business decisions that are based on good intelligence and good market research will minimize risk. Market research will help you better communicate – Your current customers experiences are a valuable information source, not only will they allow you to gauge how well you currently meet their expectations they can also tell you where you are getting things right and more importantly where you are getting things wrong.
What Are the Benefits When You Understand Your Market and Competitors?
Understanding your market and competitors helps you:
- Identify opportunities
- Will minimize risk
- Benchmarks and helps you measure your progress
- Will help you better communicate to your customers
- Compare your pricing, values , products with your existing alternatives
HOW TO CREATE YOUR MARKET RESEARCH
Now it’s your turn to initiate Market Research… I provided you with a detailed list of questions you will need to answer so you can understand your markets
- Top Products and
- Target Audience
COMPETITOR PRODUCT RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Features – What’s the first, second and third feature?
- Benefits – What’s the first, second and third benefit?
- Pricing – What is the average price for this product/service?
- After Sale Benefits – What after-sale services do they give? (Some examples are delivery, warranty, service contracts, support, follow-up, and refund policy.)
CUSTOMER RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Age – What are your customer segments age range?
- Gender – What is your customer segments gender?
- Location– What’s the geographic location of your customer segment?
- Hobbies – What are your customer segments hobbies?
- Profession – What are your customer segments professions?
- Education level – What are your customer segments education level?
- Household income level – What are your customer segments age range?
- Marital status – What are your customer segments marital status?
- Entertainment Types – What types of entertainment do your customer segments like? (movies, theater, opera, etc.)
- Subscription Interests – What publications/newsletters/ blogs do they subscribe to?
- Free Time Amusement- How else do they enjoy spending their free time?
- Style of Living – Are they Conservative, Liberal, Conformist, Environment-friendly Socially conscious, Growth-oriented, Fun-loving, Cutting-edge, Trend follower, Fashion-forward, Family-oriented ? Write below
- Benefit Interests – What benefit is the customer looking for?/ What basic needs are you helping your customer satisfy or get done ? Socially – (trying to look good, gain power or status)
- Emotionally – (aesthetics, feel good, security)
How Executing Market Research Helped Me
Before I did market research on my first brand, I thought had a good idea, after looking at at my competitors services, products, processes and values. My services didn’t even match up to what my markets customers needed and valued. After research I came up with new ways to make my brands better and provide a service better than my existing alternatives.