This is a topic that has been very close to my activities this week with the introduction of the new marketing plan and the updates to our website. What sort of business owner/manager are you? Did you do your initial market research before or when you setup? Or not bother as you “know” your market! Do you regularly organise market research or constantly have an eye on your market, trends and developments?
For the success of any business or marketing you must know what your clients are looking for and what they need or think they need. It is your due diligence to perform market research. Don’t get complacent with your research and make sure you always have access to a confidant, someone whose honest and open feedback you can trust.
Lets look at some easy methods of keeping on top of market research –
1. Paid Researcher/Company – contracting a paid researcher may be considered a luxury that many small businesses cant afford, but consider this they are experts in their field, know where to look, how to access information, save you time and will present it all in a nice report that is easy to digest
2. Media – a cheaper solution is of course to keep a close eye on media that is specific to your industry like magazines, industry blogs, competitors blogs and websites.
3. Experts – talk to experts in the industry, people at the top of their/your game. The bankers and investors in that market. They can and in most cases will tell you which steps you need to take to make your business a success.
4. Clients – talk directly to clients and potential clients (your target client type). Be a little inventive about it – the days of surveys sent in the post or on streets is pretty much gone. Use platforms like Twitter and Facebook, discussion boards and other social media platforms to get a feel for their opinion. Use online surveys or polls on your website or as part of your newsletter!
Stay ahead of your competition and stay up to date with your market and you are half way there to huge success!