Doing market research for your business

Market research is key to developing relevant and effective business strategies as it helps you understand your industry, customers, competitors and market trends. Undertaking both primary and secondary market research can allow you to boost your business’ success if you utilise the information to improve your product/service and marketing strategies.

There are a variety of sources you can use to begin your research. To research areas such as your customers, competitors, industry and location, you can conduct primary research through things like:

  • Surveys (postal, online or face-to-face).
  • Focus groups.
  • Customer feedback.
  • Interviews (face-to-face, written or online).
  • Product testing with potential consumers.
  • Observation.

Meanwhile, useful secondary research can be conducted through:

  • Census data.
  • News reports.
  • Academic journals and research.
  • Legal documents.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics.
  • Social media and websites.
  • Industry and trade publications.

Before conducting an extensive examination, it is important to prepare and plan how you will undertake the research. It is useful to define your objectives prior to starting research to help you successfully gather the data you need. As well as this, identify the best research methods for your goals and whether you will conduct the research yourself or if you will want to use a professional company. It is also important to consider the time frame and appropriate budget for your research.

When conducting research questions and strategies, make sure that you are open-minded and don’t let your preconceived opinions or preferences affect your tactics. Having a predicted outcome in mind whilst gathering information can often affect the results to match your opinions which can be misleading. To avoid this, prepare for unexpected results and create all-rounded questions and gather data from a range of sources.

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