Market research is the process of collecting information about a company, product, or service to know more about its buyers, suppliers, prices, qualities, etc. to make knowledgeable decisions for our own purposes.
It is used by companies to know about their own products or about their competitor’s products:
- target markets of their/or competitor’s product
- expected market shares of their/or competitor’s products.
- optimal acceptable price for their/or competitor’s products
- what customers like about their/or competitor’s products?
- what customers do not like about their/or competitor’s products?
- What exactly customers use their/or competitor’s products for
Based on above information they can make decision to launch/improve their products and make it more attractive to buyers or introduce their products to new market segments etc. They may know which product, of their product line, is selling well and if a new product needs to be launched now. This helps them make better decisions for their business. Market research can also be done by individuals who are seeking the information for their personal or business use.
For example, if you want to start freelancing, you might want to do market research on the best freelancing platforms, services that are high in demand, require least effort, pay highest and so on.
It may be needed for different purposes by different individuals or businesses, but Marker Research is essential for any business, small or big, new or old, startup or well established.
Market Research can be Primary, Secondary, Quantitative and/or Qualitative. Each type has its own purpose and uses different methods for gathering data.
- Primary research is conducted by gathering information directly from customers about their opinion on the products, services, or brands by talking in person, through telephone calls, getting survey forms filled or by online surveys etc.
- Secondary research involves collecting the same information as above but by interviewing relevant industry experts, instead of customers. This is an important part of research that helps finding out good or bad experiences, dos and don’ts, and general industry, market and regulatory facts that may impact our business.
- Quantitative research involves the collection of data through surveys or interviews, analyzing the data and getting trends and information from the collected data.
- Qualitative research involves observation and analysis of data obtained from primary sources such as focus groups, questionnaires, etc.
Depending on the need one or more or all types of market research may be needed. The challenge is that market research can be very expansive and most of entrepreneurs, startups or small business owners have limited funds which make market research, a luxury.
In this article we are trying to share some ways market research can be done with limited resources. All it takes nowadays is to type the question into Google and start reading through the information available.
Conducting market research with limited resources can be challenging, but there are several ways to do so:
- Google Forms is a survey administration software included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors suite offered by Google.
- Other online tools like Google Trends, surveys, online polls, etc. are also very helpful.
- Use online survey tools like SurveyMonkey to gather data from numerous people at a low cost.
- Use social media to conduct qualitative research by monitoring and analyzing online conversations about your industry or product.
- Utilize free or low-cost market research reports and data from government sources and industry associations.
- Conduct in-person interviews with potential customers.
- Organize focus groups with a small, targeted group of people to gather more detailed information.
- Network with other businesses and industry experts to gain insights and information.
- Use of Secondary data that has already been collected and is available for use. This can include information from government sources, trade associations, or market research firms.
It’s important to remember that while market research can be time consuming and costly, it’s also an investment that can help you make better decisions and improve your chances of success.
Our country is full of talented people, but due to a lack of awareness, modern technology, and finance, the resources for market research may be limited. Another free but very effective tool for market research in Pakistan is social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr etc.
Social media is a new way of marketing and market research that has become very popular recently. At these platforms people share their views and opinions on various topics, products, services, etc. Like minded people have made groups of their interests where they openly discuss their likes, dislikes, preferences, reviews and/or experiences of various products and/or services which can be a great source of information, for a market researcher. People in these groups even ask group members of their opinion on specific products and/or services and members give their candid feedback. This is all great information from horse’s mouth and is gathered in days, if not in hours. hours, if not days
People tend to buy products based on the reviews and feedback posted by their friends or other group members on social media. One can use these platforms to conduct polls and grow communication to know the latest trends or the preferences of the public.
At the end, nothing is easy but where there is a will there is a way. If one is determined to do something there are thousand avenues, one just need to ask around and get going.
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February 08, 2023
The writer is a professional marketer and engineer with good work exposure to governments, and businesses and industries in the private sector in several countries. Idea is to take the first step in adding value to anything that one gets exposed to instead of just complaining about the same.