Marketing research, a simple approach

Marketing research, a simple approachMarketing research is a process of gathering, recording and analyzing information in certain areas or locations. It includes research for customers, competitors and the overall people who lives in the target market.

In general, marketing research includes:

1. Market research
Very broad range of examinations including all aspects in the business environment. competitors, market structure, government regulations, trends, education, technology advances and other factors that make up the big impact to business environment.

2. Product research
Examine what products can be produced and launched base on the available technology.

3. Advertising research
Examine what type of ads will suit the market and attract people to look for the products. A pre-testing should be brought up to predicts market performance before developing the ads. There is also a research to calculate the effectiveness of the ads after its launch.

Why they bite? There’re three main reasons to do it. Let’s break it down one by one.

1. To launch a new product
When you have an idea for a new product or service, you need to know if there’s going to be a demand. There’s no point to create a product which nobody’s going to use. So, you need to gather information from the people whether they are keen of the product, how keen are they, etc. When there’re demands, the creation of product can be started. Of course, the process of research doesn’t stop here. There’re still more ‘collecting’ works to be done. You should know what is the ideal shape, colors, and its feature to give more benefits to end-user. Go on, do more research on it.

2. Modifying/fine-tune an existing product.
Ok, you’ve got a product that’s already in the market, but you don’t know if it’s go well or not. How do the customers find it? Do they like it? love it? or probably hate it. You’ll never know until you put the hands on it and start the survey.

3. Expand into new markets.
You have made great success in current market and your pocket is full with cash. You have capitals more than before to poor in the business. You start to think on opening branch in other city. Hold it right there. Before you contact the property agent to get a space, do your research first. Study the market and people behavior. Don’t rush on it. You’re dealing with different people, different lifestyle, different culture, etc.

If you find the above reasons make sense for your products or services, here are some questions that should be answered through the research:

  • What is happening in the market?
  • What is the market trends?
  • Who are the competitors that you’re going to face?
  • What is the demand?
  • What are the features to attract market?
  • How is their power of purchase?
  • Which segment is the best for your products?
  • Do quality or price come first?

There’re still lots of other questions can be developed to get the best view on the market. Those are the general ones for almost every products and services. I would say, it is no easy job to do this research. Usually, a team of experts involved in it.

However, I’ve found out many companies in Indonesia lack of doing this. Some companies don’t have good experience on doing it. So, the results don’t match the real market. Even worse, a few companies don’t have marketing or promotion department. I’m really not sure how they market the products and services without it. I guess the business owners do it by guessing.

Most probably, they complaint marketing research is a big issue for small companies. I’d say they’re wrong, marketing research does not only used in large scale corporations with hundreds or thousands of employees and have a large budget. It can also be held by small companies. Small scale surveys can be done if they’re tight on budget. They can also get secondary data from libraries or on the internet, but I won’t say the accuracy is 100% and they can do all the above research completely. Whether to use or not, it’s up to you. :)

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