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How to Conduct Effective Market Research for Your Business

When you own a home business (especially on the internet) it is vital that you know your market inside and out. For a business to achieve success and to make money online,ย  the first thing that the owner must learn about is their market. The American Marketing Association defines marketing research as โ€œthe systematic gathering, recording, and analyzing of data about problems relating to the marketing of goods and services.โ€

Researching about your market will help you answer important questions for your business and more importantly, see your business as others do. Different research techniques can be used to help you identify what makes people buy from your business, how much they are willing to pay for your product and how they can be reached. You will gain a clearer picture of your target market and get to know them and their needs better. And last but not the least, doing market research for your business will help you gain insight about your competitors-uncover key information about them-and perhaps reveal ways to out perform them.

So if you’re wondering where to begin or what is an effective way to do your market research for your business, read further to find out.

Define the problem or opportunity

You must take time to identify what you really want to learn and find out about your business through market research. To get the right answers, you must have a clear understanding of the issues you want resolved by the research.

Plan the project

At this point you have to identify your resources for your research process. You decide what methods to use to collect your data, how much will it cost you and the duration of the entire research process.

Collect the data

In most cases, data collection for a thorough market research process will combine the acquisition of data through different techniques and methods . There are a variety of methods you can use to get the data you want. The most common of which that most businesses use are surveys. A survey allows you to find out the views of a large number of individuals. One simple way to do it is to set up an online survey. Visitors to your web site can be presented with a pop-up box inviting them to take part in the survey. Although a survey is a quick and easy way to get data from your customers, the disadvantage of surveys is that they only give you a statement of how someone feels at that particular moment they took your survey, but not why they feel that way so another option is in-depth research in the form of individual interviews or focus groups. You need just about less than 10 people to take part in this activity. Use a framework covering the areas you want to investigate and then allow the respondents to talk freely and surely, you will learn something about your product or business that you never thought was worth paying attention to.

Using the Information

At this point, recall the questions you need answered by the research for your business. That information and data you gathered needs to then be organized and assessed logically for your online business.

Sam Bakker has been a successful online business owner since he first began his first electronic equipment e-commerce store working out of his parents bedroom 7 years ago. Sam now runs his own internet marketing consulting company which works actively with large online businesses to formulate and implement successful marketing strategies.

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  • Hi Sam, welcome to Bloggertone. I really never thought about surveys merely been a capture of how someone feels at that particular moment, but you are right of course. I think using focus groups to conduct market research is a great idea. Cheers, Niall

  • Hey Sam,

    Nice article!
    I personally love doing surveys, but many people find them intrusive and time-consuming.
    What, in your opinion is the best way to deal with these negatives?

  • Hi Sam and welcome,
    Enjoyed your post. I enjoy doing certain surveys and am always eager to complete a quick survey to help with someone’s research.
    For some Market Research I conducted recently, I did interviews, and am so glad i did, because even though I requested an hour, many spent over 2 hours with me, providing HUGE insight from their perspective, something a survey can never deliver to that extent.
    I even managed to produce a white paper on the research conducted, adding my own findings at the end. A great way to truly get to know your market ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for sharing…

  • Thanks Sam, you’ve made some great points there. Planning is crucial. It’s just not feasible to fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to business!

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