I never realized how important market research really was until I actually did it. Unfortunately for me, I conducted this research after I had already began marketing my product.
Luckily, in my case, it wasn’t the end of the world and I only had to work to tweak the positioning of my product. The same isn’t true in every case and not conducting sufficient market research can prove to cost business owners a lot of wasted money.
The reason market research is so important is because it gives business owners a better insight into what the customer is demanding and if the niche you are trying to market to is a profitable one.
Yet so many business owners fail to conduct enough market research because entrepreneurs believe they understand their product and their market’s needs more than they really do.
I know this because I was one of these business owners. I began marketing my product, believing that there were certain features and benefits that my market was looking for in this product and I decided to research later.
Upon finally conducting my research, I found that my product positioning was all wrong, I was emphasizing the wrong benefits and my customer’s needs were different from what I expected.
The good news about making this mistake is that it is correctable and it is a mistake you can learn from. The bad news is that this is potentially a very expensive mistake to make. The longer you wait to perform market research, the longer your marketing mix will be inefficient, costing you lost sales and wasted advertising expenses.
However, the amount of insight you get from well conducted market research and how easy it is to do today means there is no good excuse not to do it. By spending just a few hours online, you can learn what exactly your customers are looking for in the type of product you are selling, what they don’t like, how much they are willing to spend, what marketing causes them to buy, if the product is rising in popularity, how much your competition is spending on online advertising, how they are advertising, along with a plethora of other vital information that I haven’t mentioned.
As mentioned previously, AdWords for Dummies author, Howie Jacobson discusses the use of Google Trends, Google Keyword Tools, Google Sponsored Links, user groups and many others that give you access to all of this information for free!
Since this information is so revealing, easy to obtain and free, it is very important to start researching as soon as possible. In fact, this is one of the first things you should do when considering getting into a new business. You wouldn’t want to waste any of your valuable time working on a product that there is no market for.
Furthermore, you should be sure to conduct market research on a regular basis during your normal business operations to ensure that your marketing efforts remain efficient.
Has anyone had any past successes with well conducted market research? Any blunders? Does anyone have any other good online resources for market research?