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Know your potential market

Get your business on the right track by determining what kind of consumers you want to service.
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There are several ways to approach market research, but what’s important is you know exactly what you want to find out.

“Start with the basics. What answers are you looking for and how important are they?” says Perez. Being clear about what you want not only will lead you to formulating the right questions, but will also point you to the best methodology for gathering answers from the best possible respondents.

Kai Salvino, Satisfind’s director for customer research, says research can be qualitative, which probes the “whys”, and quantitative, which deals with measurable responses. Meth-odologies in qualitative research include focus group discussions (FGDs) and in-depth interviews, while quantitative research counts the usage, attitude, and image (UAI) study, product test, concept test, pricing study, and brand name testing, among others.

 

DEFINING YOUR MARKET

If you want to screen a new concept or get insights into what maybe a good idea for a campaign, you may opt to use the qualitative method, but if you want to measure the acceptability of an idea or product using a much bigger sample, you may use the quantitative method.

The qualitative study can be the basis for a quantitative research. For example, you can conduct a focus group discussion first and then do a quantitative survey later to validate the findings from the FGD, says Salvino.

Paulo Lao, strategic marketing lecturer at the University of the Philippines-Institute for Small Scale Industries, says it’s also important to first define the market you would like to penetrate.

“What market is involved? What are the customers’ unmet needs and wants? Is the product or service you’re going to offer better than the ones existing in the market? That’s really the source of business opportunity,” Lao says.

He adds that doing market research on an existing product category is fairly easy as it only involves observing how the entrenched players are doing. “You just need to fine-tune the product or idea to make it easier for you to get into the market,” Lao says.

But it’s a totally different approach when you’re introducing something new. Here, you will need to find out if the market has heard of the product or service, and if it has not, how receptive it would be if the concept were to be introduced.

“Or you could try the strategy of actually introducing the product or a business to a potential group of buyers or customers and accompany that with a survey,” says Lao.

 

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