Many businesses often struggle with these questions: 1) Is there a need for my product or service?; and 2) How can I differentiate my offerings in a competitive or saturated market? If you need exhaustive and accurate answers, then you have to do market research.
[related|post]Market research is “the science and art of studying consumer behaviors, needs and wants,” says Germaine Reyes, managing director of Synergy Business Consultancy. It’s a vital step in identifying opportunities (such as unmet customer needs), evaluating the potential of new ideas, and estimating the size of your target market. It’s especially useful for fledgling entrepreneurs, as it helps them minimize the risk of investing in something that could end up a flop.
Incorporating market research can also reduce the guesswork in product development, allowing your business to focus on catering to customer demands. It can help you pinpoint what you’re doing right and, more importantly, what you’re getting wrong.
‘Quali’ vs. ‘quanti’
There are two methods of doing market research: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research is concerned with scope. Examples are focus group discussions (FGDs), one-on-one interviews, and ethnography. Of these, FGDs, “which involve discussion with six to eight people of the same qualifications” are the most common, she shares.
The quantitative approach, on the other hand, requires creating questionnaires and scales. These are then used to conduct surveys, as well as house-to-house and intercept or exit interviews. Such interviews involve asking customers about a product or service immediately after their experience with it.