What Is Market Research?
Giving an opinion is second nature to us. Many times a day we offer up our thoughts and feelings on the goods and services we use and receive. We use a new beauty product and we evaluate its effectiveness. We see a film and discuss its merits. We try a different brand of cereal and form an opinion on the taste. Opinions make up the bulk of our discourse and comprise the majority of our thoughts.
Because of how natural our opinions are to us, it’s hard to imagine that there are people willing to pay us money just to hear what we think. To understand why our opinions are such valuable commodities and why companies are willing to pay us a lot of money to hear what people have to say, it’s important to understand a little bit about market research, what it is, and how it works.
In today’s competitive business environment small and large companies alike are faced with the challenge of continually seeking out growth opportunities. Companies may look to grow in a number of ways. Some of the most common growth opportunities are: developing a new product or service, expanding an existing product or service line or identifying new markets.
Product and service market development is costly and high-risk. Branching out from the status quo presents a new and potentially dicey challenge to companies. Plunging into new product terrain without the proper knowledge and information can be a death sentence for a company or corporation. That is why it is crucial that companies fully evaluate the feasibility of their product and service opportunities by undertaking proactive market research before committing resources to new product or service development.
Market research is a cost-effective way of finding out what people believe, think, want, need or are looking for. It is information that cannot be obtained from any other source. It takes unbiased consumer views to really test the potential profitability of a good. Industry, commerce and governments use research to help them produce goods, services and policies that accurately and efficiently match up to consumer needs and wants.
Market research is learning all about your prospective market before you try to enter that market. The most important role of market research is to minimize risk by researching a product or service before delivery. All companies realize that it is quicker and cheaper to research a new concept and get that concept right rather than rolling out a product only to find out it doesn’t match the needs of buyers.
The marketing plan for a new product relies heavily on market research. It is essential to pick your market carefully. Companies have to know just whom their product appeals to and why. Each market is uniquely different. Not only are there differences in gender, geography, and profession, there are also language and culture differences as well.