Market research can be as simple and as easy as surveying a cross-section of your consumers (focus group) to get their opinions about the invention that you will be offering, or conducting a telephone or mail survey. However, one disadvantage of using the telephone or mail survey method is that the individuals you contact may not be interested in responding to a survey.
Market Research TechniquesOther market research techniques include:
- Analyzing demographic data, such as population growth/decline rate; age range, sex, and income/educational level.
- Brainstorming with family and friends
- Focus group interviews
Market Research Should Answer These Questions
- Who are your customers and potential customers?
- What kind of people are they?
- Where do they live?
- Can and will they buy the product you're offering?
- Are you offering the kinds of goods they want at the best place, the best time and best amounts?
- Are your prices consistent with what the buyers view as the products' values?
- Are you applying the promotional programs in a way that will bring about success?
- Who are your competitors?
Disadvantages of Market ResearchMarket research is often a costly and time-consuming process. There may be biases that distort information, ignores answers or lets arrogance or hostility cut off communications at some point in the marketing process. The advantages, however, outweigh the disadvantages. Don't forego this process or stop halfway because you are not getting the desired results. This may be an indication that you are going with the wrong invention or that there isn't a market for your product. Don't be discouraged. You simply may need to modify your original marketing plan.
Benefits of Market Research
- Learning who your customers are and what they want.
- Learning how to reach your customer and how frequently you should try to communicate with them.
- Learning which appeals are most effective and which ones aren't.
- Learning the relative successes of different marketing strategies in relation to their return on investment.
Market research focuses and organizes marketing information, ensuring that it is timely and that it provides what you need to:
- reduce business risks
- spot problems and potential problems in your current market
- identify and profit from sales opportunities
- and get basic facts about your markets to help you make better decisions and set up plans of action.