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How to Develop a Market Research Plan

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Market research is an essential aspect of every modern business nowadays. It helps you gather invaluable information you can use to make more strategic decisions about your business, as well as minimize potential risks that follow those decisions. What’s more, the online market is constantly experiencing changes, so market research should never be neglected.

New trends arise all the time. Some of them stick, while others are forgotten quickly. Also, consumer behavior changes alongside the newest trends, as do their preferences. What influenced purchasing decisions yesterday may as well be irrelevant tomorrow. That’s why you need market research; otherwise, you won’t know about the changes or the trends and you will lose relevance and fall behind your main competitors. So, here are a few methods you can use to develop a market research plan.

Define Your Main Objectives

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No matter what you decide to do, it’s always best to back it up with data gained from market research. As a matter of fact, market research can be an ace up your sleeve that will help elevate your business on the market. That’s why it’s important to continue with market research, even after your business has grown out of its startup stage. However, before you start researching and before you start creating a research plan, you must define the main objectives you wish to address.

For instance, you want to develop a brand, create new products or features, improve customer service and support, enter a new market and so on. Each objective requires a specific approach and a detailed market research strategy.It’s the only way to make sure your efforts willactually produce viable results. As a startup owner, it’s very important that you take time to consider which objective is the most important for your business and focus on it.

Know your target audience

If you haven’t already identified who your target audience is, it’s imperative that you do so as soon as possible. The main reason is that your every move, decision and strategy must be based on the preferences and interest of your target audience. Otherwise, you may end up wasting time and resources trying to sell products or services to consumers who aren’t interested in your offer.

The more you know about your target audience, the better the results of your efforts will be;as you’ll be able to meet their needs, demands, and expectations. In addition, don’t hesitate to ask them for feedback. For example, you can survey them in person to determine what they think about your business. Moreover, you can invest a bit and offer paid surveys online for your potential customers. That way, you’re likelier togetmore objective and honest feedback about your business and your offers.

Conduct a competitive analysis

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Keeping tabs on your competitors is also an essential partof your market research. If you want to develop a solid plan, you have to know what your competition is doing. This is especially important for startup businesses, because they need to find market gaps that will help them stand out from their competitors and actually gain a competitive advantage.

Here’s an important note: competitive analysis isn’t meant to help you copy what your competition does. Instead, it’s meant to help you understand their approach and their strategies, so that you can do better than them. The information you gain from a competitive analysis can greatly help you develop a market research plan that will help you drive your business goals further. After all, the online market is quite crowded and highly-competitive. That means that you’ll need every advantage you can come across, which will help you win over customers and reach success with your startup business.

Utilize data to make a decision

Once you’ve gained the initial information about your audience and competition and once you’ve defined your objectives, it’s time to utilize that data to make a decision. You can now focus on developing a market research plan, which will help you overcome the obstacles you’re facing and help you reach important business goals. Understanding your competitors, as well as your customers is just the first step in market research.

That data gives you a foundation on which to base your further research on. Next, you’ll have to conduct research on how to find the best product/market fit, price your products or services and develop compelling marketing campaigns. All the data you collect is worthless unless you find a way to capitalize on it. That includes market research that will help you find the best approach for your future endeavors. The better you make use of information you’ve gathered, the more efficient your efforts will be.

It’s no secret that many startup businesses struggle to find their place in the market. However, with the right market research plan, every startup business has an opportunity to find a unique way to make a name for themselves. The more data you have to back your decisions with, the more efficient your startup will be on the market.

About the Author

Raul-208x210  Raul Harman is the editor-in-chief at Technivorz blog. He has a lot to say about innovation in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. Connect with him on Twitter.

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