Back to School – Market Research Made Semi-Easy

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a new product on the marketplace, making changes to your existing products or services, or expanding into a new demographic or location: Whatever you’re doing, you don’t want to take any major steps until you’ve minimized risk.

That’s why market research exists. Good market research can’t eliminate risk, but it can eliminate surprises.

But it’s a difficult step to take. You might think that it’s an expensive, complex process that only big corporations have the resources for. Or maybe it goes against your instincts: Edison didn’t run the light bulb past any focus groups, did he? But with just a little education, market research loses a lot of its mystery. Sure, it’s complicated; there’s no such thing as an easy market research eduction (consulting firms hope there’s not, at least — otherwise they wouldn’t have much of a career!). But with a little work, anyone can learn about the basic concepts behind market research.

So: Time to begin your education in market research.

With good market research, you can collect a wide array of information:

  • You can find out how much your services are needed. If, for instance, you’ve developed a set of tutorials, a good deal of higher-education market research will tell you if schools need what you have.
  • You can get in on an new or emerging market. Maybe a classroom supplement you’ve been selling to colleges for years would be perfect for advanced-placement classes in high schools.
  • You can make projections that show how well your new product will sell. If you’re about to publish a new textbook, a school market research professional can tell you how fast they’ll sell in the current marketplace.

But how does it all work? Market research methodologies differ. avaliação atendimento ao cliente

It can be something as simple as reading trade magazines and checking your competitors’ catalogues. Or you could ask you current customers what they need that you’re not offering. Sometimes that’ll be enough — especially if the move you’re making is a very small one.

More often, however, you’ll need a lot more detail. And even though there’s plenty of information out there, only experienced market research professionals can analyze data in a way that’ll give your business an edge. Chances are, you’ll need an educational consulting firm to create a business plan for that new textbook. Otherwise you’ll have trouble getting it into even one school.

Market research pros have a whole menu of data-collecting and data analysis techniques:

Analyzing the Market. Is there a surplus of the types of services you’re offering? Are school budgets on a downturn? What’s the general perception of the types of products you offer?

Analyze the Competition. Is someone else offering a product just like yours? How is it different? Is there some way it’s not meeting customers’ needs, or meeting customers’ needs in a way that your product may not?

Secondary Research. Secondary research analyzes the information that’s already out there. Market research is one of those fields where it’s okay to stand on the shoulders of giants.

Primary Research. Engaging in primary research means getting your own set of data. It might involve customer surveys, focus groups or interviews.

When you’re developing a new product or service, market research pros can find the right audience for it. If you’re looking to penetrate a new market, they’ll look at what you’re offering and tell you how to proceed. Either way, it’ll help develop your business and make for better organization.

Getting a complete education in market research could take years. It’s why universities have whole majors devoted to it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself as knowledgeable as possible when it’s time to choose the right research team to work with.

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