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5 Powerful reasons businesses need marketing research

Jan. 28, 2016, by Miriam Salcedo in Strategic Marketing

Despite the multiple benefits of marketing research, an appalling number of organizations, particularly small and medium-sized ones, discard this practice. They ignore the potential impact and use of the information obtained through research methods. This oversight often hinders these organizations from reaching their full potential; in most cases, it also sets the stage for failure.

5 Powerful reasons businesses need marketing research

The truth is that numerous business leaders are still unaware of the importance of research. This process isn't mere protocol; it provides valuable information that helps you improve and maintain a competitive edge, understand your target market and, ultimately, boost your business performance. Furthermore, through research, you can identify consumers' needs and even new markets; in fact, the research process is particularly vital for startups and expanding businesses. This article will give you a brief glance at some powerful reasons to conduct market research.

Understand your current consumers

By understanding your current consumers, you'll be able to select more appealing products and services to sell, craft more compelling marketing messages and a stronger sales pitch, and find more feasible ways to reach and entice new prospects. In fact, the information you gather through research answers critical questions, all of which are necessary to design a solid marketing strategy:

Who are our customers?

Where are they?

What are they purchasing?

What do they value?

Why would they choose us over our competitors?

What are their motivations to purchase?

What digital channels can we use to engage them?

What is their lifestyle?

If you can answer these questions with reliable data, you'll have the power to make your marketing approach truly appealing to your current customer base.

Identify Potential Customers

The dream of virtually every business is to reach new markets and increase their market share; market research makes this dream a reality. In this context, you can find a new niche whose needs have not been completely and satisfactorily fulfilled. Thus, an efficient research program unveils potentially profitable new markets. Moreover, research discloses information necessary to conduct demographic, geographic, psychological, and psychographic segmentation; this process helps you design an efficient client acquisition strategy, one that maximizes resources, avoids threatening risks, and entices your recently-discovered target audience.

Uncover business opportunities

Market and consumer research also fortifies strategies focused on business growth and expansion. In this sense, a comprehensive study and analysis of the market can reveal new business opportunities. For instance, a research program could guide you to identify a new range of products to sell, evaluate and improve your promotional efforts, and find new ways to make your operations more profitable and effective.

Analyze and Solve Business Problems

Very often decision-makers identify problems in the organization's performance, some of which could be extremely threatening; in these cases, it is necessary to recognize the factors that cause or contribute to these issues. For instance, a decrease in sales might be the result of a lack of interest or a perceived lack of value. In certain situations, businesses target the wrong market or fail to communicate the value of their products and services compellingly. Relying on information gathered through the research process, business leaders can adjust, modify, and improve their marketing strategies. These initiatives also enhance and optimize the promotional approach, pricing and distribution tactics, and the product itself, making the marketing mix better suited for the target market.

Develop Effective Marketing and Advertising Strategies

In an attempt to attract and persuade potential customers, organizations spend valuable resources on advertising. Yet, some of their biggest fears and a major threat is to miss an opportunity and waste money. An irrefutable benefit of marketing research, you can bulletproof your advertising efforts; in short, you'll be able to recognize "who [your] customers are, what they want and like, where they spend their media time, and whether the ads are effective" (Arens, Schaefer & Weigold, 2009). Moreover, research data will allow your organization to appeal to your market's sense of reason and emotions, including identified needs, motivations, interests, and behavior: "Research provides the information that drives marketing and advertising decision making" (Essentials of Contemporary Advertising, 2009).

Through market and consumer research, business leaders make informed, smart, and effective decisions. Furthermore, the information guides enterprises through the right path, improving organizational performance and avoiding risks. Without it, they sailing blindly, exposed to the multiple threats that could be in the way.

Author: Miriam Salcedo

Miriam enjoys helping organizations improve and maintain effective communication channels with clients, on- and offline. She specializes in persuasive strategies and digital marketing, having worked and collaborated with profit and non-profit organizations in the United States and Mexico.

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