The Importance of Market Research


Debbie Larry-Izamoje


Most people wake up with a business idea and the next thing they’ve launched a new product. And although this works initially, you make money and maybe make a name for yourself and brand, with time you might realize that there are loopholes in your business that should have been treated in the first place.

In Nigeria now, most people a lot of people admit to launching products and services because they think it will earn them quick cash and therefore do not any form of market research…
In marketing the customer is king and therefore you must understudy your customer to know what exactly their needs are.

A market research tells you what products and services consumers are looking for and the direction to take your brand. So starting a business without a market research is almost like ordering a meal at a restaurant without looking at the menu!

In doing a market research you can choose primary or secondary research. Primary research is usually less unbiased and your chance to understand the buyers’ decision. Primary research can be done through a survey, phone interviews and more. It involves contacting potential consumers themselves. The beauty of primary research is that you can study the psychology of the customer, direct your research objectives and much more.

Secondary research, on the other hand, is using data or records out there to make the best conclusions for your business. The only issue is that the major details you require might not be available.

So how do you do a market research?
1. Define Your Objective: You must start each marketing research with an end goal in mind. So what exactly are you trying to achieve? And what is the time frame to achieving this? Setting precise goals will help you achieve a substantial market research. If your business already exists, you must ensure that you understand the problems in your business and focus your research around it.

2. Research Method and Design: In many ways, research starts with a problem that management is facing or will most likely face. This problem needs to be understood, the cause diagnosed, and solutions developed. However, most management problems are not always easy to research. A management problem must first be translated into a research problem. Once you approach the problem from a research angle, you can find a solution. For example, “sales are not growing” is a management problem. Examine the expectations and experiences of several groups: potential customers, first-time buyers, and repeat purchasers. We will determine if the lack of sales is due to:

3. Prepare Your Research Questions: Conducting Professional marketing research should be handled carefully, questionnaires can provide you with valuable information about your competition. Consider using a marketing research firm so as to save you time and legwork. Much of the information you need in order to profile your competitors is readily available to all business owners. As your business grows and expands, you should consider supplementing your own research efforts with some formal research conducted for you by an outside firm.

Before you begin seeking out the sources listed below, keep in mind that you need to obtain answers to the following questions:

• Who are my top three competitors?
• On what basis am I able to compete?
• What is the range of products and services they offer?
• Are their products or services aimed at satisfying similar target markets?
• Are my competitors profitable?
• Are they expanding? Scaling down?
• How long have they been in business?
• What are their positive attributes in the eyes of customers?

4. List Your Primary Competitors: Whether you want to admit it or not, your competitors are out there and they’re hungry for your customers. While it might seem unfair given everything else you need to keep on top of in building up your business, you might want to consider devoting the time and energy to keeping tabs on your competition.

In doing these, you must go and do beyond Google Search, do more of Product reporting, tap into the social media, ask your customers questions, attend conferences, Conduct surveys, and try to hire your competition

5. Summarize Your Findings: Once you have completed your research into the wants and needs of your target market, you will be able to make any necessary adjustments to your product, as well as your marketing plan moving forward. Without prior research, your company risks introducing a product that costs valuable resources to produce but ultimately sits on a shelf collecting dust.

Debbie Larry-Izamoje AKA The Entrepreneur’s Best-Friend holds a BSc in Information management from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. And MSc in management from University College London (UCL). She has also secured certificates in user innovation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Innovation and strategy from Harvard University.
She is the founder of the Image Boosters a digital agency that connects brands to consumers online and offline in various industries leveraging Digital opportunities in our local market.
Instagram: @imageboosters_

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