How to execute effective market analysis with research

As a small business, listening to the grapevine, ‘walking the streets’ or just being observant may be sufficient to have a good grasp of the market. These are all informal market research activities. However, they may not lead to a robust marketing report. There’s a risk of missing critical information or biasedness.

On the other hand, a well-designed formal market research project can yield invaluable insights and make a difference in marketing success or failure. In this post, we discuss 5-steps you should consider when designing a good market research project.

1. Set up a research hypothesis

To avoid the risk of going on a wild-goose chase, start a market research project with a well-thought-through hypothesis. It’s likely you have a gut feel or hunch that explains the state of things or what a future scenario may look like. The technical term for this is hypotheses. Your research will be set up to prove or otherwise these hypotheses. While it doesn’t necessarily constrain you from making other discoveries, hypotheses lend a structure and discipline to the exercise.

2. Start with desk research

A common myth amongst small businesses is the need to start from scratch, that is, primary data gathering. Indeed this can be costly and time-consuming. The good news is you don’t have to. Desk research can be just as effective. Essentially, it involves pouring through available data and statistics or articles and reports that can shed led on the information you’re looking for. You may not find the answer but it may point you in the right direction for further investigation.

3. How to interpret the information

It’s probably the most challenging and interesting part of a market research project – making sense of the data and information you’ve received. It shouldn’t be that hard if you’ve designed the project well as you will know what you’re looking for. Always try to contextualise what the data and information are showing with what’s happening out there. It’s a trick that experienced market researchers use when analysing research results.

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