The ability of an individual to successfully collect and analyze valuable information regarding the needs of consumers, demographics, position of competitors, economic shifts, effectiveness of a particular marketing program, and other market trends etc. is known as his market research skills.
Market research skills are sometimes referred to as an invaluable tool for reducing risk by assessing the viability of any new offering intended by the company. With the help of market research skills, business owners are able to make well-informed and guided business decisions such as regarding the appropriate strategy to implement, daily operations, as well as targeting a potentially profitable customer base.
Why is market research important
Understanding your target market is the key to taking your business to the heights of success because the more you understand the needs and wants of your customers, the greater your chances of catering to them in a profitable manner. This is why market research and the relevant skills hold so much importance to businesses nowadays.
With effective market research skills, not only is an individual able to reduce risk for the business and maintain its competitive advantage, but he can also provide sufficient evidence of the viability of any new product, service or venture. This kind of information may include the critical characteristics of target market which are likely to become the reason for increased sales revenue or profit etc. Therefore, market research can also help companies and individuals to raise finances by showing such evidence to the investors they approach.
How to improve market research skills
Regardless of the size, market research is indispensable to the success and development of any business. Therefore, the following guideline must be followed in order to improve one’s market research skills:
- Define your objective. You must define very clearly the objective of your market research before you begin your quest. Think about it and identify what exactly it is that you want your business to achieve within a certain time period. For instance, determine whether you are looking forward to increasing traffic or your sales, and choose between wanting to increase one-time purchasers and converting the existing ones to regular customers. Having clear objectives in mind will help you tailor your research accordingly such that the data collected in the process is all relevant.
- Design your survey well. Survey design is another useful skill that helps in improving the overall market research skills. The best approach is putting oneself in the shoes of potential clients when writing survey questions in order to ensure the survey is neutral and nothing has been phrased offensively. Use plain English and a logical order for placing all questions. However, avoid asking leading questions because they tend to give hints about preferred answers. Also, design your survey such that it is easy and quick to answer all questions. The longer it will be; the lesser your respondents will think while answering.
- Collect all unsolicited feedback. Feedback is the most valuable element in the whole process of market research. Whether it is in the form of a suggestion that you asked for while interacting with your clients or any unsolicited feedback from your clients on the social networks or review sites, they all must be incorporated in the research to get a true picture of how satisfied your customers currently are. Even criticism should be taken positively since it tends to make the most valuable form of feedback highlighting the areas of improvement for you.