Any idea can flop if you don’t do research before fully investing in that idea. You might have a great product or service in mind, but you should conduct market research on competitors and potential customers to save money and resources.
Developing Your Idea
Before you even begin to launch your new product or service, you’ll want to invest time into researching potential markets. Is your idea unique? Is there a market that would appreciate what you’re offering? How big is that market? Who are your potential competitors?
If you find out that a similar idea failed or already exists, you might want to regroup entirely. Or you can find a unique angle for your idea that has potential for greater success. Two options are targeting a different demographic or incorporating elements into your business model and marketing strategy that will draw a greater following.
Knowing Your Intended Audience
Once you have a solid grasp on demand and competition for your product, you should focus on defining your market. Having a solid grasp on the demographics, likes/dislikes and preferred media channels of your intended audience can give your product or service the best chance for success. Thorough research will prevent you from making incorrect assumptions about individuals in your target audience. To discover this information, you should conduct both primary research and secondary research.
With secondary research, you’re looking at existing data to paint a picture of your average customer. Some credible resources are Mintel reports, or InfoScout demographic information. Even traditional news articles can sometimes be helpful. For primary research, you can use methods like focus group discussions or surveys. The most important part of primary research is ensuring that your sample is large enough and indicative of your target audience.
Communicating with Your Audience
Once you know who your intended audience is, you need to find out how to best reach them. Knowing their favorite social media channels, how they receive news, etc. can help you place information about your business where your audience will see it. Knowing their values, likes and dislikes can help you tailor the content you create.
For example, you’ll find that millennials are largely immune to traditional marketing techniques that Baby Boomers enjoy, and a surprisingly high percentage of Generation X is active on social media. Additionally, there is now a huge push for businesses to be eco-friendly and socially responsible.
A solid idea is the backbone of any business, but utilizing the power of research can give you the upper hand when it comes to defining your market, knowing your audience and communicating with those individuals in an effective way.