When you’re running a business there are all sorts of different potential partners, agencies and consultants offering ‘vital services’, all of which come with a bill. Working out which ones could you give you a vital boost, which aren’t too important and which are simply wastes of your money is one of those tricky situations that you have to navigate as a founder: what looks like a thrifty saving one day could turn out to have been a false economy that costs you much more further down the line!

Today we’re focussing on market research: what is it and why do you need it?

What is Market Research?

Market research takes many forms. There’s the direct questioning of individuals to dig into responses to a particular brand or product, focus groups to get detailed feedback from more people at the same time, and all the different kinds of survey, from brand trackers to omnibus questionnaires.

Some of these will be better fits than others depending on the profile of your business: the people who make up your market determine the best way to get information out of them: younger people are more susceptible to digital research, an older audience requires a more direct approach and so on.

There are also indirect methods of market research to test the approaches you could take to marketing and design: what’s called A/B testing involves small scale launches of different variants of ads or branding and seeing which one gets the best response. This tells you which approach will get you the best results when the time comes for a full scale roll out.

If you want to find out more about different kinds of market research, click here for more information.

Why Do You Need It?

Assuming you can pick the ideal Market Research approach for your business, why do you need it?

Well, every day you’re making decisions about how to allocate your resources. All of those decisions can have good outcomes and bad ones, and without a stream of data you have nothing to base that decision making on.

Research about the people you’re selling to: what they respond to, what they value and what turns them away helps you optimise your decisions, and maximise your revenue, which is what makes the difference between a business that lasts the distance and one that falters and fails too soon.