Market research covers a whole range of different research methods and processes, that relate to the marketing of a service or product. The type of market research needed for a business varies massively depending what field your business is in. Here is an explanation of a few different types of market research and an example of the sort of businesses they can benefit.
Firstly there is brand awareness, which simply put is how well a brand is known and recognised by customers. While this sort of awareness is usually associated with international brands, it’s an important factor even for small businesses only concerned with how they are recognised at a local level. For example, a plumbing company confined to a single town would want their name to be immediately associated with plumbing so it’s the first company that is thought of when a plumbing emergency arises. Thus it is important for local businesses to know what level of brand awareness there is for their company in the immediate area, and knowing if their marketing is improving that.
Positioning research is used to help a business understand where customers see their brand/company within the competitive market. In other words, how customers see you compared to your customers. Brand awareness was simply about knowing whether customers know of your brand. While this approach is more layered and complex, therefore can be more costly to perform. This type of market research can be beneficial to a company that seems to be underperforming in a thriving market. It can help reveal why customers are choosing other brands to your own, and who your main competitors are. For a business to thrive, it is vital to identify weaknesses, and positioning research can help show you what are you are failing on, that your competitors are excelling at, and allow you to plan accordingly.
A slightly more complicated type of brand awareness is consumer intelligence. This involves a company finding out and analysing information regarding the customers themselves, such as their activities, spending habits etc. The idea behind this is that a company can build more effective customer relationships. This can help a company that may be struggling to work out who their target market is, or to put another way, working out what consumers who use a certain product or service have in common. Understanding the customer’s inclinations when it comes to purchasing a product/service takes some effort, as it can depend on a variety of factors like value, design, price, etc. Survey methods like monadic testing or other concept testing methods may sometimes be used in market research to understand consumer behaviour. This can make sure when a business adapts or expands it does so toward the right demographics.