It is surprising how many products that seemed like a great idea at the time failed miserably once they reached the market. Amazon’s Fire Phone, the Facebook phone, and the Twitter Peek are just three examples of recent and expensive mistakes. If you’re still asking why your company needs to use market research, here are just a few reasons.
1. To Avoid Releasing a Product No One Wants
As the above examples prove, no-one is immune to a product flop. Phones and gadgets are just as susceptible to terrible sales as any other product. However, what is surprising about the examples above is the companies involved. You would think that industry giants such as Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter would never launch a product that wasn’t guaranteed to fly off the shelves. Especially considering their almost unlimited resources and unrivaled pool of experts; but they did, and therefore, so can you.
2. To Find Out What Your Customers Really Want
The fact of the matter is that the best way to find out if your idea will sell is to ask people who may buy it. Investing in market research like this can help you save a great deal of money in the long run. There are many ways to conduct market research from customer surveys to giving away free samples, but all should give you valuable insights into what your customers are looking for, and what problems you can help them solve. One note of caution – before you start telling everyone about your great idea, make sure you have at least patented it, so no one can steal it.
3. To Ask What People Think Without Bias
Really useful market research requires finding out what people think without influencing them. This means that you need to make sure that whatever method you decide to use, you don’t slant answers one way or another. Otherwise, the information is useless to you. A simple example is asking people why they think your product is good. This won’t get the response that truly reflects what your market thinks, so keeping your questions neutral is a vital part of the process.
4. To Ensure That Your Products Stay Relevant
Market research is an excellent way to find out if your products are still relevant to your potential audience, and, more importantly, if your customers are experiencing any fatigue over them. Knowing that you need a new product long before your customers stop buying the old one will save you a fortune in the long run. This type of research needs a delicate approach, so it may be in your best interests to hire experts.
5. To Discover If Your Marketing Methods Are Working
If you have done your initial marketing research well, you have hopefully developed and manufactured a product that lots of people want. So, what do you do if your product is collecting dust on the shelves when it should be flying off them? If this occurs, the way you’re marketing it may be the problem. You could try and find out which marketing method works best, or you could find out the buying habits of your potential customers using marketing research. The latter will be a lot cheaper in the long run.
6. To Improve Your Product Rather Than Develop a New One
Market research can also help you find out whether you have made any mistakes that stop your customers from becoming repeat customers. Many people love a particular product but there is that one small thing that is irritating enough to stop them from buying it again. Using market research to find out if your products have any of these issues, and then fixing them, may not only save you money, but may also help you make a great deal more money from your existing products.
7. To Understand What May Be Missing from Your Line-Up
Your company may also be missing out on upsells. Is there something that would fit well in your product line that you may have completely missed? If there is, and your customers are buying it from a competitor, you are leaving money on the table. Producing a product that you know will sell well will not only increase your profits but may mean you can hold off from developing new ones.
Wrapping Things Up
The big question you may be asking yourself is can your company do its own market research? Well, in some ways, the answer is yes, but the chances are that any research you do may be only surface deep, and will probably reinforce what you are hoping is true.
If you want to be sure that the market research you do provides the most valuable and insightful answers to your questions, then you should really bring someone in to do the job for you. For more guidance on this, check out this review.