Market Research can be separated into two basic categories: problem-identification research and problem-solving research. Problem-identification research helps marketing teams identify what types of problems they might have, while problem-solving research helps identify ways to solve those problems through marketing mix and segmentation. There are many problem identification and solving methods that can be completed through market research. Take a look at the examples below to see which methods can benefit your company.
By conducting new market research projects in your company, you might discover a potential dilemma or opportunity that you have not considered before. You could discover any of the following factors through problem-identification research:
- Brand Image: your customers’ perceptions of your brand. It’s extremely important to be aware of how customers view your company. Determining which strategies you want to use to positively influence your brand image can be done through researching your consumers’ current perceptions and what they want from your company.
- Market Characteristics: the characteristics of your target market. You need to consider all aspects that drive your different customers to purchase. Your customers on the west coast are going to have different purchasing behaviors than those from the east coast. Recognizing these differences between subcultures, and meeting the needs of those differences, will help your business’ marketing strategies succeed.
- Market Potential: an estimate of your product’s potential profit. If you research how consumers might react to advertising or price changes in your product before you take action, you will be better prepared and market to your consumers more accurately.
- Market Share: percent of total product sales compared to your competitors. Market share gives you an estimate of the amount of market your company holds and can give you an idea of how you compare to your competitors. It also can reveal some of your competitors' capabilities and strengths, so you can develop an appropriate strategy.
Once you identify your marketing problem, you need to research how to solve it. The following research options will help you solve potential problems or capitalize on opportunities identified by your company:
- Distribution Research: determining where your product should be sold and how to get it there. Distribution Research helps you plan the best way to get your product from the manufacturer to the retail shelf. In addition to deciding which retailers should carry your product, you should determine where your inventory will be held.
- Market Segmentation: Grouping customers by similar backgrounds or similar purchase behaviors. Utilizing problem-solving research can determine how to most accurately accomplish this and even how to design advertisements to attract those groups. You will need to collect both qualitative and quantitative data to accurately understand your market segments.
- Pricing Research: determining the ideal price for your product. Setting the price for your product is one of the most important marketing steps. You need to keep the customer in mind as well as remember that the main goal is to maximize your profits. Consider whether or not customers can be gained through lower prices. Can you maximize profit through increasing price? How sensitive will your customers be if you begin slightly increasing price? All aspects need to be well thought-out. Researching customer’s reactions to price sensitivity is essential.
- Product Research: testing your new or revised products or completing test marketing. Researching secondary data or observing how your products will be used can allow you to effectively compete in the market. Testing different components can identify new products or discover ways to modify existing products, for example, updating a product to compete with newer products.
- Promotional Research: following up with the effectiveness of your advertising strategies. If your company is using advertisements, there are factors you need to be checking up on. Unless you are evaluating your advertising budget, if your ads are useful in both retaining and gaining customers and researching what type of ads (online, commercial or print) are most effective, you truly cannot know whether you’re wasting your company’s money.
Using research for problem identification and problem solving is essential when you want to make your company the best in its market. Classifying your problem should always come before attempting to solve them. Otherwise, you might be spending money to solve the wrong problem.
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