Marketing Research – What you Need to Know


Marketing research focuses on understanding the client, the firm, and the competition. These relationships are at the core of marketing research. Firms must understand and respond to what clients want from their services or products.

The key to any successful business is to identify what it is that your clients want and giving this to them in a way that is profitable for your firm. Several entrepreneurs make the blunder of assuming that they know exactly what their clients want without ever asking them. This common mistake can result in some very expensive mistakes later on.

To understand the concept of marketing research, you need to know what the objectives are:

· Evaluate the potential market for a new service to be introduced.

· Determine conditions and trends in the market.

· Assess how clients react to a service already existing in the market.

· Determine why certain services fail in the market.

· Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors.

Market research is typically done by focus groups, interviews and surveys:

a. Focus groups
A research technique used to collect data through group interaction. The group is comprised by a small number of selected people based on their experience with the service or product.

b. Interviews
Interviews operate in a similar way to focus groups, but on a one-on-one basis.

c. Surveys
Surveys are conducted among high numbers of clients. Surveys can be done via e-mail, internet or phone. Data collected from the higher number of participants are more indicative of what the average client thinks of the service or product. The benefits of marketing research far outweigh the time and effort put into the process.

The following are some of the advantages for your firm when conducting marketing research:

· Assists your firm in identifying opportunities in the market.

· Guides your communication decisions with your clients.

· Helps you measure your firm’s reputation.

· Assists your firm in planning ahead.

· Supports your firm in establishing your market position.

· Helps your firm to determine trends amongst clients.

· Identifies potential problems early.

· Helps your firm to minimise risks.

Market research is needed on a frequent basis, if you want to keep up with market trends and gain a competitive edge in the market and amongst your competitors. Understanding market research and using it to your advantage is vital in reaching out to your target audience and increasing your sales and profits. It is an irreplaceable tool that might seem expensive, but it is nothing less than an investment.

Go back to the top of the article and read the definition of content marketing one more time, but this time remove the words valuable, relevant and consistent. You will now understand the difference between content marketing and other informational “marketing” you get from companies and firms trying to sell products and services to you. That is what makes content marketing so fascinating in today’s environment where audiences get exposure to hundreds of marketing messages per day. Decent content marketing makes a person take the time to read and then act on the message.

For more information contact Francois Pretorius at francois@succeedgroup.co.za

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.