Market Research Benefits & Action Plan

A UK-based startup asked me to deliver European landscape research for their online well-being platform for the elderly. In this blog, I will share with you why it is so important to do thorough market research and how to do it step by step. You can find the results of my landscape research for the startup here.

Introduction

Market research will help you understand your users. Market research is any set of techniques used to gather information and better understand an organisation’s target market. This information is used to design better products, improve user experience and craft a marketing message that attracts leads. Primary research is information gathered through self-conducted research methods such as online surveys, interviews and focus groups. Secondary research is information gathered from previously conducted studies, such as trend reports, market statistics and industry content. This is particularly useful for analyzing your competitors.

Benefits

Here’s why market research matters:

  • Obsessing over your users, caring deeply about improving their experience is essential if you don’t want to lose potential customers to someone who does.
  • Research beats assumptions, trends, and best practices. By listening to your users and focusing on their customer experience, you’re less likely to get pulled into the wrong direction.
  • Analytics gives you the ’what,’ but research gives the ‘why.’ Big data and user analytics can tell you what people do at scale, but research can tell you why they do what they do.
  • Research keeps you from planning in a vacuum. Customers might use your product in a way that surprises you, and features that seem obvious to you might confuse them. Refusing to test your assumptions is a waste of time, money, and effort because you will likely need to make changes once your untested plan gets put into practice.

6 Steps

You can find more information on primary research in the Business Connecting e-book. These are the common steps of a secondary international market entry research:

1. Objectives Determining the research objectives

During the initial stage of planning a market entry, important questions must be answered including what is the organisation’s aim? What will be the organisation’s offer?

2. Scope Defining the exact research scope

Which countries will be investigated, which target markets and topics? Possible topics include the cultural and political climate, competitors, customers and partners.

3. Culture and Politics Investigating the cultural and political climate

When getting to know the market, it’s important to learn about the specifics of the cultural and political climate.

4. Target Market Diving into the specifics of the target market

Focusing on the differences in segments, the total numbers and the future potential.

5. Competitors Analysing the competitors

A detailed competitive analysis will help you make key decisions, for example, if you need to modify your product or service to customize it for your market.

6. Recommendations Finding the best routes to market

Finally, you will have a set of recommendations that will give your organisation the guidance it needs to enter the international market.

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