In this course, students will learn the process of conducting market research from start to finish, including how to effectively present and communicate the results. With the need for professionals in market research increasing each year, students will be prepared for the industry as they go through this course.
A practical guide to market research to help you make better decisions Share As an entrepreneur, conducting market research helps you make better business decisions and avoid costly mistakes. It can also help you to identify opportunities to generate more business with existing customers.
Businesses can gather data on such topics as product design, branding, advertising concepts, sales channels and customer service.
In short, the insights gathered through market research can shape your business plan or help you to measure the success of your current activities and adjust. Poorly designed or shoddily executed research can produce results that steer your business in the wrong direction.
Common market research mistakes Here are three common missteps that we see: Relying on free data from the Internet The web is a great starting point, but often this information may be incomplete, outdated or too superficial to be relevant to your business decisions.
Surveying your personal network Again, it can be a great starting point to talk to friends and colleagues. But for truly meaningful insights, you need to hear from sales prospects, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in your business. Relying only on anecdotal feedback Businesses often receive feedback from customers and other stakeholders.
But a few data points are not enough. Business insights need to be collected in a systematic way. How to gather insights about your business Small businesses can use the following framework and resources to gather insights in a systematic, rigorous way.
Mine your internal information sources Within your organization, there may be several untapped resources that can provide valuable information. Sales, customer service and other frontline employees, for example, can provide insights into the competition, customer reaction to products, new product ideas and potential new markets.
Although this information will be anecdotal and subjective, employee feedback gathered in a regular, systematic manner can provide valuable information that you can then use as a basis for further investigation. It typically consists of previously collected information on consumer demographics, industry trends, market share, etc.
This type of information provides the context you need to develop a profile of your market and industry. For instance, if you wanted to launch a locally produced wine to the Ontario and Quebec markets, you would need to gather information on the number of wine drinkers in these provinces, broken down by gender, age, geography, household income and level of education.
You would also need to gather broad industry data on the wine market, such as size, forecasted growth, profitability, key players, market share and market trends. Statistics Canada and Industry Canada are reliable sources of economic, industry, social and census data.
Other sources of information include articles from business magazines and periodicals, trade associations and their publications, and analyst reports or company annual reports.
As well, there are several companies that offer industry research and analysis for a fee. Primary research gives you control over the type of questions you ask and information you gather.
As well, conducting primary research is a highly-specialized skill. Given the investment and technical requirements for designing and conducting primary research, we recommend you employ a market research professional or company if you decide to undertake primary research.
Before you begin your primary research, be sure to map out exactly what you want to learn.
Ask yourself the following questions: What business decisions do I want to make from this research? Who should we talk to? If I could get an answer to only one question, what would it be? Here are the main types of primary research that may be useful for your business: Online surveys These surveys are increasingly popular and relatively inexpensive.
Online surveys can generate thousands of responses to a broad range of questions.
The main benefit of online surveys is quick results, usually within days.However, market research is a bit more than the informal assimila- tion and interpretation of intelligence that is a natural consequence of keeping eyes and ears open.
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Searchable database of market research reports incorporating all niche and top industries. This book by Paul Hague is aimed at anyone interested in market research, including those conducting projects of their own and studying research courses.
A practical guide to market research to help you make better decisions Share As an entrepreneur, conducting market research helps you make better business decisions and avoid costly mistakes. The market research society code of practice The Market Research Society (MRS) in the UK is the largest body of market research professionals in the world.
The MRS has established a “code of practice” that covers the ethical aspects of market research, responsibilities to fellow members of the bodies setting the codes, clients, survey.