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VBC Market research uses a set of techniques to gather information and to better understand a company’s target market. Businesses utilize this information to design better products, find a leverage, craft a marketing message that attracts quality leads and improves conversion rates and to define sales pitch.
Without research, it’s impossible to understand potential clients. Entering new market without key information about competition is like shooting with eyes closed. Maybe you will hit the target, maybe not.
Your might have a general idea of who they are and what they need, but you have to dig deep if you want to win their trust and gain their attention.
Here’s why research matters…
1. Obsessing over your users is the only way to win. If you don’t care deeply about improving user experience, you’ll lose potential customers to someone who does.
2. Analytic give you the ’what,’ but research gives the ‘why.’ Big data, user analytic, and dashboards can tell you what people do at scale, but only research can tell you what they’re thinking and why they do what they do. For example, analytic can tell you that customers leave when they reach your pricing page, but only research can explain why.
3. Research beats assumptions, trends, and so-called best practices. Have you ever watched your colleagues rally behind a terrible decision? Bad ideas are often the result of guesswork, emotional reasoning, death by best practices, and defaulting to the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO). By listening to your users and focusing on their customer experience, you’re less likely to get pulled in the wrong direction.
4. Research keeps you from planning in a vacuum. Your team might be amazing, but you and your colleagues simply can’t experience your product the way your customers do. Customers might use your product in a way that surprises you, and features that seem obvious to you might confuse them. Over planning and 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.
4 common market research methods
There are lots of different ways you could conduct market research and collect customer data, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just one research method. Four common types of market research techniques include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and customer observation.
1. Surveys: the most commonly used
Surveys ask users a short series of open- or closed-ended questions, which can be delivered as an on-screen questionnaire or via email. When we asked 2,000 Customer Experience (CX) professionals about their company’s approach to research, surveys proved to be the most commonly used market research technique.
What makes online surveys so popular?
They’re easy and inexpensive to conduct, and you can do a lot of data collection quickly. Plus, the data is pretty straightforward to analyze, even when you have to analyze open-ended questions whose answers might initially appear difficult to categorize.
2. Interviews: the most insightful
Interviews are one-on-one conversations with members of your target market. Nothing beats a face-to-face interview for diving deep (and reading non-verbal cues), but if an in-person meeting isn’t possible, video conferencing is a solid second choice.
Regardless of how you conduct it, any type of in-depth interview will produce big benefits in understanding your target market and customers.
What makes interviews so insightful?
By speaking directly with an ideal customer, you’ll gain greater empathy for their experience, and you can follow insightful threads that can produce plenty of ‘Aha!’ moments.
3. Focus groups: the most dangerous
Focus groups bring together a carefully selected group of people who fit a company’s target market. A trained moderator leads a conversation surrounding the product, user experience, and/or marketing message to gain deeper insights.
What makes focus groups so dangerous?
If you’re new to market research, I wouldn’t recommend starting with focus groups. Doing it right is expensive, and if you cut corners, your research could fall victim to all kinds of errors. Dominance bias (when a forceful participant influences the group) and moderator style bias (when different moderator personalities bring about different results in the same study) are two of the many ways your focus group data could get skewed.
4. Observation: the most powerful
During a customer observation session, someone from the company takes notes while they watch an ideal user engage with their product (or a similar product from a competitor).
What makes observation so clever and powerful?
‘Fly-on-the-wall’ observation is a great alternative to focus groups. It’s not only less expensive, but you’ll see people interact with your product in a natural setting without influencing each other. The only downside is that you can’t get inside their heads, so observation is no replacement for customer surveys and interviews.
Source: Market Research