While any advertising has the potential to improve your brand, optimized and targeted marketing is sure to increase results. A major component of properly marketing your brand is developing a comprehensive marketing strategy. From where to advertise for increased exposure to how to word your promotions to align with the needs of your market, your marketing strategy will be the foundation of your brand growth efforts. While some of this information might be obvious, market research is the best way to dig deeper and uncover the truly powerful information that should be driving your marketing campaigns.
What is Market Research?
Market research is the overall task of establishing questions about your intended market and finding answers. Market research can take on a variety of forms and formats. However, you can categorize most methods into one of two categories:
- Quantitative Research: These methods most often relate to numbers and trends. Possible sources include surveys, polls, social media and existing research data. From basic interest in your brand to the efficiency of your campaigns, quantitative research provides numbers and benchmarks for charting and analyzing success.
- Qualitative Research: These methods typically work to obtain insight into various questions. Focus groups, face-to-face interviews, observational studies and other tools help to uncover the motivations and reasoning behind market behaviors. Instead of raw facts, qualitative research can help discover the why and how of various market trends and brand concerns.
In most cases, revealing the best ways to optimize your market strategy requires utilizing a combination of both research types. This provides a broad overview of your intended market, brand opinion, strengths, weaknesses and potential ways to improve your efforts.
Why Utilize Market Research?
Compiling the benefits of market research would take pages. However, these are four of the major benefits you can expect to gain from market research:
- Improving efficiency: When it comes to marketing, it is all about ROI. Without market research to back your strategy, your brand could be throwing money away. Depending on your business, this could be the difference between success and failure. Market research allows you to maximize the benefit of each dollar invested in your marketing.
- Spurring Innovation: When it comes to establishing your brand as a leader in your market, it is all about brand reputation. A major contributor to brand reputation is authority and innovation. By conducting research into the common concerns of those in your market, you can place your brand in a position to fill vital needs within your market. This creates an innovative appearance. With that, comes increased exposure and authority. Sometimes the best marketing strategy is simply knowing your market. Market research gives you to tools to do that.
- Identifying Problems with Your Brand: Brand problems, such as poor image, inconsistent voicing or poor targeting, are not always apparent. With the hectic routine of growing your brand, things sometimes slip by unnoticed. Market research provides objective ways to assess your brand’s marketing and other characteristics from an outside point of view. By identifying problems with your marketing strategy or brand through marketing research, you can fix issues or shift directions before the problem becomes critical.
- Simplified Brand Expansion: The insights gained through market research extend far beyond your marketing strategy. By getting to know your market, you can promote your brand using their vocabulary, directly address their concerns, find new uses for existing products or services, ensure your marketing is reaching the proper audience and improve conversions or lead generation. All of this results in a cascade of benefits that reach every corner of your brand. The cornerstone to this is proper market research.
When to Utilize Market Research?
Though market research has specific roles in creating a business plan, designing market strategies or expanding your brand, it is a tool that can be used for your business continuously. By alternating qualitative and quantitative methods, you can create routines that will ensure that your brand is always in the optimal position for success. Often one research cycle will uncover additional questions and fuel another. If you are constantly exploring your marketing practices and the state of your market, you are always primed for action and growth.
Your marketing strategy will make or break your business. Market research offers numerous ways to optimize your marketing strategies to improve the chances that your brand will succeed, grow and prosper.