Market research is one of the best methods to gather information on your competitors, market and customers. It indicates whether customer needs and expectations are met, what changes are needed to be made, tracks buying behavior, changing habits and provides an indication of what is missing from the market.

Market research enables businesses to discover what their customers want, need or believe – showing insight on how best these needs can be catered for.

Some of the easiest ways for small businesses to gather data from their customers are:

•   Interviews (either by telephone or face-to-face)
•   Surveys (online, by mail or in store). Online surveys are cost effective. Businesses can register with a reputable online survey website and have their surveys sent to consenting participants or the business’ own database.
•   Questionnaires (online, by mail or in store)
•   Focus groups gathering a sample of potential clients or customers and getting their direct feedback. This allows for open ended questions that encourage discussion between members of the focus group.

Common Market Research Mistakes to Avoid

•   Using only secondary research. Relying on only the published work of others does not illustrate the full picture. It is a great starting point, but note that information from this research may be outdated and may not reflect the current nature of the market.
•   Using only web resources. When using common search engines to gather information, you only get data that is available to everyone and it may not be fully accurate.
•   Surveying only the people you know. Friends and family are often not the best survey subjects – they are not entirely reflective of the current market. To get the most useful and accurate information, it is ideal to talk to real customers about their needs, wants and expectations.

If you’d like to conduct market research for your small business or require any other marketing advice and service please contact Deborah from Clarity Marketing on 0411 139 881 or email