5-Step Market Research Guide to Success for Startups

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Alex Valassidis
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Market research
Starting your business is no easy deal. As the economy is in flux, every business wants to have a solid sales and marketing plan to ensure they utilize the resources in the right direction. Understanding your market is the first step to develop an efficient sales plan, and to understand your market, you need to conduct thorough market research. Marketing research is the same as preparing ourselves for the next class by doing homework, which we all used to do in our school days. Doing homework is imperative before stepping into the business world.  The chances of achieving success improve as we plan everything in advance through market research. The least a startup want is to meet the bad fate and embrace the failure.  So, let’s dive into the process of market research. 
  • Purpose of Market Research

It won’t be wrong to say that conducting market research, or to be more precise, doing the market analysis is the backbone of every business. Thus, all startups should pay special heed to this important step and invest a good amount of effort and time to ensure they have enough information about the latest market trends and audience’s preferences to make informed decisions. You should know the hidden purpose behind conducting market research. The process is about gathering quantitative and qualitative data to assess the market’s structure and overall situation. The finding will help you gauge the likelihood of getting long-term benefits.  Once you have all the essential data beforehand, you can use statistical and mathematical tools to interpret the target market. The precise interpretation of the existing market size, chances of market expansion, market value, and the number of buyable and sellable products will help owners make informed decisions about launching and marketing a product or service in a particular market.  In addition to this, conducting rigorous market research will also allow startups to seize sustainable growth opportunities. The whole process of market analysis and research serves the purpose of market research perfectly. New startups should be well prepared to cover the basics, including content, SEO, marketing and sales operations, distribution, customer support, and service teams should be on the same page prior to making any strategic decision.  You should always write down the key provisions that you need to make sure that your startup’s operations will continue without any disruption. In case of any deviation from the proposed plan, you can always check the document to revise your strategies.
  • Industry Overview- Trends and Barriers 

Understanding the existing industry dynamics is crucial to developing a successful startup research plan. It is the step where trend jacking plays a pivotal role. You must have an eye for detail to view your niche’s latest marketing trends. All relevant information about your business needs and industry should be at your fingertips.  You should keep up with startup research reports, participate in industry-related seminars, conduct relevant market research surveys, attend webinars of gurus, and be a part of conferences and workshops to shape your understanding of new and upcoming trends within your niche. For this purpose, you can also use advanced tools to collect industry-specific data about marketing trends and new thriving businesses. Startup owners must leverage technological tools to get insight into major business operations to progress by leaps and bounds in the challenging landscape.
  • Market Segmentation

To efficiently do the market segmentation, startup owners must know their potential customer and buyer personas. You should be practical and embrace that not everyone will intend to buy your products. This is a critical prerequisite to work out your marketing segmentation strategy. Being the startup owner, you should know about the target audience before chalking out the segmentation plan.  If you want to carry out the marketing analysis without much hassle, developing buyer personas will be of great help. You need to gather relevant information about demographics, interests, locations, family trees, etc., to correctly create buyer personas. The set of information that you will have will help you get a rough estimate of your target audience.  Are you still not sure what the buyer persona is? It is actually a semi-fictional rendition of the potential customer base. You can carry out face-to-face interviews, phone calls, conduct online surveys, or use other online tools to gather the required information to develop buyer personas. Now is the right time to develop a practical market segmentation strategy to know which segment to target to get optimal results. You can use email marketing, social media marketing, paid marketing, drip marketing, content marketing, or other relevant tools to drive more traffic to your business. 
  • Market Needs

Everybody has an impending need that they need to satisfy by using a product or service. You should try to uncover a market opportunity and address customer’s needs through your product.  Suppose you got an amazing product, but no one is interested in buying it because there is no need for it among your target audience. You are more likely to end up losing all your money and time spent if you are targeting the wrong market segment.  When you choose to step into an already saturated market segment, you should think about why the customers will buy your products when there are already a lot of products available. Offering a feature that your counterparts don’t or marketing your products at reasonable prices can attract customers who haven’t build loyalty with other brands. Conduct comprehensive marketing analysis or audit to understand which will be the best market segment to target. Try to add value to other user’s experiences with your offerings. When you provide added value to the customers, you are actually on the way to getting a competitive edge over others. Include the five Ps of marketing (people, position, place, price, promotion) while jotting down the details about your target market. Smart and ingenious marketers tend to create the product’s need by utilizing proven tactics and value addition. Do remember that necessity is the mother of invention, and you must create the necessity to increase the demand for your product.
  • Competition

New startup owners should understand that the market is full of unprecedented challenges. Though healthy competition is a good sign, you should develop a plan to cope with the challenges. There is cut-throat competition in the industry as the audience is becoming more concerned about their experiences with a particular brand. That’s why doing comprehensive market research is crucial before entering the market to improve the chances of success. Nothing can beat the importance and advantages of comprehensive market research. It will go a long way to help you understand your competitors in a better way. You should set benchmarks to augment your startup, as doing so can help set your goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track the performance timely. Keep an eye on your competitors’ activities like how they are deploying technology, which tools they are using for product promotion, what type of content they are publishing, and their strategy to value the customers. Addressing these questions can bring fruitful results to the business. After you have set your sights on the competitors, devise and implement your marketing plans to achieve the goals. Strive to elevate your business to new heights of success by surpassing your competition. 

Wrapping Up!

Carrying out rigorous market research is of utmost importance for startups. It helps you make informed decisions and comes to play to launch your startup in a better way. All stakeholders should play their part in devising robust marketing and sales plan to ensure the startup’s smooth functioning. Though carrying out market research needs a lot of time and effort, the finding will guide you to develop a result-oriented framework to drive overall functioning to the startup. 

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