How to Do Small Business Market Research Due Diligence

The Advantage of Information

What can a market research firm do for you? Quite a bit, actually. In a nutshell, market research firms provide you with information ??? information that, when used correctly, can be the key to developing a deeper understanding of your customers, innovating to meet their needs, predicting and managing calculated risks, and knowing your competition. With all that you and your business stand to gain from this kind of information, retaining the services of a market research firm can and should be considered a wise investment.

Any company looking to develop a deeper understanding of their customers would do well to invest in market research. Why? Because the information gained from market research can be used to increase customer loyalty, influence consumer behavior and strengthen brand equity. Accessing your customers’ points of view ??? and seeing your brand, product or service offerings through their eyes ??? can help you understand the rationale behind lost business while giving you the innovative tools necessary to gain new business. Innovation is borne of information. With the right information about your consumer base, you can easily gain a first-mover advantage to capture new and emerging markets while increasing your current market share.

Another key advantage of market research is risk management. With the right information about your customers, you can predict and manage calculated risks across a number of different channels. With regard to brand positioning, market research empowers you to grow your customers’ conceptual value of your brand, product or service. Within the realm of pricing strategies, information gleaned from market research can enable you to create price points that are directly in line with your consumer’s discretionary income. And when it comes to market segmentation, research can dictate how you tailor your products to the appropriate segment.

A crucial advantage to be gained from market research is knowledge of your competition. Research enables you to effectively canvass the industry in order to develop an internal benchmark of your company’s performance versus others in your sector. Research can also reveal your competitors’ core weaknesses, against which you can hone critical strengths.

While the potential advantages of market research are clear, finding the right firm can be a challenge. All market research companies have their specialties, so you would do well to investigate the competitive advantages that separate one firm from the next. These range from quality and quantity of clientele to gradations of analysis to custom versus bulk data options.

The ultimate value of market research comes down to this: At the end of the day, you need validated information about your consumers that’s based on real-world evidence. By enabling you to hone your brand, product or service in accordance with market demands, this critical information provides you with the means to better shape market opportunities. The right market research firm can give you the tools to evaluate strategies for critical decision-making processes that will determine your company’s present and future share of market.

About the Author: Gareth Schweitzer is the Founding Partner of Kelton Research ( Kelton Research is a full service customer insights company with offices in Los Angeles and New York, and is America’s fastest growing market research firm.

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