A definition first: A market is a group of customers (people or businesses) who may be interested in buying your product (goods or services.)
People research for the following reasons:
1. Researching a market in order to produce a product to meet a perceived need.
2. Discovering the size of the potential market for a product.
3. Discovering what people want.
4. Deciding how much people would be willing to pay.
5. Understanding what encourages people to buy.
6. Understanding why a product you have is not selling.
7. Discovering who your potential competitors are.
8. Understanding what your competitors are doing in the market.
9. Deciding the best way to launch your product on the market.
10. Finding a niche – or hole in the market – that you can satisfy with one of your products.
Once you have decided on what questions you want answering – there are two main market research methods – the direct and the indirect methods.
o Direct: You go directly to your potential customers and ask them a series of questions. This is expensive and you need a standard set of questions plus some work afterwards in order to review the results. Usually potential customers are contacted via questionnaires or surveys. This can be done face to face, by telephone or via your web site. This kind of research is better for qualitative research such as what reactions to a product are, would you buy if…. etc?
o Indirect: This is research on a topic – or question via the internet or via researching a particular database – such as the National Statistics etc. This kind of research is best for quantitative research – such as how many? Where they are? Etc.