If you’re thinking about launching a new product or service soon, there are some key steps to go through behind the scenes before you start shouting about it. This post will explore why market research is important when you’re launching a new product or service. Plus, we’ve included some tips for how you can conduct market research for your small business when you’re launching something new.
What do we mean by ‘market research’?
Market research is the process you go through to check how viable your new idea is. It’s about getting out from behind your desk or computer and actually speaking to your prospective customers about what they need or want.
The aim of your market research should be to:
- Check that there is actually a need or desire for your new product/service
- Check that you’re aiming your new product/service at the right target audience
- Get a sense of the price people will be willing to pay (although be careful not to rely too heavily on what your market research participants say – more on this later!)
- Understand more about your target audience buying behaviours
- Find out what problem your product/service really solves to inform your campaign messaging. This may be different to what you think!
- Identify any specific challenges that you may need to overcome and other factors, such as seasonality. Maybe you’ll only be able to sell your new product/service at certain times of the year.
Why is market research important (AKA, can’t I just skip this bit)?
Market research can feel tedious to do when you’re so excited to jump right in with a new idea. But it’s crucial that you don’t skip this step. By taking the time to speak to the real people who you think will buy your new product/service, you’ll gain huge insights into how best to market and sell it.
The big advantage of market research is that it’s the quickest way to find out if your product or service is at all viable. Remember, if you do your market research calls and the overwhelming response is that it’s not something people need or want, this is your first warning sign to rethink what you’re launching. And while it might hurt to hear that, it’s going to save you a huge amount of time and money in the long run.
Assuming people do want to buy your new product/service (in principal), then market research is important because it has validated your offer. Which gives you more confidence to go ahead and implement your plans knowing there is some level of demand in the market. You’ll also be able to use your market research notes as a source of inspiration for the content you’ll create to promote your new product/service.
Tips to get the most from research calls
- Go in with an open mind. Don’t make assumptions!
- Ask open questions and listen. Try to get your market research participants to speak freely and don’t be afraid of silence while they’re thinking about their answers.
- Make sure you speak to enough people. The more people you can speak to, the clearer it will be how viable your product or service is. Aim for a minimum of 10-15 people.
- Try to segment audience groups. So you can work out which target market your new product/service will serve best and which industries or sectors to start with.
- Block out some time in your diary for these calls and stick to it. Try to batch your market research calls so you don’t get distracted and can give it your full attention.
- Be prepared. Prepare a set of key questions in advance and record all answers in a document so you can easily access the information as you launch.
- Keep market research calls short and sweet. We’d recommend a maximum of 30 minutes – be respectful of people’s time and make sure they know how long it’s going to take before they sign up to participate.
- Offer to give something back for free as a thank you for participating. A little bit of free advice goes a long way as a thank you for all the help they’ve given you! Not only does it show your gratitude, but you can also use this as a way of encouraging people to take part in your market research calls.
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