You’re getting ready to introduce a new product or service – or maybe you’re preparing to change up one of your current offerings. Either way, it’s time for a deep dive into your customers’ preferences and your competitors’ product lines.
Conducting effective market research is easy! Here’s how to target the right customers for your research, boost survey participation with incentives, and easily test out new product designs.
Outline Buyer Personas
You’ll build your market research plan around certain buyer personas that represent the customers you’re trying to reach. To define a buyer persona, SocialMediaToday recommends outlining their personal demographics, professional background, their goals and challenges, values and fears, and where they get the information that informs their purchasing behavior.
Recruit High-Quality Survey Participants
Once you’ve developed buyer personas based on the customer segments you want to include in your research strategy, it’s time to write up questions for surveys or small focus groups. Check out survey samples first to ensure that your questions are well-written – vague, unfocused questions might not help you get the data you want.
Next, think about how to reach the type of customers that fit your buyer personas. You need to reach these customers where they are and make sure that your surveys hone in on their pain points. To recruit high-quality participants, Optimal Workshop recommends determining how many people you’ll need to survey, setting criteria to screen out customers who aren’t a good fit, and facilitating recruitment efforts using the channels that your target customers already use. If you’re struggling to recruit participants, you could consider working with a participants recruitment service.
Offer Enticing Survey Incentives
If you want your customers to invest their time and energy into completing your surveys, you need to offer them something in return. For example, you could send out cash rewards, gift cards, or prepaid cards to customers who complete your surveys. Alternatively, you could give out charitable donations in your participants’ names. Incentives are worth the investment, as you’ll be able to increase participation rates and glean more valuable responses.
Conduct a Competitive Analysis
In addition to surveying your own customers, you’ll have to research your competition, too. To conduct a competitive analysis, Asana recommends comparing your own company’s products and services, current and forecasted market share, sales, and revenue, prices, marketing strategies, and customer ratings with your competitors. Find out where your company stands out and where your weaknesses lie. Then, you can make changes to help your business pull ahead.
Make Targeted Product Changes
You’ve gathered and analyzed valuable feedback from your customers, and you’ve uncovered a few details that could be giving other businesses a competitive edge over your products. Now, it’s time to leverage this data and implement concrete product updates. If you’re changing a physical product, you can test out alternate materials, textures, and designs with a 3D texturing tool to determine whether this is a good fit. You’ll also be able to explore a wide range of color palettes, enabling you to play with different combinations of hues and find the right color scheme to suit your customers’ tastes.
As an entrepreneur, you need to stay on top of new developments in your niche before launching products. But if you don’t gather robust, accurate data, your research won’t necessarily yield the returns you’re looking for. With these tips, you can learn more about your competitors, prompt customers to answer your surveys, and conveniently try out different product aesthetics.
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