If you love surprises, like your bestie’s birthday, you’ll love market research. A new pattern will pop out at you, crying, “Look at me. Act on me. Make lots of money.” Who doesn’t like these eye-openers? But market research is even better than your bestie’s birthday. Why? Let’s see.
You’ll gain not one, but hundreds, even thousands of besties to gift.
Steve Mariotti (2019) says, “Market research … will help you figure out who your potential customers are, what they want, and how to reach them and get them excited about your business” (19%). Market research sounds just like buying a gift for your bestie: what gift would she love so much that she’s excited every time you call? Oh, who doesn’t love making a bestie happy. So, meet your new besties: your customers. Yes, not just one bestie, but many.
You can give the best gift—your product or service—to your besties.
The well-thought-out benefits behind your product are like birthday gifts. Every great gift takes some thought, right?
Maybe your gift (your product) is perfume. The benefit might be your bestie attracts true love. Or maybe your gift is editorial services. The benefit might be your bestie looks like a talented writer.
Go right to the heart of your bestie. You want to make her happy, don’t you?
You can learn so much about all your compatible besties.
But you don’t just want any bestie. You want a compatible friend—lots of them. “The goal of market research is to identify your unique target market—the group of customers most likely to want to buy your product or service—and learn about them” (Mariotti, 2019, 19%).
So, what all can you learn about your new gang of besties? Steve Mariotti (2019) says you can learn the following: “(1) Demographics: Demographics are social and economic facts about customers such as age, gender, marital status, family size (number of children), education, occupation, annual income, and whether they own a home or rent …. (2) Geographics: Basing market segments on where consumers live or where businesses are located is called geographics …. (3) Psychographics: Psychological characteristics of customers, such as their attitudes, opinions, beliefs, interests, personalities, lifestyles, political affiliations, and personal preferences, are called psychographics” (20%).
With market research, you can even learn whether your bestie dressed up as Kung Fu Panda on her tenth birthday. And you can buy her the Kung Fu Panda DVDs for her twentieth. But wait! She’s too old for Kung Fu Panda flicks, right? Market research will let you know.
You can ensure you remain the bestie by finding your competitive advantage.
You never–ever—want your bestie to find a better friend. You’ve got to be her number one. So, what makes you amazing? Dig in and name it. Maybe you’re loyal, or generous, or kind, or friendly, or nurturing. These traits are your competitive advantage: “Your competitive advantage is the one benefit you can deliver better than the competition …. Not sure what your competitive advantage is? Investigate the competition, and it will come to you. Get out there and gather some competitive intelligence—information that will help you compare your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses with your own” (Mariotti, 2019, 20%).
How do you perform market research on your besties? Try surveys or focus groups. You can conduct “a simple survey of friends and neighbors, which can be completed in one day, to detailed statistical studies of a large population over a long period of time” (Mariotti, 2019, 20%).
You can also arrange a focus group to test your competitive advantage: “Before launching your business, try using a focus group to test your product or service. A focus group is a small group of people from a target market who give feedback about products so changes can be made before the products are launched” (Mariotti, 2019, 21%).
So, why is market research better than your bestie’s birthday? Because market research helps you gain hundreds, even thousands, of besties in the form of customers. You can give them the best gifts—your product—through market research. You can learn the good stuff about your besties’ lives and passions. And market research can draw out your finest traits—your competitive advantage. Combine your finest traits with thousands of besties, and you’ve got a business more fun than your besties birthday.