To understand how your business is positioned in your industry and your market, you need to do some thorough investigating and data analysis. This can be a time-consuming process involving lots of focus groups and one-on-one discussions. And many businesses just don’t have the time or resources to take all that on. But there’s good news - market research software has gotten increasingly sophisticated and accessible for businesses of all sizes. In fact, there are now so many different kinds out there that choosing the right marketing research software can be a challenge. You need to know what you’re trying to achieve and what qualities you should look for, and that’s no small task.
That’s why we’ve created this guide to choosing the right market research software - so you know everything before you invest time and money into a purchase.
What is Market Research?
Market research is a big buzzword that’s often tossed around in a vague way. “Let me do some market research on that,” you might hear a marketing consultant say. But what exactly does that mean?
Simply put, market research is a process where you examine your industry’s buyers, the products those buyers desire, and where they’re getting those products right now. Businesses use this kind of research to figure out the best place to position themselves in the market and to predict what the market might look like in the future.
Often, businesses are left to guess how much buyers enjoy their products or services. And new businesses sometimes don’t quite know how buyers will react to what they offer - they just start selling and hope that things work out. But developing and marketing products and services doesn’t need to be a guessing game if you do careful market research.
What is the Importance of Market Research to an Organisation?
Market research helps your business gain a deeper understanding of your potential buyers and why they make the purchase decisions they do. It can also help you gain a clear view of your overall industry and market so you know how to position yourself to stand out from the pack.
For businesses these days, it’s especially important to conduct market research. Buyers have more power than ever - they can easily go online and research everything about your products and your industry without having to speak to a sales rep or engage with your business.
And the competitive landscape in most industries is highly saturated. That means it’s harder for your business to break through to new customers, which you need to do if you want to grow. Even if you have developed the best product or service in your industry, marketing those can be a big challenge in a marketing-overwhelmed world.
The importance of marketing research to an organization is that it helps you figure out how to put all these different elements together so your business can be successful. It can help you develop the right products or services for your potential customers, sell those products the right way, and figure out how to grow in the future as well. It’s powerful stuff!
What Goes into the Market Research?
There are several features and objectives of marketing research, and all of them are important to gain a clear understanding of your market position and potential. Conducting thorough market research can help you narrow down your Ideal Customer Profile as well, so you get an in-depth look at exactly who your customers are, what they need, and what they want from your business. It also allows you to look at where those ideal customers are getting their information about your industry and products so you can focus your marketing efforts effectively.
Looking at current trends in your industry and among your buyers is also an important part of market research. This information will help you stay on top of any changes in what customers want and how they buy so you can continue to give buyers what they want. It will also allow you to ensure new products or services are being developed with the current trends in mind so you stay up to date with your competitors.
Finally, market research helps you determine what factors influence your target audience to make purchases and convert to customers. This is vital because you don’t just need to know what they’re looking for to find information - you need to know what exactly makes them flip that switch to become customers instead of remaining prospects.
How to Conduct Market Research?
There are many different ways to conduct your market research. Many companies dive into deep in-person conversations with their customers and potential buyers to understand what they want. Focus groups and one-on-one conversations can achieve many of the goals of market research, but they’re also very time-consuming and expensive to conduct.
There are many other options, however - market research software solutions can allow you to gather vital information about your customers and potential buyers at a lower cost and with less effort.
Choosing the Right Market Research Software
With plenty of options out there to conduct your market research, how can you pick the software options that are right for you? Here are a few simple steps to take to narrow down your options so you can make the right choice.
Establish Your Goals.
Conducting market research can be pretty broad, so it helps to decide on a specific focus. Are you looking to do a detailed analysis of your competitors? Decide on your own market positioning to stay aligned with current trends? Creating detailed buyer personas? There are different tools for each goal, so focusing on one goal at a time can make your search simpler.
Decide on a Budget.
If you’re a small business with a small budget, don’t worry - there are plenty of low-cost options for market research as well, and even a few free ones. But deciding on your budget upfront helps you sort through your options according to what you’ve decided to spend right now.
Do Your Research.
Now that you know what you need, you can begin the search for software products that fill those needs. You can start with a basic Google search to look at your options, or talk to others in your market or industry to see what tools they use and love.
Take Product Tours.
Purchasing software these days has gotten easier and easier - most software vendors will now offer you a free trial or a product demo so you can see exactly how easy (or complicated) it is to use. Before you plunk down any cash on a promising piece of software, take it for a test drive to see how it integrates with your existing systems and what kind of data it provides. If that lines up with your goals, you’re good to go ahead and purchase.
Top Market Research Softwares
Don’t be overwhelmed with the amount of market research software options available - start your search with these top options instead.
Understanding customer and prospect needs are easy with SurveyMonkey’s sophisticated array of survey types. You can gauge current customer satisfaction with Net Promoter Score surveys, ask prospects who declined to purchase why they made that decision, and much more with their survey tools.
This is one of the top tools used by corporate researchers for behavior analysis, ad testing, competitive benchmarking, and much more. Qualtrics even offers a free tool that tells you the ideal sample size for any survey you’d like to conduct to get the best data.
A powerful free tool, Google Trends helps you keep on top of news, opinions, and perceptions that affect how your brand is perceived. You can also get keyword-related and geographic data about Google’s users so you can inform your own online marketing strategy.
Doing market research on the fly is easy with the GrowthBar Chrome browser extension. It allows you to see critical data points on your competitors with just a click, and also to see any growth channels or keywords that are working well for them. This can unlock new ideas for marketing approaches for your business.
Creating surveys that feel more like natural conversations with your audience is simple with Typeform. You can create inviting, elegant surveys and quizzes that live on your website to get data and information from your customers and audience to gain market insights.
Facebook Audience Insights
Facebook is a powerful tool for marketers - but it’s not just great for creating ads. It also lets you conduct market research with their Audience Insights tool. You can get detailed information on the demographics, interests, and lifestyles of both people who like your business page and Facebook users at large so you can target your growth efforts and marketing more effectively.
With a vast array of marketing research platforms available to businesses these days, picking the one that’s right for your business right now isn’t simple. But with a little knowledge and a solid research plan, you can pick one (or many) tools that will help you understand your market, your customers, and your industry at a deeper level. And that’s exactly how you get the business growth you need.