“Profit in business comes from repeat customers.” – W. Edward Deming
In the quest to make its venture a success, many businesses actively focus on earning profit for profit’s sake from its products or services. While revenue is an essential part of any commercial endeavor worth its salt, it would be unwise to forget the one element that keeps any company’s cogs moving — the customer. A business’ success — in fact, its very existence — depends on repeat and potential customers consistently choosing it over its competitors. But this isn’t as easy as it sounds.
To make sure that your customers keep coming back, it’s important to lend your ears to their wants. Here are the 5 different ways of conducting market research that will help you get to the answer faster.
Step 1: FGD – Focus, Grasp, Develop
Invite your audience to a Focus Group Discussions (FGD), a traditional market-research method rumored to have been established in the late 1930s. Through form of primary research provides a qualitative perspective of what your target audience actually thinks of your latest offering — whether it’s something as small as a change in ingredient, or as large as your campaign idea.
Step 2: Survey to Stay Ahead
The simplest way you can hear from a larger audience is by carrying out online surveys through websites such as SurveyMonkey and Zoho, or just good ol’ Google Forms. These portals use subjective and objective questions to elicit your potential customers’ feedback or opinions on your brand.
A great example of this is Apple’s ‘Customer Pulse’ team – a group of in-house researchers who conduct surveys and provide insightful consumer analyses to Apple’s famed design team. These designers, in turn, leverage the information to create products that have been credited with reading users’ minds.
Step 3: Interview the Viewer
It’s a no-brainer that conducting face-to-face interviews are your best bet to truly study your audience. This method allows you to carry out qualitative research on your customers and put a finger on their pulse. On the flip side, this also goes a long way in improving your brand image, as interviewed customers feel valued and privileged.
Step 4: Boost Your Social Potential
Today, branding is largely represented on social media — making your online footprint as important as your offline one. By asking the right questions in the right manner on the interwebs/online, you can gain more insights into how your potential customer perceives your brand, if they like the campaigns you are running, or what they feel you should be doing. These initiatives also help you add new subsets to your existing market segmentation, and increase your product’s reach.
Step 5: Watch Your Competition
By keeping a vigil eye on what your competition is doing, you can drastically cut down on your research time and save on expensive yet redundant strategies. However, be warned. While performing competitive analyses and secondary market research are healthy, relying wholly on these can prove risky for your brand at times.
For instance, back in the ’70s, Pepsi conducted a campaign called ‘Pepsi Challenge’, where people were asked to taste disguised Pepsi and Coca Cola drinks and pick their favorite. Surprisingly, most preferred Pepsi and consequently, their sales shot up.
Not to be outdone, Coca Cola mimicked this strategy and challenged people to pick their favorite. Unfortunately for Coca Cola, most consumers still liked Pepsi — resulting in their sales dipping considerably!
Every day, a new brand adds to the growing list of competitors vying for your customers’ attention. In the midst of this jumble, what matters most is being aware of how your audience perceives you — which can only be gained by listening to what they say or don’t say about you. We trust these tricks of the trade will help you build a brand for the ages!