From primary to secondary, population to preferences or qualitative to quantitative; the thought of undertaking market research can be overwhelming. However, the benefits to providing a good grounding for business planning are well documented.
Market research is a key component in ensuring your organisation is headed in the right direction and vital to the success of a new product or service. Knowing there is a market for something may be the first step, but being able to back your intuition up with the right data will take you a whole lot further.
The internet has made access to data more open, but not necessarily easier to handle. A quick ‘Google’ of a subject can often give you information overload, and although throwing together an online survey is easy, you can often find yourself with incomplete information or a low participation rate. It is therefore important to look at what you want to know and follow an established structure when undertaking research.
Planning is essential and can help you from getting distracted, straying too far from your original purpose and avoid some common pitfalls that organisations face when conducting market research.
After all, you don’t want to end up like Leslie Knope…
Some things to think about when conducting your research
Some questions to ask yourself before starting your market research are:
- What is the purpose of the research?
- What are the main things that I need to find out?
- Who has the information I need?
- What is the best method of collecting that information?
- How well does published information fit my needs?
- How many people do I need to get information from?
- What does the end product of the research look like?
The answers to these questions will guide you through the research process and ensure you stay true to your goals.
Need some help answering these questions?
Help is at hand. The Scottish Government’s Just Enterprise programme provides free workshop access to qualifying social enterprises. ‘Market Research – A Beginners Guide’ will take you through the market research process debunking some of the technical terms, highlighting some of the key sources of data and the approaches to research commonly used in the third sector.
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This toolbox will give you hints and tips based on our expert advisers experiences of conducting market research on consultancy projects with CEIS. To book your place at the next workshop, click the button below.
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