What is the purpose of market research? How do you do market research? What are the best market research methods for your event agency?
Market research is one of the key steps in the construction of a project. However, it is often seen as a constraint, a waste of time… or even a necessary step in order to obtain financing.
Few future entrepreneurs understand the value of a real market study, probably because they have difficulty in detaching themselves from the ideal image they have of their business. Why try to find out more about the market when everything has already been decided?
However, the project leader must try to detach himself from his “dream” and start to be interested in the customer’s dream:
Far from wasting time, market research should save time by identifying as soon as possible the market potential, the most promising customer segments and the main customer expectations. The market study allows to reduce the risks and to mark out the construction of a relevant offer.
Definition: Market research consists of gathering and analyzing information in order to better understand a market and its stakeholders. In the end, the results of the market research must allow defining a strategic positioning adapted to the expectations of the targeted customers. The market study can be summarized in the business plan.
The objective is therefore to know the needs of the customers, either directly (by asking them questions or finding out about them) or indirectly (by asking questions or finding out from people in contact with them).
Finally, market research is not simply conducted to validate or invalidate an idea; it is above all a very good way to get in touch with future clients and partners to begin a lasting business relationship.
Here are the best methods of market research, by decreasing interest.
The business study consists of questioning professionals who intervene in the same type of activity. It is not a question of interviewing competitors but professionals working in a comparable market but in a different geographical area.
Market research method: Interview by telephone or face-to-face if possible. The aim is to ask the professional as many open questions as possible: type of clientele, characteristics, behavior, competition, the effectiveness of the means of communication used, obstacles encountered, tips and best practices, etc.
Advantages: The business study often provides precise and relevant information. Interviewing 2 or 3 professionals allows you to cross-check information and compare practices.
The study of the competition
Tell me the state of the competition and I will tell you the state of the market! Studying the competition consists of listing the professionals already established in the targeted market and in studying precisely their location, their area of intervention, their offer, their positioning, their price, their distribution method, and their communication policy. The study of competitors is often very informative.
Market research method: on-site or by phone. Analysis by field observation. Analysis of the notoriety. Study of the commercial discourse. Analysis of quantified results.
Advantages: The study of the competition allows you to calibrate your offer and to assume a clear positioning.
The study of suppliers
How to do a market study, continued with the study of suppliers. The study of suppliers is a good way to access the main characteristics of the market. Indeed, the suppliers, by their number, their establishment, their offer, their communication, and their prices, provide important information on the state and the dynamism of the market.
Market research method: Listing and supplier files, direct approach, analysis of the offer and the commercial discourse, direct questioning on the best sales, the best customers, the market trends…
The study of prescribers
A prescriber is an individual, a professional, or an institution that is likely to recommend the purchase of a product or a service. For example, a television salesman may refer his customers to an antenna installation company.
Referrers are often an excellent potential source of business. Identify the key influencers and see where a partnership could be established.
Study of potential customers by questionnaire
The questionnaire is the best-known market research method, but it is not necessarily the most effective. Indeed, it is often difficult to identify or interview a representative sample of potential customers, and to obtain relevant answers.
The study of potential customers by observation
The observational market research method consists of studying the behavior of potential customers in their environment, like a sociologist. The market research must be done invisibly: the subject of the study does not know that he is being observed.
For example, it consists of studying the traffic of passers-by or vehicles on a street, studying the path of customers in a store, and noting any particular, recurring or remarkable behavior.
The documentary study, or quantitative study, consists in collecting data from existing documentary bases (statistics, studies, Internet sites, specialized press, books, library collections…)