An Article by Jarrad Bayliss

What you need to find, where to look, and what to do with the results.

 

If someone told you to do some market research for your business, I’d dare say most people out there would hit the internet looking at ‘stuff’ that might be related to what they are selling, they might ask friends a few questions about their products/services and hope they give them the answers they want to hear, or maybe they’ll just stalk a few similar businesses on Social Media to see what they are up to (C’mon, we’ve all been guilty of that!).

But, none of these so-called research strategies are going to give you any REAL information to help attract the right customers who want to buy from you.

 

“But I have a great product.  Why do I need to spend time doing research anyway?”

 

The truth is that having a fantastic product or service is not a guarantee of success without first knowing why you offer this product, and who you are offering it to.  The bottom line is – if you don’t know what your customer wants, you’re never going to be able to solve their problems.

But it’s not just about understanding your customer – What about your competitors? Wider industry trends? Opportunities that you might not have thought about?

I come from an extremely strong analytical background and I can say with all honesty that so much of my success in business has come from EFFECTIVE Market Research.  As I like to say ‘it’s not what you do, but how you do it’ and conducting Market Research in the Wedding Industry is no different.

So here is my gift to you.  Download our Market Research Worksheet to help you put together a Market Research Plan that’s going to give your business a competitive advantage.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Create a clear list of questions that you want to know about the Industry, your Competitors and your Target Customer. For Example:
    • Where are my target customers located? What do they do for work?  What budget do they have?
    • Where are they most likely to find me?
    • Are there any industry trends I can leverage from?
    • Where do I fit in the market? Am I a market leader or are there other products/services out there like mine?
    • Is what’s already out there doing well or not? Why?
    • How much does a product like mine cost? Who else is selling it?
    • What’s my point of difference to my competition?
  2. Identify where you’re going to find out that information.  For example:
    • Online: Facebook Local Industry Groups and Forums, Google Keyword Search Terms, Google Search Results, Website visitor demographics, Trends on Instagram and Pinterest
    • In Person: Chatting to existing customers, talking to people you know in your target market, Industry Networking Events, Expos
    • Industry Data: Consumer Surveys
  3. Plan how you are going to collect the information you need in the most efficient and effective way
  4. Take each piece of information you’ve gathered, then ask yourself “So What?” Find out what this means for your business and products/services and how does it affect what you need to do in solving your customers problem.  What falls out of this column are your Market Research Gems!

How can I use the results?

 

The information you gather in working through your Market Research Worksheet will help you answer almost every question about developing and selling your product or service:

  • Is your current product or service meeting the needs of your target market? Do you need to tweak it?
  • How are you going to price it?
  • Have you uncovered an overlooked opportunity or gap in the market?
  • Who’s your biggest competition? Have you identified any opportunities for collaboration?  Who will be your biggest strategic alliances?
  • Is there someone out there doing exactly what you’re doing?  If so, how are you going to get the competitive advantage?
  • How are you going to market your product/service?
  • How will your target customer find you?
  • Will people like the name? The way it looks? What about the logo?

When I was in the Army, we had a saying – “Time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted” …in non-army speak = A well thought out Market Research plan is essential if you want to get the RIGHT information and then USE it to your advantage.  Doing this well can be the difference between exponential success and serious failure!

 

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