The consumer is at the centre of any effort made by a business. The key goal usually is to win more consumers and create an army of loyal followers. To grow and scale a business successfully, it is important to have the right understanding of consumers. Spending time, effort, and resources in understanding consumers can help a business establish a robust marketing structure.
As they say, you can only improve what you understand. Consumer research can help a business provide useful insights into the behaviour and expectations of consumers. Consumer research can prove to be an important weapon in improving the quality of products or services being offered by the business.
Here is all we need to know about consumer research and why it is important for a business:
What is Consumer Research?
Consumer research is the process of identifying the motivation, preferences, expectations, attitudes, challenges and buying behaviour of the target consumer. A business needs to understand more details about the target consumer so that it can come up with relevant products and services matching the needs. Also, the business can create various segments and buyer personas that can be used to create specific campaigns.
Consumer research is important for improving the product-market fit and running successful marketing campaigns. Surveys, focus group discussions are interviews are some of the common customer research methods that are used by businesses.
Methods of Consumer Research
Consumer research in marketing can be undertaken by a variety of methods. Some of the popular methods of consumer research are as follows:
Under this method, companies get in touch with the customers and ask them questions about the various aspects of the brand and the product or service. Conducting face-to-face, virtual or telephonic interviews with real customers can be a time-consuming task for a business. However, the insights that can be derived from these interactions are invaluable.
Surveys are among the most commonly used method for customer research. Surveys do not offer the same level of detailed insights as interviews but they are simple that do not need a lot of time commitment from customers. As a result, surveys are easy to undertake and can help companies that have a large consumer base.
The use of analytics for consumer research is very different from surveys or interviews. Analytics are used to observe consumer behaviour rather than focusing on what the consumer is saying. The customer-reported behaviour can be important in identifying how they are interacting with the brand. It is also helpful in understanding the challenges that consumers are facing. Analytics is mostly used on digital properties like websites, social media, etc.
Review mining is not one of the most preferred but one of the most powerful methods of consumer research. It involved analyzing reviews of the competitors to understand what consumers in a category are looking for. This method of consumer research helps provide qualitative data to improve the quality level of a product or service. It is mostly useful for businesses that offer digital products.
Importance of Consumer Research
Businesses are expected to have a clear understanding of the expectations and challenges of a consumer. In the modern trade ecosystem where consumers are bombarded with various choices with a shrinking attention span, a business needs to understand the mindset of the consumer. Here is why consumer research is important for a business:
Improvement in offerings
The sales numbers are mostly focused on what has already happened. On the other hand, consumer research helps a business understand how the brand and its products or services are perceived by the end customer. Accordingly, the business can improve its products or services to gain more consumers.
Improved brand positioning
In the age of data-driven marketing, it can get overwhelming for a business to rely on information from structured or unstructured sources. Businesses can make decisions based on information from the data collected. On the other hand, customer research helps in getting first-hand information from the end consumer. As a result, customer research can be used to develop or strengthen brand identity and positioning in the market.
Building future strategy
A business must spend some time understanding the consumers. It helps avoid costly mistakes that are realized much later in the absence of consumer research. A customer-centric approach can help a business come up with the right messaging and marketing strategy for business growth.
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