Market research

Researching your market helps you target your ideal customer, identify new market opportunities and improve your sales performance.

Successful businesses make regular market research the foundation of their marketing and sales planning. You can develop strong marketing strategies based on what you find out about your products and services, your customers, your competitors, your industry and the challenges in your marketplace.

Market research can also help you identify areas of your business that could be updated or changed.

It's important to clearly define your market research goals so that you can give yourself the best chance of finding accurate and useful results.

When conducting market research, it's also important to be aware of the availability of data for your industry, the credibility of the source, the sample sizes used in the research, the relevance to your business and currency of data. If there are limits to the data available, this may be due to a combination of size of the industry, geography, and size of turnover.

This guide explains market research methods—including primary, secondary, quantitative and qualitative research—and shows you how to research your market.