What's included in market research

Market research involves gathering information about your:

  • industry and market environment – to understand factors external to your business
  • customers – to develop a customer profile
  • competitors – to develop a competitor profile.

Researching the industry and market environment

Your research into industry and market factors should consider information about any political, legal, economic, environmental, social and cultural issues or trends that can affect your business.

You can then use this external research to gather information about the composition of your target market, gaps in the market, new market trends and where new market opportunities might lie.

Industry and market environment research might cover:

  • business regulations
  • market demographics (e.g. age, gender, income)
  • market size and trends
  • marketing channels
  • sociographics (e.g. beliefs and attitudes, interests, lifestyle factors).

Sources for researching industry and market

Researching customers

You can use customer research to gather information on who your customers or potential customers are and what, when, where and how they buy. Customer research can also give you valuable insights into your customers' attitudes towards your business and your products and services.

Customer research might cover:

  • customer demographics (e.g. age, gender, income)
  • social and lifestyle trends
  • needs and expectations
  • attitudes towards you and your competitors.

Sources for researching customers

Researching competitors

Your competitor research can gather information about existing and potential competitors – both direct and indirect. You can use your competitor research to gather information such as your competitor's current market advantages, weaknesses in their promotional strategies, and how their customers view their products and service.

Competitor research might cover:

  • current market share
  • pricing structures
  • products, services and/or experiences
  • marketing, advertising and branding.

Sources for researching competitors

  • The market research kit
  • Competitor marketing and advertising material, price lists
  • Businesses directories
  • Official offices such as licensing bodies
  • Competitor stores, websites and social media pages
  • Complaints blogs and chat sites
  • Past clients
  • Suppliers
  • Personal and staff observations
  • Competitor print and electronic mailing lists.

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