Market demand drives consumption. Understanding the market place is essential to crafting your competitive advantage, products/services and pricing. Consumers purchase solutions to problems that fulfill their perceived needs and desires. As a regular practice, businesses must do relevant market research. For small business, market research should include interviewing existing customers, prospective customers and directors of industry/professional organizations. From these three sources a company can gather specific information to formulate the essential elements needed to meet market demand.
Every company must have a regular process for collecting important information to drive the direction of the business? An honest review will reveal that most businesses have built products and services based upon its expertise, experience and gut instinct. Without market research, these are only the best guesses as to what products and services meet market demand. So, put a market research process in place and start interviewing people immediately. Don’t forget to keep track of the data collected for analysis. The results you collect will provide you with the knowledge needed to fulfill market demand and perceived needs.
Here are 12 questions every business should ask as part of a grass roots market research system:
For existing clients:
- Describe what makes us different from similar companies in the market place?
- Describe the real benefits you receive as a result of using our products and services?
- Describe what problems we solve for you or your company?
- Describe what you would like to receive from us that you currently are not receiving?
For prospective clients:
- What are the top 3 problems (in the area of your expertise), issues or challenges you face?
- What is the chance you will solve these problems without seeking outside help?
- What products and services would you most likely seek to purchase to solve your problems?
- Describe the experience you prefer when engaging these types of products?
For industry/professional organizations
- In our industry, describe the top 3 problems, issues or challenges faced by the market place?
- What are the top 3 trends you see for our industry?
- Who are our top 3-5 competitors in our sector?
- What are the most viable solutions to market demand?
Every business is unique in many ways. So, you will need to craft these questions based upon your company culture. As you collect information, pay particular attention to specific words people use to describe their perceived needs and desires. Equipped with this knowledge you be able to recraft your brand promise, the client experience and messages that help you win more business.