Customer Segmentation, Feasibility Studies, Market Share Estimation, Desk Research, Demand Supply Analysis and Forecasting, U & A, Diagnostic Research, Customer Insights
U & A Studies
A usage and attitude study (also U and A, U&A) is a valuable tool for understanding the marketplace appeal of a product and the opportunities for sales within a targeted consumer group. Usage and attitude studies focus on the frequency of product use, frequency of product purchase, attitudes towards merchandise in terms of strengths and weaknesses and features an item lacks that would be desirable. These studies also include questions relating to the respondents attitudes towards the brand selling the product in terms of loyalty and brand image. Though traditionally associated with physical goods, usage and attitude studies are equally useful for companies with a service-based offering.
Segmentation is a valuable tool for identifying different groups of purchasers in a market in order to target specific products and services for each group or segment.
By tailoring the offering (communication, product, channel, price) to different groups companies are able to more precisely meet the needs of more customers and consequently to gain a higher overall level of share or profit from a market.
The process of segmentation starts with research and market analysis to identify key segments. However the findings of the research are just the start. To be successful, implementing a segmentation strategy involves aligning the organization to deliver appropriately for each segment and there are real business issues to be considered because each segment requires investment if it is to be properly addressed.
Ad/Concept evaluation is a valuable tool to test the effectiveness of Ad/Concept, before launching an Ad/Concept to the market. Through research with target customer, we can measure how well the Ad/Concept will be received in the market by the target customer group, so that before rolling it out, the Ad/Concept can be customized to the specific target customers.
After all the most creative Ads/concepts are not the most succesful, but the ones that touch you emotionally are more effective. Our decisions are emotional, though we tend to argue that it’s rational. For example a bikini clad babe relaxing on yatch for a beachfront property might be well received by certain target customers, for customers in certain regions it might not be eye candy.
Brand tracking allows a company to keep track of how it is doing in the marketplace relative to a set of pre-defined points of differentiation. These points are different for every brand, as every brand stresses different aspects and appeals to different consumers. Through regular tracking, it is possible to see how badly or well a company is doing relative to previous performance; more detailed methodologies may also suggest reasons for these changes.
Desk research, or secondary research, is any intelligence or data that already exists. While it may not be able to answer specific questions, desk research can provide you with a lot of extremely useful information, much of it for free. Many organizations resort to primary research to gather data, which might be existing within the company information sources like sales reports, customer transactions etc. However conducting desk research is one of the most difficult functions in Market Research as the Researcher has to think out of the b ox many a times, when secondary data is not easily available.
Qualitative research is about finding out not just what people think but why they think it. It’s about getting people to talk about their opinions so you can understand their motivations and feelings. Sessions may be conducted in person, by telephone, via videoconferencing and via the Internet.
What can qualitative research tell you?
1. What customers or prospects think and feel about your product or service
2. How customers choose between different products or suppliers; what motivates them
3. How branding, design and packaging influence customers and in what way
4. What sort of marketing messages have the most impact and what turns customers off completely
5. How price affects their decision-making
6. Whether there is demand for a new product or service
Qualitative research is about getting people to expand on their answers so that you can get more insight into their attitudes and behaviour. It’s all about getting underneath people’s responses to find out what is driving their decisions.
Customer Feedback Research
Customer feedback is paramount when determining a customer's needs and tastes, particularly when a business introduces new products. Companies conduct focus groups, in-person research or customer phone surveys to determine the product features, flavors or styles that consumers want. Customer feedback helps companies determine what's important to their customers. ."Without customer feedback, a company could not possibly meet the product needs of the consumer. Consequently, it’s products would likely fail in the marketplace.
Customer feedback can manifest itself in evaluating how company employees treat customers. Customer service satisfaction surveys are a common type of marketing research. Companies can determine through surveys whether customers are getting their questions answered and problems resolved. Additionally, a company can determine if some customer service reps are being rude to customers, especially if the topic of rudeness comes up frequently during the surveys.
Customer feedback is especially important when a company surveys lost customers to determine why customers no longer are buying its products. The goal of the survey becomes finding out if there is anything the company can do to win a customer's business back. For example, a company that sells bill-paying software may call thousands of lost customers to determine why they stopped using the product. The company may discover that customers do not like paying $19.95 per month for 10 features, when most use only two or three features; they may prefer a multitier pricing structure.
Customer feedback also is important in detecting certain technological trends among consumers. For example, a new competitor in the market may introduce new and improved technology that potentially threatens the older technology a company sells. If customers indicate they would prefer and buy this technology, the company will need to consider switching to the new technology.
Market Feasibility Studies
A market feasibility analysis is used to determine what type of business or industry would be most appropriate for a specific location. This analysis use several tools to determine feasibility:
Demographic and Market Analysis provides analysis of demographic trends that are occurring in a particular market area. The market area is usually based on driving distances to reflect market accessibility (five minute drive time, 10 minute drive time, etc.) from a particular location point. The demographic analysis will provide key inferences on demand changes occurring in the market. The analysis will include demographic indicators such as age, educational attainment levels, and income levels. Various sources are used for this analysis.
Industry Analysis examines and identifies industries trends that are presently occurring in the market place. It provides an employment profile by industry to show labor force growth. This piece will help identify what industries are most appropriate for the area by estimating industry supply and industry competition. Various sources are used for this analysis.
Retail Sales Gap Analysis focus on purchasing trends of the existing population within a market area and whether there is an opportunity for new retail to capture a portion of the existing market. The gap analysis examines local sales data, comparing existing retail sales to the retail potential of the study area’s population to determine the types of goods and services that are over- or under-represented in the area. Sales leakage, or demand for goods and services that is not being met locally (because residents are shopping for such goods and services elsewhere), may represent an added opportunity for new business to grow. Sales surpluses, where retail sales are higher than what would be anticipated given the local population, indicate that the area is attracting a consumer base beyond local residents. Data sources for this analysis include public and private vendor sources.
Environmental Feasibility Analysis evaluates the category of business with its potential impact upon traffic, wetlands and other significant natural resources. Various sources are used for this analysis.
Employee Satisfaction Survey`
Employee satisfaction or job satisfaction is, quite simply, how content or satisfied employees are with their jobs. Employee satisfaction is typically measured using an employee satisfaction survey. These surveys address topics such as compensation, workload, perceptions of management, flexibility, teamwork, resources, etc.
Customer Satisfaction Survey
An effective customer satisfaction survey has 5-10 questions that relate to the service delivery, customer experience and overall satisfaction.
The purpose of this type of survey is to gauge how satisfied your customers are. A happy customer is extremely valuable to your company. Happy customers come back and make repeat purchases; they have higher customer lifetime values and are less likely to defect to competitors.
On the flipside, an unhappy customer is a nightmare. They are more likely not to continue to buy from you, and even worse, they tell lots of people about their bad experience. A study by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.
Customer satisfaction surveys help you identify the overall level of satisfaction and assist with finding your happiest and unhappiest customers. Feedback from a survey gives you the opportunity to follow up with your happiest customers (to turn them into advocates), and your unhappiest customers (to fix problems and retain their business).
The most effective customer satisfaction surveys use rating scales. Asking customers to answer questions on a rating scale of 1-10 means you can track satisfaction over time. This helps when you want to measure changes in satisfaction to see if the initiatives you implemented have had a positive or negative impact on satisfaction.
Additionally, surveys should be personalized and branded, so that customers know what they are filling out. They should be accessible across all web, tablet and mobile devices. These strategies have been proven to increase survey response rates so you can get more customer feedback.
The end goal of a customer satisfaction survey is to get actionable customer feedback that you can use to improve the overall customer experience. The best companies in the world focus heavily on creating amazing customer experiences. To create amazing experiences, you first need to measure and track customer satisfaction. Surveys are the best way to do that.
Analyzing economic concepts such as supply and demand helps both individuals and small business better assess market conditions when making everyday decisions. Decisions ranging from those related to deciding what to purchase at the supermarket to those involved in assessing production levels can all be influenced by a greater understanding of these concepts.
New Product Research
Product testing is not just about behind-the-scenes R&D, it's about making sure your product is developed in a way that meets the needs of your customers
Done well, product research lets you understand what customers really want, allowing you to tailor your product offering to meet demand and giving you a real competitive edge.
New product research helps you refine product design and features before committing yourself to expensive product development costs. Regular product testing and market research can drive innovation over time, keeping you one step ahead of the competition.
Product research is a vital part of new product development. At every stage of the process, product research can help you identify key issues and avoid expensive mistakes.
Initial product research can be used to evaluate new ideas. Testing a concept can help you discard unpromising ideas, allowing you to concentrate investment of time and money on products with the best chance of achieving commercial success. It's also well worth creating a "minimum viable product", a simple version that you can use to get customer feedback at the earliest possible stage.
As the new product development process continues, market research helps you identify the key factors that matter to customers - showing you what to focus on. Product research can inform other aspects of marketing. For example, it can help you assess how much customers might be willing to pay for new product features. Research can also be used to test other aspects of product design, such as product packaging or names.
In the retail sector, product research can be invaluable. The findings can help convince retailers to stock your product and also present information on the best ways to display and promote a product to maximize sales. It's also worth talking to retailers at an early stage of development as their experience and knowledge can be invaluable.
Once a product has been launched, product research often focuses on customer satisfaction. Together with research into competing products, product research like this can help you refine the marketing of existing products and inspire ideas for product improvements.
A full market analysis provides a wide range of information to help you plan your marketing strategy. While simple data such as market size may help you decide whether the market is worth investing in, you also need to know how the market works: for example, the main distribution channels and the key market trends.
You need to understand what customers want and how they behave. For example, you might use consumer research or industry analysis to investigate which factors influence purchasing decisions. Research into competitors and what they are offering can help you identify where the best opportunities are and how you can differentiate your product or service. You can also use market research to establish the best sales and communication channels for your target audience.
If you serve a niche market or a defined geographical area, some data may only highlight the big picture but ignore important exceptions. For instance, while there are currently widespread closures in the UK pub industry as a whole, those offering good food and ambience in the right catchment area are doing well.
Market intelligence like this helps you identify different opportunities and industry trends and so decide which market segment to target. Once you've decided on your target market, research can also help you identify potential customers and the best way to approach them.
Industry research and market surveys tie in with research into your customers. For example, your own customer data should help you understand which market segments your existing customers fall into and what you should be doing to build market share.
If you don't have all the information you need, you may want to carry out additional customer research. For example, you might measure customer satisfaction to see how well you are performing, or survey lapsed customers to find out why they no longer purchase from you.