WHY STUDYING YOUR MARKET IS IMPORTANT
In business, you conceive, develop, and refine your products and services. You do everything you can to make your offering as compelling and useful to a potential customer as it can be. You need to make sure that you are prepared to meet the demands and opportunities of your market.
How does this apply to starting and running your business? The success of your product or service not only depends on its quality but also on how well it matches the needs of your market. Moreover, because “market” is such a multifaceted concept, the manner in which your product or service “meets the needs” of your market will be multifaceted as well. How can you determine the closeness of the match? You guessed it: by studying and understanding the market in which you will compete. The research you do on your market—commonly called “market research” in business circles—is your insight on the business environment in which you hope to participate.
One way to approach your market research is through the “four Ps” of marketing. They are:
- Product – What is your product or service? Product design, sizes, warranties, features, and quality are just a few of the items that go into defining your product. Seek to understand not only what product features are important to your target market, but why. • Price – How much will a customer pay for your product or service? Be sure to consider what the target market’s perceived value of your product or service is. If the value is too low, then your product will not be adopted.
- Placement – How will you get your product into the hands of your customers? This is often referred to as your distribution channel. From a bricks and mortar store to an online presence, knowing how to conveniently provide your target market will what you are selling will add utility to customers.
- Promotion – How will you communicate and increase awareness for your product and service? Social media, print, public relations, and sales promotions are just a few of the ways to get the word out. By understanding the best ways to get the word out to your target market will help you effective use your marketing dollars.
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