Market Research VAMake smarter company decisions with the help of a Market Research Virtual Assistant.
What is Market Research?
Everyone’s heard the age-old adage “the customer is always right.” In business, in order to remain at the top, customers have to stay happy. Achieving a good level of customer happiness entails having to know your customers inside and out. A good business will know their customers’ wants and needs and always makes sure their customers feel loved and heard. This is just one of the most crucial aspects of market research.
Market research actually covers various subject matters relating to business. It takes the pulse of the entire environment of relevant business verticals. Apart from looking at customers, market research also looks into competitors and the general health of the industries relevant to the business and makes sure to put findings within the appropriate context.
Market research doesn’t just listen to your customers or your competitors in isolation. It works to put related pieces together for you to get a full view of your vertical, enabling you to formulate good marketing strategy, and overall better decisions. The importance of market research in any industry vertical is so high that according to Businesswire market research services was worth $75.8 billion in 2019, and is projected to be worth $74 billion in 2020, despite the economic impact of Covid-19.
This is why it’s important for business owners to set aside time and budget for market research. It’s not enough to just watch social media to get a feel for trends and insights. However, market research is a full time task, so hiring a research assistant, or a market research virtual assistant, is a must.
How Can a Market Research Virtual Assistant Work for You?
What is even a market research virtual assistant (VA), you may ask? A market research VA is an employee or contractor who can conduct the necessary research projects for you online or via phone. They can do practically everything a physical market research assistant can do, except conduct face-to-face interviews, focus groups, and meetings.
With today’s digitally focused world, market research virtual assistants are a very cost-effective alternative to hiring a full time in-house in-office employee. After all, even customer interviews and surveys, the traditional and still-core method of market research, can already be conducted virtually.
Hiring a market research VA can help you solve problems, keep track of your business and industry, and give you access to great insight at a fraction of the cost of an in-office employee. Not only are VAs cheaper than physical employees (no office space, utilities, or additional costs like insurance involved) looking into VAs can give you access to a global intelligent virtual assistant market as well.
How else can a market research virtual assistant work for you? With a market research VA, you no longer have to restrict yourself to your local talent pool. You can hire anyone with the relevant skills from anywhere in North America, or even reach across the world to the Asia Pacific region.
What Tasks Can a Market Research Virtual Assistant Do?
- Basic research training
Market research does not live in a vacuum. All output from research should be consumable by the different departments of the company, so they can fully digest the data within their specialized contexts. As such, market research virtual assistants should be able to do quick basic lectures about the principles and applications of market research, so that their work is better appreciated and more efficiently used. They don’t necessarily need to conduct training themselves, but should at least be able to identify and hire smart speakers to discuss the fundamentals of market research to your team.
- Sales forecasting and tracking
Market research virtual assistants can monitor current numbers and look at them vis-à-vis historical data. This way, they can not only compare current performance against the past, they can also look at slices of history to find out trends for a specific forecast period. This ability to see market trends and apply them in forecasts can guide sales and management decisions to be more efficient.
- Consumer research
Consumers are the core of all businesses. It’s important to make sure you understand the wants, needs, and habits of your potential customers so that you can both entice them to try your services and also retain their patronage. As such, consumer research is one of the core tasks of any market research professional, including market research VAs.
- Competitor research
The age old adage of “keep your friends close but your enemies closer” is still alive because it is almost always true, especially in business. In order to win and keep the hearts of more customers, businesses have to keep tabs on their competitors’ offerings and techniques, and act accordingly. From prices to marketing plans, market research VAs can help your business keep an eye on business rivals.
- Marketing and advertising effectivity reports
Businesses tend to spend a lot of time, effort, and money in marketing and advertising. This makes sense, because marketing is what grabs potential customer’s attention and builds brand awareness, and also helps brand equity. However, not all marketing plans are created equal. Market researches can help monitor and analyze the effectiveness of different marketing campaigns, which can help businesses gain more while spending less.
What Skills and Qualifications does a Market Research Virtual Assistant Need to Have?
- Project management
Market research virtual assistants must be able to handle multiple concurrent projects. This is because an in-house market researcher should be looking at multiple facets of your business in order to get a full and relevant picture of your business landscape.
- Good communication skills
The information market research VAs acquire and analyze cannot remain siloed from the rest of the company. As such, it is extremely important that your market research VA is able to communicate well with different teams. They should be able to explain and contextualize complex ideas to everyone involved.
- High curiosity and initiative
A market research VA can come across a lot of follow up questions while in the process of doing one research project. They should be able to identify and more importantly explore these new questions even if they’re beyond the scope of the original research. It doesn’t have to be at the same time. They can queue further research for a later, secondary project. What’s important is they never ignore additional problems, and have a “find out more” mindset.
How Can I Hire a Market Research Virtual Assistant?
As anyone who has hired a VA can tell you, hiring a virtual assistant can be time-consuming and sometimes overwhelming. This is because one of the core benefits of getting a VA is access to a global virtual assistant market.
Using a VA company like 20four7VA.com is one good way to save time and effort but still have cost-effective, global access to excellent VAs. Companies like 20four7VA look through the vast pool of candidates for you, and only introduces you to the ones that fit your needs best. They can also help you with hiring, onboarding, and even monitoring your VAs.