Find Out the Basics of Market Research

 In VA Work Tips and Best Practices

One of the first skills that any virtual office assistant who plans to specialize in online business marketing should master is market research. Market research is crucial because it allows you to help your client understand your target consumers by answering important questions like why do consumers buy their products or services or what do consumers expect from their company.

Surprisingly, many startup business owners fail to properly conduct market research prior to fully developing their products or services. If you want to impress your client and convince them of your excellence as a VA, you have to help them conduct a solid market research.

Want to find out the basics of market research? Read on.

Three-step plan

A basic market research project consists of only three main steps: planning, data collection, and data analysis.

Planning for market research involves answering certain questions involving the need for your product and pricing information. It also involves planning what type of data you’re gathering during the data collection phase. Most of the planning stage should be conducted by your client (the business owner), but be ready to give your input should they ask for it.

Data collection is where majority of your work starts. There are different types of data and different ways to collect them. We’ll tackle the basics below, but this is something that you should delve into much deeper to gain a full understanding of the process.

Lastly, you and your client should analyze the data you have gathered, both qualitative and quantitative, and figure out how this affects the way your client shapes their brand, products, or services, and how you should market them to potential customers.

Primary vs. secondary research

Primary research means conducting your own research and getting information straight from the source, in this case, your client’s potential consumers. This can be done through a variety of ways such as surveys and interviews.

Secondary research means delving into already published data to get insights on industry standards and understand your competition. Most of the market research done today is secondary research because not many companies can afford to spend thousands of dollars to fund primary research. Good thing the internet and libraries are teeming with data that you can use for secondary research.

market research

Common primary market research methods

  • Surveys are among the most common methods used for primary research because they are fairly easy to do as long as you have a nice sample. The important thing to remember is that you survey people within a certain set of demographics to keep your data as relevant as possible. There are plenty of tools on the internet like SurveyMonkey and JotForm that you can use to conduct online surveys.
  • Focus group discussions are a bit more difficult to arrange. First of all, you have to pay higher sums to get people to join your focus group discussion. Also, you have to carefully pick out which people best fit your agenda. However, with careful planning, the insights you can glean from a focus group discussion can be of immense help for your online marketing strategy.
  • Interviews provide important qualitative data, but it’s important to sift through the information you gather from an interview carefully. Like focus group discussions, the information you can get from interviews can provide you with valuable data that you can’t get anywhere else.

Conducting market research is a laborious task, but it’s something that provides excellent ROI in the long run. When your online marketing strategy is backed by solid data from market research, it’s more likely to be successful.



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