Pre-Launch Market Research Must-Dos

By launching new products or services, you can reinvigorate your business and continually offer your customers new goods that meet their evolving needs. However, you can’t just start promoting something novel and hope it will find an audience. Market research can help guide you as you develop your offering, ensuring it’s relevant and will reach the right people. Follow these best practices to make sure your market research works.

Market research for new product or service launch – photo credit:

Determine your target audience

The first step in any product or service development is to research your target audience. Know who your market is, so you can update your products and services accordingly. Consider demographic details like age, location, income, and career. There are many ways to pinpoint your target audience, for example, by surveying existing customers or looking at your competitors’ customers.

Assess your competition during your market research

Your competitors can also provide valuable insights. Scope out their offering to see what new products or services they’re offering. Then, assess their popularity, using tools like website visits, social media engagement, and customer reviews. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides additional tips for competitor research, like using SEO tools. You can also use websites like Product Hunt to find new competitors.

Gather data from real-world consumers

In addition to getting data from your competitors, you also want to get information from actual consumers. One option is to use digital survey tools like SurveyMonkey to ask questions of existing customers. You can also host focus groups and interview people face-to-face. When running a focus group, focus on getting high-quality participants who fit into your target market.

Assess participant feedback

Once you’ve got your data from your market research, it’s time to organize and analyze it. When analyzing data like this, experts recommend focusing on repetition. If multiple customers give the same type of feedback, pay attention. Also, consider the customer’s motivation. If they like one service better than another, find out why. The answers to these questions will help guide your product and service development.

Use modeling tools when adapting products

Updating products can be a costly endeavor. Technology can make it cheaper and easier and minimize risk. A staging tool can be helpful for product development, for example, allowing designers to look at real-world materials quickly. They can compare details like colors, shapes, and textures to make informed decisions about what changes will make a product more appealing to customers. This 3D virtual staging software is one helpful tool.

Revise your marketing as needed

Whether you simply adapt an existing offering or create a brand-new service or product, your marketing will have to reflect the change. Make sure any new materials, from social media posts to blogs, highlight your new product or service features. Think Glink has tips for updating marketing materials, like developing an editorial process and analyzing the return on investment of your marketing efforts.

Know when to outsource versus when to DIY

If you have the time, you can do market research yourself using the above tips. However, if you’re dealing with other business issues, this may not be possible. There are market research agencies that you can outsource the job to instead. When hiring an agency, ask questions like whether they’re familiar with your geographic region and industry and if they have any success stories they can share.

Market research can improve the odds that a new product or service is a success. Use technology like 3D staging tools and digital surveys to make your research easier. In the end, this will give you more accurate and usable results.

The Resource Shark blog offers more resources like this for business owners.