As your company starts, market research may take a smaller role than it needs to. Often you will embark on market research before the company launches. This will allow you to know what your customers want, how your products or service fit into that. Often at the early stages of setting up a business, market research is key to make sure that you’re company is filling a genuine gap in the market one way or another, and stops you going too far to recover with decisions that go against what the customer wants.
Due to the size of most businesses starting out, this is a job done from within the company. Either you’re a locally based business that can carry out market research in your immediate vicinity with ease. Or, if you are a web-based retailer with national appeal, then market research will usually involve working out what is available in the market already and how you bring something new to it.
As a business grows, market research can be harder to keep on top of. It is also important for market research to become more nuanced when expansion takes place. In other words, the simple market research tools used when a business is starting are too basic for the later stages of a growing business. Often, a business can benefit from consumer insight companies, these are companies that are based in understanding what a customer’s behaviours are and how that affects your company. It can also help show improvements and changes needed to make to your brand, giving you a chance to improve communication with your customers about your product.
The upside of using these companies, or by outsourcing market research in general is that it is a costly process to run successfully within your company. As your business grows the amount of research, and the detail of the research will exponentially increase. Hiring companies that are specifically geared around providing market research services will often be cheaper than doing it yourself. It also allows a growing business’s time to be spent more wisely, and focused on the product/service itself, and improving that, rather than getting information about customers and working out what that means, alongside having to constantly update your brand and product.
Working with expert consultors or an agency frees you from the burden of having to be an expert: your role is to oversee the business, and make high level decisions that can drive towards future success. Using a market research company gives you the expert insight you need to do that.