How Marketing Research can Make a Difference for Small Businesses
As discussed in previous articles, small businesses with limited resources are constantly in need of a competitive edge to combat bigger brands with bigger budgets. Effective marketing research can help you find your niche in a competitive market or help you make the right adjustments to take your products to the next level. Consider it an investment in the future of your business.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the two branches of marketing research to help you get started on formulating your research strategy.
Primary (Direct) Research
Primary Research involves collecting new data that can be used for more specific purposes. In previous articles, we’ve discussed the importance of adopting a consumer-first approach to marketing strategies. While oftentimes requiring a richer investment, direct research can help you answer questions about your customers that can help you develop or fine-tune strategies for pricing, distribution, and product features. Ultimately, unlocking a deeper understanding of your customers’ needs and desires are will help you eliminate as much friction as you can from your exchange process. This data can reveal new untapped avenues for growth or inform you of how your existing strategies are impacting your consumers.
Secondary (Indirect) Research
While primary research projects and strategies can require more significant investments, a small business can utilize Secondary Research strategies to impact their performance with relatively modest budgets. Secondary data sources are less specific than the data yielded by primary research, but can still provide valuable information that can point your business in the right direction. The Small Business Administration lists a number of invaluable resources of consumer and market data from sources including the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Utilizing the wealth of data provided by these sources and others, even the most modest small businesses can construct a data-backed framework of their industry to begin supporting future strategic development.
Knowledge is Power
For small businesses looking for a competitive edge, primary and secondary marketing research provides data for squeezing the most of a business’s budget, no matter the size.