In the competitive markets of this era, every business has two main objectives. First, they need to maintain a service standard/product quality that keeps the customers coming back. Second, they have to stay ahead of the competition at all times.
To achieve either, it’s necessary to understand what your target audience expects, how they shop, and what they like. Understanding customer expectations and delivering them quickly and accurately mark the difference between a leading business and a lagging one.
That’s where market research and data processing services come in handy.
A Brief Introduction to Market Research & Its Stages
In simple words,
Market Research = Data Collection + Data Processing + Data Analysis + Reporting
|Data Collection||Data Processing||Data Analysis||Reporting|
|Gathering information about specific variables from a target audience through surveys, questionnaires, reviews, etc.||Refining collected data, transforming it into a structured and understandable format, and categorizing it for further study.||Inspecting the processed data, cleaning and transforming it, and studying it to discover useful information|
|Submitting trends and insights recovered during data analysis in a readable, concise, and actionable format.|
Market research is a powerful tool for businesses to capture, interpret, and utilize information in a systemized manner. It helps gauge the market sentiment and empowers them to create strategies accordingly.
With this tool in your arsenal, you can achieve a lot.
- Allows for strategic planning
- Helps discover weaknesses
- Minimises the risk of poor investment
- Allows businesses to strengthen their brand reputation
- Helps in increasing focus on customer requirements
- Evaluates success against most relevant parameters
- Offers an opportunity to enhance revenue
However, it’s important to note that as beneficial as it is, market research can be puzzling at times. After all, unlocking useful information from unstructured data while ensuring quality adherence is not a child’s play.
There are several aspects of market research-form processing, data processing, data extraction, mining, etc. The entire process requires careful consideration on several fronts. However, if done right, it can create very influential outcomes.
- Increased productivity
- Accurate & reliable decisions, and
- Positive profit growth
Simply put, market research carries a lot of weight. That’s why many enterprises choose to outsource data processing services to a reliable partner. That way, they save time and get the satisfaction of professional-grade outcomes.
Whichever way you choose to go, here are some vital snippets of info about market research that you should know.
What Type of Data Is Needed for Market Research?
Two, to be precise.
Primary data refers to information that doesn’t already exist and will need to be collected from scratch. Secondary data refers to information that already exists in one or the other form and can be obtained.
There are many sources where you can get secondary information:
- Your business records
- Newspapers, magazines, and journals
- Research and publications belonging to you, a competitor, or the government
- Trade/industry associations
- Customer or distributor experiences
- Yearbooks, directories, market research reports, publications, and statistics available online
- Publications from NGO’s and universities
As for primary data, research is the only option. Through questions, forms, and surveys relevant to the research objective, you can gather a lot of information. Then, the data is refined and made presentable through form processing services. Market research ideally involves collecting primary as well as secondary data as much as possible.
What Kind of Insights Can This Data Reveal?
Quite a dozen, literally!
- The progress of your current marketing campaigns
- Long-term projections of your marketing initiatives
- Urgent, short-term, and long-term areas of improvement
- Status of competitor campaigns
- Different strategies that the competitor uses
- Resource-usage and subsequent performance report
- The efficiency of the current time and resource management strategies
- Current priorities, how apt they are, and how they may change in the future
- Prevailing trends in the market, relevant to your business objectives
- Consumer preferences, expectations, likes, and dislikes
- Existing problems voiced by consumers
- Urgent issues are likely to pop up in the next quarter/year
Benefits of Using Data Processing Services for Market Analysis
1. Fast & Accurate
By 2025, humans will be creating 1 billion GB of data every day.
Surprised? Don’t be!
Even now, our digital footprints are incredible. 500 million tweets a day. 5 billion searches every day. We are creating a lot of data with every touch of a screen and every press on a keyboard.
For market research purposes, that translates into a need for quick and effective measures for data collection, filtering, and analysis.
When you hand over market research to a third party, you get the benefit of professional expertise. A dedicated team is assigned to process the facts & figures and keep the outcome error-free. That is usually more effective than tasking in-house employees with these responsibilities, as it eats away their precious time.
Secondary data extraction takes time and there are many effective ways to extract data. However, the real trouble comes when you have to invest in primary research initiatives. In addition to money, businesses also spend their employee’s time assessing requirements, conducting surveys, and processing that data.
When you take help from external data processing services, the entire process becomes quite cost-effective. It reduces your expense on creating and maintaining surveys, managing stationery, etc. Plus, your team saves time which can be used for more value-generating tasks.
3. Simplified Analysis & Presentation
The entire point of going through market research is to create reports filled with actionable insights. However, when the process is in-house, the complexities on your part also increase. On the other hand, by utilizing a data processing service, you can cut down on those issues.
All you need to do is gather the outcomes, simplified for use, and assemble them in a report as needed.
4. Easy Storage & Distribution
Data storage and distribution have increasingly become easier, thanks to computers. However, it’s never been as easy as now, owing to sophisticated technology like cloud storage and Data-as-a-service.
Although, we must admit that this advantage is limited to certain market research & form processing vendors only. Partner up with a service provider that uses updated solutions for managing information and you’ll be fine.
As a business striving to gain a competitive advantage in the market, keeping your data secure should come first on your list. Likewise, security also comes first when choosing a partner who can help you scale.
Most reputed data processing services usually follow a stringent protocol to ensure their client’s data safety.
- Monitoring data exchange for potential leaks
- Regular security audits
- Prevention technologies applied to the data flow to protect sensitive information
- Application-layer firewalls
Again, this is a vendor-specific benefit. So, take your pick carefully.
Are You Ready to Increase Your Competitive Advantage with Market Research?
If you made it this far, you must be clear on three things now:
1. Data analysis and market research are essential instruments of success for businesses.
2. Different types of data are required to reach conclusive insights which can be utilized in decision-making.
3. Using third-party data processing services can greatly benefit your market research campaign.
Now, all you have to do is determine your requirements and find a market research & form processing service partner that fits them.