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...refers to the organised effort to gather information about a particular market and its customers. It can be a very important part of a company's business strategy because it can provide valuable information about the kinds of things that your customers like and what they don't like. This can influence your company's marketing strategy and can help them to more effectively produce the kinds of products and services that their customers are looking for. Many companies use independent market research companies to carry out their market research but some of the larger, more high profile organisations will carry out their own. Market research is important for big business because it can help companies gain a vital edge over their competitors.
Market research in business is used primarily to discover what people want or need. It can also be used to discover how they behave. Once that kind of information is discovered, it can then be used to determine how to best market and promote your products. For example, in the film industry, studios use previews to gauge how their films will be received by the general public. Very often, the response of preview audiences can result in changes being made to certain films. As well as using preview screenings, studios will also use trailers and TV adverts to test people's responses to their films. Products can also be tested prior to being sold to the general public using market research.
There are opportunities available for people looking to do market research work from home. If you are keen, you will have to take a simple online test. You will be asked certain questions about the kinds of things you are interested in. This allows market research companies to give you the type of assignments that would be most appropriate for you. Most of these sites conduct their research by using surveys and pay anything from £1 to £5 for every survey you complete. Payment is usually made either by Paypal or in vouchers that can be redeemed on sites like Amazon or HMV.
Mystery shopping is another very popular form of market research. This is where you visit certain retail establishments, restaurants or fast food outlets like Pizza Hut or KFC and give your opinions on the quality of the service you receive (normally in the form of a report). Average pay for each assignment completed is between ten and fifteen pounds plus the cost of any required purchase. You won't get rich from mystery shopping but if you combine it with several survey sites, it is possible to generate a decent supplementary income.
Market research is big business. It is estimated that around £5 billion is spent a year in the US alone on market research and around £14 billion worldwide. The most common form of market research is either through online surveys or by telephone. Most of the money spent on market research is paid to the companies conducting the research. The money is used for setting up surveys, the software used for running them, the collection and storage of the data and the delivery of the data to the client, as well as the research company's fee. Some of the most well known and popular market research survey sites include Global Test Market, Opinion Outpost and My Survey. Mystery Shops, Product Testing UK and Mystery Shopper Jobs are three of the most popular mystery shopping sites.
Getting information from clients is one thing - how you interpret and utilise that information is the important part.
It is important to look for any trends and patterns in the information that your customers provide so that you can make the kinds of changes to your products and services that will give your customers what they want. The information can also be used to identify areas where your products or services may be lacking and you can then use the information to make changes to your existing products or create new ones. Therefore, the end result of market research in an ideal scenario is that it helps to make your business more profitable by enabling you to provide your customers more effectively with the kinds of products and services they want.
Market research gives you vital insight into how your customers think and can really help you in building strong and long lasting relationships with your clients as well as helping your company to grow - which all adds up to a better, more successful business.