Gathering market research, or market intelligence, is a helpful way to find out what is going on in a particular market. It can tell you the size of the market, how well the market is doing, what the future of that market is, if the market is competitive, and how that market functions generally. If you successfully gather and analyze information about your particular market, you should be able to tailor your business and marketing strategies to optimize your revenue. While market research can be conducted in a variety of ways, each way generally falls into one of three categories — trade shows, trade magazines and journals, and discussions.
Trade shows help tell you who is currently in the market and who isn’t. They can also tell you who may be entering the market and who has left that space. The size of a trade show can tell you how large the market is. If it is a very large trade show, it is likely a very large market.
The size of a trade show can also tell you how active the market is based on how busy the show is, how many vendors are there, and how many people are in attendance. You can also gauge the market by seeing who is in attendance. If the who’s who of that market are there, that is a good indication that the information you are gathering at this event is good, quality information.
Presentations at the trade show are also vital in gathering market information. They can provide insight into the history of the market, and the future of the market and what you can expect it to do in the coming years.
Trade magazines and journals
Trade magazines and journals give you information about what is going on in a market and can also discuss what is needed in a given market or how saturated the market is. Depending on the magazine or journal, they may carry postings for jobs, which can tell you if a market is growing. It may carry advertisements, which can indicate how busy the market is and how likely the market is to spend dollars on advertising.
Discussions with customers in the market is a very good way of gathering market research. Most individuals in a particular market are quite happy to tell you what you want to know about any given market. Their answers can help inform you about the who’s who of a market, what the market needs, what the drawbacks of a market are, and roadblocks for the market.
These discussions can also be held with individuals that may be in a similar field, but not a customer. People in similar fields may have good insight, or a different view, of the market because they are not in the same market. Sometimes having some distance from the information can provide good a helpful, different perspective.
Another useful discussion is with a focus group. Focus groups are collections of people that are given a questionnaire typically about a particular product or suite of products. They can review the product and tell you what they would like, do like, and wish they had.
The best way to gather market research is by using questionnaires or surveys. This helps ensure a consistent process for gathering the information throughout the process.