Why is Market Research Important?

Some Important Questions To Ask

Are thinking about launching a new or existing product in a new retail market or channel? This article outlines why market research is important.

Here are some important questions to ask.

  • Is there a market for your product?
  • Who will buy it and why?
  • How often will they buy it?
  • Who won’t buy it and why?
  • How many people are likely to buy your product?
  • What will consumers be prepared to pay for it?
  • Can you make sufficient profit at the target price?
  • What will be the best media channels to use with target consumers?

About Your Product

Next, think what it is about your product that makes it different and what sets it apart from the existing competition? These are just a few of the market research questions you should ask.

  • What are the benefits of your product?
  • How does this differ from the competition?
  • Why will it be important to consumers?
  • Will your products appeal to different markets?
  • How, when, where and why will consumers use your product?
  • What words & phrases will consumers use to describe your product?
  • How could you improve your product?
  • What will motivate consumers to buy it?
  • How will consumers perceive your brand and how can you build on this?
  • How do consumers perceive your competition?
  • What product extensions might be of interest to your consumers?

Key Market Research Methods

There are a variety of methods you can use. These include online surveys, industry bodies, government resources, market and trends reports.

You may want to consider some quantitative or qualitative research.

Quantitative Market Research

This is all about the data and numbers using a broader study involving a greater number of subjects. It investigates generalisations about a hypothesis or theory. This will quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviours, and other defined variables from a larger population sample.

Numerical data is collected using questionnaires and various kinds of surveys. For example, online surveys, paper surveys, mobile surveys, kiosk surveys and face-to-face interviews. The will provide measurable data to formulate facts and uncover patterns in the research.

Qualitative Market Research

This is a much more focused in depth look at people’s attitudes, feelings, behaviours and opinions to a small number of specific questions. This is done using face to face interviews, focus groups and online questionnaires & surveys.

Unlike quantitative research, qualitative research is typically unstructured and exploratory. Its purpose is not to determine objective statistical conclusions or test a hypothesis, but to gain insights about a certain topic. Common qualitative research techniques include focus groups, interviews, and observation.

Additional Market Research

What additional market research do you need to do? Will your main route to market be through major high street retailers? If so, they will need to be convinced of its benefits to them and their consumers. You should therefore do some in store research and look to understand the following.

  • Study the category in which the product you plan to offer will sit. Understand the number of brands in that category and their role, for example Eco, Organic, Vegan, Fairtrade, Free From or own brand.
  • Look at the way the category is organised. Segment the products in to Premium, Mass and Budget. Are there gaps where your product would add value?
  • How much space is given to the category? Is it just one bay or several? This is a guide to its size & importance to the retailer and to the size of the market.
  • Note the packaging designs, types, formats and sizes. This can often be a differentiator and potentially an advantage and a reason for the retailers to stock your product.
  • Also note the typical promotional activity and frequency. This will be valuable information to input to a skeleton financial and marketing plan.


  • Understand why market research is important and its role within marketing in your business.
  • Identify your target consumers.
  • Establish the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and how your brand can exploit this.
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your own business and how you can address this.
  • Understand the importance of the marketing mix.
  • Identify and complete the additional market research needed to support and validate your market entry.

There are a number of reasons why market research is important. The first is time. A good understanding of the market means you will be able to launch effectively.

Cost is the second factor. Investing in market research will lower the cost that may be associated with a failed launch.

Experience is the third benefit. This will enable you to deliver the best experience for your customers and increase the likelihood of success.

The final benefit of completing appropriate market research before launch is direction. This will help ensure that you are following the right route to market. This helps maximise the effectiveness of sometimes limited internal and external resources.

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