Author: Pooja Parashar
“The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace.” – David Ogilvy
Today when I reached office, the first thing was an induction session with the trainees in BD (business development). As usual, I started with my favorite topic ‘Cold Calling’ and its techniques. But, before I could explain further, I realized that I almost forgot the foundation of business development and, what of course Dr. Philip Kotler taught me during my MBA days. Market research is never a one-off activity for a BD professional and always ongoing as selling your service/product. There are so many definitions you can find from all the marketing gurus but simply, it’s nothing more than learning about people. People, who buy from you or might buy from you; these people who are your customers, clients; and these clients are going to make a market for your product.
If you want to make a successful business, conduct market research on a continual basis to keep up with market trends and to maintain a competitive edge. It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting or expanding your business, market research is a vital tool for understanding your target market and increasing sales.
You would need to conduct an effective research as a stepping stone for your business development. It would help you to give a comprehensive depiction of your long term marketing planning and sales predictions which are ultimate goals for business development.
Understanding your competition
Remember, I told you above that market research is never a one-off activity for BD professional like us. You have to keep on studying and analysis market trends, knowing your competition and always having competitive advantages in terms of innovative solutions to the clients.
Identify Potential Clienteles
who is going to be interested in your product/services? Which demographic area you should target? Which people, group of people or which companies can be your clients. If you know you have identified your clienteles, half the work is done; because most of people waste their precious time with wrong clients.
Understanding customer needs
When you join in a Jr. BD position, the maximum home work you can do is to study services/products, your company deals in. But, what if the customer has entirely different needs or slightly different needs; what if your sales pitching is confusing him. Market research gives you a picture of what customer needs and how much you need to tailor your product according to customer needs.
Reducing the risk
You want to launch new products but without an effective market research it is always going to be expensive and risky. An Effective Market research not only increases your sales volume but also increase the odds of new product success by understanding the complexity of customers and the market. Finally
Market research is not always interviews, surveys and focus group studies but being a business owner, you can always start with a secondary research, reading journals and literature about the concerned industry, having market research specialist to do it for you. Use any method, but be ready to dig the market mud and do an extensive market research as your warm up exercise before you head for the big business development step…
So cheers and have fun in selling!!