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BUS 211: Market Research (Hargis): Market Research: The Big Picture

Market Research is essential in business. In order to sell a product or service, you have to make sure someone needs it!




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Why Do Market Research?

Bottom line, if you aren’t solving a problem or meeting a need, why would anyone buy the product or service from you? This is why it essential to do research about your product or service to test your assumptions that there is a need or that it is even a problem needing solved. Market research helps you determine if there is opportunity, that there is a market!
For example: 

Tony gets very dry skin during the winter but is allergic to many ingredients. He is in need of a lotion that will hydrate his skin but not cause an allergic reaction. Sally sells oatmeal-based cosmetics. Sally thinks her product provides a solution to Tony’s skin issues.
The big picture when it comes to market research is that you want to ensure the solution you are providing actually meets the needs or solves the problem for your potential customers (this is your target market). 
 Sally has made assumptions that her product meets Tony’s needs and provides a solution to his problem.
 Assumptions being made:
a. customers will use oatmeal-based cosmetics
b. Tony will not have a reaction to oatmeal
c. there is a target market for customers to buy cosmetics for allergies or sensitive skin


What You Need to Know

Accessing opportunity and the market also means understanding the following:
 A. Who your customers are – so you know better what their needs and problems are so you can better solve them
 B. Who your competitors might be – so you can figure out your competitive advantage, why your product is different and better than theirs and start to understand what price you may get for your product or service
 C. The overall industry for your product or service – you want to know the industry, to be aware of the current trends, trends for the future, and what is happening to it at all levels of business. The more informed you are, the better off your business will be.
You will gain this understanding through both primary and secondary research.

Professor Hargis' Market Research PowerPoints