Understanding Market Research

By Rafael Caamano

Market research is simply the process of gathering data on various things like products, services, and many others. Ultimately the data collected will help define your target markets and identify or establish a competitive advantage. Remember that this information is essential in guiding you in making strategic business decisions. So, whether you are an existing business, looking to expand into new markets, or just launching a new product or service, primary and secondary research will provide you with valuable information.

First, primary research is the process of communicating with customers or competitors using tools like surveys, interviews, and others. One advantage is that it is usually timely and relevant to your business. A disadvantage is that it could be time-consuming and costly.

Secondary research is information already gathered for another business or purpose. For example, magazines, books, data collected by the Census Bureau, etc. One advantage is that it is relatively inexpensive. However, it might not be the most up-to-date or exactly relevant to your business.
In conclusion, the results of comprehensive market research can help you communicate effectively with your target market(s), identify opportunities that exist in the marketplace, discover potential problems, and a benchmark by knowing how you are doing in comparison to the competition.

If you are uncomfortable or need assistance with conducting market research, talk to other entrepreneurs, visit your local library, and if you’re a client of the UCF Business Incubation Program, please reach out to your site manager.