Every marketer has done market research, even if it's just looking at a competitor's traffic at Compete.com. But, we sometimes forget just how many ways we can use market research.
Recently, I found a list of ways market research could be used that included a few I hadn't thought about.
It reminded me that many experienced executives and sales managers have a good feel for where a potential market is -- but it may not be such a good market. A customer may have ordered a product that isn't normally purchased by that type of company. Or, a customer tells their customer service rep about a new way they used a product.
The sales manager is likely to tell the marketing manager, "I found a new market we can sell to!"
Two questions about that market come to mind:
- What is it?
- How big is it?
It's great to find a new market, but it's important for new markets to be profitable. Knowing the size of a market gives you a clue to how successful you can be in that market.
So, when you're working on the marketing plan for a new product, budget resources for the market research that can help answer the questions that come after, "What is it?"