How to Conduct Market Research for a Startup

Previously, before the age of social media, market research was considered as something that only big established companies did.

However, with the advent of social media, where even startups need to put in the effort to reach their target audience, market research is becoming crucial even for startups.

About 50% of businesses fail within the first five years of operation, and therefore, you need to have a deeper understanding of your customer base to thrive. Here is how to research your audience.

1.    Form a Hypothesis

The first step in market research is to determine the questions and form hypotheses based on these questions.

With your questions, you can make hypotheses. So, for example, if you ask a question such as: “What is my potential customer’s biggest pain point, and does my product meet that?”. From these questions, your hypothesis could be: “I believe the user’s most pressing pain point is needing a product that is accessible and easy to use when learning about phone repair, and I predict that my product meets that.”

Ensure that you then test out these hypotheses but only test a few hypotheses per test to maintain focus.

2.   Study your competitors and target market

During market research, it is important that you find out as much as you can about the target market and competitors.

When you have knowledge in all these areas, you will strengthen the relevance of your research. For your audience, a buyer persona template could come in handy.

Your research should enable you to understand your target market behaviors and motivation. For your competitors, the research should help you learn what makes them stand out and succeed.

3.   Choose the right type and method

The type and method of research depend on the purpose you want to achieve. So, select the best method for your business in the data collection.

For example, if you aim to develop a broad-scope view of the industry, secondary research will provide you with this information.

However, if you want specific bits of information, then primary research is the way.

Also, know when to use quantitative research and qualitative research.

4.   Recruit appropriate subjects

When pursuing primary research, it is important for you to find subjects who will provide you with insight that is relevant and valuable to your market research.

Seek out people who use a competitor’s product to find out what they like/don’t like about it, and seek out recent customers or customers who did not complete their purchase.

These people will give you insight into what you can improve to become better.

And finally, remember to conduct the research based on the plan and method you identified in Step 3.


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