“The word most associated with market research is ‘demand’ – as in, discovering if there is a demand for your product or service,” says Malissa Illiano, Senior Consultant & Director of Market Research at SageAge Strategies. “While market research certainly can uncover the exact amount of demand for a particular offering, there’s a lot more to be gleaned from smart market research, from customer insights to marketing effectiveness and long-term growth opportunities.”
Market research goes way beyond demand. Let’s take a look at some of the other areas in which market research can provide you and your team with invaluable insight – and a leg up on the competition.
Beyond Demand: What You Can Learn from Market Research
- Desire for your product – or, in other words, demand. We’ll go beyond demand in a moment, but it’s important to start with this key metric, as it is the basis from which all other quality market research grows. You may think to yourself, “OF COURSE people will want this service, I want it! They’d be crazy not to.” That, however, is definitely not a scientific method for determining true demand, and many a failed business venture has been based on a “gut feeling.”
So yes, while market research can tell us many things, demand is first and foremost. Whether you want to build an entirely new community in an underserved area or simply add a small but profound service or product offering to your existing community, market research will tell you if your audience wants what you’re considering offering, and if the demand is strong enough to warrant the cost.
- How much you could make – or lose – on your new offering. Figuring out if there is a demand for your product is step one. Step two is to find out if that demand will mean profit. Profit, though, can be more than cold, hard cash. Some businesses will immediately scrap any venture that doesn’t look to be quickly profitable, but this can be a shortsighted strategy that misses out on the myriad other ways your business could benefit from expanding a service or offering a new product.
This is especially true in the senior living industry, where things like goodwill, endearment in the community, word of mouth and top-of-mind awareness can all add up to sales… but maybe not right away, and maybe in a less-than-linear fashion. Your product or service may not have the clearest straight line ROI, but that doesn’t mean it won’t pay off.
- The long-term viability of your new product or service. The manner in which you promote and plan for a one-time-only product or service is vastly different from the manner in which you promote and plan an ongoing offering. Market research can show you if your plans have staying power, which is essential in the senior living industry. Be sure you’re armed with market research that backs up your plans, so you can take full advantage of whatever opportunity may arise!
- How to make your product or service better. The bane of a successful launch is the assumption that what you’re doing is absolutely best. Market research can provide insight into what you are doing right, but also where your weaknesses lie. By fortifying yourself ahead of time, you can head challenges off at the pass and have a bigger impact when you decide to launch, versus scrambling to fix mistakes after the fact.
- A new opportunity you never even thought about. We see it all the time: we’ll do strategic market research for a particular community and their new product or service, only to uncover a whole plethora of similar – or even entirely different – opportunities that no one had even considered. This is one of the true hidden powers of market research: the ability to uncover untapped opportunities. You and your team can then use those uncovered opportunities as inspiration for the future, or you could even seize upon some low hanging fruit that will offer quick returns. Either way, you win.
Not convinced yet? That’s okay – we’ll continue this Market Research Series soon with more insight into how you can get started uncovering the untapped opportunities in your market!