Know your audience. Know your industry.
In a general perspective, access to quality information is important in making decisions. It enables the discovery of patterns and insights that help in determining the best move to apply in a situation. One of the best ways to stress this point is through the business sector.
A company thrives through data-driven decision making. Information about customers, competitors, and emerging industry trends help a business know which of its practices need improvement. Let’s focus on information about consumer interest as an example. If a company confirms consumer interest in a product set for launch in the market, it can proceed without hesitations.
Conversely, if a company fails to see consumer interest, it can make the necessary adjustments to make the product more marketable. In this example, you can easily realize how a business is able to have opportunities to make the right actions given the access to information. In a nutshell, this is the essence of market research.
What Is Market Research?
Market research is the collection and analysis of data about:
- A product or service
- A market
- Existing and potential customers
Businesses worldwide conduct market research to determine the viability of a new product, stay ahead of the competition, know the promotional channels that competitors exploit, and much more. Some of the other purposes of market research are as follows:
- Market segmentation
- Product differentiation
- Determine brand awareness
- Improve product or services based on findings
- Discover the challenges that customers face
- Improve the 4Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion)
- Learn the best price to offer for a new product or service
- Figure out the best channels to promote products or services
- Know the best way to distribute products or services
- Discover new and emerging trends in the industry
- Find out key competitors
Market research is also useful in knowing where customers are doing research online. Today, buyers are more empowered than ever when making a purchase decision. Like businesses who seek consumer information to make a product more marketable, buyers now are also performing research to get the best value for their money.
According to a 2017 Instagram report, 80% of Instagram users follow a business account. Google data, on the other hand, shows that 75% of smartphone users are turning to a search engine to look up immediate answers to needs. By knowing where customers are getting information, a business will be able to optimize the right channels.
Conducting Market Research
A business can conduct market research in two ways: primary research or secondary research.
This refers to the process of gathering first-hand market information. A business can accomplish primary research either on its own or with the help of a market research firm. In conducting primary research, the approach can be exploratory or specific.
Exploratory market research is less-structured. It seeks answers to open-ended questions and is primarily useful in identifying the challenges that customers face. Specific market research, on the other hand, is structured in approach. It aims to obtain specific answers to the problems identified in the exploratory research.
This refers to the process of collating and analyzing secondhand market information. Some examples of this information are market statistics and industry research initiatives. Secondary research is useful in gaining a better grasp of the competition. It is also a great way to discover the emerging trends in an industry.
Tools for Primary Research
Although primary research is time-consuming, it is one of the best ways to reveal fresh insights about customers. Below are some of the ways to obtain primary information:
- Focus groups
- Email surveys
- Phone surveys
- Phone interviews
Tools for Secondary Research
Secondary research is a great way to know more about the competition. It is also helpful in discovering the latest forecasts and trends in an industry. Here are some of the resources where you can get secondary information:
- Sales data
- Industry content
- Trend reports
- Government reports
- Website content of competitors
- Media articles
- Market statistics
Benefits of Outsourcing Market Research
Although market research is a useful tool for a business, the task remains to be laborious. The difficulty of the task mainly depends on the kind and the volume of the market information that a business needs. For these reasons, many businesses opt to outsource the task offshore. This lets them enjoy the following benefits:
Quick turnaround time
Outsourcing firms follow a time-efficient process for managing tasks. This lets a business take advantage of a comprehensive report at the best possible time.
Several businesses venture into outsourcing to cut costs. At a cost-competitive price, they can already take advantage of a quality report that can help in forming the best business decisions.
Mature practices for market research
BPO providers have a developed practice in managing non-core functions. With a team of expert researchers, you can surely come up with the right strategies to improve bottom lines.
Verified security of business data
Some businesses hesitate to outsource because of the risk of losing confidential business information. This is why it is important to partner with a BPO provider that has proven capability in securing data. In outsourcing, ask a prospective vendor about its processes in securing data. Asking for a proof such as an ISO Certification is also a good way to determine the security of a vendor’s processes.
Industries That Outsource Market Research
Beauty and Cosmetics
Food and Beverage
When to Outsource Data Analysis
“When should I outsource data analysis?” This is probably the question that lingers in your mind now. Well, the listed items below are the goals that pushed a number of organizations to outsource the task offshore.
- Save money on recruitment
- Gain competent labor at an affordable price
- Skip the hassles of recruitment
- No need to manage an additional staff
- Greater focus on key areas of the organization
- Maintain high-quality data
- Reduce operational expenses
- Save time on hiring an additional staff
- Benefit from the expertise of outsourcing firms
- Take advantage of specialized tools
- High-quality support when making decisions
- See the viability of an outcome first before committing to its actuality
- Gain a competitive edge
If a majority of the items above are things you hope to achieve too, then it’s probably best to outsource data analysis.
Outsourcing in the Philippines
Who are the major powerhouses of BPO?
- India – US $ 154 Billion in revenue (2017)
- China – US $ 130.9 Billion (2015)
- Philippines – US $ 22.9 Billion in revenue (2016)
Why the Philippines?
- English is our adopted language
- Produce 450,000 college graduates annually
- Has low Philippine currency exchange rates
- Offers the cheapest office spaces in Asia
- Our government supports BPOs with PEZA Tax benefits
- No.1 Trending Country as the Top Voice Outsourcing Destination (according to international research)
- 2nd in non-voice complex services
- Top 3 IT-BPO global locations, after India and China
- In the Top 10 worldwide outsourcing destinations
How do I start outsourcing?
Outsourcing is more than just a way to reduce costs. Its benefits can be astonishing if you outsource to the right BPO company. To guarantee the best value out of your outsourcing venture, follow the steps below.
- Identify the challenge that you want to address through outsourcing.
- Research on outsourcing. Find out the top outsourcing locations in the world and their outsourcing vendors. List the BPO vendors that you deem promising to help you.
- Choose one vendor from your list. Look for its contact information and reach out.
- Explain the challenges you have identified initially. During the exchange, the vendor will ask more about your processes to know which service is the best to help you.
The outcome of the fourth step will determine what will happen next. If the discussion went well, then the next step can be a deeper discussion about your partnership. Otherwise, go back to step number three.