For a business to excel in a highly competitive market it must learn to become adept at forecasting market demands for its products and services with some degree of accuracy.
Market Research Firms
Market research firms can play an important role in helping to collect, analyze and share pertinent market research with businesses that need to know emerging trends in the marketplace and what the demand is like for their products or services. It’s also useful for a business to be able to compare itself to other businesses to see how well it’s doing relative to its competitors operating in the same industries.
Specialized Market Research
Some market research firms specialize in collecting data on retail sales in various merchandise categories, including supermarkets, clothing stores, and drugstores. Once compiled they sell this data to companies operating in these spaces and can provide upsell services pertaining to data analysis.
Comparing Data & Performance
A company can obtain data on total product categories then compare these numbers to its own sales performance in the marketplace. Some market research firms in addition to collecting sales figures work with focus groups to try and get a handle on where the public thinks industry demand may be headed.
Steve Jobs & Market Research
The legendary Steve Jobs (pictured above) not surprisingly was unconventional when it came to engaging market research firms. It was his policy to not hire market research firms or engage with focus groups at all. Famously, he was quoted as saying, “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
Elaine Allan, BA, MBA
Technology & Business Blogger
Vancouver, BC, Canada