In order to stay ahead, brands must not only demonstrate agility and…
Using Market Research To Navigate Economic Uncertainty
It’s no secret that the economy is unstable right now. If you need evidence, just take a quick trip to the grocery store and observe the barren shelves and disproportionately high prices for items that were once considered “cheap.” Beyond consumer goods, a broader look at the economy shows more signs of turbulence ahead. In 2023, global economic activity is slowing sharply due to coordinated central bank policy tightening to contain high inflation. The latest Global Economic Prospects report predicts that global growth will slow from 3% in 2022 to 1.7% in 2023.
With all of this economic uncertainty, how can businesses get ahead? The answer lies in market research. Market research provides valuable insights for companies looking to survive and adapt by identifying cost-saving opportunities, diversifying their revenue streams, and building resilience. Let’s take a more detailed look at each category below.
Overcoming Economic Uncertainty With Market Research
Identifying Cost-Saving Opportunities Through Market Research
Most businesses know that they should use customer feedback surveys to improve their products and services. Still, there are many other ways in which these surveys can be utilized to increase profits and reduce expenses. This is particularly useful for businesses with a wide range of products or services, as it allows them to determine the most popular offerings among their customers. It also helps determine whether certain products or services should be expanded or discontinued based on their favorability among customers.
A second cost-saving opportunity lies in competitive analysis. Businesses should conduct a competitive research study to understand similar businesses’ cost structures and identify efficiency opportunities. A look at the competition can also help enterprises determine if they have the right product mix, pricing strategy, distribution channels, marketing plans, and customer service practices.
Last but not least, market research allows companies to avoid potential supply chain disruptions and keep their businesses running smoothly by anticipating shifts in consumer demand and adjusting spending accordingly. Managing supply chain networks effectively can make or break an organization in today’s business environment. With the increasing complexity of supply chains and the proliferation of new technologies, companies have struggled to find ways to manage their supply chains effectively.
The solution is simple: effective supply chain management requires understanding your customer’s needs and how they are changing over time.
Diversifying Revenue Streams
As the old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Focus groups and interviews are two of the most effective market research methods for gathering customer insights to diversify revenue streams. Businesses use these techniques to learn how customers think, feel, and behave. They can also be used to identify unmet needs and find new markets and customer segments to expand into.
Social listening and sentiment analysis are also critical to any business’s diversification strategy. Through social listening and tracking consumer sentiment, brands can identify potential opportunities or threats and act on them quickly. Social listening allows companies to keep an eye on what people say about them online, from forums and blogs to social media and review sites. Sentiment analysis is the process of analyzing these conversations for keywords and phrases that indicate positive or negative feelings about your brand or product.
Lastly, ethnographic research helps identify new opportunities for innovation and product development. Researchers can view participants in a natural context versus a simulated environment by studying people using observation, participation, and recording. Observing people as they go about their daily lives helps researchers better understand how they behave and what motivates them. These rich insights can open the door to product or service innovations.
Building resiliency before, during, and after economic turbulence is crucial to survival. Forecasting methods are used by businesses to predict the demand for their products, services, and resources in all economic environments. Planning for all scenarios helps companies determine if they have enough inventory or employees to meet future demand. It also helps them determine if any changes need to be made in their pricing structure or production processes.
Organizational research is another way that brands can build resiliency. Organizational research is the process of identifying and analyzing areas of improvement within your organization. These areas can be anything from customer satisfaction issues to employee retention problems. The information gathered from this research helps you determine how to improve your current processes and business practices, leading to increased profitability and growth.
The business world is constantly changing, so companies must be prepared for all kinds of economic scenarios, from slowdowns to booms. Scenario planning is a tool used by organizations to evaluate how best to position themselves for different outcomes in the future. It helps companies prepare for an uncertain environment by considering multiple scenarios and identifying potential opportunities or threats associated with each one. Scenario planning also allows companies to test their assumptions about what will happen next and make better-informed decisions.
As economic uncertainty continues, many businesses are taking steps to stay competitive by using market research as a tool to understand their customers’ needs and preferences better than ever before. Businesses that incorporate market research into their strategic planning position themselves for success. By using surveys, competitive analysis, and market analysis, they can find cost-saving opportunities; They can diversify their offerings with focus groups, interviews, social listening, sentiment analysis, and ethnographic research; And forecasting, organizational research, and scenario planning give them the tools to build resilience in the most tumultuous times.
Is market research on the docket for 2023? You don’t need a vast budget or a fully-staffed market research department to harness the power of research. With FC Exchange, you can build a custom insights suite tailored to your exact research needs on demand.