8 Ways to Do Industry and Market Research

8 Ways to Do Industry and Market Research Before you start a company and bring a product to the market, you must first properly map the mark...

Market Research8 Ways to Do Industry and Market Research

Before you start a company and bring a product to the market, you must first properly map the market. In this article, we describe the first steps to conducting market research, industry research, and competitive analysis.

What is the purpose of the industry and market research?

Do you want to launch a product and do you have a clear vision of your target group? Then you can do an industry survey to see how your market is doing at the moment.

Mapping a market often starts with researching developments in your industry or field. Make sure you get answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the average turnover in my industry?

  2. How many starters and stoppers are there?

  3. Who are my main competitors?

  4. What's going on in my industry?

  5. Conducting surveys and interviews

  6. Perform SWOT analysis

  7. Prepare competitive analysis

  8. Create marketing analysis

1. What is the average turnover in my industry?

Request annual accounts and extracts from comparable companies in your industry. You can do this, for example, via the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce. 

Find out if your competitors are making a profit: is their average turnover increasing or decreasing? This way you can make a better estimate of the success rate of your company.

2. How many starters and quitters are there and how has this developed over the years?

Do you want to introduce a product and are you looking for information about how many competitors in this sector are starting or stopping? Use the Business Counter of the Chamber of Commerce.

You will then see figures for the number of starters and quitters, you will gain insight into the average turnover in your sector and you will receive information about relevant sector organizations.

Corona crisis

The corona crisis caused financial uncertainty for many self-employed people last year. But entrepreneurship is also being creative, and with some adjustments, you can also find new opportunities in the current corona time. 

In the past year, for example, it turned out that online offers the most opportunities, such as starting a webshop. In conversations with entrepreneurs on this site, it appears that for the best chances of success you have to find a niche. Unique products that provide added value for customers.

3. Who are my main competitors?

Using the requested annual accounts and extracts, you can then view the company data of your industry peers. Pay particular attention to the following aspects:

  • What is their target audience
    Read also
    This is how you determine the right target group.

  • What products /services do they offer?

  • At what selling price?

Collecting this data is the starting point of competitive analysis. We will briefly discuss this further on in this article.

4. What's going on in my industry?

Combine the figures and expectations of your trade association with those of Statistics Netherlands and make an overview of all important trends. For example, what about the supply of personnel in your industry? Is competition from other sectors increasing? And will good online profiling of your brand be essential?

Tip!  Rabobank regularly conducts research into developments in various sectors. View the numbers and trends of your industry. 

Tip! Advisors from the Institute for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises or your bank can help you with this because they also have industry and region-specific expertise.

How do I explore the market?

You usually do this with market research. This is an important part of your business plan. You map out who your customers are, where you can find them and how you ensure that they can find your company well.

Business plan examples

Have trouble writing a business plan? On this page, you will find tips for a strong business plan and examples of business plans per industry.

You can perform the following actions for market research:

5. Conducting surveys and interviews

Ask people from your target group what they think of your product or service. The advantage of interviews is that you can find out the motives of customers.

The advantage of a survey is that you can reach more people in a short time. 

6. Conduct SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The  SWOT analysis is a useful method to map the strengths and weaknesses of a new company or product. 

Think, for example, of new legislation and regulations or changed distribution options. Compile a matrix based on this and note in each box the three elements that are most important or distinctive in the eyes of the customer.

7. Prepare Competitive Analysis

Being one step ahead of the established competition is of course a good goal for you as a starting entrepreneur. With competitive analysis, you can get a good picture of emerging trends in your industry and determine how your competitors operate.

Good competition analysis in any case contains an overview of your products or services and those of your customers. Then view by product group who your main competitors are.

In addition, ask yourself whether you can compete with comparable products or service providers. Even if there is only one competitor: if that is a very large player that can easily outcompete you, you should ask yourself whether your current product should be adapted.

8. Create Marketing Analytics

Marketing analysis helps to determine the right marketing strategy. In this analysis, you investigate how you can best approach the target group in the future.

Do potential customers prefer to read an article online or offline? On which websites can you advertise best and to what extent does your target group also use social media? A marketing analysis ensures that you will soon know better which path to take. 

The marketing budget of many starters is usually quite limited compared to established competitors, but with smart and creative ideas you can achieve surprising results.

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