Market Research is the process of gathering information about your customers, competitors, markets, trends, and related information. There are several options for gathering information about customers and their buying preferences and purchase intentions. Market research is increasingly important in the construction industry where economic trends influence the outlook for the industry as a whole and poor decisions are costly.
This post will detail 4 reasons why market research is important, explain the types of market research available, provide some market research tips, and finally, provide several market research resources.
Why is Market Research so Important?
- Market research is used to support planning and budgeting and decision-making for new products, market-entry, marketing communications, customer initiatives and more.
- Marketing without research, customer or market insight is guesswork, with high risk of failure.
- With new product failure rates in excess of 90%, insights from market research promises to reduce the risk of failure.
- Niche markets within the construction industry likely do not have available secondary research, thus requiring primary research.
Types of Market Research
There are many types of market research, often categorized as primary vs. secondary research, quantitative or qualitative research, and syndicated research.
Secondary research is the most common, defined as published, publicly available and free information from websites, magazines and publications, trade associations, government, census data, and of course search engine results.
Primary research is information collected directly from the source, often custom to the project and typically includes surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Surveys are more convenient than ever with the ability to utilize online surveys. Some online survey/polling services include:
Qualitative research use open-ended responses typically with interviews or focus groups. On the other hand, quantitative research employs statistically significant sampling and closed-end questions typically with surveys.
Syndicated research is conducted by a research firm and sold to several users on a fee or subscription basis; Dodge Analytics and ConstructConnect are examples of syndicated research relevant to the construction industry.
Some other types of research include competitive intelligence, customer satisfaction, brand awareness/equity/preference, positioning, segmentation, and more.
Construction Market Research Tips
HubSpot provided some great tips for conducting market research in the construction industry:
“Give your market research some direction by determining what type of information you need about your business and the construction market. Perhaps you want to launch a new product or service for your business, or you may want to know why potential clients don’t seem to know about you. Make market research goal-oriented by setting objectives and a timeline”
Research What’s Already Been Done
“Don’t reinvent the wheel when some of the information you want is yours for the asking. Review business information provided by your local media. You gain insightful information and new leads for information at the same time. Read or watch national media to learn about the global construction market. For example, homebuilders can gain access to residential construction market information through membership in builders organizations like the National Association of Home Builders”
Survey Construction Market Trends & More
“After you’ve gathered relevant information from other sources, look for gaps in the information you still need. Chances are this is the subjective information, also known as qualitative data that comes from people’s opinions. Decide on the best research methods for gathering this information. Questionnaires and surveys are inexpensive ways to gather information about the building construction market”
Analyze Construction Market Data
“Once you have collected data, find a way to organize the results to provide the information you need. Focus on consistency and quantification. Twenty people making a similar statement is a stronger result than the opinion of one person. Make conclusions from tabulated results”.
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