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TEDxNYED - Dan Meyer - 03/06/10. Marketing & Advertising > Market Research & Analysis from AllBusiness. When you are starting your business -- and when your business is growing and expanding into new markets, products, or services -- understanding the basics of market research is key to success.

Marketing & Advertising > Market Research & Analysis from AllBusiness

Market research helps you understand three things: your industry, your competition, and your target market. There are two kinds of market research: Primary research is research in which you go directly to the source to gather data or ask questions. Primary research methods can include: Holding in-person focus groups with members of your target marketInterviewing members of your target market in person or by phoneVisiting your competitors' stores or locationsConducting surveys of your target market either online, in writing, or through social media tools such as Facebook or TwitterObserving your target market (such as at a mall or community event) and noting how they behave Secondary research is data that's been gathered and published by other researchers or sources.

Industry: Competitors: Company Activities & Management > Company Strategy from AllBusiness. How Entrepreneurs Identify New Business Opportunities. A key question that all would-be entrepreneurs face is finding the business opportunity that is right for them.

How Entrepreneurs Identify New Business Opportunities

Should the new startup focus on introducing a new product or service based on an unmet need? Should the venture select an existing product or service from one market and offer it in another where it may not be available? Or should the firm bank on a tried and tested formula that has worked elsewhere, such as a franchise operation? In the first of a series of podcasts for the Wharton-CERT Business Plan Competition, Raffi Amit, a professor of management at Wharton, discusses these questions and more with Knowledge@Wharton. In the process, he offers insights into how entrepreneurs can identify new business opportunities and evaluate their potential and their risks. An edited transcript of the conversation appears below: Knowledge@Wharton: Our guest today is Raffi Amit, professor of Management at Wharton.

Amit: My pleasure. Amit: Sure. Other companies have found similar models. How to Do Market Research. Is your business a product in search of a customer? Use these tips to create a product or service customers will clamor for. Marketing research can give a business a picture of what kinds of new products and services may bring a profit. For products and services already available, marketing research can tell companies whether they are meeting their customers' needs and expectations. By researching the answers to specific questions, small-business owners can learn whether they need to change their package design or tweak their delivery methods--and even whether they should consider offering additional services. "Failure to do market research before you begin a business venture or during its operation is like driving a car from Texas to New York without a map or street signs," says William Bill of Wealth Design Group LLC in Houston.

When you conduct marketing research, you can use the results either to create a business and marketing plan or to measure the success of your current plan. Do Your Market Research. To run a successful business, you need to learn about your customers, your competitors and your industry. Market research is the process of analyzing data to help you understand which products and services are in demand, and how to be competitive. Market research can also provide valuable insight to help you: Reduce business risks Spot current and upcoming problems in your industry Identify sales opportunities How to Conduct Market Research Before you start your business, understand the basics of market research by following these steps: Identify Official Government Sources of Market and Industry Data The government offers a wealth of data and information about businesses, industries and economic conditions that can aid in conducting market research.

Identify Additional Sources of Analysis Trade groups, business magazines, academic institutions and other third parties gather and analyze research data about business trends. Understand the International Marketplace.