Conducting market research can be an enormous and uncertain step for small FMCG businesses. These companies can be relatively limited in their capacity to develop large scale projects and gather insights on a tight budget. This makes it harder for businesses to establish a need to spend money on something that takes up so much of their time. However, there are endless reasons why small companies should invest in market research, but to achieve success, clear specific business requirements are needed.
The results can be incredibly valuable and insightful. For example, discovering innovative opportunities in the market, gaining insight into consumer trends or even boosting advertising campaigns to the next level. The potential is there, but businesses need to find the right research tools to maximise the opportunity.
When to conduct market research
Certain FMCG companies may be considering the following: category exploration, new product development, brand improvement; or product feedback. If so, conduct market research to help support these processes.
Many businesses of all sizes go through this essential process in order to gain vital insights into consumer behaviour, identify potential customers, support decision-making, gain intelligence on competitors or to test new product launches. Every business will have different needs for research depending on their life cycle stage, size and operational requirements. In particular, due to the nature of the market, FMCG companies will have their own unique needs, so it is important to take this into consideration.
Most businesses will eventually seek to conduct market research in order to discover new opportunities. Get a head start and invest now to make less expensive mistakes in the future. Companies should learn more to support their strategy.
How to get started on market research
First, plan and define the objectives. What is the business looking for? Is it interested in customers, competitors or the industry overall? How is it going to capture data? Does it want primary or secondary research? Lastly, how are the managers or others going to interpret it? How are they going to analyse the data to develop the relevant insights? This process involves a lot of work, but there are extensive resources firms can utilise in order to find what it needs.
For example, it is worth enquiring into local or state government bodies to see what they offer. Most will have free advice online to help small businesses to start thinking about how to build and gather the right kind of data for company needs.
Time and capacity constraints for small businesses
If time or capacity is an issue, a business can consider external market research firms who have teams and special skills to help conduct projects. However, this comes with its own time pressures as companies will still need to identify which agency is most suitable for its own requirements. Many market research companies will charge different prices and offer varying flexibilities in their work as well. Small FMCG businesses should find the best fit for its company and its goals.
Here are some tips to consider when looking for a firm:
- Think about what the business really needs assistance with – Planning? Building surveys? Deployment? Analysing the data? All of it? Make sure the research firm can help with what the business requires.
- Consider budgets – A lot of research companies have a big price tag so it can be hard to find one that aligns with how much a business wants to spend. Shop around to see who offers the best prices.
- Think about the time frame – Is the company launching a new product soon? Or is it looking to develop a long term project? Will the research firm then be able to meet these time frames?
- Make sure they “get” the business – This is critical. A company should be able to communicate with the agency to bring the business’ project to life. Ensure they understand the company so it gets the best results from the study
- Expertise and Capabilities – Have a look at the research agency’s previous case studies and projects to determine if they have the right capabilities for the business.
Glow – the FMCG Insights Solution
Glow offers innovative and flexible end-to-end consumer insight solutions for small FMCG businesses. We pride ourselves on our hard work and commitment to the small players in the industry who struggle to find affordable and accessible insights. That is why we have developed our Analysis Packs, Project Kits and the Glow Platform to make market research more accessible to you.
Whether you’re just getting started or you need help interpreting your existing data, we’ve got something for you. Contact us now to take the next step in your market research.