Market Research for Sales and Business Development

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If you’re in sales or business development, and isn’t just about everyone in some form, then having market research which tracks change is crucial to compete. Industry statistics are part of that. If I’m researching a topic, say florists for example, I also search the industry name with words like… association, group, institute, industry, society, organisation, board, council and so on. These bodies often have free industry research on trends, or you can usually buy the information at a reasonable cost. The staff of these organisations are also helpful when you need to find out who the shakers and movers are, and then you can contact them for their insight on particular trends you have observed. Don’t forget that when you do this always ask them if there’s anyone else who they think would be good to talk to.

What Trends will Affect Consumers in 2018?

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It’s that time of year when we look at consumer preference trends in 2017 and forecast what 2018 might be like. If you want some futuristic inspiration or need to get up-to-speed quick smart with what’s changing, try these reports on trends…

Looks like we're on the cusp of massive change! Email me (cathy@heath.co.nz) if you need help keeping up with it all. We specialise in getting rid of the all the noise, so you only get the good, life-changing insight.

 

Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2015

Here’s a great report from Euromonitor that picks up on common consumer trends around the world. The free report is packed with supporting data, charts, logical analysis, case studies, and specific examples, all written in an easy to understand way. There's a section on how to market to millennials, the growing importance of connected health technology, the consumer as an influencer, and 'sharing' - the rise of lightweight living, where the benefit of belongings such as cars and homes can be shared by others.

If you want to understand how your business can be affected by these big picture trends, this report covers it all.

Market Validation Part 4: Keeping up with the News

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Market research reports are great to get a feel of a market, but the information can become dated very quickly. A change of government, a competitor goes broke, or new technology can disrupt a market quickly and change consumer preferences. You need to use other information sources to validate what is going on now, and what it might be like in the future. Otherwise, you could be basing decisions on information that is out of date.

So... where do you go to supplement and validate market research info?

  • Google News is the first obvious place to start. You can search for the keywords pertaining to your industry and set up alerts so that you can monitor the market in the future.

  • News agencies like Reuters and Bloomberg all have websites and Twitter feeds which can help you. Other agencies which offer some free info on global trends include Time and Forbes.

  • Twitter (by searching hashtags) and Facebook pages also offer news updates.

  • Don’t forget about Idealog as well as Stuff and NZ Herald websites.

  • LinkedIn Groups are also a great way to keep up with play. These industry forums are a great place to ask questions about a market. Of course, you need to balance this up with the knowledge that everyone on the forum may have an inkling that you are interested in this specific market, but you can get valuable information and advice.

The info sources above are just a taste of where you can look to check that the information you have is up-to-date. Don't forget to contact any subject matter experts that you might find mentioned in news reports or on Linked In. Most people are only too happy to present their opinions or give advice, providing you are upfront and honest about what you want to use the information for. Competitor websites that have media releases on them are also useful, plus monitoring job websites like Seek over a period of time can give an indication about what new skill-sets are needed to support your competitors' strategy.