Modern-day businesses are more competitive than ever. They have to compete with rivals in their region or country and international companies looking to expand.
As a result of this rising competition, companies are in a never-ending race to optimize operations, maximize profits, and enhance decision-making. Product development is not exempt from this need for optimization.
Before a business develops a product or service, there needs to be logical underpinnings supporting the release of said product. Market research provides this.
Market research is the process by which businesses assess the acceptability and market potential of their product and service. A company may outsource this research to an external firm or carry it out itself.
Due to the sheer diversity of international markets, market research is a deeply complex process. By extension, there are many ways to carry out market research and learning how to scrape Google data online is one of them. Read on to learn more about techniques useful during market research.
Why do Businesses Conduct Market Research?
Market research, in its simplest definition, provides unique, informed insights for business managers. Various reasons exist for these insights, and hence the market research itself. Some of the reasons for market research are:
- Confirming the existence of a market. The fact that there is a population of people does not necessarily mean there is a market for a product. Market research can help businesses identify whether there is a viable market for a product. Similarly, it can help them identify when a product needs to be adapted to improve its acceptability.
- Facilitation of market segmentation. Market segmentation is the strategic classification of the target market into groups for marketing reasons. The process allows companies to identify groups of prospective customers according to their needs and susceptibility to certain marketing strategies. By extension, the segmentation may be geographical or behavioral. It usually helps businesses allocate their resources efficiently.
- Informing product differentiation efforts. At the core of business competition is product differentiation. Many companies may be offering the same product or service, but features that distinguish them make all the difference. Finding distinguishing features that make a product more attractive to the target market is thus the goal, and market research helps businesses do this.
- Securing a competitive advantage. In a market with much competition, the margins for error are small. Companies that avoid costly errors in the short term are better placed for long-term success. There is no better way to guarantee such success than by conducting comprehensive and objective market research.
Best Practices for Market Research
As regards the sources of data, there are two broad types of market research: primary market research and secondary market research.
Primary market research may be exploratory or specific and involves direct interaction with the population. Such interaction may be in the form of surveys and interviews and employs primary data that provides direct insight into potential consumers. The nature of this data means that companies employ certain practices, like paying for surveys, offering coupons for interviews, etc., to boost participation.
On the other hand, secondary market research employs secondary data obtainable online. Such data may include:
- Census data from the government
- Financial/economic data from international organizations
- Trade association data, or public data from search engines such as Google.
Due to the nature of the secondary data, a practice that could come in handy is the use of a web scraper to scrape Google data, for instance. Another practice that aids secondary market research is the use of a location proxy, especially when the data needed has geographical restrictions.
Benefits of Scraping Google Data
Beyond its search engine, Google is one of the best sources of public data for businesses. The company has an impressive catalog of services available internationally, providing insight that could help marketing and advertising efforts.
However, to appreciate the benefits of this data, it is important for data collectors to know how to scrape Google data off the web. With this knowledge in hand, here are some benefits that businesses could enjoy:
- Identification of consumer interests and preferences (Google keyword planner)
- Monitoring rising trends and buying habits (Google Shopping and Trends)
- Effective optimization of web performance and competitor analysis (Google Analytics and Ads)
- Automated and speedy collection of bulk data
- Facilitation of data-driven decision making
Creative solutions have long been the most important distinguishing factor between competing businesses. Most of these solutions play out in the form of promos, out-of-the-box marketing and advertising campaigns.
However, these solutions would be mere gambles without sufficient data backing them. The only way for companies to gather sufficient data for informed decision-making is to conduct market research. By extension, market research becomes a necessity for any business looking to expand its operations or launch a new product.
As with all large-scale data collection endeavors, though, businesses need to inculcate the best techniques and practices. Do this and relevant insights are almost guaranteed.