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Importance of Market Research for Informed Business Decisions during COVID-19

Importance of Market Research for Informed Business Decisions during COVID-19

Consulting | Jul, 2020

When emergencies and pandemics happen, fitting readiness and a proactive reaction can enable business to adapt to the scenario. The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has introduced new challenges for the business environment which calls for a measured, practical and informed approach from pioneers. The pandemic has caused destruction to our wellbeing & economies, and businesses are struggling to keep pace with circumstances that are changing on a day-to-day basis.

Why is Market Research Required during Pandemic?

Based on business mechanism, market research can be segregated into client satisfaction, marketing research, media measurement and competition analysis, among others. The market research experts play an important role, by putting their administration groups in touch with clients and advising sound, evidence-based exhortation to organizations or companies regarding expanding, product launch, contract, acquisition of companies. The researchers can help businesses to get insights about their audiences in a rapidly changing environment based on collected data. Due to current pandemic, there is a change in the consumption-demand pattern and consumers are refraining from spending on items that they no longer require. For instance, demand for disinfecting or cleaning products skyrocketed globally during March-June, 2020. Similar is the case with products such as personal protection kits, sanitizers, ventilators, immunity boosting products, among others. In fact, demand for biscuits in lockdown fueled biscuit companies’ profit by over 100% in the first quarter of 2020. On the other hand, automotive and travel sectors witnessed negative growth. All the above-mentioned cases point towards shifting or changing consumer behaviour; therefore, it is essential to keep a close eye on the current studies.

With the changing requirements, organizations need to adjust to changing social and financial flow. As shoppers and businesses adapt to the widespread financial aftermath, organizations need to plan on how they can bolster their businesses. This begins with understanding their changing needs and concerns by conducting market research. There will be new opportunities as people change their lifestyle to curb the spread of COVID-19 and there would be requirement for new goods and market research can play pivotal role in providing insights related to the changing landscape.

Firstly, businesses need to understand that the viral pandemic is going to have varied impact on different countries or geographies. Also, the pre-coronavirus and post-coronavirus strategies need to be different as both periods highlight different opportunities. A business needs to be ready to answer to following questions in order to keep floating in the current scenario:

·     If the organization is still planning to launch new products or services, would launched products be relevant in current time and resonate with people?

·    If the organization needs to plan launch of product in countries where COVID-19’s impact is low or the product is tailor made and produced for worst hit COVID-19 countries.

·     If the organization needs recalibration to serve the increased demand for certain products. If yes, what are the new offerings and the required infrastructure for the same?

Surging Interest in Market Research during COVID-19 Period:

Market research is observing increased traction in recent times and following factors can be held responsible for the same:

·     Increasing Survey Participation: Several companies have initiated work from home or extended working hours and some of them have started layoffs to cut costs. Due to increased unemployment rate, people have started looking for alternatives and are participating in surveys and research studies, which is benefitting the industry.

·    Identification of New Opportunities: Organizations are adapting to changing dynamics of the market and market research backed by data can help these companies to understand that how they can adapt to the changing needs. Doing so can help companies to support their customers and partners. With shift in market dynamics, there is demand for new services and products. Market research is relevant in the current scenario as it provides details about the new opportunities, potential customer, and market size. Also, it offers details on how to position your product in the new environment and what is the growth trajectory of the product.

·     Conversion of Target Audience to Clients: Not only market research helps to identify new opportunities but also it helps to target the right audience so that they can be converted into customers and increase the sales of the product. In case of existing customers, it helps to identify underlining reasons which encouraged customers to choose your service over others. 

·   Identification of Competitors: Some companies use marketing research as an evaluation tool to keep tab of what their competitors are doing to ensure sustained growth. This step helps to monitor the progress of your own company & other companies and identify the weaknesses of competitors. Doing so, helps the companies to identify gaps which can be used for gaining more customers and new strategies can be devised to ensure continued growth.

·     Forecasting of Sales: Production and demand go hand in hand. Based on the demand or sales, level of inventory is maintained, and market analysis helps to predict the sales in forecast. Predicting sales also helps to align other processes in the company like marketing plans.

·   Know your Customer: Information is crucial in pandemic situation and knowing your customer or client is essential so as to gain better understanding of market and audience. Also, launch of product post understanding the requirements of customers through marketing campaigns (messaging, discussions, interviews, or questionnaires) helps to achieve higher customer satisfaction.

·     Spotting Trends: In order to stay relevant, organizations need to keep with the emerging trends. Customer needs and demands keep on changing and trends define that. Market analysis through depth interviews, telephone surveys, questionnaires and focus groups helps to find these trends.

·   Identification of Business Risks: In current scenario, companies are foraying into new segments. Market research based on market survey analysis and industry trends can help to identify business risks. Business risks can result to massive losses and conducting market study beforehand can help to identify these loopholes. Also, after the identification of risks, plans can be formulated to reduce losses and increase profit.

·    Product Testing before Launch: Product testing is crucial before launching it for the target audience. Testing products before launch can save the additional expense of launching bad products in market. Also, based on feedback received, changes can be made in the products, which can help in saving additional expenses.

Path Ahead

We are already seven months in 2020 and the pandemic is still at large. In this time of instability, uncertainty and fast alteration in daily lifestyle of people, market research organizations are delivering a helping hand forward to analyze the downfall and impact of COVID-19 on different sectors, globally. Without market analysis, companies would be clueless as to how they should navigate through this tough time. Modern problems require modern solutions and market analysis can help companies to take informed decisions.

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