The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that consumers are more conscious about how they spend their money. Though many businesses suffered, those with high brand trust actually did well. Just look at Amazon- at a time when consumers opted to save more rather than spend online, the giant e-commerce company reported increased revenues, profits, and brand value. In complete contrast, Africa’s two biggest e-commerce companies Jumia and Konga reported losses.

Amazon is the most valuable brand on Brand Z 100 top companies with the highest consumer trust. They built this trust after collecting years of data on consumer behaviours, values that matter to customers most. Their success is not based on luck, rather their customer loyalty and retention program is based on a scientific process collecting big data on consumers. The behemoth acted on market research, more specifically, data gathered on consumer insights, and African companies could learn one or two things from Amazon and follow suit.

Market research ranks low in order of priority for companies in Nigeria and Africa, as capital injection, product development and advertising rank higher. Indeed some start-ups embark on large projects such as launching online shopping platforms without insight on what consumers think, how they buy and the issues they face with payment. For example, at WillFran Consulting, a client started an online fruit delivery firm without any consumer data. Charging a premium price, they reasoned that the lockdown meant consumers would spend more online for foods to be delivered to their doors. However our research on Covid-19 KAPs among Nigerians, published on ESOMAR’s Research Choices, found that only 25% would do so. If they had this kind of data they would have avoided the early struggles they faced.

WHY MARKET RESEARCH IS NEEDED FOR COMPANIES IN NIGERIA

It is no news many startups in Nigeria fail in the first few years- This year the rate was 61%. Though many factors contribute to this, including harsh economic conditions and high operations costs, the key reason is inability to identify the values that matter most to consumers. In other words, not finding and meeting the needs of customers. So how do consumer insights from market research achieve this?

Market Research Give Consumer Insights

Our mission at WillFran Consulting is to foster a proactive research culture in Nigeria, and this stems from the fact that the country is not data-driven. Market research can give consumer insights i.e data on what people are buying, why, where they buy, and how much they are willing to pay. When collected over a period of time, it helps firms do a trend analysis of behaviours and buying patterns of consumers. This kind of data is key to ensuring businesses make marketing decisions that meet customer needs and retain their customers.

In Nigeria it is important to hear from buyers what they actually think- so firms don’t make costly decisions in their products or pricing strategies. As WillFran Consulting is a market research company in Nigeria, we offer such big data to companies in Nigeria, through our online market research surveys. We have sourced data tracking information on consumer insights and confidence since the Covid-19 lockdown. Our clients get to understand consumer behavioural patterns to help develop marketing plans that are feasible in the new normal.

Market Research Helps in New Product Development

Online market research surveys helps collect data needed for product development. You can create a product or service and think it’s the best based on referral from friends and family. But you cannot be sure- you need to find out whether a wider audience agree with your social circle. To find that, at WillFran Consulting we help clients test their product or service in their defined target market. After creating the typical customer profile we then offer online surveys in a way for respondents to give their honest opinions of the product/service compared with alternatives. Find out more on what we do.

It is essential to test new products before launching. Not only does it confirm the quality, firms can understand if consumers (target audience) agree with price, how they distribute their products, and the way they promote it. In other words, reports from online market research can refine the marketing mix.

Market Research helps identify and meet consumer needs

Finally, online market research can give a true opinion of what consumers think about your product or brand. It can helps organisations understand what consumers value the most about their company and help them better understand the underlying issues with their company. This gives businesses the opportunity to identify unmet needs and come up with creative ways of meeting those needs. Most importantly, market research helps organisations create a unique selling point that sets them apart from their rivals- something that is necessary to survive in the Nigerian economy.

To answer the question, YES! African companies do need consumer insights to succeed. No business exist without their customers, so it only makes sense to listen to those customers when they tell you what they need. This is the only way to deliver your service in a way that satisfies them and retains their business. Online market research is needed for organisations in Africa as it provides consumer insights to understand people’s buying pattern, it helps in product development by testing your offerings to the market, and gives data on people’s true opinions so you can identify and meet their needs.

At WillFran Consulting we understand entrepreneurs think market research is costly, so we came up with an optimised solution. We conduct market research via online surveys, gathering insights firms in many industries need to thrive. We offer numerous services, including consumer insights, brand and competitor tracking, research skills training, and many more through our advocacy projects. You can contact us here to find out more, if you need business solutions on Nigerian market or scale up research functions, we are here for you.

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