Exploring the patient market is an organized effort to collect information about target markets or patients. This can be a very important component of business strategy.
Researching the right patient market is a key factor in maintaining competitiveness over competitors. Market research provides information and facts to identify and analyze your target patient market need, market size and competition. Market-research techniques encompass both qualitative techniques such as target groups, in-depth interviews, and ethnography, as well as quantitative techniques such as customer surveys, and evaluation of secondary data.
Market research, which include social media, is the systematic gathering and interpretation of information about individuals or organizations using statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied social sciences to achieve insight or support making decisions.
With effective market research, you can determine the need for your service, a product’s likelihood to sell, target-market demographics, and desirable store locations. There are numerous ways to uncover this information from online research to focus groups to counting customers. To help you meet your target market’s needs, we’ve put together a collection of our best market-research articles and resources.
What’s market research? And why must you do it?
How do we perform the market and competitive studies that are necessary to equip the team with the information it takes to make good decisions?
Few of us in management have ever had the task (not to mention the job description) of a market research specialist. In spite of the ever-increasing access we have to information today, it is still a daunting challenge for the uninitiated to find the sources and quickly distill the information required for good planning. In this article, we will identify the easiest and most direct ways to get your research off the ground.
You Have to Pay to Play (Well, Probably)
When considering market and competitive research, the amount of available information is really incredible but there is some great information and some bad information.
The good news is that many useful sources of information are available on the Internet. This is good news if you enjoy the prospect of conducting this effort from the comfort of your office chair. For many of us, just the thought of “doing research” is enough to ruin several workdays merely anticipating the sub-optimally productive time we might spend in the unfamiliar aisles of our nearest local business library.
The bad news is that many of the best sources, like the best things in life, are not free. For the most part, the most complete sources of information on the web are available through subscription services. Almost all of the sites will provide basic information teasers for free, but to get the good stuff, one has to either sign up for a year’ s worth of usage or pay on a per use basis.
For competitor analysis, the first logical step is to go right to the source: the company’s home page. If your competitor is ranking, it is because they have established their own Internet presence. Dont stop at Search Engines Searches to find them, try the online Yellow Pages or use any number of Web Directories.
Find out what they are doing and how they got there. Replicate it and do it better.
Determine Your Market
Three key questions to answer when starting starting your SEO strategy are:
- Who, if anyone, has a real need for the thing I propose to sell, and how many of those potential patients are there?
- How much, if anything, are they spending to address that need today?
- Does my product meet that need in a manner that either saves or makes them substantial amounts of money?
Good Research Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
Before embarking on the right marketing strategy, exploring the market is often lacking in entrepreneurial interests because it can seem to be difficult and expensive. The key is to try to set yourself apart the right way. You do X better than Y. Make that very apparent to the patients that are searching for your services.
I’ve found over the years that even practices without much of a budget can successfully perform quality research if they are creative, resourceful, and brave. Practices on a budget may feel unable to apply formal market research techniques, but a simple four-step process can be effective:
- Determine how to perform the research (one-on-one interviews, focus groups, surveys).
- Develop the research instrument (interview questions, survey questionnaire, hands-on tasks).
- Identify and recruit participants.
- Understand what will be done with the results of the research.
If your service / product is aimed at a mass market, it may be more beneficial to recruit small numbers of people who have a feel for the market, and then validate it further using a survey.
Put yourself in the role of the potential patient. How would they find you? Go on the internet and search. If you find that the search comes up utilizing a third party entity like Healthgrades, Vitals or Yelp… Sign up for those services right away.