When trying to put together a plan to market your business, researching your market is an essential precursor to any actions you may wish to take. Discovering who your target is essential as is learning when best to contact them and how best to contact them. There is seemingly an unending quantity of information that you are required to gather, and it can seem intimidating, and although you may feel it important to get as much of this information as you can before you take any action on your marketing campaign, you need to beware. Becoming embroiled in merely gathering the information is very easy to do, the desire to have every bit of it before you start can be a trap that many fall into. Using excessive time becoming preoccupied with gathering information about your target market can end up costing you time and may well holdup your marketing campaign indefinitely.
This tendency to obsess and over-think researching your target market and how best to approach them is commonly called "analysis paralysis". That is because when someone spends an excessive amount of time trying to identify and classify things like market segmentation, objectives, positioning, main and secondary targets, it's possible that your marketing plan will come to a complete stop. While market research is an essential part of any marketing procedure, you need to be cautious not to over-analyze and lose sight of your goals. The reality is that it is usually a fear of failure that results in analysis paralysis. You want the whole thing to be just right before you take action; you feel self-doubt and are uncertain of the potency of your ideas therefore you relentlessly look for more and more facts to support your thinking.
The best cure for analysis paralysis is very simple: take action. Start to apply some of the knowledge you've collected from the market research you've already completed, and put into practice. Do not be concerned about whether or not it's just right. Just do it. Begin with some of the smaller things, and adjust it as you go along or tweak it if it is not working out ideally. That's one of the great things about marketing: the actions you put into place are not carved in stone. If a particular part of it does not work right right for you can modify and fine-tune it until it does. The main thing is that you've taken some of the knowledge from your market research and taken some action with it.
Although it is vital not to over-analyze and be fixated on the research, I'm also not advising that you discontinue gathering it. Market research is an important tool, and it's important to consistently adapt to the changes in market conditions. The significant message to be heard here is to allow your market research to aid you in achieving your objectives, not to allow the research to dictate what those objectives are to be. It is important that you gather the information with a reason in mind and not the other way around. It's important to remember that not all the research you do will be of use to you. By doing the research, then taking action, following by reviewing your research, and acting upon it again, etc., you can avoid the fear andactivity that comes along with analysis paralysis.