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6 Effective Steps to Conduct a Market Research in Nigeria

Before you start any business in Nigeria, conducting a market research is a necessity, which you shouldn’t debate of its importance.

Even though you’re still at the stage of generating a business idea, or you’re still validating one, carrying out a thorough market research would be both your indispensable and most reliable tool to discern if you’re actually ready to start your business in Nigeria.

To stress the importance of conducting market research when setting out to start a business in Nigeria, has put together this article to reveal why conducting a marketing is a must, and how you can actually carry out one effectively.


Research is a systematic investigation or study of material and source in order to establish facts and reach a new conclusion.

It’s through this method that interpretation of information about a product, individuals and organization are carried out using statistical and analytical methods and techniques.


Market research for business purposes is any organized effort to generate information about a target market or customers.

It is a very important component of business strategy as it has a very good capacity to give a business a picture of what kind of new products and services may bring a good profit.

The history of market research in Nigeria can be traced back to the history of businesses in Nigeria, even before market research agencies in Nigeria emerged.

For products and services already available, market research can tell companies whether they are meeting their customer needs and expectations, learn whether they need to change their product or service designs, or tweak their delivery methods and even whether they should consider offering additional services.

The role of market research in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized as failure to carry out a market research before you start a business venture or during its operation is like driving a car from Port Harcourt to Lagos on a wrong route.

Conducting market research in Nigeria can aid in indicating where and who your potential customers are. It will also tell you when they are most likely and willing to purchase your goods or use your services.


Nigeria is a vastly populated country with over 80-85% of all her activities been business oriented, ranging from its public to its private activities.

It is equally a fertile ground for business, considering the fact that it’s being exploited daily by local and foreign investors.

No doubt many businesses or intended business conceived today is an idea someone conceived months or years back.

But due to poorly birthed or obstacles to market research in Nigeria or associated problems of market research in Nigeria, such business yielded nothing meaningful in the economic field.

Nigeria has a major challenge of creating and making data available in many aspects of her economy.

And because business relies on data for its validation, it becomes a real challenge for entrepreneurs looking to start new businesses in Nigeria.

Nevertheless, the fact that data isn’t readily available doesn’t mean you should embark on your business journey without finding all information you can scrape out.

The process of gathering the most information you can lay your hands on is the market research you’d be employing to help you make more informed decisions on your business quest.


Market research plays an important role in the validation of any generated business idea. Where conducting one for your business startup proves difficult, there are many prominent market research firms in Nigeria, which can be called upon.

You may think you’ve gotten the whole pieces to start your business in Nigeria fixed, but carrying out a market research would reveal valuable information that should come handy to your business success.

Some of its importance of market research include

  • It assists in making strategic decision
  • Conquering obstacles of market research in Nigeria can aid in providing accurate and latest trends related to demand, consumer behavior, sales, growth opportunities.
  • It gives firms and companies the potential to project the market, what kind of new products and services may bring a good profit.
  • It helps to better understand the market, design product, features and demand forecast and this applies to every other business.
  • It assists in studying and understanding the competitors, identifying unique selling propositions for a business and this have been reason some market research firms in Nigeria progress more than others.

The importance of market research are too numerous to mention.

Here at we don’t only make you see the importance and benefits we coach you through your business journey, whether you want to start a business in Nigeria, looking to validate or generate a business idea for your business.


To run a successful business, you need to learn about your customers, your competitors, and your industry.

Market research involves asking the right questions, in the right way, and to the right people. This gives your business direction and helps you stay on top of what your customers want and how much they are willing to pay for it.

When you understand market research, you can use your findings in two ways:

Conducting market research in Nigeria involves:


You need to clearly define your market before endeavoring in any form of research. For example, if you want to open a bookshop, you need to decide the kind of books to sell, who your potential customers will be and where to settle for your shop.

Once you define the scope of your potential business and a corresponding potential market for your product and services, you now need to determine why a consumer or individual would purchase from you rather than a competitor.

Do you offer the lowest price? Unparalleled services? A unique product mix not available elsewhere?

Before investing significant time and money in actually starting your business you need to carve your niche and determine your client.


Here you will define what to know about the product or similar products of such kind, what you want to know about your customers and market (if it’s already an existing company).

In a new business, you define what you intend to research but it is important at this point to know that you must be open-minded and adaptive when conducting such kind of research as some of the feedback you hear may not be exactly what you were expecting and hoping for.

Your test result might not lead you to absolutely alter your idea or it might slightly lead you to additional features. Do not scrap your idea but do consider adjustments to accommodate your customers’ demand.

Always remember the very first reason you want to start a business is to satisfy your customers’ needs first and not yours.


Once you have identified an objective, develop a list of research questions for your market, customers, and competitors. Here are some examples

Once you have identified an objective, develop a list of research questions for your market, customers, and competitors. Here are some examples


  •         What is the key demographics of your market (eg age, gender, etc]?
  •         How will your entrance affect the market /customers?
  •         Does the region where you operate have a healthy economy?


  •         Who are your target customers and how do they behave?
  •         Where are they located?

You cannot open a bookshop in an environment of fish sellers,  you’ve lost it cos most people parading the area will market women

  •         What’s the profile of an ideal customer for your business?


  •         What’s the profile of a typical competitor for your business?
  •         What are your competitor’s main strengths?
  •         What are your competitor’s main weaknesses?


There are two main categories of data collection and both are based on asking questions.

Qualitative and Quantitative information are the kinds of information you need to consider when conducting a market research to start your business in Nigeria.

Qualitative information is more investigative and involves a fewer number of respondents (focus groups and in-depth interviews).

Quantitative information is used to draw a specific conclusion and involves a large number of respondents (survey and questionnaires).


Keep your research objective in front of your mind and look at ways of improving how you organize and group your research data. This will make it easier to conclude down the track.

What have you discovered?

Here are some tips for data organization:

  • Identify any major trends, consider using lists, tables, diagrams and mind maps to organize your data.
  • Use your marketing plan to analyze your data to determine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

One of the most important steps in the market research process is interpreting your findings, what is the research telling you?

By answering this question, you will be able to gain a thorough understanding of what the research has uncovered.


Keep in mind that any conclusion you reach should align with your initial research objective and business goals in general.

Review all data collected and ensure that there aren’t any gaps, examine the major trends or problems within your business/company, analyze any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threat and use your research to make decisions about your marketing mix.

If you adhered to everything outlined above, you can then proceed and build your business plan.


There is no point dwelling in how effective and important market research is and its benefits without pointing out some common obstacles of market research in Nigeria.

These problems of market research are not only faced by a researcher,  market firms in Nigeria equally face these pitfalls.

  • FUNDING A RESEARCH: this problem is in fact faced by even top market research firms in Nigeria, and can once in awhile affect the result of a research.
  • RESEARCH QUESTIONS NOT SUFFICIENTLY ANSWERED: conducting market research in Nigeria does not only imply giving out questionnaires and expecting a yes or no answer. Sometimes you tend to realize after so much time and effort has been involved in a research that some questions were not properly answered or the findings were not interesting enough.
  • INSUFFICIENTLY MOTIVATED RESEARCH QUESTIONS: Often times we choose pit problems that are only interesting to us but not to the scientific community at large. Often times, this does not generate new knowledge or insight about the phenomenon being investigated.
  • BLIND DATA MINING: Some researchers have the tendency to collect data first (using instruments that are already available) and then figure out what to do with it. Note that data collection is only one step in a long and elaborate process of planning, design and executing research.

Discover the latest market trends and uncover potential sources of future market growth for your business in Nigeria.

At this is our core interest as we tend to find hidden opportunities in the most current research data available, understand competitive threats to your business and plan your corporate strategy.

Our tutoring, mentoring and consulting services can save you time and money while empowering you to make informed and profitable decision, you are guaranteed of reliable, whether you want to start a business in Nigeria, generate or validate your business idea, write a good business plan in Nigeria, or any other business consulting services you need.

For a start, you can download our comprehensive eBook on how to start a business in Nigeria below.