what is forecasting in business?

A marketing plan’s core and the foundation of making strategic decisions – Market Forecasting! Market forecasting is a phase every business moves through. It’s how brands build products and services. In simpler terms, market forecasting is the study of market behavior, predicting potential changes in the industry, and taking action based on that prediction.
The purpose of market forecasting extends beyond the creation of products and services; it contributes to the projection of cash flow statements and the analysis of how the business will perform financially as a result of the given market statistics. The process of market forecasting usually starts with a top-down approach, where the company studies the current market as a whole, gets a bird’s eye view, and then narrows it down according to its target market. This makes it possible for businesses to get detailed information about the market.
Using market forecasting, businesses’ financial projections can be made accurately, current financial status can be analyzed, and forecasts of better returns can be predicted.

what is forecasting in business

In order to help you better understand the importance of market forecasting, here are three reasons:

1. Aids in setting clear

Realistic objectives for the company that is in line with the needs of the market. Having a grasp of the market will aid in setting clear goals for the company that is in line with the market’s needs.

2. Aids in budget development

Without creating an accurate budget and setting goals in line with it, business development cannot be considered complete. This aids in moving in the right direction and maintaining control over your finances.

3. Grow your business 

There is no better method to discover new markets and consumer trends than to do this! Forecasting the market can help businesses grow and expand into new markets.
From new startups to well-established companies, it is crucial that they research market trends, consumer behavior, and, most importantly, what the industry’s rivals are offering.
The most crucial question in this situation is HOW to start market forecasting.

There are primarily two approaches to forecasting:

1. Qualitative

By using this approach, you can’t use historical data to compare your business predictions. It’s a typical approach for new companies without previous sales or expense information. The forecast’s judgment heavily relies on the person creating it. It’s also a desired method for forecasting.

2. Quantitative

When you have quantifiable data to support the forecast, you can use this approach. You can determine whether a business is expanding or contracting by comparing current sales to previous results. It is a typical approach to short-term forecasting.

Here’s how you can predict the market behavior Qualitatively

The most effective and traditional techniques are market surveys:

You might be wondering if surveys are still relevant nowadays. They most definitely are!
Physical forms and individual manual surveys have been replaced with Google forms and a tonne of social media tools. Businesses can now receive survey answers and numerous statistics within minutes, covering a wide range of dynamics.

Business executives are solely responsible for leveraging these technologies.

1. Market Experiments:

This is a tried-and-true method of evaluating things on the market, and it’s arguably the most trustworthy as well!
releasing a test product in “limited” markets to a particular group of consumers, or, to use another term, the target market, and gathering feedback. This would be the main source of information, and having firsthand knowledge of the product will help you decide whether or not to launch it.

2. Extraction of Sales Data:

Sales data records are the best resource for organizations to follow their customers. encouraging customers to try your new goods and services by following up with them. By soliciting opinions about your service and suggestions for enhancements, you may use sales data in the best possible way. By doing so, you may show customers that their opinions are valued and learn more about the level of customer service they are used to receiving from the company.

3. Exploiting Social Media:

To know what the customer needs, go where the customer exists!
Social media- you may love it, or hate it but you cannot ignore it… Today the customer exists on social media platforms. Following the pattern of customers’ behavior on certain posts and videos will contribute to great insights into the customers’ points of view. With trending videos and challenges, it has become easier to understand where the viewers are moving and what interests them the most.
It also helps to observe how influencers and celebrities are contributing to the trends and influencing market behavior.

The qualitative methods, this is our favorite as we interact directly with the customers.

5. Keeping up with the global trends

Keeping a track of daily news: nationally and globally as well will help you to keep up with changing govt regulations, how companies in the industry are performing globally, and changes taking place in the industry. Keeping an eye on peers and analyzing their strategic decisions will help to predict market changes.

Apart from Qualitative or also traditional methods of forecasting,

business forecasting

here’s a list of methods that will help to measure market trends Quantitatively

1. Correlation Models

Most popular methods of quant methods- consider two variables one would be Sales and the other one would be the basic factor that would drive your Sales significantly. Considering how that one factor would affect your sales will help to make decisions regarding the Factor. That one factor could be price, demand for the product, or even your product quality.

2. Analysing Sales data

Using analytical tools and software to study the sales pattern and brainstorming ways to overcome the drop in sales. Using historical data helps to gain insights into the pattern of market behavior, which can also be called a time series model.

Quantitative models of forecasting differ from business and involve complex models of Linear regressions, Seasonal forecasting, and Econometrics models as well. These sophisticated models dive deeper into numbers from sales data and provide forecasting inaccurate numbers.


Irrespective of the methods, the most basic step in understanding a market trend is to first define your target market and your target audience. That’s how observing market changes will get easier and more precise as well.

Knowing whom to sell to and what are their needs regarding the product will help to make better strategic decisions and also assess your performance in the industry.

It would be fatal to make a mistake or neglect the market predictions. For instance, if a firm underdelivers because of inaccurate estimates, it may hinder corporate growth; yet, if a company over delivers, it may prove advantageous but may place the business in peril.

Companies may deploy resources effectively for growth and steer their financial management in the proper direction by using accurate sales predictions. These sales projections make it simpler for managers to predict future trends. Sales targets and revenue projections must be in line for revenue leaders to earn additional bonus points.

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What are the Best Tools for Conducting Market Research


What are the Best Tools for Conducting Market Research

Today, there are an immeasurable amount of market research tools, apps, and websites to get the best insights to grow your business. This blog is a compilation of a few such efficient tools that will up your marketing game.

A thorough evaluation is an indispensable part of generating revenue for any business to thrive. Great market research does that job. Market research is a methodical approach to gathering, structuring, analyzing, and interpreting useful data to draw actionable insights. The data can be about consumer behavior, competitors, market trends, or just the overall industry. This is the cornerstone of any flourishing business. The study serves a variety of reasons, from locating a new market to starting a new company. 

Why is market research essential?

The market research presents a panoramic view of the industry which helps businesses determine where they stand in the long run. The data helps them improve their products and services, understand their target customers, and make better business strategies. 

1. Helps evaluate your own business by drawing useful insights from your competitors.

2. Helps you identify your potential customers and provide accurate information about the existing ones

3. It also provides data on how your customers perceive your products and services. 

4. It can help you discern whether a new strategy or product will thrive in the market or not based on how those strategies have performed in the market for others. 

5. Additionally, it can assist in making informed decisions about promotional strategies and marketing campaigns. 

Types of market research:

The two major categories are primary and secondary market research.

Primary research

Research is conducted by directly gathering information from the target market using various tools and methods. it aids in gathering two types of results namely, exploratory and specific. Exploratory information helps to identify problems that weren’t looked into earlier. This can be either done via face-to-face interviews or customer surveys. And the specific information focuses on problem-solving by compiling the raw data. 

Secondary research

Constitutes previously gathered data. it generally includes published market studies, focus groups, customer emails, surveys, feedback, etc. 

Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Both are a collection of primary and secondary data which can be used to draw deeper business insights. A prime example of this type of research is mystery shopping. Professionally trained shoppers are employed to analyze the quality and standards of the products/ services of a particular business. This method helps improve customer experience. 

marketing research

Market Research tools to thrive your business

Take your marketing to the next level with these free and paid marketing tools. Gather relevant and accurate data so that you can target a wider audience and connect with them. 

Google Trends

This tool helps you keep track of trends by gathering data on what others are searching on Google. Google processes over 99,000 searches each second. That’s over 8.5 billion searches per day. And, you can get this data with proper structure using Google Trends. Its simple user interface and appealing visuals can be used by even those who are not tech-savvy. it’s a free data library.

HS Brands for Mystery Shopping

HS Brands provides mystery shopping services for various industries. their audits are performed by an expert, independent evaluators that allow an unbiased opinion of your products/services. This can help you gather and analyze data critical to your business. It is an interactive platform with a consultative approach that has built its audits around intelligent surveys that give you accurate insights to improve your customer service.

Facebook Page Insights

With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook is an excellent platform to advertise your business. Facebook page insights provide useful information about your audience, post reach, and the condition of your page. It helps you analyze your most viewed posts and why. Moreover, it offers courses that can help you get started on how to maximize your profits by generating insights and how to develop data-driven suggestions. 


A great tool if you want to conduct surveys. This tool produces easy-to-make surveys that can be conveniently distributed using a link to emails, social media, or websites. All of this is done with its enterprise-grade platform. To view data visually, you can either browse through individual replies or utilize the tool’s reports and graphics. Even though a paid tool, it has amazing free plans and numerous templates to choose from. A great tool to up your customer feedback game. 

Tableau Software

This tool uses business intelligence and analytics in a visually appealing way to drive wise business decisions. Even a person with no prior programming knowledge can use this intelligence suite. You can easily extract data from PDFs, Excel, SAS, Python, etc. It provides a comprehensive view of your data so that you can stay updated with emerging patterns in the market. Its flexibility makes it a widely used analytics platform. 

Make My Persona

A free tool if you want to create a buyer or user persona. Make My persona is a research software from HubSpot that creates a buyer persona using the information you provide in the form. It asks for details like age, company size, job titles, goals, challenges, etc and you get a ready-to-use persona template for various client categories. There is a feature to add new sections manually and you can easily download and export the buyer persona with a click. 

How to improve your market research?

1. Identify your purpose for market research: unless you don’t know what you’re looking for, any amount of data won’t be enough to tell you what sections your business is lacking in.

2. Utilize market research reports: There is a wide range of free data available online. Apart from that, use the company database to make comparisons in the data

3. Conduct field studies: research such as interviews, surveys, and feedback can significantly affect your strategies. Start asking the right questions. 

4. Take services from a market research firm: outsourcing can help you focus on the aspects that were getting ignored otherwise. For eg. HS Brands for mystery shopping services. 


Using the right market research tool, you can always find out what your customers think and even target a wider audience. Be it paid or free, the insights you gather can have huge benefits for your business. And if you want a more in-depth perspective of your customers, HS Brands is your go-to option. Receive transformative information with our full range of audits, regulatory inspections, and integrity checks. 

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How Important is Customer Satisfaction to Business Today?


How Important is Customer Satisfaction to Business Today? What You Should Know About It

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

As said by Bill Gates, these words stand true for fundamentally any business whose revenue depends on customer response.

Without customers, your business would cease to exist. As a marketer, you need to understand how to gain new customers and retain them. And customer retention can only happen if you pay attention to their grievances, act on them, and create a personalized and happy experience at the end of the day.

This is where customer satisfaction comes into the picture. The following blog will provide you with a detailed account of how customer satisfaction determines your business’ growth and what measures to take to keep your business up and running. So, take out your notepads, and let’s begin.

What is customer satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction discerns whether your business will bloom or doom. It is a tool to determine how happy a customer is with your company’s service and how likely are they to recommend your services to their friends or family. A happy customer is synonymous with the success of your business.

A happy customer doesn’t solely refer to receiving a high-quality product in less time, but the overall experience of how satisfied they felt throughout the buying process.

Why is Customer Satisfaction important?

In simple words, a happy customer will provide you with leads, and an unhappy customer will leave in a heartbeat. Every customer wants a personalized experience and if they are not getting it from your company, they will be happy to go elsewhere to get it.

Doing business is a fierce game and you should know all the rules before the game starts. So, here are a few reasons why good customer service is required:

1. Higher customer retention: It builds customer loyalty as satisfied customer is more likely to come back and bring their friends and family along. This provides a higher ROI

2. Low Acquisition Costs: A higher customer retention will help you streamline your services according to your loyal base and this would negate the extra effort required in targeting new customers thus, reducing the acquisition costs.

3. Provides Competitive Edge: A lot of companies sell the same product that you do. But by establishing a culture around good customer service, you can stay ahead of the curve and strengthen your position in the market.

4. Improves Employee Efficiency: Evaluating the customer service KPIs and other metrics will help you determine your team’s performance and aid in boosting morale as a better workflow will help your team to do a good job.

5. Upholds Brand Standards: Loyal customers act as informal brand ambassadors. Therefore, keeping them happy is pertinent to upholding the legitimacy of what your brand stands for.

The main aim of customer relationship management is to alleviate the customer experience. You need to consider all the touchpoints between the company and the customer. One way to improve this could be feedback in the form of surveys and audits. The results from these can be clubbed together to calculate the Customer Satisfaction Index and CSAT score.

What is the difference between the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) and the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT score)?

A CSAT Score is assigned by asking your customer to choose from the “Five Levels of Customer Satisfaction” by answering a simple question i.e. “How would you rate your overall experience with the product/service received?” The customer can assign a score based on a scale from one to five, with one being, “Very Unsatisfied” and five beings, “Very Satisfied”

CSAT scores provide a great starting point to gain insight into whether your framework is progressing or not.

On the other hand, CSI or Customer Satisfaction Index is a sub-total of all the CSAT scores gathered at various touch points. CSI allows you to compare various attributes spread across departments and identify the weaker ones.

This way, both CSAT scores, and CSI can help you mitigate risks and recommend accurate suggestions and tools to strengthen the customer satisfaction process.

How to Improve Customer Satisfaction?

The holistic way to up your customer service game is a two-way approach. Conducting surveys and audits, commonly called mystery shopping.
Customer Satisfaction Survey

To provide high-quality customer service, you as a marketer, need to delve into the buyer’s psychology. And the most feasible way to do it is via CSAT surveys.
These surveys help in meeting customer expectations, reducing churn rates, improving service across all touchpoints, and analyzing the processes that might put your business in jeopardy.

You can utilize an omnichannel approach to collecting customer feedback. Ensure a customer-centric mindset so that you ask the right questions, receive feedback, and work those metrics into your internal structure.

Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is the process of gathering objective, unbiased feedback from a third party that enables you to determine whether your teams consistently adhere to your standards.
Contrary to its name, mystery shopping solves the mystery behind the shortfall in a satisfying customer experience.

It monitors staff performance, improves customer retention, and pinpoints the strengths & weaknesses of your policies. And if you are clever enough to use mystery shopping skilfully; it can even provide helpful intel on your competitors’ strategies.

You probably know that HS Brands provides exceptional mystery shopping services to its clients. Their skilled shoppers tactfully conduct mystery audits of the company’s services or products and provide their observations on various parameters such as staff service, ambiance, product quality, and similar contributing factors responsible for a happy customer experience.

What is better: A Customer Satisfaction Survey or Mystery Shopping?

CSAT surveys capture the customer’s feelings that mystery shopping can’t fully achieve. On the other hand, mystery shopping provides thorough information about your competitors as well as your internal functioning.

Both tools must be used in concert with one another to guarantee that you’re providing an outstanding customer experience that meets your customers’ expectations.


Customer experience is a crucial component of every flourishing company. Therefore, enhancing customer happiness should be a top priority for all businesses.

It is impossible to create a setting where your customers and staff members are content all the time. However, now that you are aware of how crucial customer satisfaction is, you can work on creating and attaining objectives for this while also ensuring that both your customers and team are treated with respect and understanding.

HS Brands aids in increasing the efficiency and quality of customer service to deliver better overall customer satisfaction. Hence, mystery shopping can be used as an effective tool to handle customer satisfaction metrics and reduce churn rates.

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