Market research is the systematic process of data gathering and analysis to gain more information about customers and market competition. The information is then used to plan campaign strategies, improve current products, or diversify products within the brand.  Market research is used to support planning and budgeting and decision-making for new products, market-entry, marketing communications, customer initiatives, and more! So, where should you start?

We will share different types of marketing research that are available including advantages and disadvantages and 21 market research tips.

Types of Market Research

There are a variety of market research techniques; primary vs. secondary research, quantitative or qualitative research, and syndicated research.

Secondary research, the most common type of research, is defined as published, publicly available and free information from websites, magazines and publications, trade associations, government, census data, and of course search engine results. Secondary research is extremely time/cost effective. However, there is a possibility that you may not be able to obtain data specific enough for your purposes.

Primary research is information that is collected directly from the source. Typically, it is custom to the specific project and includes surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Primary research is targeted and specific to your purpose, but is typically very time consuming and costly. However, conducting surveys is becoming easier with the use of online polls. Some online survey/polling services include:

Qualitative research uses open-ended questions typically with interviews or focus groups. This allows you to discover more information with a smaller number of people, so it may be less expensive. However, because statistical data is lacking it is difficult to make widespread assumptions.

Quantitative research uses statistically significant sampling and closed-end questions (typically surveys). A large sample of the population must be studied which means more statistically accurate results, but a higher cost.

Syndicated research is conducted by a research firm and sold to several users on a fee or subscription basis. Syndicated data can be cost-effective because the costs are spread amongst the subscribers. However, a disadvantage is that buyers have little control over what information is collected.

21 Market Research Tips

Market research can help prevent costly bad decisions. Therefore, you NEED to conduct market research. Before you start doing market research check out these 21 market research tips from SitePoint:

  1. Be clear about your objectives before beginning your market research.
  2. Identify your target audience, how many respondents you require and what data you are hoping to collect before beginning.
  3. Make sure your target group is relevant to your needs and represents the market you are targeting.
  4. Watch for and incorporate unsolicited feedback you receive on social networks or review sites.
  5. Say thank you to every single person who contributes to your research.
  6. Provide a place for open-ended comments on any survey that you use.
  7. Make it common practice to ask clients for suggestions at every interaction.
  8. Understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative research and format your questions accordingly.
  9. Review your surveys and questionnaires to ensure you’re not phrasing anything offensively.
  10. Develop a chart or graph from the data collected to make it easier to visually analyze the results.
  11. Record interviews or focus groups whenever possible for review and analysis.
  12. Don’t ignore criticism because you don’t want to hear it; it can be the most valuable feedback you receive.
  13. Ensure your survey is neutral and doesn’t involve leading questions.
  14. Make it quick and easy to complete your survey or questionnaire.
  15. Aim for a large enough sample group to give you meaningful data.
  16. Create your surveys and interviews so the focus is on measurable data.
  17. Follow surveys with a phone call or other personal contact to round out the answers provided, whenever possible.
  18. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients when writing your survey questions.
  19. Ensure that all participants will remain confidential to encourage participation.
  20. Be impartial throughout the whole process, or use an outside person to facilitate.
  21. Keep your mind open to new opportunities and needs that you didn’t consider before conducting your research.

Do you have any market research tips? Leave them in the comment box below and please share this post using the social bookmarking tools below!