Market research is the process of collecting information about your company’s target audience to evaluate the viability and success of your future products.
In this article, we explain what market research is and why it is important, cover its types and methods, provide a guide on how to do market research, and 3 best tools for it.
Why is market research important?
Conducting market research is necessary to ensure that your product can become successful on the market. It helps discover more about your company’s potential clients and get feedback from existing customers to build strong product marketing strategies. In this section, we explain why market research is so important.
- It provides many insights into your target audience. By conducting market research, you can discover customers’ needs, pains, and the ways to solve them. It helps identify your ideal clients and their buying habits. You can also estimate the value of existing and new products to develop a well-defined pricing strategy.
- It helps you forecast sales. Market research provides insights into the demand and ensures that your company has enough resources for production. You can also test the effectiveness of the marketing strategies within the research to avoid overspending.
- It allows your business to stand out from the competitors. Market research helps determine the size of the industry, direct and indirect competitors, their strengths and weaknesses. Using this information, you can develop brand positioning, find its competitive advantages, and the ways to highlight them during the marketing campaigns.
Now you understand why conducting market research is so vital. Let’s go further and discover its types in the next section.
Types of Market Research
To do market research effectively, you need to know the ways of gathering information and their peculiarities. This knowledge will help you collect relevant data faster and understand your customers better. Read about the types of market research below.
Primary research is gathering information directly from the target customers. Businesses can do it on their own or employ a third party to specialize in conducting such research. You can get first-hand data using focus groups, questionnaires, polls, surveys, etc. Collect numerical information and customers’ reviews to understand their attitudes to your brand better.
There are two categories of primary research that complement each other: exploratory and specific. During the explanatory research, businesses always ask open-ended questions and conduct detailed interviews with a small group of people. Specific research focuses on collecting statistics and solving the problem companies find after the explanatory research.
Secondary research uses information that other people and companies have gathered. This data may include government reports, market statistics, articles in media, and even presented research from your competitors. You can also use your company’s internal insights during the secondary research. Businesses gather this information to have a general overview of market trends and ways of development in their industries.
While conducting market research, it is essential to keep in mind your aim because the methods you use and the information you focus on may be different.
In the next section, we provide the methods and their peculiarities so that you can choose the most suitable ones for your research.
9 Methods of Market Research
Your research can include many elements and methods to create a complete picture of the current situation on the market. We describe these methods and explain why your company needs to use them.
- Buyer personas research. This method allows you to discover more about your target audience, its pains, and preferences. By conducting buyer personas research, you can create an image of your ideal clients and discover product features they need the most.
- Market segmentation research. Usually, businesses can define 2 or 3 groups of customers within their target audience. Market segmentation helps differentiate them and understand the peculiarities of each group better.
- Interviews. Companies often use this way to collect relevant information during primary research. Interviews include a series of open questions and aim to discover more about customers’ experiences. One-to-one communication gives many insights into the target audience and lets them understand these people better.
- Focus groups usually consist of 6-10 people that correspond to the image of ideal customers. It is better to gather a few groups for each target audience segment. By using this method, you can gather feedback about your brand, certain product, or the idea of future marketing campaigns.
- Observation and product use research. Companies need this method to see how people use products and their specific features. By conducting observation research, you can discover what problems consumers face and improve them during product development.
- Pricing research is the way to discover how much your potential customers are ready to pay for your products. Within the research, you can collect data about your competitors’ prices and compare them to the demand if possible. This information can help you define a successful pricing strategy.
- Customer satisfaction research gives you a deep understanding of the consumers’ loyalty level. By conducting this research, you can identify weaknesses of your products and problems during communication to improve them in the future.
- Brand awareness research. This method allows you to discover the associations with your brand that the target audience has. It can help you transmit brand personality more accurately and make the company more recognizable by effective promotion.
- Marketing campaigns research helps estimate the success of your previous campaigns and analyze why customers liked certain promotions. This process can save your company lots of money and is extremely important while developing future marketing strategies.
Now you know the types and methods of market research. Discover how to conduct it step-by-step in the next section.
How to do market research
Market research can be rather different according to the aim of the business owner and chosen methods. However, there are some similar steps that every company should include in its research to do it successfully. We highlight them and give some recommendations below.
- Set your goals and choose research methods. Define the main aim of the research and keep it in mind during the whole process. Examples of the goals can be: preparing for the launch of the new product, changing brand positioning, improving existing products, etc. Write down your aim and the questions you need to answer. According to the goal, you can identify the most suitable types and methods to gather relevant information within your research.
- Define your target audience and assemble focus groups. Before conducting the research, describe your ideal customers — buyer personas. It will help you understand these people better and get insights into their buying behavior. Think about consumers’ age, gender, location, social status, occupation, lifestyle, etc. Then find such people in real life and form a representative sample. You can also include regular customers in the group.
- Analyze competitors. Gather all the information about other companies within your industry. Define the strengths and weaknesses of each brand to include all the advantages into your product marketing strategy. This analysis can also help you gain a strong competitive advantage.
- Prepare research questions and collect relevant data. Remember your goal and think about the open-ended questions you need to ask to gather the necessary information. Then ask people from your focus groups, conduct interviews, use polls and other research methods that you have already chosen. Gather qualitative and quantitative data to get more insights into the current market situation.
- Analyze and plan future actions. Ensure that you gathered all the information needed to reach the goal. Revise this data, create a summary and draw a conclusion. Then prepare the action plan and develop a future strategy. Implement changes to improve your products and boost your company on the market.
Now you are ready to conduct market research for your company. Read the next section to discover the tools that can help you.
3 Best Market Research Tools
There are many market research platforms on the Internet, so it might be difficult for you to choose the best ones for your business. Below we describe three tools, their features, and pricing to make your work easier.
Attest is a platform that you can use for any kind of market research, such as competitor analysis, market segmentation, buyer persona research, etc. This tool provides access to 110 million people from 49 countries worldwide whose answers you can get in real-time. There are filters to focus on your niche and templates to set surveys up in a few minutes. Attest provides an interactive dashboard and statistical significance calculator to gain insights easier.
- Free trial for the first survey.
- Professional — 50,000 responses for 0.50$ per response. This plan starts at 25,000$.
- Premium — 100,000 responses for 0.44$ per response. This plan starts at 44,000$.
- Enterprise — from 250,000 responses. The payment you should discuss with the platform. Additionally, you get early access to all new product features.
Look at the screenshot below. There is an example of brand awareness research you can conduct throughout your target audience. You can add questions, edit them, change their sequence, and add media.
Then you should choose the audience. You can identify these people’s age and demographics. You can also identify the number of respondents and the language of the questionnaire.
This tool lets you create polls and questionnaires, use open-ended questions, images, videos, and randomization to get insights into the audience’s preferences. Pollfish gives you insights into the quality of the information. You can get results in real-time and analyze them easily with dashboards. Also, Pollfish provides 24/7 customer support.
Pricing starts from 0.95$ per completed survey response.
There is an example of the survey Pollfish conducted within their audience. You can create a similar questionnaire, add a list of questions and possible answers on the right and apply filters to choose the audience on the left.
It is a platform that gives you an overview of the data. You can enter any term in the tool, and Google Trends will provide you with analytics on how it has been trending over time. It is possible to compare different terms, refine search results by location, and see the popularity dynamics.
Using this platform is completely free.
Below there is an example of World Cup trend research. You can see the diagram of the interest, the difference in popularity by region, and related topics. It is possible to share or download all the information.
Congrats, now you know what market research is and why it is important, its types and methods. You can do market research for your company and analyze the results to boost your company on the market.
Last Updated: 22.03.2023
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