8 Types Of Market Research To Consider In 2022
Have you ever set up some healthy snacks for a party or guests and found out later that most people preferred junk food? Market research can tell you which cards to play in your hand when it comes to marketing strategies, so you don’t end up going overboard on the wrong things.
Market research falls into several different categories. The most common are primary, secondary research. Find compact definitions for each and learn why it’s important to manage these various areas of the marketing cycle.
Marketing research is the process of gathering information about a specific target audience’s attitude and opinion regarding a product or service, as well as collecting data on the target market’s demographics, psychographics, usage and buying behavior. The findings from this process are used for various purposes including evaluating ad campaign success, improving production and product development, defining marketing strategy and tactics, accounting for sales over time, measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty, making predictions about future demands, supporting pricing decisions and analyzing competitors or alternative products using marketing intelligence.
When taking part in market research, there are two main approaches that most businesses follow – primary and secondary research. Both techniques of marketing research involve people interacting with the industry in different ways, which is why it’s important to choose an approach that is most effective for your own business and aims.
1. Primary Research
Primary research is the set of data that you collect yourself, going directly to the source. Because it is your own unique data, it becomes your property.
Two types of raw data are gathered from the participants, either exploratory or conclusive. The first type is gathered to determine what needs to be discovered before finding a successful solution and the second one when we are looking for broken links in our understanding of the problem and how we can go about solving it, using the previous research as guidance.
Focus groups – A focus group is the type of research that sorts out what people want by asking them in a meeting where someone (a moderator) can guide their thinking and they discuss the answers with one another. This is how you get insights such as how to improve your product or service.
This method is great for gathering the opinions of a lot of people in a relatively short amount of time but can have some control issues that must be addressed by the interviewer. The interviewer must not only prepare ways to gather answers and record responses, but they need to also carry on an engaging conversation with all participants until the survey is done – this might cause interviewers to alter responses due to cognitive dissonance. Participants (either consciously or subconsciously) may also alter their answers based on who asked the question i.e., acquiescence bias, dominance bias or researcher bias.
One-on-one interviews – Conducted with one participant as the target audience, this method allows for a two-way conversation to take place. There’s no better way than one-on-one interviews to get your intended message, business objectives or product communication across to your participant!
This provides a structured setting where the interviewer can listen to what’s being said and investigate further into an answer. The interviewer can also pick up on non-verbal cues from body language that helps them understand where to deep-dive and broaden their understanding.
Some might argue that certain kinds of cognitive biases still exist in this format. The method is particularly difficult to execute – carrying out the interviews themselves and then facing hours upon hours of data entry afterward.
Surveys – A survey is a list of open and closed-ended questions that are put together and sent to someone digitally — generally, either by email or through a software platform that collects the answers automatically. The questions can vary within the survey depending on what you’re trying to gather information on but also pay attention to how you worded your questions as well.
A survey can be an excellent method for carrying out primary research. You do need to have physical contact with the participants in order to carry it out, however; it does offer flexibility as participants can complete this from any location with internet access. The researchers must segment the market and create a list of participants who will receive the survey. That said, hiring a panel or using existing marketing lists can help with this.
2. Secondary Research
Secondary research is the use of already published and analysed information (in other words it isn’t your data so you don’t need to buy a license to use this or be concerned about infringing anyone’s intellectual property rights). You may even have previously collected some of this data yourself. An example of this for market research is:
Desktop research – This can be public domain data from think tanks, government statistics or research centres. It can also include paid for research from research journals, education institutions, and commercial sources like newspapers.
Secondary research methods occur after the beginning of a project or plan when someone realizes that more information is required. Secondary research is favoured because it requires no monetary investment on behalf of the institution or company concerned, or the procuring of materials needed to obtain results – because there are none to obtain!
Doing research on secondary and primary resources is one way or another to prepare yourself for a lot of other things that are related to your project. The information gathered does not provide the most essential information about what you’re dealing with, but it definitely helps provide some kind of input that might help explain why there’s a certain outcome in some of the cases or situations. It can also help define what you need as an entrepreneur, which you can get from primary research conducted by specialists.
Additionally, organizations need a comprehensive solution that includes a communication tool that ensures they can access and present large volumes of information in a way where information can be easily sorted and structured.
As we have seen from our discussion, both primary and secondary research methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, but they can best be used as a team. When combined, these methods can give you that confidence in knowing that any assumptions you may have been backed up by factual data.
Market research may be done in different ways. The two most common types of market research are qualitative and quantitative:
3. Qualitative Research
Qualitative market research is the collection of primary or secondary data that is non-numerical in nature, and therefore hard to measure. For example, if a company wishes to better understand their target market’s response to a new product offering, focus groups can be organized with customers and prospective customers by demographic segmentation through tools such as online surveys, interviews, and questionnaires. For example, customers may be asked in an online survey “How would you feel about using a service that was rated 10 out of 10 for professionalism?”
Qualitative market research is one way in which companies can gain a better understanding of their target market and find out what it is they’re looking for. It’s a good option when you need answers to complex business questions and it often takes into account the opinions of customers more as well. Qualitative market research also tends to help businesses understand how people think about their purchase decisions – rather than simply if everyone sees things the same way.
4. Quantitative Research
Quantitative research is complete market research that is numerical in nature and usually easier to collect.
Market researchers use this type of data to conduct historical benchmarking and base their investigations on findings that are supported by facts and figures.
Collecting this data can be done several different ways: polls, surveys, desk research (searching through information at the workplace or on the web), financial records — all of which are meant to give you an idea of what’s going on out there in the market while your team doesn’t have enough time to get sufficient feedback from qualitative research that requires more depth.
While quantitative finds trends, you will need qualitative marketing research to understand why those patterns exist and whether tweaks are needed.
5. Branding Research
Branding is incredibly critical and essential for long term success within smaller businesses. Various areas that branding can be analysed and evaluated are through surveys, focus groups or interviews. For example, when evaluating brand loyalty, you are looking at how willing a client might be to repurchase products from your company.
Additional aspects of brand evaluations include brand perception, which can help you understand how your audience perceives specific attributes of a brand (e.g how eco-friendly a product is), brand positioning , which helps evaluate if the company’s values align with the desired client base and the general quality of their offerings etc and of course one of the most significant aspects which any business would want to know – the value put on the quality of a product by people who use it!
Research is an essential tool to know where an organization stands today, what the current / trending climate is, and how it is perceived (whether positively or negatively) by its customers. The aim of research will be to determine if your brand or organization is performing, which areas could use a boost within the company and what it might want to improve or showcase to enhance its image.
6. Customer Research
Customer market research is like observing the behaviour of customers through a magnifying glass. You’d like to analyse what they do and why they do it in real time. Sometimes, you find that there are too many empty seats at a music show, or that a customer keeps on asking for the same brand of soda; otherwise, marketers keep track of TV ratings (data from a company which tracks how many people watch programs) then consider where and how to advertise accordingly.
The aim of this research is to get to know your customer like the back of your hand and to continue finding out about how they interact with the business. It will cover areas such as:
- Customer satisfaction – In order to break through the clutter, today’s organizations must realize that customer satisfaction is an essential ingredient for building and maintaining customer loyalty which leads to increased revenues and profits.
- Customer loyalty— This looks at what positive customer interactions have contributed to building a relationship wherein the customer is more likely to put in effort.
- Customer segmentation – This research is important to marketing. It enables businesses to target their customers more effectively with relevant messages and products.
When checking what your customers want, you should research the information you already have. This includes buying records, customer journey mapping, customer segmentation and demographic and persona templates. Primary research such as surveys or chats with your customers can provide even more details.
7. Competitor Research
It’s vital to know who your competition is and understand their strengths and weaknesses, as well as knowing what they do differently than you. Or when it comes to listening to customers, understanding what they like best about your competition may help your organization figure out how to attract those customers for yourself. Understanding the type of customer base that a business attracts can aid future planning through horizon scanning and forecasting new changes based on the preferences of existing customers and how such changes may affect customer demand.
The aim of this research is to evaluate the current state of your organisation’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as its innate opportunities and threats.
For example, if you were to conduct a SWOT analysis, you would investigate what strategies your business is currently utilizing in terms of planning and making decisions, which would then be compared against those used by your competitors to find similarities or differences.
Primary research plays a significant role in figuring out what consumers want, and allowing for a better understanding of the marketplace. Primary sources may include references to sales and company statistics obtained through historical records, surveys of past customers, and perusal of the news. Secondary research can help determine who dominates the market and their sales figures and view on new product introductions. With this thorough examination, you can prioritize how to enhance your offerings in order to avoid being swallowed up by your competitor and also ensure that your solutions are innovative while staying current with what consumers want most.
8. Product Research
The aim of this research study is to see how your current product is perceived by customers, if they are providing value, as well as how it works. Ideas can also form about upgrades and future development based on the information gathered during this research study.
Primary research methods can be less expensive compared to secondary research. Conducting surveys will allow you to ask your participants questions regarding their rankings on certain topics and conducting conjoint analysis may aid in being able to see what features necessary and what features are are not necessary by highlighting which features consumers prefer when it comes to your product. This can make the product more appealing than competitors’ that might have non-necessary features included with theirs. Going on an in-person observation interview is one of the best ways to learn about what your users enjoy or don’t enjoy about the design of the product, allowing you to either suggest changes or simply understand why users do or do not use specific parts of your product for those related people who might be thinking about using a similar program themselves!
When you encounter a new marketplace, there are many things that can make or break your success. Over the years we’ve learned that it’s better to be over-prepared than under. The best way to do this is to adopt a practice of being an avid researcher and conducting market research regularly, not just at the beginning of a project – because once you delve into something new, there are many aspects of the business that you must consider in order to stay on top of your game. These include prices and expenses, such as salaries and shipping times. Knowing what to expect from your competitors is also vital too — which is why we strictly recommend staying ahead of the curve by keeping tabs on their progress, getting involved in networking opportunities elsewhere, asking for advice, etc.
Excited to know more how market research can help you in boosting your business? Visit us at www.philomathresearch.com