We hear the term market research all of the time in marketing, but what exactly is it? This article will help you understand how our industry views market research and why we need to do a lot more. To learn more about this topic and what it means, keep reading.
Marketing research is the process of gathering information about market needs and wants, and then creating a plan to respond to those needs. Marketing research can be done in many ways, but it typically involves the following steps:
1) Defining the problem or need that you are looking to solve; 2) Gathering information from your target audience; 3) Developing a plan for how you will address the problem/need; 4) Implementing your marketing strategy. Read more in detail here: marketing research process with example.
It’s critical to have your finger on the pulse of market circumstances, customer behavior, and new trends to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive marketplaces. This may be a challenging job. Market circumstances alter quickly, consumer preferences vary, and trends come and go in a flash.
The only way to stay competitive is to do thorough market research. We’ll look at what market research is, why it’s essential, and how to get started with your own exploratory study in this post.
What Is Market Research’s Purpose?
The practice of acquiring information about a target audience is known as market research. You’ll learn who your consumers are and what they want as part of the process. It enables you to respond to queries such as:
- What are the characteristics of my target market?
- What are their passions and purchasing habits?
- What are their thoughts on my company or industry?
- What issues can I assist this group of individuals with?
- What is the best way for me to communicate with them?
You can find possibilities, influence stakeholders, and establish a devoted client base by understanding your target audience. All of these factors help to create a strong company plan and marketing strategy.
While market research does include studying analytics data, it is more than just keeping track of figures like traffic volume or what consumers buy. Market research takes things a step further by seeking to figure out “why” the data are the way they are. We want to know why consumers feel emotionally connected.
When Is It Appropriate to Conduct Market Research?
This question has a simple answer: always. It’s critical to keep educated since markets and clients are always changing.
Market research, in fact, takes a long time and requires a lot of resources. When it comes to doing research projects, you’ll want to be strategic.
Here are four situations in which market research is absolutely necessary:
- Before starting a new company or enterprise — Prior to investing in new enterprises or endeavors, it is critical to do preliminary market research. It will assist you in identifying competitive items, price structures, and marketing strategies.
- Prior to venturing into new markets — In new areas, it’s critical to understand your prospective clients. Economic changes, rising trends, and cultural values vary by location. Market research may save you money by allowing you to prevent expensive errors.
- Prior to the creation or launch of new goods or services — As your business expands, you’ll most likely introduce additional items and/or services. Before making any major decisions, you need first have a thorough understanding of the market.
- Make preparations to undertake a follow-up round of research after any of the above – after starting a new firm, entering new markets, or introducing new goods or services. This will assist you in determining what is working and what needs to be improved.
What Are the Different Market Research Methodologies?
When you’re ready to start exploring for information, think about what you want to learn. Are you attempting to comprehend your rivals? Do you wish to sell your items more effectively? Are you trying to solve a problem for a customer?
There are two basic forms of market research that may help you get the answers you need:
Primary Market Analysis
Primary Market Analysis is completed “in house” through your own efforts. Conducting primary research allows you to tailor your research to your specific products and services. It gives you the highest level of control over research quality.
The following are examples of primary research methods:
You may acquire two sorts of data using these study methods:
- People’s preferences, dislikes, and emotional reactions are examples of qualitative data that isn’t tallied or quantified. Qualitative data is often obtained via Interviews and Focus Groups (FGDs). To draw inferences from this kind of data, you’re not likely to employ an algorithm or equation.
- Quantitative data is information derived from numbers. Page views, survey data, and social media followers are all included. You can create charts and graphs using this kind of data.
Secondary Market Analysis
Secondary Market Analysis is research conducted by someone else. Because the data is already available, it’s typically more cost effective, and less time and resource consuming to collect.
Some secondary sources are as follows:
- Company reports are reports written by businesses concerning their own operations.
- Industry statistics are data and information about whole industries rather than individual enterprises.
- White papers are third-party market analyses prepared on a particular issue relating to a certain sector.
- Magazines for professionals
- Companies that do market research
- Data from government agencies – Information and data gathered by the government and made available to the public.
You’ll generally get a macro level picture of your industry and information about other rivals in the market from secondary sources who know how to execute effective market research. Just make sure the information and statistics are true, accurate, and trustworthy.
Taking a Closer Look at 7 Common Market Research Techniques
Let’s take a deeper look at some of the research techniques used to obtain data now that we’ve reviewed the many types of market research.
Different approaches generate various types of data. So, before you start, consider what kind of information you’re looking for.
Interviews provide you the opportunity to have in-depth conversations with members of your target audience. They might be unstructured and free-flowing, or organized and comprehensive. While interviews are often taped, the fact that they are taped has the potential to impact people’s responses.
Make a list of questions to ask before the interview. What type of data do you require? Here are four things to think about:
- Customer grievances
- Customer objectives
- Brand awareness, brand preferences, and price are all factors to consider.
Focus Groups (FGDs)
Focus Groups (FGDs) consist of 5 to 10 people representing your target audience. These individuals share their thoughts about aspects of your business. Sessions are typically recorded. Listen for trends in responses, and pay attention to tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language.
When evaluating data, check for the following:
- Phrases that are repeated
- Reactions that are similar (confusion, frustration, delight)
- Inconsistent responses or dissenting viewpoints
- Quotes that encapsulate the group’s sentiments, responses, and viewpoints
Gather the information in a spreadsheet so that you can arrange and classify it later for further in-depth study.
Secondary Market Analysis Data
Market research, white papers, and consumer review sites may all give valuable information for your company. Expert analysis is provided by organizations such as Pew, Gartner, Ipsos, and Forrester.
Sites like G2 and Trustpilot give important insights into consumer experience and satisfaction with your firm and competition via reviews and ratings.
Keep in mind the user’s motive. Customers are more likely to leave reviews when they are really displeased with a product, therefore this data may slant that way.
Observational Research is a kind of research that is based on observation.
Observational Research is a kind of research that is based on observation. involves watching people from your target audience interact with products. The way they react, ask questions, hit roadblocks, and respond in other ways provides useful information about how to improve.
For example, you may bring people to your office to watch them use your website, buy something from your online shop, or interact with a real product. You may notice that kids get lost, appreciate something specific, or get upset at times. This information may be used to make improvements.
Market Segmentation & Demographics
Market segmentation is the practice of dividing your target audience into categories based on demographic characteristics like age, gender, or region. Examining your target market’s interests, wants, and preferences will help you better understand how to address their demands and ensure that your marketing efforts are effective.
You may use Webinomy’s Market Explorer tool to learn more about any market audience’s demographics. For domains in the same market as Nike, this analysis shows the split of men and women, as well as their ages.
The viewership is equally divided between men and women, with the 25-34 year olds being the biggest demographic. This audience’s favorite social media platform is Twitter, and they’re also interested in auctions, antiques, and collectibles. We can make reasonable assumptions about what items our audience may be searching for based on this information, then sell those products on platforms where this demographic spends the most time.
Analysis of Competitors
Analysis of Competitors is the process of taking a deep dive into your competitors’ products, services, prices, promotions, and other activities. By analyzing competitors’, you can avoid their mistakes, replicate their success, and stay on the cutting edge of your industry.
You may simply engage with your audience and get immediate feedback by using surveys. When a survey is conducted online, it may reach a huge number of people and allow them to react fast.
Survey templates, distribution tools, and data categorization and presentation choices are all available on sites like Survey Monkey and Google Forms. You may also poll your audience using social media networks.
You may gather both quantitative and qualitative data via surveys. To keep your audience interested and deliver a broad range of important data points, employ a number of question forms, such as multiple choice, “yes or no,” short response, and scales.
Choosing the Most Appropriate Research Method
The research strategy you choose will be determined by what you want to learn about your market.
Do you want to know what your clients want or require? Are you attempting to keep up with industry trends? Are you looking for ways to increase your marketing?
Take a look at this chart for some suggestions on how to proceed.
We’ve defined market research, described the many forms, and listed the most common data collection techniques, but you may still be wondering, “What exactly is market research?” Let’s look at how to get started with market research for your own business.
We’ll provide you with a basic market research template here:
- Define the research question.
- Make a research strategy.
- Collect information
- Analyze data and come up with new ideas
- Present your results and revise your strategy.
To further understand this process, let’s pretend we’re the owner of a shoe firm looking to get into the running shoe industry.
Step 1: Decide on a research topic.
You must first determine the purpose of your study before you begin gathering data. This enables you to choose the most appropriate study technique and instruments.
Do you have a question regarding your company? Do you identify a market opportunity that you’d like to investigate further? Has your product piqued your interest in any way?
You may start examining what individuals look for on the internet based on your early observations or queries to establish their goal, pain spots, and preferences. This might help you restrict your focus and move on with your research plan development.
We may utilize Webinomy’s Keyword Magic tool as the proprietors of a footwear firm introducing a new shoe line. Select the target nation first, then enter the term. “Running shoes,” for example.
The search parameters were then changed from all terms to questions.
Some recurring topics emerged from the top searches:
- What is the average lifespan of a pair of running shoes?
- What factors do you consider while purchasing running shoes?
- What are the greatest men’s and women’s running shoes?
This first search yields some suggestions for where we might concentrate our investigation. Let’s look at which running shoes people believe are the greatest and why for the purpose of this example.
Step 2: Create a Market Research Strategy
Develop a strategy to take actions toward answers and new understandings when you have a better understanding of your study aims. What primary and secondary sources will you use to begin?
What primary sources are you going to use?
- Will you do interviews with significant figures?
- Are you going to conduct a focus group?
- Could you conduct a poll to get information about people’s experiences?
What secondary sources are you going to use?
- What third-party research firms have looked at your market?
- Do you have access to consumer reviews?
- Can you have a look at how other businesses advertise themselves?
To return to our example shoe firm, we might use one of three approaches to learn more about what shoes runners choose and why:
- Review studies on product quality undertaken by third-party market researchers (manufacturing, features, lifespan, etc.)
- Inquire about runner’s experiences with different shoes.
- Hold Focus Groups (FGDs) to understand how people think, feel, and talk about their favorite brands
A bird’s-eye perspective of the market may assist you identify who the industry leaders are and what their client demographics are like before you start using these approaches.
The.Trends tools from Webinomy can assist with this early effort. Enter the names of the most popular firms in the Market Explorer tool. You may pick up to 20 rivals, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll go with 5.
The first thing you’ll notice is the Growth Quadrant. This tool shows rival market positions and evaluates their current online audience size and growth. To observe quarterly changes in positions, turn on the “Quarter Over Quarter” report (QoQ).
In terms of traffic volume, we can observe that Nike.com and Adidas.com are the top. We’ll absolutely look into what they’re doing to promote traffic, and we’ll ask our study participants about these businesses.
It’s also worth looking at the “Game Changers” section. Two smaller companies, Brooks.com and Saucony.com, have seen a quarter-over-quarter increase in traffic that has driven them into the game changer quadrant. This upward tendency warrants more investigation.
Insight into these brands’ audience can also help us think about how to design our Focus Groups (FGDs) and Interviews.
The audience ages for each brand are shown in the bar graph on the left. The graph on the right depicts the male-female split. We’ll want to make sure we use this data while putting together our sample so that our groups represent the market.
You’ll need to create a timetable, distribute duties, and execute after you’ve selected which research techniques to apply.
Step 3: Collect information for Market Research
The sort of research approach you choose will determine how you gather and crunch data.
- For qualitative research, like Focus Groups (FGDs) or Interviews, write out answers and compare notes later. With surveys you might produce reports. Tools like Google Forms or Survey Monkey often offer free reports that organize your data and even include illustrations where applicable.
- Collect raw data for quantitative research using a basic spreadsheet or more complicated data storage tools. Once you’ve gathered your data, you can use tools like Google Data Studio or Tableau to organize it and visualize it as graphs or charts.
For our footwear company, we’ll collect qualitative data through our Focus Groups (FGDs) and Interviews. We could also collect quantitative data using the Webinomy .Trends tools.
Webinomy’s Traffic Analytics, for example, gives traffic statistics for a competitor’s website. The top pages of Saucony.com are shown below.
We can find out which landing pages get a lot of traffic by looking at the Top Pages report. It may be a page promoting a new product introduction, such as Saucony’s Endorphin Pro+ sneakers.
In our Focus Groups (FGDs), we could study customer responses to this launch or compare the traffic numbers or sources with new releases coming from competitors.
Step 4: Analyze data and come up with new ideas
Analyzing your data aids in the discovery of answers to your original research topic and the transformation of those answers into plans. The data must first be organized before the procedure can begin.
When dealing with quantitative data, tally it all up and save it in a centralized area, such as a spreadsheet. Organize ratings, rankings, “yes or no” replies, multiple choice question options, and any other information. After you’ve categorized your data, crunch the numbers to get averages, ranges, and other key statistics.
Review all of the acquired data and categorize it into categories for qualitative data. Concerns, queries, disappointments, strengths, faults, and suggestions, for example. Organizing this information will aid in the identification of themes.
After you’ve arranged your data, look through your study objectives again. Here are some questions to consider:
- Is there any pattern in the data?
- Can I come up with any possible explanations for these patterns?
- What about the data is unexpected or intriguing?
- Is the information I’ve gathered useful in answering my initial questions?
- Is there anything else that comes to mind?
As you find patterns or themes, make a graphic representation of them. Miro and Mural are two tools that may help you brainstorm, find connections, and bring other individuals to the table to assist you comprehend the data.
Let’s say we obtained these 5 insights based on the data for our footwear company:
- Customers choose long-lasting running shoes; they want their preferred sneakers to endure a long time.
- Customers are prepared to spend a higher price for a good pair of running shoes.
- Customers are less inclined to stick to a single brand; quality takes precedence over brand.
- Customers are more receptive to advertisements that feature expert runners.
- Customers choose running sneakers with bright colors and patterns.
Data that supports your thesis or answers the difficulties you’re studying should be highlighted.
Don’t be concerned if you see unfavorable findings or patterns. This provides you the option to shift course or cancel the project entirely, saving you time and money.
Step 5: Present Your Results, Modify Your Plan, and Keep Testing
Now that you’ve done the hard work, it’s time to put what you’ve learned to good use. This usually entails presenting your findings to stakeholders and discussing ways to enhance your company or marketing strategy.
When presenting statistics, it is beneficial to include:
- The method through which the data was gathered
- How did the evidence lead to your conclusions?
- How did your findings lead to concrete recommendations?
Let’s go back to our running shoe firm for a second. If we wanted to provide price information to our stakeholders, we might do it as follows:
- We looked at what shoes avid runners prefer and why. The top shoes tend to be more expensive than less popular shoes. We asked about this in Focus Groups (FGDs) and Interviews.
- We asked participants whether they would be willing to spend extra money on an excellent pair of shoes. Lower costs are less important than high quality. Runners who spend more are also expecting greater durability.
- Based on this information, we believe that adopting high-quality materials and production techniques, rather than low-cost products and labor, would benefit our company. We may strengthen our marketing approach by emphasizing the high-quality materials and meticulous craftsmanship that goes into each pair.
Continue your investigation to discover whether your techniques are effective after you’ve made improvements to your company or marketing strategy depending on.
Ongoing Assessment using Agile Market Research
Agile market research is an excellent technique to track the actions you’ve taken as a result of your in-depth market research study. While it won’t be able to substitute thorough market research, it will enable you to test theories, get feedback, and make quick modifications.
Let’s pretend we did a large-scale research on running shoes before launching our new product. We could need some quick market research to see whether the design is as excellent as it can be. Surveys, interaction with customer evaluations, and a review of recorded customer care conversations might all be used.
Here’s an illustration of how an agile market research approach may work:
- Inquire whether the new shoes we designed are comfy.
- Customer response from run tests: “The shoes are too snug on my toes.”
- Develop insights — The toe design of our shoes may be better.
- Make improvements — Change the toe shape of the shoes. Make a new model.
- Inquire — How do our new shoes feel on your toes?
The agile market research method is iterative, which means it is repeated for ongoing improvement.
Before you begin your research, consider these last thoughts.
Despite the fact that market research is a large task, it is essential for survival in a competitive market. Continuous involvement is critical whether you have the means to undertake major studies or are bootstrapping using agile research approaches.
The price and difficulties of performing market research have decreased because to developments in data technology. Looking forward, more solutions will definitely enter the market, making research simpler and more economical. Keep an eye out, keep your curiosity piqued, and best of luck out there!
The “market research process” is a complicated one. The first step in the marketing research process is to determine what you want to learn about. This can be done by conducting interviews, surveys, or focus groups. Reference: what is the first step in the marketing research process?.
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