4 Key Areas to Consider when Undertaking Market Research
There’s nothing more exhilarating than having that spark of an idea for a business, especially for a new product. Entrepreneurs will usually run their ideas past family, friends, business associates, who will all nod in agreement or be a critical friend, but there might always be that nagging doubt for an entrepreneur until the product is tested in its marketplace.
In this guest blog from MMC, a highly reputable research and marketing agency, we delve into 4 different types of market research, and discuss how research can feed your team with insights for your marketing strategy.
Market research links the consumer to the marketer through carefully collated data and information, providing valuable insight.
It can test and gather unbiased data from potential customers through surveys (quantitative research) or through interviews and focus groups (qualitative research).
It can also provide information on market size, scope and suss out what the competition is doing well and not so well.
There are many types of market research to consider, depending on the scale and purpose of the research:
1. Focus groups
Observing and listening to your customers them as they discuss your product or service provides valuable insights into their thought processes, motivations, attitudes, beliefs, intentions, and how they interact with your brand and business.
Moderators must remain unbiased, and not be swayed by their own personal opinion, they should also be adept at interpreting verbal and non-verbal signals.
2. Research Panels
A market research panel is a pre-qualified and pre-recruited group of individuals who have opted to take part in studies such as online surveys, in-depth interviews, focus groups etc...
Participants may have previously provided valuable segmentation data, such as demographics (age, education level, race etc...), insightful household data (average yearly income, dependents etc...), and behavioural data such as shopping habits or political views. Having this information readily available can make recruitment easier for any future or potential market research studies.
Panels can be maintained for longer periods of time than individual focus groups or interviews and can provide a cross-section of the target customer base which is sufficiently scalable in order to generate robust statistics year on year.
3. One to one interviews
In depth interviews are a form of qualitative research and are usually conducted face to face, though they can also be managed virtually.
Interviews provide valuable insights into individual customer routines, behaviour, attitudes and perceptions about your brand and competitors to help the participant feel at ease and able to speak freely.
Interviews are best conducted in a relaxing and comfortable environment.
The interviewer will need to prepare a range of open-ended questions, topics and sub-topics aimed at guiding the conversation and encouraging the customer to explore and express their opinions.
4. Surveys and Polls
Surveys can be conducted within your existing customer base, or to a wider audience (within GDPR compliance). They provide a simple way to collect valuable insights and quantitative data from a specified audience.
Surveys can be promoted via email, or across social media. Questions and data collection can be managed through a market research company, a customisable dashboard, such as Survey Monkey, or on a bigger scale with companies such as YouGov.
Surveys can help to gauge individual views, sentiments and experiences across a wide range of individuals, or can be drilled down to specific customer segments in line with the goals of the research. When conducted efficiently, surveys provide hard numbers on people's opinions and behaviours that can be used to make important decisions
Market research and data link the consumer to the marketer through information and insight, however, not all data has to be insightful. Insight comes when you apply a variety of research and data to a situation and explore specific issues. Through data analysis, actionable insights can be identified and applied within your marketing strategy.
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