Market Research Methods

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What is Market Research?

Market research is the process of gathering information about target markets and consumers. It benefits organizations in many different ways, however, its key purpose is to help determine the viability of a product in the market to determine its potential success among its target audience.

Exploratory Research Guide

Conducting exploratory research seems tricky but an effective guide can help.

Why is Market Research Important?

Market research allows companies to create products and experiences that satisfy their customers, reducing customer churn and promoting organizational growth in the process. 

When organizations conduct market research, they gather valuable information about their customer base and the overall market. This helps strategize in a way that helps meet goals more effectively. Additionally, this information ensures that customer-centric decisions are made so that products and services are designed with customer needs and wants in mind.  

Another key benefit of conducting market research is that it provides organizations with a competitive advantage: comparative market research studies ensure that businesses stay ahead of their competition by devising strategies that provide them an edge in the market.  

Market Research Methods

Market research methods can be categorized into the following two groups: 

  1. Primary Market Research Methods: Primary market research takes place when a business collects information first-hand by getting in touch with its customers or by employing a third-party firm to conduct its research. 
  2. Secondary Market Research Methods: Secondary market research takes place when a business collects information from existing pools of data such as government records, research papers, the media, etc. 
  • Primary Methods of Market Research 

Let’s take a look at four key primary methods used to perform market research: 

  • Surveys: Surveys are the most commonly used method of carrying market research as they facilitate data collection and analysis in a relatively quick and easy way. In this method, customers are sent surveys via the internet (email, social media, website, etc). These surveys will generally contain closed-ended questions that produce quantitative data. 
  • Interviews: In this method of market research, information is gathered through one-on-one interviews that are conducted through the phone or face-to-face. The researcher asks the respondent a series of open ended questions and collects the subject’s responses. This method of market research helps obtain extremely valuable information but is very expensive and time-consuming to conduct. 
  • Focus Groups: A focus group is a type of interview involving a small group of people with certain shared demographic characteristics. Researchers ask the open-ended questions on a certain topic to gather information on the feelings, opinions, and perceptions of the group. Focus groups are generally less intimidating for subjects when compared to interviews, creating a non-threatening environment where members can interact and have a constructive conversation on the idea in focus. 
  • Research Panels: A research panel is a group of pre-recruited people from which data is collected repeatedly over a period of time. Individuals in the panel will meet certain demographic or behavioral criteria to qualify them as a part of the panel. Panel research allows organizations to build rich consumer profiles that can provide extremely insightful data. 

 

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  • Secondary Methods of Market Research 

Let’s take a look at three key secondary methods used to perform market research: 

  • Literature and Research Papers: Existing literature and research papers can prove to be rich and in-depth sources of information and most of them are easily accessible. If there is already a large volume of relevant data available on the consumers in your market, you could leverage this data to make better-informed business decisions. 
  • Public Sources: Government sources and public libraries are another great way to gather information. Not only is this method reliable, it is also generally free of cost. 
  • Commercial Sources: Another way in which secondary research can be conducted is through the use of commercial data sources such as magazines, newspapers, and journals.

FAQs on Market Research Methods

Market research refers to the process of gathering information about markets and consumers so as to determine the success of a product in the market.

The following are a few commonly used methods of market research;

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Public Sources
  • Panel Studies

Market research is important because it helps businesses in sundry ways, include;

  • Helps make customer-centric decisions
  • Provides a competitive edge 
  • Helps obtain valuable information on customers and the overall market

Market research methods can be categorized into two groups; primary market research and secondary market research. Primary market research deals with information that is collected first-hand while secondary market research deals with pre-existing information. 

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