Top 6 marketing research methods


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Marketing research is a necessary step for any customer-centric brand. It allows you to gather insightful data, reduce knowledge gaps about customers, to better serve your customers, and steer your business in the right direction.

However, when faced with a concept as broad as market research, it can be difficult to know where to begin and how to conduct the various types of research.

This comprehensive guide to market research methods will assist you in overcoming this obstacle, allowing you to approach all of your research needs confidently.

What are marketing research methods?

It is a methodical process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data, also known as ‘market research’. The data could pertain to a specific target market, consumers, competitors, or the industry as a whole. This is the basis of any successful business. The research can be used for anything from identifying a new market to launching a new business.

So, how do you conduct such research? 

Five steps to conduct marketing research

  • Identify your buyer personas
  • Define your objectives
  • Set your priorities right
  • Use the right question types for research
  • Identify your competitors wisely

Learn more about the steps to conduct research in our article “The Voxco guide to market research”.

“It is, quite simply, the best value in the industry. “

- Frost & Sullivan

Read how Voxco helped Frost & Sullivan conduct 100k surveys across 300 industries.

What are the 6 marketing research methods?

There are several methods for conducting market research. Most businesses, however, use one or more of the six basic marketing research methods: focus groups, observation, personal interviews, surveys, field trials, and competitive analysis. The methods you choose will be determined by how much money you are willing to spend and the type of data you require.

Also read: Market research tools

1. Surveys

Using concise and straightforward questionnaires, you can evaluate a sample group representing your target market. The larger your sample size, the more reliable your results are. There are several ways to conduct marketing research using surveys, such as in-person surveys (one-on-one interviews), telephone surveys, email surveys, and online surveys.

Surveys are the most basic type of marketing research method. These are useful when you want to quantify something and have a relatively large sample to survey. You can gather quantitative and qualitative data using surveys. 

2. Focus groups

A moderator uses a scripted series of questions/ topics to lead a discussion among a group of people in this type of marketing research method. It can last one or two hours and requires at least three groups to produce a balanced result. You can gain valuable insights into customer attitudes as well as identify problems with new products/services.

It is no secret that focus groups have a significant impact on decision-making. The diverse viewpoints of each participant can provide you with a wealth of information. 

A moderator can leverage mobile offline surveys to gather data during a focus group session. This way, you can gather surveys without the internet and remove the use of paper questionnaires. Like Voxco’s offline survey tools, it allows you to gather data offline and integrates the data once the device is connected to the internet. 

3. Interviews 

A personal interview, like a focus group, includes open-ended and unstructured questions. They typically last about an hour and are recorded. Personal interviews provide more subjective information than quantitative surveys. The results, however, are statistically unreliable because they do not represent a large portion of the population.

i) Telephone interviews:

These are the most effective ways to gather information quickly; the interviewer can also clarify questions if respondents do not understand them. 

You can leverage phone survey software to conduct CATI surveys or IVR surveys and gather data.

ii) Personal interviews: Face-to-face

These are the most adaptable marketing research methods. More questions can be asked, and additional observations about the respondent, such as dress and body language, can be made by the interviewer. 

You can use mobile offline surveys to conduct personal interviews. The versatile Voxco mobile offline will help you to manage face-to-face data collection projects. You can conduct dynamic personal interviews on mobile devices with no network connection.

4. Observation

Individual responses to focus groups and surveys may differ from people’s actual behavior. For example, by videotaping customers in action at stores or work, you can observe how they use or purchase a product. This will provide you with a detailed picture of customer purchasing patterns and usage habits.

Example- During an in-store observation, a researcher or digital camera software records how customers move around a store, how much time they spend in each section, and which products they notice first.

Observational research is useful because it allows researchers to learn about customers’ actual behavior rather than what they tell the researcher or report in a survey.

Download our Agile Market Research Guide now and learn how to transform your business with agile methods!

With this guide, you’ll be able to start using agile approaches to uncover valuable insights and stay ahead of the competition.

5. Field trials

Field trials entail placing a new product in a few select stores to test customer response in real-life selling scenarios. This can assist you in making product changes, improving packaging, or adjusting the price.  

For example, when a company wants to launch a new product on the market, it will use test marketing. They would first market and sell the product to a small group of people. They would then investigate how this specific group of people reacts to the new product and decide whether to launch it to a broader audience.

For this, you can make use of mobile offline surveys. Leverage an offline survey tool to create a mobile offline survey that allows you to gather data even in remote locations with no internet. 

Field experiments are valuable for quantitative research and advantageous for businesses because the research is specific to a product or brand – the study meets the company’s precise research needs.

6. Competitive analysis

Competitive analysis is a method of secondary market research in which a company gathers and analyses information about competitors in its market. It entails identifying all of your company’s primary and secondary competitors and determining their offerings, profits, marketing strategies, and so on. 

This data can help you understand your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as your position against them. It can also provide insight into successful business models and consumer preferences, allowing you to implement more profitable strategies.

Benefits of marketing research methods

Marketing research assists you in constantly improving your product by acting on your feedback. Here are some of the marketing research benefits.

  1. Increased efficiency: Increased efficiency brings you closer to your users. You can improve the efficiency with which the product is delivered to the market while also increasing its usability.
  2. Confident decision-making: Marketing research helps you make the right decisions based on consumer demand, saving you money on creating something that customers do not like or want.
  3. Competitive advantage: Quicker, more robust insights can help you strategically position your services and products, giving you a competitive advantage over others.
  4. Quick strategies: You can quickly create, modify, or design new approaches to attract users and customers.
  5. Improved communication: Close the communication gap by interacting with customers and listening to their concerns. This makes customers feel desired and special.

Experience the ease and effectiveness of gathering valuable insights from your audience using our online survey software.

Example of marketing research method

While working as a marketing manager for a restaurant chain, you notice that your online customer reviews aren’t as positive as you’d like. You conduct market research to determine why customers rate your restaurants poorly.

You decide that gathering primary data is the most efficient way to investigate this issue. So you ask your customers to fill out an online survey after they’ve eaten. You use convenience sampling because you give the survey to any customer who volunteers to fill it out. The survey includes questions such as:

  • How would you rate the food quality in our restaurant?
  • How would you rate the quality of service in our restaurant?
  • How would you rate the food selection in our restaurant?
  • Share your experience with our restaurant. 


After a sufficient number of people have completed your survey, you analyze the results. People rate your restaurant poorly because they are dissatisfied with the food quality. As a result of your market research, you advise management to invest in higher-quality ingredients.

Finally, you decide to launch a marketing campaign to inform customers about your newly added food items on the menu, which feature fresher ingredients than other chain restaurants.

Join the 500+ global clients who trust our leading survey software to gain valuable market insights, uncover sentiments, and take strategic actions.


Survey research methods for marketing have numerous forms and subsets of methods that brands can use in their campaigns. A solid research campaign will lead you deeper into the various methods available, some of which are tried and true and others newer.

Market research can give you a significant advantage over competitors if you choose your method carefully. So let’s get started with Voxco.

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