10 Types of Market Surveys & How You Can Use Them

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In this cutthroat market landscape, you cannot keep on using the same marketing strategy over and over again. You have to look into the future to find out how you can become customers’ favorite and make them happy. 

If we look at Whole Foods, the company goes beyond selling groceries. Unlike its competitors, Trader Joe’s or Fresh Market, Whole Foods mixes traditional CPG marketing with digital experience and storytelling of inbound marketing.

That’s what a company needs. A way to differentiate their company from others. Become more than a beautiful logo and nice name. 

And, to create a brilliant marketing strategy that does not only differentiate but also win over the competition you need to 

  • understand your potential target audience and
  • understand how you can differ from your competitors.  

Market research or market survey helps companies to gather information on the needs, demands, and preferences of the market. There are many types of market survey that gathers data for various goals. How can you decide which market surveys to use?

In this article, we have lined up types of market surveys and how you can use them to gain valuable insights. 

Become a brand that crushes the competition. 

What Are the Characteristics of Descriptive Research?

Among the many, the following are the main characteristics of descriptive research:

  1. Quantitative research
  2. Nature of variables
  3. Cross-sectional studies
  4. Directs future research

Quantitative research:

Descriptive research is quantitative in nature as it attempts to collect information and statistically analyze it. Descriptive research is a powerful research tool that permits a researcher to collect data and describe the demographics of the same with the help of statistical analysis. Thus, it is a quantitative research method.

Nature of variables:

The variables included in descriptive research are uncontrolled. They are not manipulated in any way. Descriptive research mostly uses observational methods and thus the researcher cannot control the nature and the behavior of the variables under study.

Cross-sectional studies:

In descriptive research different sections of the same group are studied. For instance, in order to study the fashion preferences of New York, the researcher can study Gen Z as well as Millennials from the same population in New York.

Directs future research:

Since descriptive research points out the patterns between variables and describes them, researchers can further study the data collected here. It guides researchers to further find out why such patterns have been found and the association between them. Hence, it gives researchers a direction towards insightful market research.

Types of Market Surveys

Discover 10 types of market surveys you can conduct to gain insights and solve any challenge. 

1. Consumer Insights Surveys:

Consumer insights market surveys go beyond capturing behavioral trends. It creates an understanding of why consumers behave the way they do. 

It doesn’t only explain what they do or their preference it gives context to the reason behind their behavior. With this type of market survey, you can leverage the knowledge to create tailored campaigns and messages that influence the drivers of their purchase behavior. 

How should you use consumer insight surveys?

Consumer insights surveys can be conducted to gather data on current behavioral trends to get an idea of how to prepare for the current market. You can use it to gain insights on customers’ purchase habits, how they consumer advertisements, their interests, hobbies, etc.   

Consumer insights can help you boost your marketing efforts and helps you understand – 

  • Why are sales going down for specific customer segment?
  • What do you need to change/improve to target a new target audience?
  • What would make the young consumer purchase your product?

2. Customer Research:

Customer research looks at what makes customers satisfied with their experience with your company. It gives you insight into how you can nurture loyalty and encourage sales.
This type of market survey helps you learn what influences customer experience and how to keep them engaged. 

How should you use customer market research?

You can conduct customer research by conducting NPS or CSAT surveys to gauge customer loyalty and satisfaction. Or you can conduct customer segmentation surveys to learn about your consumers inside out. 

Customer market research can be performed for three use-cases:

Customer Satisfaction: Learn what keeps customers happy with your brand and utilize it to reinforce the strategy.  

Customer Loyalty: Understand why customers became promoters for your brand. Understand the brand assets that drive customer loyalty across their lifecycle. 

Customer Segmentation: Identity your potential audiences and learn about their preferences and behavior. 

3. Competitive Market Research: 

Competitive research is a type of market survey that helps you identify your competitors and their strength and weaknesses against your brand. It allows you to assess your brand against a competitor to understand how you can amplify the competitive advantage. 

This data can help you understand how to market your brand better and become a competitor-killing brand.

How should you use competitive market research?

Businesses cannot thrive in a vacuum. You need a competitor to prove you are better in your offerings. Competitive analysis is invaluable for all scenarios – new in the business, launching a new product, checking the current market, uncovering why customers prefer another brand, etc. 

You can use secondary and primary research methods to gather competitive insights. Use secondary sources such as external articles on competitive information to assess competitors’ sales, dominance, etc., in the market. Primary methods such as interviews, surveys, or focus groups can e used to look into customers’ preferences and opinions about competitors. 

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4. Brand Market Survey:

Brand research is used in managing and creating a company’s brand. A company’s brand is its narrative, characteristics, values, image, tone, etc., that audiences can associate with. This type of market survey helps establish a brand’s personality and ensures that it stays relevant to its audiences. 

 For example, the yellow arches of McDonald’s are recognizable to children everywhere worldwide. 

How should you use brand market research?

The brand market survey can be used to understand how relevant the brand, its product, and its services are to its target market at any stage of the business cycle. 

There are many types of market surveys used in brand research. 

Brand Awareness: Does your target audience know what your brand is about? Do they consider your brand as an option when making a purchase?

Brand Perception: What do your consumers believe your brand represents? Is it in harmony with what the brand actually represents?

Brand Advocacy: Are your customers willing to advocate for your brand and its products/services to their friends and family?

Brand Loyalty: What’s the lifetime of your customers? Do they continue to purchase from your brand instead of competitors?

Brand Value: How much money are your customers willing to pay for your products? How often would they choose your brand over a cheaper alternative?

Brand Positioning: How does your brand differentiate from other brands? Where does your rand sit in your customer’s mind?

5. Product Market Research: 

A product market survey helps you assess and ensure that your products/services are fit for the launch. This type of market survey also helps you assess the quality of performance of the products. 

A product market survey undertakes a broader approach to gathering customer feedback on a product or feature across all the stages of the product journey, from development to marketing. The feedback helps understand if the product adds value to the user’s life. The feedback can also offer ideas for further development/ upgrade of the product. 

How should you use product market research?

Product market surveys can collect customers’ opinions on the product’s usefulness. You can use product research to gather insight into the different use cases. 

Product Testing: You can survey the users during any stage of product development to analyze if the reactions are positive towards the new or upgraded features. You can administer the survey at the early stages of development, between development, before launch, or at any critical stage. 

Product Design Research: Gain information on what service or product will offer a solution to your target audience? How will the product help a user resolve their current or future problems?

Product Branding: Collect customers’ opinions on what they think about the product’s design. Understand what aspect of it attracts customers. Does the branding deliver the intended message?

Product Marketing: Does the marketing message deliver the right information? Does the campaign make it memorable? Can the audience recognize your brand’s product on the shelf amongst other brands?

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6. Product Development Surveys:

Product development market research involves soliciting customer feedback in the process of developing or upgrading a product or service before launching it to the market. 

Gathering your customers’ feedback – good and bad – on the product can help you create a solution that you can monetize. Moreover, product development market surveys help you reduce the risk of the product failing as it hits the market. 

How should you use product development market research?

80 to 90% of new products go bust every year. Product development surveys can help you minimize this risk and help you make a data-driven decision on how you can develop valuable products. 

There are three stages in product development where you can use this type of market survey. 

  1. Conception: Have an idea for a solution? Market surveys can help you give a shape to your idea. With insights from customers on their challenges and needs, you can find a way to give a structure to your concept. 
  2. Formation: How should you package your product? What should be the price range for it? Now that you have pushed the product to its formation phase, you need to know how you can give it a dimension that attracts customers.
  3. Introduction: With the developed product at hand you need to introduce it in the market. Conduct market surveys to understand how you can tailor the message for the different target markets. 

Product development market surveys can help you build a solution that will help make smart decisions when a new product is being launched.

7. Demand Analysis Research: 

Product demand analysis in market research gives you an estimate of future sales of certain products. It can be conducted for products that aren’t on shelves for sale yet. 

Product analysis helps you understand the competitor, seasonal demand, or any other events that can affect the sale of a product. With this type of market survey, you can understand when your product will be popular, and can help you allocate your resources efficiently. 

How should you use demand analysis research?

Product demand analysis is not a simple market survey. Often you see demands coming from areas you least expect. Product and categories are interlinked. You can use product demand analysis to get knowledge in the following ways. 

Direct Demand: This is a straightforward way of demand analysis. It shows the demand for a final product; e.g., how many children want a superhero cake. 

Indirect Demand: This analysis helps identify the demand for a product used for producing another product. If there is a demand for a Mahogany bed, the Mahogany wood will be in higher demand. 

Joint Demand: It shows which two products have a correlation in demand, i.e., which two products are bought together. If customers buy a yoga mat, they will start buying yoga pants. 

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8. Pricing Survey: 

What is the best price for your product? A million-dollar question. 

If the price is too low, customers question its quality. If the price is too high, customers will look for other brands. 

A pricing survey helps you determine what should be the fair price for your product. This type of market survey enables you to understand the price suitable for your product from the customers’ point of view. 

How should you use the pricing market survey?

The price of your product needs to be balanced for customers to buy it. Here are four questions you can ask to determine the right price for your product. 

Too Expensive: What price would you consider for <product name> to be too expensive that you won’t buy it?

Too Cheap: What price is too low that it feels like the <product name> quality wouldn’t be good?

Expensive but Worth Buying: AT what price range would you think the <product name> is costly, but you would still consider buying it?

Cheap but Great Buy for Money: At what price range would you consider the <product name> to be a good bargain, i.e., lower price but good value for money?

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9. Usability Testing: 

Usability testing in market research is the process of understanding how your customers use & interact with your products in real-time. The research involves observing customers’ reactions and behavior or gathering their feedback as they interact with your product, website, or any other service. 

The goal is to understand whether users can complete the intended action without getting confused. It answers what issues customers encounter when using the product/solution.

How should you use usability testing?

Usability testing is most helpful for testing the product’s beta version before its launch. It helps to detect any issue or bug with the prototype. It is less costly to test products or services before launch than to take a flawed product off the market. 

Validate the Product: Can your audience see the purpose of the product or service? Testing the prototype can help you validate the concept of your product before you invest tons of money to build it. 

Identify issues: Test out the product to ensure it works the way it is intended. Test the ease of use. Assess if users face difficulty using the product. 

10. Campaign Effectiveness Research: 

Campaign effectiveness market research helps you learn if your marketing message is reaching the right target market. It analyses if the campaign is helping sell more and acquiring new customers. 

How should you use campaign effectiveness research?

Campaign testing can also help you save resources and reduce the risk of a failed marketing campaign. Survey your audiences and gather their response on how impactful the advertisements were. People see almost 5000 advertisements every day. So, use this market research to gauge how much your customers are paying attention to your advertisements. 

Conduct quantitative research to measure ad effectiveness and recognition amongst your target audience. This way, you can learn how your target market views the campaigns and uncover the weaknesses in the marketing campaigns. 

What type of market survey are you conducting next?

No one just decides to conduct a survey out of nowhere. You need to understand what research question you want to address and select the type of market survey accordingly. 

Having decided on the type of market survey, you can determine the audience you wish to survey. Have trouble understanding who should be a part of your survey participants? You can select your respondents using Voxco Audience with 90+ profiling points. 

From here, you can start gathering meaningful data and uncover actionable insights. 

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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