Market research can reveal hundreds of business opportunities, explain why customers are dissatisfied, or discover the secrets of competition. In today’s article, you will learn about:
- purpose of marketing research
- types of marketing research
- four phases of marketing research
- methods you can use
- how to discover hundreds of new opportunities.
How can market research help you?
Accurate and reliable information is the basis for every managerial decision. Therefore, you will use market research if, for example:
- You are starting a new company.
- You are launching a new product on the market.
- You are expanding into a new market.
- You already have an established company, but you are not doing as well as you would like.
- You want to improve your services or products.
- You are interested in how the competition is doing.
- You need the information to back your decision.
Thanks to the research, you will find out:
- Where the gaps in the market are.
- What opportunities exist.
- What products are currently popular.
- Why your customers are not satisfied and what you can improve.
- What price customers are willing to spend on your products.
- What your competition offers and for how much.
- How your website affects customers.
Types of market research
There are several types of market research, however, at the very basis we can divide them into two categories:
- secondary market research
- primary market research
How to conduct market research without getting up from your desk
There is a way to do market research without leaving the office. This type of marketing research is called “secondary market research”. It consists of collecting and analyzing all the data you have available. This can include web analytics, literature searches, data from analytics tools such as Google Analytics, or a survey of publicly available sources such as statistics and business registers.
Primary market research, or let´s go into the field
The primary market research consists of dealing with people. Its methods include, for example:
- mystery shopping
- focus group
- individual interview
Pro tip: For best results, combine both types of marketing research. For example, you can analyze all the information you have about customer behavior on the site and then call them to ask specific questions.
Quantitative vs. qualitative market research
Another classification of marketing market research is quantitative and qualitative.
- Quantitative market research focuses on the amount of information. It tries to get unambiguous answers, decide between several fixed options or create a mean or median of the answers.
- Quantitative market research is useful, for example, for answering questions such as Do our customers prefer the blue or red packaging? or What percentage of customers react to the CTA buttons on our site? One method of quantitative research is, for example, a questionnaire.
Qualitative market research focuses on a more in-depth understanding of the issue. It asks the participants individual questions and seeks answers to how or why. It will help answer questions such as Why do customers prefer competition? or How could our services be improved? An example of a method of qualitative research is an individual interview with a customer.
4 stages of marketing research
Whatever method you choose, market research consists of four phases. Which are they?
Definition of the problem
The first phase of market research is to find that there is a problem you can’t solve or information you don’t know. You define exactly what needs to be found out – that is, what the goal of the market research will be.
Market research planning
You’ve already figured out what the problem is. At this stage, you need to plan how to solve it. How will you conduct market research? Which methods will you use? Which resources will you use during the search? How many customers will you ask and what questions will you ask them?
At this stage, it is time for the data collection itself. Whether you opt for mystery shopping, questionnaires, or even individual interviews, make sure you take care of personal data protection. In the case of a primary market survey, don’t forget to mention the data sources.
Evaluation of market research
Once you have the necessary data, it’s a good idea to have an experienced data analyst on hand who can interpret all the obtained information correctly. It is important to focus on the results, which are applicable in practice and which answer the problem or question you set yourself in the first phase.
Market research: The most common methods
There are countless methods to choose from. We will introduce the most frequent ones:
- market research
- mystery shopping
- group interview
- individual interview
- SEO audit
Market research: Find just about anything
67% of people search for information on the Internet. Nowadays, you can find almost anything there – if you know how to search. Here are some tips:
- Learn to recognize disinformation and fake news.
- Note the source for each piece of information.
- Filter the information by publication date and other relevant parameters.
- Search in several different languages.
- Proceed systematically. Record all the information found in a clear manner, so that not only you but also others can learn about it later.
This method is usually very effective and at the same time cheap (you only pay for the employee’s time spent searching). What can you get with an Internet search?
- company reports
- shortlists of suppliers (for cleaning services, repairs, etc.)
- product overviews
- contact reports
- information on various topics and projects
- and much more
Don’t know how to do it? We have many years of experience with market research and we will be happy to help you with it.
A way to increase customer satisfaction: Mystery shopping
Mystery shopping consists of sending a fake customer to the store, who then evaluates how the purchase took place. Thanks to this, you will find out what the quality of your services is, how the staff treats customers or how the environment of your company works.
The main disadvantage is the subjectivity of the mystery shopper, who may have a different taste or opinion than real customers. It can also happen that the mystery shopper encounters an isolated case, so his observation will not be meaningful. (For example, he makes a purchase with the cashier on his first day.)
A focus group is a controlled discussion of several people, usually in the presence of a sociologist and a psychologist. It examines the opinions and attitudes of the participants and is suitable, for example, to test a completely new product or to find out how a new TV spot affects viewers.
This method of market research is very effective, but usually also very expensive. Therefore, it pays off, especially for larger companies.
Customer satisfaction survey using an individual interview
During individual interviews, you can examine the opinions of individual clients in detail. This is a great method for researching customer satisfaction, but it has one catch – few customers will be willing to devote a few minutes of their time to you.
You need to motivate customers to participate. How? Try offering them a discount coupon for the next purchase, free shipping, or a gift for the next purchase. As one of our freelancers says about customer service: “The customer will be happy, he will use the coupon for his purchase and the company will make money on it, because even with a discount it is still profitable.”
Questionnaires are a way for companies to get a large amount of information quickly and easily. As with individual interviews, however, you must motivate customers to complete them with questionnaires. You must somehow motivate the customer to fill in the questionnaire – for example, offer him a discount for filling it out. Questionnaires often provide very valuable feedback.
And what should such a questionnaire look like? It must be:
- grammatically correct
The problem with the questionnaires is that they are simple for the company but time-consuming for the customer. In many cases, motivation with a discount coupon is not enough, so it works much better when you call the customer and conduct a brief version of the questionnaire over the phone.
Look at your site with the eyes of a customer: SEO audit
Are customers able to find you on the Internet? And if so, how does your website affect them? What makes them buy – or leave the site immediately? How do they feel when shopping?
The survey of customer behavior on the website is most often carried out in the form of an SEO audit, which finds out the answers to all the above-mentioned questions, but also:
- how many clicks the customer must perform before making a purchase
- how different elements of the website affect clients
- how your site compares to the competition
Are you interested in an SEO audit? We will be happy to help you with it.
How to discover hundreds of new opportunities through marketing research
- Carry out a thorough search before making any important decision.
- Find relevant contacts for suppliers and business partners.
- Call your customers and ask them how satisfied they are with your services.
- Analyze the competition and find out what they do better.
- Submit your website to an SEO audit.
- Learn to analyze all the obtained data and draw practical conclusions from them.
We can help you with all of the above.
- We will provide you with comprehensive documents for your informed decisions.
- We map the market and inform you about new opportunities.
- We will call your customers and get feedback from them.
- We will create a database of quality contacts for you.
Do not hesitate to contact us. We will meet with you and design the most effective solution tailored to your business needs.