The current market is always changing, and with events such as COVID-19, it has become increasingly difficult to predict. Chances are, the approaches you used five years ago to succeed aren’t working or are no longer effective in today’s market.
However, researchers must figure out how to progress, apply forecasts to predict how the market will change, and identify what a firm may do to stay one step ahead of the shifts.
Many company owners seeking in-depth market insight hire professional market researchers. But, small businesses often don’t have the luxury of financially being able to do that. However, we’ll go through the top 7 tips for improving market research in your business, whether you’re doing it yourself (in-house team) or outsourcing it to a third-party expert.
How to Conduct a Market Survey: Perspectives, Typologies, Techniques
The study of “market research” and, in particular, the data-driven form of research in which it has evolved is a privileged method of acquiring operational, comprehensive, and articulated knowledge.
It’s crucial to take advantage of this information to build rational expectations and plan company activities. These aren’t simply abstract ideas but rather tangible approaches that have direct economic effects on a firm.
According to GlobeNewswire, the market for market research services is expanding rapidly. The industry is expected to grow at a rate of 5% annually, reaching $90 billion by 2025. However, market research’s practical nature is even clearer when we consider that it still employs techniques that are, to some extent, handcrafted.
These techniques necessitate changes in “the real world.” To gain certainty, the researcher must establish contact with potential customers – even if only virtually. This will allow the researcher to create a profile similar to the real one.
Market Research in Business
Market research collects data to understand a company’s target audiences and customers to market itself more effectively. Therefore, it is essential to develop a sound strategy, no matter the size of your business.
It provides businesses with the information they need to make informed business decisions that will propel them forward rather than backward by allowing them to make decisions based on facts.
However, most corporations are aware of market research in broad terms but may not realize how critical market research is to the success of their company. Market research is the solution if you want to identify market trends, understand your target customer better, or achieve other important goals.
Market Research Survey
A market survey is a technique for obtaining input from individuals or groups. It allows businesses to examine and comprehend consumers’ motives or behavior in greater depth, making more informed decisions. Responses are gathered in various ways, including paper, in-person interviews, mailings, and the internet.
Primary vs. Secondary Research
Consider that market research may be qualitative or quantitative, depending on the data you want to collect about your industry.
Qualitative research evaluates people’s thoughts and emotions about current products and services on the market. Quantitative research gathers data from public records to look for relevant trends.
There are two types of market research that your organization can conduct to collect scientifically useful data on your product or service: primary and secondary research. Now, let’s explore these different types in more depth:
The term “primary research” is gathering first-hand information about your target market and its customers. It’s a handy tool for segmenting your market and building your buyer persona. There are two types of primary market research: exploratory and specific research.
Exploratory Primary Research
This form of front-end market research is more interested in potential issues that the company may face as a group than in tangible customer trends. This usually happens as the first step – before any in-depth research has been done – and could involve open-ended interviews or surveys with only a few people.
Specific Primary Research
Specific primary market research is often utilized after exploratory research to understand concerns or possibilities that the firm previously recognized as important. For example, the firm may, in specific research, target a smaller or more precise segment of its audience and ask questions intending to identify potential problems.
Secondary research entails all of the data and public records you have access to (for example, trend reports, market statistics, industry content, and sales data with which you are already familiar).
Conducting secondary research is an excellent way to study your competition. There are three main categories your secondary market research will fall into, including the following:
The first and most-accessible layer of information while performing secondary market research is from these sources. Moreover, you can usually find them for free, which offers a lot of value.
According to Entrepreneur, one of the most frequent public sources is government statistics. The United States Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor & Statistics are public market information sources that can offer valuable nationwide industry data.
Sources for this information typically come in market reports from renowned research agencies, such as Pew Research Center, Gartner Inc., or Forrester Research. Although this information is easily accessible, it usually requires payment to download.
External sources should be given more weight in market research than they usually receive. Why? This is the data your company currently possesses. Data such as historical sales, customer retention rates, and other information on the health of old and new accounts can help you determine what your existing customers want right now.
The Importance of Market Research
You will find success in your endeavors only when you take the time to understand who your target customers are. By understanding your audience’s goals, needs, and values, you can more easily funnel them towards becoming paying customers.
Market survey research is one of the essential tools for understanding your customers. It provides you with precise information that you may use to help you develop your marketing plan. This makes both marketing and selling easier and more effective.
Market research can help you in the following ways:
- Enhance Communication: It’s not simply a method of contacting current customers but also potential prospects. Through market research, you can discover which channels your customers frequent and what language will resonate with them emotionally. This way, you can more effectively reach and connect with your target audience or focus groups.
- Identify Opportunity: Market research can assist you in identifying both high-level and more accessible ways to reach and convert new clients. In addition, conducting market research can help you find new advertising platforms, understand unaddressed customer needs, and discover opportunities in your market.
- Lower your Risk: Concrete data keeps you focused on the most pertinent possibilities and prevents you from wasting time. When you know your customers, you can apply your resources more effectively and have less risk of wasting time, money, or effort on failed marketing efforts. Market research can also assist you in identifying low-risk, high-reward marketplaces where your firm may develop or provide new services.
How Market Research Surveys Can Help Grow Your Business
Now that you understand market surveys, you can use them to improve and fine-tune your business planning. The following are a few of the most common ways businesses utilize market research surveys and tips for getting the best data feasible.
Reach a Specific Audience
Market surveys are an excellent method to obtain feedback from your target market if you have a decent market sample. Perhaps you’re working with a list of customers or a large focus group of social followers. You can use our collector options to better-suited your outreach efforts.
You may reach your target market through our panel of respondents on IVR Surveys if you have difficulties locating them. You’ll have access to millions of individuals eager to share the information you need. Sending a survey to members of your target market (or markets) might help you feel more confident in the efficacy and dependability of your activities.
Research and Analyze a Target Market
Your marketing budget is likely one of your business’s biggest expenses. Before you set aside money for any marketing plans or projects, you should be certain that they will help you achieve your goals.
Conducting a market research survey allows you to gain insight into multiple aspects of your target market so that your company decisions are more well-informed. This involves assessing the potential market size to determine the best price for your product or service.
Obtain Knowledge About Your Product or a Potential Product
Is your product capable of fulfilling the demands of your market? The ideal way to learn more about it is to conduct market research.
Sending an online product feedback survey to your target audience may help you discover information that leads to product improvements, innovations, and increased sales.
To assess customer reaction to a new product, you may ask questions like, “what suggestions do you have that would make this product better?” Or, “what do you enjoy most about comparable products other companies provide?” During product testing or research, ask your target market the following research questions:
When researching your product:
- How well is your product meeting or exceeding customer satisfaction?
- How dependable is the product you offer to your customers?
- Is the marketing message for your product reasonable?
- How is the customer service for that product?
When testing your product:
- Are consumers interested in trying a new product?
- What is your unique selling proposition?
- Which products will generate the most sales revenue for you?
- What are the main product features your customers value and appreciate the most?
Know Where You Stand in the Market Compared to Your Competitors
Wondering who to keep an eye on in the market? Conducting market research surveys is one way to do this. The greatest approach to getting solutions on a market research survey is to contact your target audience directly.
In doing this, you will understand their purchasing process and what factors into their decision-making for products similar to yours. In addition, you can inquire about how certain marketing items entice customers to your firm rather than another and how they want to interact with you and your brand.
Research and Analyze a Target Market
With the constantly growing popularity of social media, it’s more important than ever to figure out which platforms you should focus on for your organization. Online social media surveys are an excellent way to determine this. However, likes and retweets can only tell you so much.
An online survey allows you to understand your market better and develop ideas for improving your services for each channel. Social platforms can also double as a way to get customer feedback. You may, for example, use the social platform to investigate consumers’ thoughts on new product features and categories.
Easily Conduct Market Segmentation
You can make more significant decisions for your firm and give yourself a competitive advantage by segmenting your target market and focusing on smaller groups with similar characteristics. In addition, many businesses use online market research surveys to obtain a competitive advantage.
A health club owner may sort members by facility or service usage (spa, cardio equipment, daycare, nutrition classes). In contrast, a customer packaged goods company might divide customers into categories based on their lifestyle (health-conscious, low-calorie, vegetarian diet).
By conducting market research, you can more effortlessly identify diverse segments and understand their wants.
Understand Consumer Sentiment in the Market
There will always be a degree when it comes to investing—research customer sentiment in different markets to help you decide what products to buy and sell.
You may inquire about specific firms and issues if searching for more focused investment insights. In addition, you may identify when it’s time to modify your portfolio by conducting investment research surveys regularly.
7 Tips on How to Create a Successful Market Research Survey
You can use a professional-designed market research survey template to start your market research survey. You’ll be able to learn more about your target audience’s demographics, interests, and other information.
No matter what sort of market research survey you’re trying to conduct, these tips will help guide you in the right direction:
1. Define Your Survey’s Objectives
To begin, you must figure out the objectives of your survey and why you decided to organize it in the first place. Having a clear survey goal will assist you in defining research questions or needs on which your data gathering will be based. There are, however, many reasons behind conducting market research. Below are the most common objectives:
- Help with the growth of an organization or company
- Satisfy the demands of clients by offering a fantastic product or service
- Figure out how successful or unsuccessful a business idea can be
2. Define the Target Audience for the Market Research
You cannot accurately survey your target audience without understanding who they are. Yes, this is required! It is therefore important to create your buyer persona to help you with this, as it will represent your ideal consumer who will most likely purchase your product service.
This in-depth knowledge will aid you in creating more assertive research questions, and the data you gather will be more valuable. To help you grasp the distinction between target audience and persona, the following are some of the most important distinctions:
- A target audience may have a more expansive definition, such as Men aged 25 to 35 who work in digital marketing.
- Persona gives you complete information about a person, such as their identity, habits, job, etc.
However, you may research the market for both types of profiles. The best type of survey to give if you want to find out how accepted a potential product is, is one that targets your specific audience.
When it comes to getting more precise results, whether you’re looking at satisfaction levels or pains to develop solutions, working with personas will help.
3. Decide on the Method
Now that you know what your survey is attempting to accomplish, the next step is to select which approach you’ll take to acquire the data.
- Online polls?
There are many ways to obtain first-hand data from your customers or potential customers. However, remember that choosing a field sample that accurately reflects your target market is essential.
What Is a Field Sample, and How to Choose It?
A field sample is a procedure for selecting a part of the population to be researched to study. For example, you must choose a sample when conducting a market survey. This is because it would be complicated and time-consuming to interview or observe all of your customers or potential customers.
It’s critical to understand that the more people you include in your study, the more certain you’ll be about the survey results. This indicates that even if 25 people are interested in your product, it doesn’t automatically mean it will be a hit. To get an accurate sample, you must ensure it represents your current location. You can determine this in two ways:
- Probability or random sampling
- Non-probability sampling
Random sampling, or probability, is the act of choosing people at random from a given population. This procedure ensures that everyone in the population has the same chance of being selected and included in the sample, ensuring that participant selection will not be influenced.
On the other hand, non-probability sampling is the process of collecting data from a population by selecting people based on characteristics that are non-related to one another. To determine which people to choose, you can consider various key characteristics such as age, sex, gender, interests, and average income.
4. Collect the Data
Once you’ve decided which method to use and how many people to test, it’s time for data collection. You must build your instrument to do so.
You must create a questionnaire if you’ve chosen to interview or poll as your data collection strategy. Now comes the part where you’ll get your survey data. However, it may take days, weeks, or even months to complete depending on the size of your sample and the data-gathering approach you choose.
A market survey is a method for getting to know things no one has wanted to admit, such as that your product is too costly, that your concept is uninteresting to others, and even that your product needs improvements.
Many individuals are unsure where, to begin with, their survey, given that they haven’t yet established an audience. So begin by targeting people close to you, such as friends and acquaintances.
The survey may be as basic as asking questions on Messenger or WhatsApp and then going on with the conversation. The survey’s success is contingent on the participant’s willingness to answer research questions truthfully and cooperatively.
5. Study Your Competitors
Studying your competition is an essential component of your market research survey. After all, if they are successful and exist in the market, it’s reasonable to assume that they did something appropriate. Nothing is wrong with learning what it is and constantly striving to improve.
Here are a few tools you can use to find potential competitors:
- SEMRush: It is a tool many marketers claim is a must-have, giving you all the information you’ll need to analyze and track competitors based on keywords or website domains.
- Google Keyword Planner: You can use Google Keyword Planner to analyze your competition. Simply enter their URL, and you’ll be able to see data related to the most popular terms that generate their traffic.
- Buzzsumo: It’s essential for any marketer wanting to keep track of their social media campaigns and posts.
6. Collect Data From Other Sources
To avoid being left in the dust, it’s crucial to compare your data with that of the market. As a result, you may use surveys from other (reliable) sources to supplement your research.
Here are some of the best ones:
- Sebrae: It’s already a big help for small businesses. They’re constantly surveying and providing data on various markets.
- Think With Google: It’s Google’s primary corporate blog, which is focused on marketing and sales. Join their email list as a complementary approach to staying notified about systematic research and analysis conducted by individuals who understand the internet.
Want to learn more? Read this blog post for 9 highly effective market research tools.
7. Examine the Data and Present the Results
After you’ve gathered all the information and data about your market, it’s time to evaluate it. This is an essential step in the process. There’s no need for a fantastic survey project and the time spent gathering all of the data if it isn’t subsequently analyzed or, in the worst-case scenario, filed away.
Take a critical look at every piece of data you obtain from your research survey. Don’t underestimate any comment or numerical statistic, no matter how little or irrelevant it may appear. Then, prepare a report that summarizes the survey findings and any solutions, recommendations, or future actions to be taken.
A survey can help to improve your firm, create a successful idea, or even prevent disaster. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs think market research is a waste of time and money, or they’re not knowledgeable about it. Don’t be in a state of uncertainty! Don’t be afraid to consider what the market thinks about you, your product, or your ideas.
Improve the Usefulness of Market Research for Your Company’s Success
Market research entails much more than just designing a survey and compiling responses. If done correctly, market research can produce an overwhelming amount of data that needs to be converted into easily digestible written and visual reports illustrating trends, demographics, and possibilities.
It’s a vital element of the business process, starting with asking the appropriate research questions. Of course, collecting data is beneficial, but only if it is the right kind of data. Otherwise, you’re not assisting your firm in making the greatest long-term strategic decisions.
Final Words: How Market Research Surveys May Improve Your Business
No matter what business you’re in, market research is essential. It is a time-consuming but necessary component of any company. You must first understand and connect with your target audience to expand your firm, get sales, and develop strong connections with your customers.
The more you do market research, the more you’ll realize that people are complex and unique. They have unique wants and needs that are crying out for solutions.
If you use your data well, you may create fantastic products that genuinely assist people. Take these 7 tips to heart and implement them in your marketing research. Keep track of what people do and say they like, and you could have a remarkably prosperous business.