The Plain-English Guide to Market Research

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In some circles, market research is a catch-all phrase for asking the industry what it wants. “Do we know what the demand is for this product? Who’s even looking for our providers? Let me do some market research to discover, ” someone might state.

But what does that actually imply?

Here’s a simple definition of market research that encompasses all the achievable goals of this practice, within fewer than 100 words:

Market research can answer various questions about the state of an industry, but it’s hardly a crystal ball that marketers may rely on for insights on their customers. Market researchers investigate several areas of the market, also it can take weeks or even weeks to paint an accurate image of the business landscape.

Nevertheless , researching just one of those areas can make you more intuitive in order to who your buyers are usually and how to deliver value that will no other business is offering all of them right now.

Certainly you can make sound judgment calls based on your own experience in the industry and your current customers. However , keep in mind that researching the market offers benefits beyond these strategies. There are two things to consider:  

  1. Your competitors also have skilled individuals in the industry and a consumer base. It is extremely possible that your immediate sources are, in many ways, equal to those of your competition’s immediate resources. Seeking a larger sample size for answers can provide a better edge.  
  2. Your clients don’t represent the attitudes of an entire market. They represent the particular attitudes of the part of the market that is already drawn to your brand.  

Here are some examples of insights you can gain from researching the market:

  • Customer attitudes about a particular subject, pain, product, or brand
  • Whether there’s demand for that business initiatives you’re investing in
  • Where to advertise or market to (geographically or online)
  • Unaddressed or underserved client needs that can be flipped into selling opportunity
  • Attitudes regarding pricing for a particular product or service

Obtaining answers to these questions depending on real data can help you make sound business decisions plus minimize risk.

Types of Researching the market

To give you an idea of how comprehensive market research can get, consider that it can either be qualitative or quantitative in nature — depending on the studies you carry out and what you’re trying to learn about your industry. Qualitative studies concerned with public opinion, plus explores how the market feels about the products currently available because market. Quantitative research is focused on data, and looks for appropriate trends in the information that is gathered from public records.

Let’s talk about four different types of market research studies you can conduct, a potential goal of each one, and exactly how these studies help you better understand your market.

Selection interviews

Qualitative information

Interviews are the personal, one-on-one conversations you could have with the buyers in your industry. You can conduct interviews in person or over the phone.

Your interviewees can answer questions about themselves to help you design your buyer personas. These purchaser personas describe your perfect customer’s age, family dimension, budget, job title, the challenges they face at work, and similar aspects of their particular lifestyle. Having this buyer profile in hand can shape your entire marketing strategy, from the functions you add to your product to the content you submit on your website.

Focus Groupings

Qualitative information

Focus groupings are similar to interviews, but in this particular case, you’re assembling a substantial group of people for one shared job interview. A focus group includes people who have at least one element of your buyer persona in common — age or job name, for instance.

This type of market research can give you ideas for product differentiation, or the qualities of your item that make it unique in the marketplace. Consider asking your focus team questions about (and showing them examples of) your own services, and ultimately make use of the group’s feedback to make these services better.


Quantitative information

Surveys are a form of quantitative research, and you can distribute them over the phone, through email, or through an paid survey. A survey could focus on people who’ve downloaded content material from your website or interacted with a member of your business.

Enough completed surveys can help you verify your customer satisfaction level. This means how happy your customers are usually with what you’re selling them. You might include questions like, “How well did we all solve your problem? ” plus “Would you recommend the product to a friend? inch

Secondary Data

Quantitative info

The interviews, focus organizations, and surveys are all causes of primary data. Secondary data, on the other hand, is the public information — online and offline — that will characterizes your industry. This includes competitor websites, social media business pages, trade magazines, marketplace reports, and even census data published by the government.

In case you examine enough secondary data, you can learn how much brand understanding you have in the marketplace compared to the companies that provide the same product or service when you.

The market research you execute doesn’t have to include every supply of information described above. What data you collect is determined by the needs of your business and what you might be most interested in at the moment.  

Editor’s take note: This post was originally released in July 2018 and it has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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