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August 7, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Market Research Techniques

The process of collecting information about your target market is known as market research. The main objective of market research is to get an exhaustive view of consumers so that you can satisfy their needs better. In this article, we will look into different market research techniques and types.

Types of Market Research 

1. Primary Market Research

Primary market research is done by the company itself with the aim of gathering important information which can be used to improve products and services. 

It is also known as field research because it is research done right from the beginning, without using any available information. 

You can gather all primary data through qualitative and quantitative research methods. Not only is it the most common type of market research but also the most valuable. Primary market research only answers specific questions and does not focus on irrelevant issues. 

2. Secondary Market Research

Secondary market research is information that is already available from multiple sources. It does not gather information from scratch. You can use data collected by other people or through sources like office data, the internet, magazines or government data. 

One of the main benefits of secondary market research is that it takes less time and is mostly free. 

3. Qualitative Research

Qualitative market research is a method that primarily considers the feelings and opinions of customers about the business’s products or services. 

This method aims to get into the customer’s mind to understand what they like about the product and what they don’t. Two examples include focus groups and face-to-face interviews.

4. Quantitative Research

Unlike qualitative research, quantitative market research is based on statistical data and facts rather than customer feelings and opinions. 

It can be quite useful for primary and secondary market research. Examples include questionnaires, surveys, and on-site fieldwork.  

This type of research helps you find the size of the market too. 

Primary Market Research Techniques

  1. Focus Groups: In a focus group, a moderator asks small groups of people a scripted series of questions and topics. The moderator facilitate a discussion amongst group members and it usually lasts an hour or two. You need data from at least three groups to get balanced results. 
  1. Surveys: Surveys are short and straightforward questionnaires that you give your customers to answer. Having a large sample group will give you more reliable results. You can conduct in-person, online, telephone or mail surveys. Learning how to create a perfect market research survey will ensure your surveys deliver results. 
  1. Observation: At times, the results of focus groups and surveys may conflict with people’s actual behavior. You can get an accurate picture of customer usage habits or buying patterns by observing how they buy or use a product in stores, at work or at home. 
  1. In-depth Interviews: You ask customers open-ended and unstructured questions in an interview. They are recorded and generally last for roughly an hour. Interviews give you an insight into customer attitudes and you can find out if they have issues using your products. 

Secondary Market Research Techniques

Internal Sources 

These are kinds of secondary market research which already exist and are collected in the business’s database. Internal sources can be enough for developing new products and services. They prove quite useful for future projects as well. 

Some examples of internal sources include:

  1. Balance Sheets: You can refer to previous balance sheets to find statistics and figures that can be useful for evaluation.
  1. Profit and Loss Statements: You can use these for finding out which products and services resulted in profits in the past.
  1. Inventory records: These can be used as a source for secondary market research. Inventory records focus on stats and figures. 
  1. Sales figures: You can study past sales figures, analyze them and use for further research. 

External Sources

If you do not gather enough data and information from the internal sources, you can use external sources. These include sources that offer data collected by other people or businesses. They can be varied and wide, which is why you must follow a controlled approach to assess them. 

  1. Government Sources: You can use several government sources to collect useful information about various subjects. 
  2. Universities and Colleges: A lot of college students and researchers collect information which you can use to gather data for your business. 
  3. Internet:  This is the most commonly used secondary market research source. Its only disadvantage is that it presents a lot of non-credible sources or incomplete information. 
  1. Competitor Data: You can use data and information that is collected and filed by other businesses, including your competitors. 

By employing various market research methods, you can get a better insight into your target market. When you understand your consumers better, you can provide them a better product or service that suits their needs.


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Bhavika Sharma is a survey designer at SurveySparrow – a leading market research software, where she designs surveys that work by making them more conversational and engaging. When she isn’t designing killer surveys, she loves to travel in search of adventure and to meet new people. Her travel experiences have taught her the importance of conversation and that is what she brings to the table while creating survey s or content for her readers.

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