How to Do Market Research: A Guide and Template

How to Do Market Research: A Guide and Template
Vlad Kovalskiy
November 23, 2021
Last updated: November 23, 2021

Today, despite competition in various industries, customers have the most power in purchasing decisions. We know that customers are more likely to gather information online to make decisions. But have you paid attention to the extent to which your marketing plan fits and your customers' purchasing decisions? Market research is the first step in turning a product or service idea into a market-acceptable business. Companies that know how and when to use extensive research tools have a valuable competitive advantage over their competitors in customer awareness. This awareness leads to organic growth in them.

What do you think Phillips, Netflix and Amazon have in common? At first glance, you probably say they have no resemblance to each other. Founded in the 19th century, Philips and Netflix and Amazon have no value without the Internet. But what these companies have in common is that they have grown because they understand customer needs better than their competitors. The main reason for this growth is the strong belief in awareness and active use of various tools so that they can receive better answers.

Better understanding of customer needs is a strategic requirement as daily customer needs are changing as markets, new technologies and changing business models grow. However, many companies still spend huge sums of money on outdated techniques or forget this important part of the job altogether and proceed based on assumptions and conjectures. 

What is Market Research?

Market research is the process of collecting data about the personality of each business, target audience and customer, through which you can find out how successful your product or service will be. Businesses often use this information to better design their product, enhance their customer experience, and create a better marketing message so that they can attract more quality and potential customers and increase their business conversion rate. Designing a market research questionnaire with the help of a market research platform and market research software is one of the most basic and fundamental things that every business should do. 

By doing market research, you can make data-driven and logical decisions, move away from speculation, and turn your resources into projects that are really practical. Businesses can use a variety of market research forms at different stages of their growth. Market research is one of the most effective ways to gain insight into customers and competitors in the industry. The purpose of market research is to obtain information that is relevant to business decisions. Market research is especially important for small business decisions to enter new areas or produce new products. There are various methods in market research that businesses use to gather product usage information. In general, it can be said that small and large businesses should do market research before entering a new market for the following reasons:

  • Market research helps you to strengthen your position in the market. You must have heard the famous saying that knowledge is power. Benefit from market research to see a better future and get a better view of your market and customers.Market Research reduces investment risk. Being able to reduce the financial risk of your business is a must.

  • You will know the potential opportunities and dangers of the career path. In primary and secondary research, you can identify the dangers of your path.

  • Focuses on customer needs and wants. There are many reasons why you should put your customers first. With the help of market research, you can gain a deeper understanding of your audience persona. 

  • It always keeps you ahead of the competition. With the help of market research, you can get to know your competitors better and make and implement important decisions sooner than your competitors.

Primary vs. Secondary Research

Market research methods are divided into four main parts, each of which helps you to extract data and information about your business and use them in different parts of marketing. Here are the first two important methods:

Primary Research Method

Primary research is related to the first category of data or information. This data is all information that you have collected yourself and has no other source. The types of basic market research include the following:

  1. Focus groups
  2. Interviews
  3. Polls
  4. Questionnaires

This type of market research helps to strengthen your marketing strategy with data and information obtained from customers. In a way, this data is one of the most valuable types of market research because it is for your core customers. This information will help you find the exact details of your strengths and weaknesses in all of your customer experiences.

A good example is the basic research of online surveys and online questionnaires. With the help of online questionnaires and customer surveys, you can get a large number of answers from your customers. There may be a question that you have been looking for an answer to for a long time and you want to get feedback from a particular part of your business. With the help of an online questionnaire tool, you can ask this question directly to your customer. For this purpose, it is enough to design your questions in the online survey tool of Press Line. Distribute the questionnaire on your social networks or send it to your customers via email newsletter.

Secondary Research Method

Secondary research refers to second or third-hand information and data. This information can be obtained from existing and past data in the market. In these cases, you do not do the research, but other organizations or businesses do it. Among the types of secondary research can be mentioned the following:

  1. Articles
  2. E-Books
  3. Infographics
  4. Videos
  5. White Papers

This method of market research will help you to gain a general understanding of the state of your industry in the market. With secondary research, you can get to know your competitors, see how they behave, extract important industry statistics, and develop a more accurate, data-driven marketing strategy. By identifying secondary research information, you will understand what issues you may face at each stage. For example, suppose one of your competitors writes an article that generates a lot of traffic to his site. This way you will realize that you will probably be able to generate good traffic to your website by writing such an article.

Types of Market Research

To completely mention all types of market research, we need to write about two other important methods.

Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative research is a method of market research in which data cannot be measured. Qualitative research may be primary or secondary. In basic research, you can use online surveys and questionnaires to understand how customers feel about your product or service. For example, in the customer satisfaction questionnaire, you can get complete feedback about the product or service. In this questionnaire, you can ask him why he decided to trust your brand. By asking such questions, you will find out how you can best formulate your marketing strategy.

The best way to benefit from qualitative research is to perform a new product testing questionnaire when it enters the market. This way you can see customer feedback about your product. Qualitative research is the pursuit of first-hand information on the market and customers. To do this, you can use focus groups, online surveys, telephone interviews, and more to learn new details about buyer challenges. With qualitative research, you can get an idea of the needs of your audience. This research is divided into two categories:

Exploratory Research: This type of research is more about potential problems that must be addressed by a team. Exploratory research is done as the first step before conducting specific research and includes a small number of open interviews and surveys. This research will help you define a specific problem.

Specific Research: This type of research often seeks exploratory research. In special research, you can focus on a smaller segment of the audience to find out the details of their concerns.

Quantitative Research Method

In the quantitative research method, various statistical analyses should be collected. Quantitative research methods can also be primary or secondary research in nature. This type of marketing research helps you to have a stronger backing in your marketing strategy. The statistics of the research method are not quantitatively interpretive, but they must be obtained on the basis of empirical evidence. Some examples of quantitative market research methods are:

  1. Alexa Rank
  2. Jump rate
  3. Pageviews
  4. Market share
  5. Number of social network followers
  6. The degree of interaction of social networks 

With the help of this information, you will find out where you spend your time and money. Once you know where the market stands, you can more easily formulate a more accurate recovery strategy. A little research in all the public data and records can help you to draw conclusions from it. This research includes reports on your business, market statistics, industry content, and sales data. Quantitative research is especially useful for analyzing your competitors. There are three main sources for this method:

Public Resources: These free resources are the first and most accessible information for qualitative research. For example, census data from countries are included in this group.

Business Resources: These resources are mostly provided in the form of market reports by research agencies and generally you have to pay to obtain them. 

Internal sources: These sources are more useful for research than the other two groups, as internal source information tells you about your business history. Average sales revenue, customer retention rates, and other historical data about old and new accounts can all help you get better results on what your current buyers want.

How to Do Market Research?

There are many ways to gather customer and competitor data and market research in general. It is better not to limit yourself to a certain way. There are common steps in conducting market research with basic research methods that you can use depending on the location of your business. Here are the most common ways to do market research:

Questionnaires: The most common way of marketing research

Research by HubSpot from 2,000 customer experience experts shows that the most common marketing research technique in companies is to use questionnaires. Questionnaires are inexpensive and easy to use. Using a questionnaire, you can collect a lot of data in a short time and at a very low cost. In addition, you can easily analyze the data. Using online questionnaire design software, some of which will help you navigate this path more easily and cost-effectively.

Interview: The Wise Way to Marketing Research

In the interview, you should talk to your potential clients one by one. In interviews, you can delve deeply into the feelings and thoughts of the audience. If you can not have a face-to-face meeting, use video chat. By doing the interview, you will gain a deeper understanding of your target market and you will feel closer to him.

Focus groups: The most dangerous way of marketing research

In this marketing research technique, you carefully select a group of people who are completely relevant to your target market. A trained manager initiates a conversation about a product, customer experience, or marketing message to gain insight into the audience. If you are new to the market research process, do not use the focus group method as the first way of marketing research. Doing this properly requires experience. If for any reason you can not do this right, the result of your business marketing research will be a lot of mistakes. Excessive bias is one of the mistakes that can happen in this case.

View: The strongest way of market research

In an observation session, you should make someone responsible for reviewing customer behavior point by point. Customers or target audiences may provide feedback while reviewing and purchasing your new product or that of your competitor, and knowing this feedback will be a great source of data and information for you. This method is a very good alternative to the focus group technique. In this technique, which is also cheaper, you can see people who are not under the pressure of the meeting and express their opinions more easily. The only problem with this method is that you can not delve into their thoughts and opinions, so this method can not be used as a substitute for a questionnaire or interview.

Five Competitive Forces

Use Porter's Model of Five Competitive Forces to understand an industry by analyzing five different metrics and the extent of power, threat, or competition in each area. Here are five metrics:

  1. Competition
  2. Newcomer Threat
  3. Threats to succeed
  4. Buyer power
  5. Supplier power

SWOT Analysis Pattern

SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) examines your internal strengths and weaknesses, and your external opportunities and threats in the market. SWOT analysis highlights the direct areas of opportunity for your company to continue to work, build, focus and strive to overcome them.

Market Research Pattern

Market surveys and focus groups help you discover important information about the buyer's personality, target audience, current customers, market, competition, and more. Polls should include a variety of questions such as multiple-choice, ranking, and free-end answers. Ask short questions with short answers to save time and draw conclusions more easily. Here are some questions to ask through the survey:

  1. Graphic questions
  2. Business questions
  3. Competitive questions
  4. Industrial questions
  5. Brand questions
  6. Product questions

Conclusion

Market research is an experience that, if done correctly, will open your eyes to many facts. Even if you think you know your market and your customers well, doing this study will open up new channels and new avenues for you. To do market research, use the right market research software that provides you with accurate and advanced facilities. We believe Bitrix can be a very good option in this regard. It can provide users with different features and make the process faster and easier.

In order to get the best results from your market or marketing research process, it is best to use a set of these online questionnaires together, thoroughly test different market segments, and then build your business using reliable data. Doing market research can be a very informative experience. Even if you think you know your buyers well, you will find new channels and messaging tips to improve your interactions by doing market research.

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