Marketing research refers to identifying any problem persisting in the market dynamics, carefully analyzing it, and adopting measures to resolve it. Its definition varies greatly from field to field. Data scientists focus on the application of scientific knowledge to create designs, processes, and products. Sociologists conduct studies to understand better individuals, societies, and cultures using surveys, interviews, observations, and statistical analysis. Historians research archive resources such as newspapers, journals, letters, and other surviving writings, as well as conducting oral history interviews. Data collection forms an integral part of such a type of research.
Market research methods vary by subject and profession. But the broad principles of the scientific method enable researchers to investigate further into unknowns and knowns. It helps researchers generate study questions or hypotheses. Or gather measurable data about events, things, or people. The purpose of primary data in market research is to discover something new that can be confirmed by others. It may also help remove prejudices in the process.
Numerous trends and practices related to market research have evolved to date. But it’s at the researcher’s discretion how they would like to undertake the research process emphasizing the study’s objectives.
Here are the major market research applications aka techniques that researchers/ marketers take into consideration:
It’s a type of data collection method that involves indulging in a face-to-face or virtual conversation with the respondents. Usually, such interviews incorporate open-ended questions. It can be of three types broadly: structured, unstructured, and semi-structured.
An interview can be conducted online or offline depending on the availability of the resources and convenience. It also allows the researcher to have an in-depth understanding of the research subject and critically analyze the viewpoints of its respondents.
In focus groups, the sample size taken is usually small due to the precision and accuracy involved. It’s a more cost-efficient method compared to other data collection techniques. Most focus groups involve open-ended questions, making it easier to communicate their opinions freely rather than close-ended questions.
A survey is a popular method of data collection to acquire useful information from certain groups or persons following the study setting. A questionnaire including standard closed-ended and open-ended questions is frequently administered to get insight into the study subjects.
Surveys may be diverse. What separates different kinds of surveys are the target audience, data collection methods, or type of industry. Besides, online and offline surveys, longitudinal and cross-sectional surveys, and different industry-based surveys are other examples, to name a few.
Product/ service use research
This kind of research delivers insights into what your target audience cares about your product or service and what they think of specific features. Usability metrics usually help interpret the data you collect.
As the name already suggests, a close analysis of the research subject is to be done to keep in line with the research area. The main goal behind this technique is to collect useful information about their traits and features relating to the research topic.
There are, in total, four different types of observation techniques:
- complete observer method
- complete participant method
- participant as observer method, and
- observer as participant method.
Buyer persona research
This research mode offers unique insight into your target audience, their challenges, why they care about your brand, and what you could do more for them.
Market segmentation research
Market segmentation research helps classify your target audience into different market segments based on specific relevant characteristics that help you determine pain points, expectations, needs, and preferences.
Pricing research offers insights into what other similar brands in your market vertical sells for, what the target audience is likely to pay, and the fair prices for offerings.
Competitive analysis gives you a perspective into other market players, their share in the market, what’s working well for their target audience, and how you may set yourself apart from them.
Customer satisfaction and loyalty research
Customer satisfaction and loyalty research give you insight into business churn rate, customer acquisition, and retention. It helps formulate effective tools and techniques like loyalty programs, rewards, remarkable customer service, etc., to motivate them.
Brand awareness research
Brand awareness research talks about how the reach of awareness your brand has, how the target audience perceives your brand, and why they care about you.
Campaign research involves looking into past campaigns and evaluating metrics that give insights into failures and wins, customer successes, and campaign elements that did the work for you. It helps you create future campaigns that matter to your target audiences.
The various market research applications are constructed in such a manner that the data acquired is customized to the specific study goals. Although it might be a lengthy procedure, it gives first-hand knowledge, which may be preferable.
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