There are so many different types of market research so even for a market researcher like myself it can be tricky to know which to use and when. With different types of market research available, you could argue that we now have too much data but I hope this article shares some of the differences between each type of market research and help you identify which is right for you.
I am going to outline the different types, their purpose in market research and also when to use them.
Before you even start thinking about the type of market research you want to conduct, you firstly need to think about the objectives. What do you want to understand from conducting market research?
The questions to think about before considering types of market research:
1. Do you want to get a better idea of who your ideal target market is?
2. Do you want to test how well the proposed deals or promotions would appeal to your customers via some focus groups perhaps?
3. Do you want to get a better handle on digital trends and how they affect the sales of your product or service?
4. Do you want to understand what messages would touch the nerve of your potential customers when creating your marketing plans?
To get an even better sense of what to ask yourself before conducting a type of market research you should check out of my recent posts to get going - Top 3 Questions Businesses Should Ask Before Contacting A Market Research Agency or conducting market research!
What are the most common types of market research used?
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A fact backed by the increased budget corporations have dedicated to the science in the last five years, but before you decide to hop on the market research bandwagon, there are some important factors you need to consider.
When done right any such types of market research can give you a leg up on your competitors and help you react better to your customer base, but it’s not going to do you any good if you just rush into it. If invested correctly, market research can help you to create a data-driven marketing plan that is moulded behind market segmentation. Think about creating a marketing plan that is geared to the different target audiences you have and the most up to date and relevant market trends.
Before you open your wallet to types of market research you need to remember this
Before you open your wallet to market research, here are some of the different types of market research to think about and by “types of research” I don’t necessarily mean how you’re collecting data. I mean the processes and methodologies used to analyse the data collected. Such as market segmentation, product testing, advertising testing, satisfaction and loyalty as well as others.
Why is market segmentation important as a type of market research?
When we think about market segmentation we are usually asking consumers questions to understand their needs, values, attitudes and general behaviours. Companies can then look at how their product can help the daily lives of individuals. Marketing efforts can’t simply speak to every type of person or business at the same time, so one of the main goals of market segmentation is to allow for more efficient and effective marketing tactics. In my opinion, without market segmentation you might as well have an opinion without any evidence to back up your point.
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Whilst they can be an expensive type of market research, the Insights you can learn from your study can provide you with answers and thoughts to help you with long term success. Testing adverts or commonly known as advertisement effectiveness takes your adverts direct to your audience and gauges their response so you can create impactful adverts from their opinions before you go live.
Product Testing should be a type of market research you need to consider
One of the most important types of market research for any business is product testing which enables you to gain a detailed understanding of how your product meets (or doesn’t meet) your customer’s needs. This particular type of research doesn’t need to be conducted at the start of your product road-map but it should be conducted throughout the product life-cycle to understand how customer opinions change over time.
From conducting product testing, you should be able to make an informed “go” or “not go” decision about new features and products before launch, and thus save capital, time and effort.
Understanding customer loyalty should be on your list!
Both satisfied and un-satisfied customers can both help your business to grow because you can learn from both groups of individuals at any one time.
This particular type of research can help you identify why customers like or dislike your products and services and then offer you recommendations to help improve some of those key drivers of satisfaction and the likelihood of purchasing a product from you.
A simple customer loyalty metric you could look at is something like the Net Promoter Score. It is so important you consider other questions including this metric to get an understanding of your customer needs and issues.
Then follow up with your customers even if they are minor changes in NPS that customers may not actually recognise. You now need to let them know about the improvements that have come from their feedback. There’s nothing more satisfying as a customer than taking the time to fill out a survey and then actually seeing your feedback make a difference. It could be anything, as long as it closes the feedback loop.
If you are using NPS as a single metric (not recommended!) then I would recommend entering all of the survey responses into an excel spreadsheet or there are some really easy tools such as the NPS Calculator or Customer Gauge
One way a marketing team can provide an ROI from their work is to conduct regular brand awareness surveys so they can keep tabs on how effective campaigns really are. From conducting this particular type of research you can measure if a customer can remember your brand spontaneously (so without any clues!), brand recognition and identity in comparison to other competitor brands as well as others.
Choose the type of market research that meets your needs
The next time you are thinking about market research, you firstly need to think about why?
What is the real reason why you wish to conduct market research?
Then you need to go slightly deeper with your questioning to really understand the problem you are facing:, Targeting, Acquisition or Retention. By carefully choosing a type of research, it can give you a number of key advantages over your competitors in the future.