If you are a journalist, then you may be doing a story for a magazine or a website publication. To do an article, you would need to know if your readers are interested in the topic you are writing about. It would make sense to market to your readers, right? You want to give them what they want. You want them reading your articles. What is market research tools?
What Is Market Research Tools? Market research is often confused with marketing because market research is mostly performed in marketing departments. Market research itself, however, is much broader based and includes both marketing and general research based principles such as opinion polling and focus groups.
4 common market research methods
There are lots of different ways you could conduct market research and collect customer data, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just one research method. Four common types of market research techniques include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and customer observation.
Which method you use may vary based on your business type: ecommerce business owners have different goals from SaaS businesses, so it’s typically prudent to mix and match these methods based on your particular goals and what you need to know.
1. Surveys: the most commonly used
Surveys are a form of qualitative research that ask respondents a short series of open- or closed-ended questions, which can be delivered as an on-screen questionnaire or via email. When we asked 2,000 Customer Experience (CX) professionals about their company’s approach to research, surveys proved to be the most commonly used market research technique.
What makes online surveys so popular? They’re easy and inexpensive to conduct, and you can do a lot of data collection quickly. Plus, the data is pretty straightforward to analyze, even when you have to analyze open-ended questions whose answers might initially appear difficult to categorize.
We’ve built a number of survey templates ready and waiting for you. Grab a template and share with your customers in just a few clicks.
2. Interviews: the most insightful
Interviews are one-on-one conversations with members of your target market. Nothing beats a face-to-face interview for diving deep (and reading non-verbal cues), but if an in-person meeting isn’t possible, video conferencing is a solid second choice.
Regardless of how you conduct it, any type of in-depth interview will produce big benefits in understanding your target customers.
What makes interviews so insightful?
By speaking directly with an ideal customer, you’ll gain greater empathy for their experience, and you can follow insightful threads that can produce plenty of ‘Aha!’ moments.
3. Focus groups: the most dangerous
Focus groups bring together a carefully selected group of people who fit a company’s target market. A trained moderator leads a conversation surrounding the product, user experience, and/or marketing message to gain deeper insights.
What makes focus groups so dangerous?
If you’re new to market research, I wouldn’t recommend starting with focus groups. Doing it right is expensive, and if you cut corners, your research could fall victim to all kinds of errors. Dominance bias (when a forceful participant influences the group) and moderator style bias (when different moderator personalities bring about different results in the same study) are two of the many ways your focus group data could get skewed.
4. Observation: the most powerful
During a customer observation session, someone from the company takes notes while they watch an ideal user engage with their product (or a similar product from a competitor).
What makes observation so clever and powerful?
‘Fly-on-the-wall’ observation is a great alternative to focus groups. It’s not only less expensive, but you’ll see people interact with your product in a natural setting without influencing each other. The only downside is that you can’t get inside their heads, so observation is no replacement for customer surveys and interviews.
Three key objectives of market research
A market research project may usually have 3 different types of objectives.
- Administrative: Help a company or business development, through proper planning, organization, and both human and material resources control, and thus satisfy all specific needs within the market, at the right time.
- Social: Satisfy customer’s specific needs through a required product or service. The product or service should comply with the requirements and preferences of a customer when it’s consumed.
- Economical: Determine the economical degree of success or failure a company can have while being new to the market, or otherwise introducing new products or services, and thus providing certainty to all actions to be implemented.
Why is market research important?
Conducting research is one of the best ways of achieving customer satisfaction, reducing customer churn and elevating business. Here are the reasons why market research is important and should be considered in any business:
- Valuable information: It provides information and opportunities about the value of existing and new products, thus, helping businesses plan and strategize accordingly.
- Customer-centric: It helps to determine what the customers need and want. Marketing is customer-centric and understanding the customers and their needs will help businesses design products or services that best suit them.
- Forecasts: By understanding the needs of customers, businesses can also forecast their production and sales. Market research also helps in determining optimum inventory stock.
- Competitive advantage: To stay ahead of competitors market research is a vital tool to carry out comparative studies. Businesses can devise business strategies that can help them stay ahead of their competitors.
Send your first market research survey for free to a built-in audience. No credit card required.
Attest helps marketers access brand and market insights at lightning speed. That’s why we truly believe we’re the best market research tool in the biz.
Attest’s platform lets you do all kinds of market research – from hefty pieces of work – like market and competitor analysis – to in-the-moment gut checks, like testing different creatives for ads. Build surveys, connect to our audience of over 100M consumers worldwide, and start getting the answers you need in real-time.
Using the built-in audience makes it quick & easy to find the information you need from your target market. What they think, which brands they know & trust, and their buying habits.
We’re loved by the likes of Gymshark, Santander, and Transferwise as an unbeatable market research tool. Fancy giving it a try? Sign up for free and start drafting surveys in minutes. No credit card required.
Social Mention is a really simple tool that surfaces real-time data from social media platforms. Whether that’s blogs, videos, or Reddit posts, this handy social media scanner works like a search engine, pulling up examples of whatever you search from across the social web.
Social Mention also features sentiment analysis and estimates of mentions per minute. For example, when I searched for ‘bubblewrap’, sentiment analysis revealed that people felt pretty neutral about it, but when I searched for ‘tired’, the sentiment was resoundingly negative.
This market research tool is a quick and simple way to check in on what’s going on in the realms of social media.
The world of market research is constantly evolving, and thanks to digital innovation, market research tools are advancing all the time. Heartbeat Ai is no exception to this – its a ‘Human Experience’ software that uses machine learning to suss out the emotions underpinning written content.
Heartbeat Ai believe that human emotion is a key facet of market research that often gets left out. As it says on their website: “At Heartbeat Ai, we’ve seen the power of unveiling the rich emotional world that word choice analysis conveys. We’re not talking binary indicators of approval. Instead, we generate far more nuanced, concrete insights about how people are triggered by what they experience.”
Google Keywords Tool
The Google Keywords tool acts as a window into the behaviour of consumers when searching online for products or services such as yours. To use this you’ll need to create a Google Adwords account (it’s free however) and it’s also advisable that you read a couple of introductory articles to the tool and making the most of it.
Need to build a solid reputation quickly? Then you need to know who the key influencers are in your market; from this you can then approach them to partner up, gain an avocation or learn from their successes. For this there are tools such as Clout, Ked and Peerindex.
Whilst not technically a wider tool providing market research in its entirety, Google Analytics can provide feedback as to how your customers are behaving whilst on your website. It may show you which products many view, but few buy (or vice versa) and it can illustrate what social media channels your customers are responding to, amongst many other insights.
Why is market research tools essential? Market research is very important for all kinds of business, especially those that are trying to create a new product or expand their market base. The more information you have about your potential clients or customers, the better able you will be able to serve them and create new and better goods and services for them to buy. Market research helps you determine new products and services that will work for your audience.