5 Basic Types of Market Research and How to Use Them

Arthur Conan Doyle once wrote, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”

Business owners can think all day long that their ideas will take the market by storm. However, it’s important to gather the necessary data to back up their trains of thought.

There are several types of research someone can conduct to learn more about target demographics. Performing research correctly will help you, as a business owner, to reach your audience in the ways you’ve always imagined.

To better help make your dreams become reality, we’ve provided a list below of 5 types of market research to use in your data collection.

1. Surveys

Surveys are one of the most commonly used types of marketing research. This is because they can be distributed in a number of ways, including through mail and email.

When creating a survey for past and/or potential customers, write questions that collect qualitative and quantitative answers. This will give you an in-depth look into your audience.

Qualitative data describes the characteristics or qualities of something. Quantitative data uses measurable numbers and ratings, or quantities.

2. Customer Interviews

When learning how to do market research, you’ll hear of the importance of interviews. Sitting in front of someone while asking questions allows you to observe initial and genuine responses.

It also allows for genuine connections and trust to form. You’ll receive more thought-out answers than you would through a phone survey.

Conduct in-depth personal interviews or form a group interview opportunity.

3. Observation

Hands-on product research is important, but don’t forget the power of observation.

Step back and observe a group of customers interacting with your products. You can even watch potential clients interact with an issue you hope to fix with your service.

For example, if you’re wanting to create a female-only rideshare service, observe how female riders greet male drivers. Are they nervous? Do they stop to check the license plate and child locks?

4. Research of Competitors

Yes, researching your competitors is allowed! It may feel sneaky, but it’s a powerful research tool.

When researching competitors, ask yourself questions such as:

  • What have been your competitors’ most successful marketing campaigns?
  • What made those campaigns so successful?
  • What obstacles do you observe that you can work to avoid?

Researching your competitors isn’t just useful, but it’s also cost-effective. Most of the time, the competitors have already done the research for you.

If money isn’t a worry in your research, invest in a professional research company to do the grunt work for you. There’s a multitude of exceptional research companies, including ones that specialize in health economics and outcomes research.

5. Mystery Shopper

Are you hoping to gain better insight into your shop or restaurant? Hire a mystery shopper.

A mystery shopper is an anonymous individual who visits your establishment as a seemingly normal customer. However, they’re making detailed notes about their experience.

They may note the customer service, cleanliness, food quality, etc. They’ll report their findings to management.

Useful Types of Market Research

Having new ideas for products and services is great, but you need a backup of data to launch your ideas into action. Use the above list of common types of market research to brainstorm your own data collection ideas.

Gather quantitative answers by creating surveys, or collecting qualitative findings with observation. Find creative ways to gather authentic answers.

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