Types of Market Research
March 24, 2021 •DJ Team
The phrase “a penny for your thoughts” doesn’t really apply to marketers; we’d do almost anything to know what our audience is thinking! If we could fully predict how products, ideas, and brands would be received in a particular environment, with a certain audience, we’d have the golden ticket to marketing success.
Unfortunately, we don’t have access to that superpower, but we have something close: the information gleaned from market research.
There’s tons of consumer insight data available to us long before the launch of a product, concept, or business venture. With the right understanding of how to conduct and apply market research, you mitigate the risk of relying on blind optimism and can instead show reliable evidence that your ideas will resonate with audiences.
Market Research Methods
Understanding your audience’s perspective requires research and imagination. Market research in business investigates the environment where you’ll introduce your idea, and tells you more about the audience who will be listening. Plenty of tools exist already to procure data and learn more about environments and audiences. Listed below are only a few of the many ways to procure data:
- Polling data—How does a large percentage of your audience respond to a series of questions/surveys/questionnaires?
- Sales data analysis—Looking at sales data that can inform purchasing trends.
- Product testing—Analysis of how a product or idea performs in a given market.
- Competitive analysis—Studying industry competitors to compare/contrast and analyze against your own business model.
- Market segmentation—Look at groups within your audience to learn more and target similar interest groups.
Each of these examples falls into one of the four main categories of consumer insight market research: primary research, secondary research, qualitative research, and quantitative research. Each of these provides you a different lens from which to view and learn more about your audience and to inform targeted marketing strategies based on your findings.
What is Primary Research?
Primary research for consumer insight is any information our audience will provide us directly regarding their preferences, habits, and beliefs directly in the form of interviews, questionnaires, surveys, focus groups. We can glean a lot of information from primary research about our audience—even in the way they respond.
In digital marketing, for example, we are able to get audience participation through social media in a number of ways including:
- Incentivizing survey questions in the form of ad-skips.
- Polling groups of people with conflicting or similar interests.
- Promotional products or discounts incentivized by shares or likes.
Here we learn about our customer by how they respond to the questions, and we also learn about their interest based on which incentivized promotional they choose to engage with. Whether or not a customer chooses to answer questions says a lot about them, too.
What is Secondary Research?
Secondary research is the information about our audience that’s already been compiled and is widely available; we find it in public records and studies, commercial reports, educational institutions, and any public domain from governments, libraries, or business departments. You get the picture that this is a lot of collected data.
Secondary research is important because it can tell us a lot about what’s going on beneath the surface. We want to know what our audience thinks, but sometimes they couldn’t even tell you directly what they think—their subconscious thoughts might be more prevalent than what they’d admit on a survey, or tell you in a direct interview.
Instead, we can learn about our audience in the form of general studies, trends, and purchasing patterns. For example, we know without having to interview audience members that they are more likely to increase spending during the winter holiday season: just look at the general data.
Primary Market Research Methods
We can simplify most primary market research methods into two distinct categories: qualitative and quantitative, each telling us something different about our audience.
Qualitative research attempts to understand the underlying reasons behind consumer behavior—it looks at how and why consumers act in a particular market. For example, if you took data from a scholarly article on cognitive function in a certain age group, it might inform the data you also collected from a certain demographic regarding brand preference.
Quantitative research is a way to learn about consumer insights through the collection and analysis of statistical information about our customers and audience often found through surveys, polls, and simulations. This is the hard data we use from a large group of people to make generalizations about how they will behave in the market.
When looking for a place to find, compile, and utilize market research to develop content to reach your audience, look no further than DemandJump. Our powerful insights platform allows you to conduct your own audience and competitor research to better understand what your target customers are most interested in and how to meet them where they are online.
It’s as easy as entering a topic. DemandJump will show you what your audience is searching around that topic and how your competitors are attracting an audience.
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