What Companies Use Market Research?
April 30, 2021 •DJ Team
The last time you logged on to a social media website, you likely witnessed or were a part of some attempt at market research. Whether you were invited to be a part of a survey or respond to an advertisement preference, if you followed a public account or retweeted a sponsored post—companies are looking for any data they can collect to inform them about their audience, you.
Successful companies understand the importance of studying consumer insights. And market research is prevalent in their ongoing effort to learn more about how markets and target audiences will respond to certain changes and developments in the marketplace. It’s part of how they make informed decisions with millions of dollars at stake and millions to be made.
A lot of market research is based on pretty simple pieces of information from individuals: preference, habits, the likelihood of changing opinion. But compounded over vast study groups and relatively long amounts of time, this information can convince companies to change their marketing approach, and, in some cases, change their business practices altogether.
Companies that Use Market Research
It’s not just marketers and advertising agencies that use market research to learn more about an audience. Consultants, academic recruiters, legal professionals, government agencies, medical groups, sports teams, political parties—there’s real interest and value in measuring behavior, preference, and the consumer insights of target groups.
Individual examples of companies utilizing market research are endless, and in the history of almost every major business, you’ll see where market research influenced a particular change in strategy, messaging, business practice—even a motto or graphic design. But some look at how some trends have changed how businesses operate, partially based on the market research they conducted.
- “Going Green”—or the environmental initiative. In the early 2000s we witnessed a significant push towards environmentally-friendly practices from many large corporations. As consumer interest in green living increased, so too did eco-marketing.
- Social Media—this explosion in the digital marketing world changed how businesses interact with consumers, and entire departments were created based on the obvious market research that showed social media trending.
- Going mobile—like social media, the prevalence of the iPhone and other smartphones increased the importance for businesses to engage consumers on-the-move.
What is Market Research in Business?
Companies use market research to understand target audiences, evaluate competitors, develop new practices, and audit current strategies. Products and services are profitable only if demand exists, and companies need to take stock of the market’s environment to maintain relevancy. They do this through different types of market research.
Qualitative Research. This looks at why and how consumers behave the way they do—studying the intent or influence behind their actions. This might rely on a combination of different quantitative evidence compared with consumer primary research—what consumers buy compared to what they claim they buy, for example. Some factors included in qualitative research might be a combination of:
- Key economic demographics
- Social trends
- Regional or urban/rural factors
- Age demographics
- Technological aspects
Primary Market Research. Learning directly from consumers what they value, prefer, and other pieces of information that inform businesses. They also gain consumer insights based on which studies consumers agree to participate in.
- Surveys, questionnaires, polls
- Focus groups
- Test marketing
Quantitative Research. This looks at the specific data to track consumer behavior, competitors, and other market trends based on reports, studies, and some primary market research methods.
- Percentage of consumers utilizing a certain service or application
- Time spent researching a product before purchase
- Annual sales numbers
- Average lifespan of a certain product
Secondary Market Research. Companies look to annual reports, specific studies, and other public records to see how consumers respond to certain products, environments, and trends in the marketplace. Much of this is public knowledge and easily accessible, but when combined with other forms of research, it can be startlingly effective in learning about an audience.
Benefits of Market Research
The take-aways from quality market research inform sales departments, marketing initiatives, company leadership, and investors. Businesses can grow or fail based on how well they heed the information garnered from consumer insights found in market research:
- Take stock of current market environments, including opportunity for development.
- Learn more about your audience and what they value.
- Make calculated predictions how consumers will behave before the release of a brand, product, or concept.
- Understand why consumers prefer or choose a competitor over your brand, and how marketing strategies might influence this.
This information has to be collected and utilized to have a positive impact in your marketing strategy development. DemandJump is an online platform that helps you house this kind of data, use it to inform your content marketing, and gain insight on how consumers respond. The important factor for businesses that collect so much data through market research is how they translate it to marketable, useful content, and DemandJump helps you do just that.
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