Understanding Market Research
Market research is a way of investigating and answering questions about human behavior. It is the systematic gathering and interpretation of information about individuals or organizations using the statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied social sciences to gain insight or support decision making. The identity of respondents will not be revealed to the user of the information without explicit consent and no sales approach will be made to them as a direct result of their having provided information (Phillips, 2007, p. 38)
Market Research Methods:
Primary Research: Primary research is information that comes directly from the source--that is, potential customers. You can compile this information yourself or hire someone else to gather it for you via surveys, focus groups, and other methods ("Conducting Market Research," n.d.). Click here for additional resources on primary research.
Secondary Research: Secondary research involves gathering statistics, reports, studies, and other data from organizations such as government agencies, trade associations, and your local chamber of commerce ("Conducting Market Research," n.d.).
Market Research Strategies from The Entrepreneur's Guide to Market Research by Anne M. Wenzel:
1. Develop a demographic profile: A qualitative description of our typical customer is called a demographic profile.
2. Research market trends: The primary focus of trends research should be information that illustrates our market’s size or sales growth, or the potential for sales growth.
3. Research consumer spending patterns: If we know how our potential customers choose the companies from which they buy, we can tailor our location, product design, marketing campaigns, or other strategies as needed to attract new customers, or to retain our existing customers.
5. Estimate the size and growth of the market: Understanding market growth allows us to forecast future company revenue and growth with a large degree of confidence.
6. Research competitors, emerging trends, and technologies: Once our research and market analysis is completed, our job of monitoring the competition begins. We should examine our direct competition, competing goods and services, and emerging technologies on a regular basis.
1. ESOMAR. Market Research Handbook, edited by Bont, Cees de, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2007. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csulb/detail.action?docID=470761.