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6 Marketing Research Best Practices to Follow

May 17, 2022

Every move you make for your business is a gamble to some degree because none of us can fully predict how the market will perceive our brand or our product. But thorough and well-conducted market research can get surprisingly close to a crystal ball because it can give you invaluable insight into your customers’ needs, motivations, and buying habits.

How do you get those fortune-telling benefits from your marketing research? Follow these top market research tips to pave the way for your business’s success.

1. Combine Multiple Research Strategies

There are countless ways to conduct market research, but not one of them is comprehensive enough to use as your only research strategy. To get a well-rounded view of your customer base, the market you’re competing in, and so on, you need to use several types of research. These could include:

  • Surveying your target consumers
  • Reviewing existing publicly available research about the size and attributes of your market as well as your target consumers and their buying habits
  • Analyzing your competitors’ performance and their marketing strategies
  • Evaluating your own data from previous products or marketing campaigns
  • Assessing the data from your business’s site to understand what type of traffic you’re getting and who you’re missing

These are merely a few examples of the types of market research you should be conducting and pooling together to get the information you need.

2. Make Your Research Process Ongoing

One of the most common mistakes among people who aren’t sure how to conduct effective market research is to assume that market research is ever “done.” Your target demographic is constantly changing in their opinions and buying habits, especially when there are major world changes like the COVID-19 pandemic. You need to revisit and redo aspects of your market research on a regular basis to see how your target market has changed so you can adapt. You can stay on top of this by conducting market research surveys at consistent intervals to maintain a pulse on your target audience.

3. Find Out Where You Stand

Don’t assume that people perceive your brand the way you expect them to or in accordance with the brand identity you’ve been trying to build. If your market research is for an existing business or brand instead of a startup, you can only shift the perceptions of your brand if you know what they currently are. That’s why one of our top market research tips and tricks is to survey your target consumers using an AI survey tool like GroupSolver to see what they really think about you.

4. Research Outside Your Expected Market

You’re creating your product with a specific type of consumer in mind, so many brands make the mistake of only researching their market of expected consumers. If you expand your market research to also survey other groups of people, though, you may discover that they have use cases for your product that you didn’t expect.

For example, if your product is a scheduling tool designed for corporate employees, you might discover that it also satisfies a need for stay-at-home parents to balance their kids’ activity schedules and social calendars. You will never know if you don’t ask.

5. Use Open-Ended Questioning

Surveying potential consumers is a major cornerstone of market research, but if you’re like most brands, the way you conduct surveys could be holding back your research. If you’re using surveys with multiple-choice questions, you aren’t getting consumers’ true opinions; you’re getting their closest choice out of the options you have provided. That can be downright inaccurate.

Instead, use a survey tool that’s capable of taking in and analyzing open-ended questions like GroupSolver AI-driven surveys. You’ll be able to find out what consumers actually think rather than their closest guess, and you won’t be inadvertently clouding their thought process with your pre-written multiple choice answers.

6. Conduct Research at Multiple Depth Levels

Let’s say you’re doing market research for a new product you want to launch. You use surveys or focus groups to get consumers’ impressions of the product, and the results aren’t positive. The problem now is that you don’t know where you went wrong. Was it the execution of the product? Or were you entirely wrong about the problem your product was meant to solve in the first place?

This is why you should approach market research from multiple depths. Start by researching the problem you’re trying to solve for consumers to see if it’s even a problem at all. Then, research the general concept of your solution to the problem and whether it’s on the right track. Finally, research the perceptions of the finished or nearly finished product to see if you’ve executed your solution well. This lets you see exactly where you might have gone wrong so you can recreate your product in a way that works.

Mastering Your Market Research Process

Getting the greatest potential out of your market research can make or break your business and provide critical direction for the future of your brand. The market research tips above can make your research more accurate, useful, and ultimately profitable. To start upgrading your market research, schedule a GroupSolver demo today.

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