Well, that is a bold title. Life changing market research tools that are free? You probably want in. Although the life changing benefits of these tools are not likely to be grand, each individual tool does offer a lot of benefits and value to help you with your day-to-day projects and work. You may be aware of some of these tools, while others will likely be brand new to you.
We hope you find these tools come in handy and maybe you'll even bookmark a few. They run the gamut from free survey software to margin of error calculators. If you dabble at all in market research, you're likely to find one of these tools coming in handy for your needs.
And we're off!
Who doesn't love free right? Enjoy.
Free Tool 1: Industry Resources and Information
Before you jump in head first into market research, it always good to read about best practices, similar case studies, and literature on a topic or methodology. Understanding the background behind a specific path in market research will set you and your team up for success. We suggest grabbing a fresh coffee and perusing these sites, using the search bar, and browsing some categories of interest.
Here are some of our go-to sites which have authority in the market research industry.
Sorry, that last one is a shameless plug, but we really do believe in what we do. We enjoy writing, sharing, and informing our audiences.
Free Tool 2: Statista
This site is a treasure trove of market data and industry information. It also does an excellent job at tracking the same data sets over the years to identify trends within industries. Some of the site offers free data and statistics, while some of it is protected through a pay wall.
However, our team is big fans of the infographic section of the website which is always free for users. They share some excellent tidbits on a variety of industries and they make an excellent social share if you are looking to fill your social news feed.
Free Tool 3: U.S. Census Data
You know the survey that comes around to U.S. households every 10 years? Think the government is not doing anything with this information? Think again. They make the data collected publicly available on the U.S. Census website. Not your individual data! But rather the aggregate data.
American Fact Finder and Quick Facts are excellent tools to help you understand target market populations in specific regions of the country. This tool allows you to profile and audience and understand population trends for key demographics.
Free Tool 4: Survey Monkey
Searching for a free tool to administer online or email surveys? Survey Monkey is typically your best bet. The company owns the majority of the market share for online survey platforms and there is a reason for this. Their survey design tools and interface is simplistic and easy to use. Even if you have no background in survey design or programming you can likely find your way around with ease. Even a monkey can do it. Yes, I know. Terrible pun.
However, you will be limited by what you can do. The free version limits you with a specific number of questions, number of responses, and offers limited functionality. If you are conducting a survey which requires advanced survey capabilities (routing, hundreds of responses, etc.) we always recommend consulting with a market research company first. These companies will have access to advanced survey capabilities and tools to assist you with your market research project.
Free Tool 5: Margin of Error Calculator
Are you stuck wondering how many responses you need for your survey to make the results statistically reliable? First you have to determine what you consider to be statistically reliable. Is it a margin of error of 10%? 5%? 2%?
Most commonly in the industry, market research companies aim for a +/- 5% margin of error with surveys at the 95% confidence level. This means if the survey was conducted 100 times, 95 out of 100 times the results would yield within +5% or -5% of the stated totals. This is for a true random sample.
Free Tool 6: Google Analytics
Your website data can be an excellent resource of analytics and insights. If you do not have this set up on your site or client's website, do this now. Google Analytics tracks user data on a variety of key categories to really help you understand who is visiting your site, when they are visiting, and where they are coming from.
This is fairly easy to set up and free. You'll quickly find yourself immersed in a pool of website data which will help you better understand the site user experience. You can analyze data like referral traffic, bounce rates, time on page, and many others. Enjoy.
Free Tool 7: Facebook Advertising Manager
Yes, believe it or not an advertising platform like Facebook does offer a lot of free data. You must first set up an Ad Manager account through the site. From there you can follow an easy step-by-step process to create a dummy advertisement on the social media tool.
In the Ad Manager tool, you profile specific audiences and interest buckets to get counts of users. This comes in handy as you look to understand potential pools of populations to target through your marketing outreach. The Ad Manager will give you counts and tell you if the audience is too narrow to reach or very broad.
So if your product is targeted to females 25 to 44 within a 60-minute radius of Buffalo, NY, you can go into the platform and see how many users exist who fit this profile to give you an idea of reach. Extremely helpful when it comes to marketing campaigns.
Contact Drive Research
We hope you found these 7 free market research tools helpful. Drive Research is a national market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team specializes in a variety of industries including manufacturing, financial services, retail, and many more in the B2C and B2B space.
Questions about how we can help? Contact us below.