Conducting Market Research? How to Choose the Best Methodology

Thanks to the Internet and its widespread use across the entire globe, conducting market research has certainly evolved from traditional methodologies. With the simple click of a button, you can send out thousands of surveys instantly to recipients all over the world.

It is important to note, however, that online methodologies aren’t the only way to conduct secondary research. There are other useful ways to collect data. Our market research company always recommends taking a close look at your project objectives to understand what type of study meets these goals. 

Here's a quick look at four of the top ways to conduct market research. We will also throw in a few tips for making sure you get started off on the right foot with your next market research project.

Conducting Market Research? How to Choose the Best Methodology

There are hundreds of methodologies to choose from when conducting market research. Our market research company will help you decide which method is best for your project objectives and goals.


Today's consumers use the Internet to do research on products and services. According to HubSpot, a leader in online marketing, only 20% of Instagram users don't follow a brand or business account. That means 80% of the Instagram user base does follow at least one brand.

But what about your audience? Is your audience even on Instagram? If so, how many and what other social platforms are they on? You can conduct online market research to get some answers.

Online market research is the most common form of market research. Research methods often come in the form of online surveys or online focus groups. Online surveys are typically the most cost-effective and provide the quickest feedback, however it doesn't provide the most in-depth feedback when compared to qualitative studies.

If you are looking for quick results from hundreds of respondents, online surveys are the way to go. If you would rather earn more exploratory feedback, than speaking with a smaller group of people through an online focus group would be a greater benefit to your team.

Learn how to conduct online surveys fast.


Phone surveys can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. This form of market research allows the interviewer to probe for detailed responses from participants, which makes the data more robust than what you’d normally collect through standard online market research methods.

Phone surveys normally require a little longer of a process because participants have to be screened and scheduled for an interview. If working with a phone survey research company like Drive Research, the phone survey process can be completely executed by the third-party.

This includes creating an online survey screener, rescreening survey respondents, recruiting participants, interviewing participants, and analyzing results.


If budget allows, in-person interviews or focus groups make for a great way to collect in-depth and valuable feedback. 

Generally, the interviews are conducted on a one-on-one basis or through focus groups at a research facility. Like phone surveys, collecting data through in-person interviews allows the interviewer to collect a greater level of feedback.

This method is especially helpful if you need feedback on the look, feel, smell, of a product or food. In-person interviews can become expensive because you have added costs associated with qualitative research such as facility rental, incentives, travel fees, etc.


Conducting market research via regular mail (surveys) is not typically recommended but may be required in certain industries or depending on what type of information is being collected.

It can take longer to process feedback from this form of data collection process, but it is more convenient for respondents because they can complete it when they have time. 

The cons of using this market research method include not knowing whether all recipients actually received the survey. Let’s say you send out 500 surveys through the mail but only 300 people actually receive them. Out of those 300, only 170 people actually fill out the survey and return it. These numbers can greatly impact the quality of your data.

How can you increase mail survey response rates? We've got you covered.

Do Market Research the Right Way

Before you begin market research, make sure to determine whether you're performing primary research or secondary research.

Primary Research (In-person)

  • Exploratory research: Begins before specific research occurs; usually consists of open-ended interviews and collecting data from only a few people to determine which potential problems should be addressed as a team.
  • Specific research: Follows exploratory research and focuses on diving into an issue the company deems as important; collecting data from audiences with the hopes that their answers will help solve a problem.

Secondary Research (In-person, online, phone, and mail)

  • Public sources: Very accessible form of research that allows you to paint a bird's eye view of the state of different industries.
  • Commercial sources: Think market reports, published studies, industry insight newsletters, etc.
  • Internal sources: Using internal data to collect market research.

Final Thoughts

To collect data about an existing product or service, you can turn to your CRM and pinpoint your recent buyers. These are the customers you want to collect data from. If you don't have any customers yet, you can make a post on social media to see who would be interested in taking a survey from you.

You can also add some type of incentive to motivate people to take the survey. 

Need help conducting market research? Contact Drive Research today!

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company located in NY. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study, should it be the right fit for your business.

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

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