After a quick google search on, "market research how to" I skimmed through a bunch of lengthy posts about the ins and outs of multi-faceted market research projects.
Safe to say, there were major red flags in these posts.
Most of these posts focused on image and awareness studies in particular. The posts talked about the difference between primary and secondary research, how to define a target audience, how to create customer/buyer personas, writing survey questions, and more. Honestly, it got too deep too quickly without explaining why choices were made.
Searching for how to do market research? You've come to the right place. Learn more about how to get started with market research and get some cost-saving tips along the way.
Asks, "How to do market research?"
Answer: It all starts with the objectives
Tip #1: Clearly define market research goals and objectives
Don't get me wrong, image and awareness studies are great, but that might not be the best methodology to meet the goals and objectives for the research.
The first step to every market research project starts with discussing and defining the goals and objectives of the study. This information will be helpful to choose the right market research methodology to use for the study. There are many.
Typically, an online survey is much less inexpensive than qualitative research like in-depth interviews and focus groups, but that should not necessarily drive the choice between methodologies.
The key difference between quantitative and qualitative market research is one is best at measuring and the other is best at exploring. To meet the goals and objectives of the study it may be best to create a market research study that utilizes both, but it is not always a given that one is "better" than the other.
Learn more about how to choose a market research methodology.
Tip #2: Understand the pros and cons of market research methodologies
What I noticed about some of the articles I read on how to do market research was that most glazed over choosing the right methodology to meet the objectives and for the business type.
Having a clear understanding of several different market research methodologies will help businesses understand how long a specific methodology takes, cost, and level of data quality.
For example, focus groups are expensive, the turnaround time is average, and the quality of data is strong. Online surveys, however, are inexpensive, the turnaround time is short, and the quality of data is average.
Here's our complete guide to understanding the pros and cons of market research methodologies.
Tip #3: Understand how long market research takes
Another flaw I noticed in other posts about how to do market research was the lack of details on how long market research typically takes.
This includes two pieces.
(1) How long the actual market research engagement should take with the participants.
(2) How long the entire market research project should take.
Best practices in market research tell us online surveys are becoming shorter, which means question phrasing is becoming more effective and advanced. Also, there is a trend for shorter focus groups too, which can save budget.
Here's our complete guide to understanding how long market research takes.
Tip #4: Know how to decrease cost
General posts about how to do market research do not disclose cost-saving tips. When reading through other articles, I often saw best practices as the only way to conduct market research.
The truth is, there are ways to cut costs without sacrificing data quality.
Looking to decrease the cost of a market research project? Here are 5 options.
(1) Consider changing the methodology.
(2) Consider reducing the number of participants or survey responses.
(3) Consider changing the reward or incentive.
(4) Ask for a basic report or data file.
(5) Ask about project bundling.
Here's our complete guide to understanding how to reduce the cost of market research.
While there is not an average cost for market research, there are factors that affect cost. In general, this includes set up, fieldwork, and report. Learn more about how much market research costs.
Tip #5: How to ask for a market research quote
Deciding to work with a market research company to execute your project? There are several tricks and tips to help find the right vendor to work with.
Whether communicating via email, phone, or face-to-face, there are some signs to look for such as responsiveness and flexibility of the firm. The market research company will likely have several questions before drafting up a quote or proposal.
In a previous post, our market research company wrote down the questions we have when an organization reaches out. The questions are broken down into several market research methodologies. It covers questions for an online survey quote, focus group quote, phone survey quote, intercept survey quote, and employee survey quote.
Need a market research quote? We've got a guide for that too.
Also, it's important to know the difference between a market research quote and proposal. A quote is simply the cost to execute a project, while a market research proposal explains all of the steps of the project from start to finish and is typically structured as a contact whereas a quote is just an estimate.
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