Market research is all about questions. So it may come as no surprise several questions exist about the market research process as well. How does it work? How is a methodology chosen? How do I get started? We help clients who are new to market research answer these questions on a daily basis. We decided to tackle a few of the more common market research FAQs in this post. This is a compilation of the most beneficial and most frequently asked questions by clients and potential clients.
You have questions. Drive Research can find your answers.
What is the best methodology?
The answer to this question depends on your needs and objectives of your market research. Are you looking to explore or measure? If you're looking to explore, you'll likely want to utilize a qualitative approach. Options include focus groups and in-depth interviews (IDIs) to name a few. If you are looking to measure, you'll want to use a quantitative approach. The most common type of quantitative methodology is online surveys.
As we covered in our comprehensive guide to market research for small business each methodology has its own unique timeframe, cost, and data quality score. Although many options exist, we recommend online surveys and in-depth interviews (IDIs) as the top 2 traditional market research approaches. However, several cutting edge methodologies such as bulletin boards and eye-tracking research are emerging in the industry and evolving the conversation.
How much does market research cost?
The age-old question. Unfortunately there is not a clear answer. Costs can vary greatly depending on scope and methodology. 10 in-depth interviews conducted over the phone will be much less expensive than 50 in-person interviews across the globe. A 100 complete online survey will be less expensive than a 1,000 complete telephone survey.
The largest variable impacting cost of market research is the fieldwork. For the most part, the set up and design of a market research study can be predictable. As is the case with the analysis and reporting. In quantitative, cost will be determined by how difficult your audience is to reach, how long the survey is, and how many completes you want. A 40-question survey targeting 800 B2B C-Level decision-makers will be more expensive than a 10-question survey targeting 200 general consumers.
Is a survey customers and non-customers the same cost?
No. Customer surveys are naturally less expensive than non-customer surveys or industry studies. Customers have a relationship with the company surveying them and the company does not have to pay for an expensive list for targeting. As a result, this relationship pays off in higher engagement, response rates, less effort from a market research firm, and lower cost.
How long does market research take?
In a best case scenario, an online survey project can be completed in as little as 2 weeks or less. This includes all time associated with the project from kickoff through reporting. When an email survey is conducted, the vast majority of completed surveys are collected within 24 hours of the initial invite (75% or more.)
Qualitative market research takes a little while longer because of the time involved in recruiting participants in addition to the fieldwork. Focus groups (using 2 groups) typically last 4 to 5 weeks. In-depth interviews (IDIs) usually last the same amount of time. Clearly, the more participants or locations involved in qualitative research results in a longer timeframe.
Can I do the market research in-house instead?
Yes, but it is not recommended. Using a third-party eliminates bias and ensures your market research project is run correctly, efficiently, and effectively. Market research companies have advanced experience, advanced capabilities, and resources to help organizations with market research objectives.
How does the market research process work?
Although each type of methodology carries its own unique schedule and approach, most market research projects can be broken down into kickoff, set up, fieldwork, and reporting. These steps are the 4 core areas of project management.
Kickoff: This involves setting objectives, expectations, and goals from the market research project. The kickoff meeting sets the tone for the research project and ensures everyone is on the same page going forward.
Set up: This step in the process focuses on instrument design. This is the drafting of your survey, screener, interview guide or moderator's guide. This is a key step in the market research process because the results and the report will only be as good as the questions being asked. Any online portions of the tools are programmed and tested.
Fieldwork: The fieldwork is when the "go" button is pushed. Fieldwork represents the live data collection as completed surveys roll in, interviews are conducted or focus groups are held. Fieldwork is when the insights and the findings from the market research begin to be generated.
Reporting: The final step in the market research process includes cleaning of the data, coding, analysis and reporting. A good market research firm will spend a large majority of their time interpreting the data, crafting insights, and making strategic recommendations in the report.
Drive Research is a market research company in Upstate New York, serving the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany markets along the Thruway corridor. Interested in a market research project? Have questions about your upcoming market research study?
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