There are many factors to be considered when setting a budget for a market research project. Target market, sample size, and methodology are just a few, and these factors impact the overall cost of the project. For example, larger sample sizes and face-to-face interviews are more costly than smaller sample sizes and phone interviews, while an online survey costs less to collect data than a focus group.
Although hiring a market research company is recommended in order to maximize the value and benefits of a market research project, there are ways to conduct market research with a low-budget even if you decide to use a professional firm.
Here are 5 low-budget market research options to consider.
No budget for a big market research project? Consider these 5 low-budget market research options for your organization or company.
Option 1: Secondary Research
First, let’s identify the difference between primary and secondary research. Primary research involves the generation of data. For example, when a market research company is hired to conduct a market research project, the data collected and the analysis of the data is primary research. Secondary research involves using existing research to make conclusions about a research topic.
With a low-budget, a company can search, find and use existing primary data to analyze a problem or question they seek information about. Market research involves gaining an understanding of consumer needs, preferences and options. Searching existing data about a company’s target market, product or service and then using that data to draw their won conclusions is a low-budget viable option.
This can be accomplished through a simple Google search. The main drawback here is it may not be fully applicable to your situation. The research might address a different geography, slightly different methodology, not answer the questions you need answered, or be outdated.
Option 2: Micro-Survey
A micro-survey refers to a quick survey existing of only a few questions. Micro-surveys are quick and easy to create, easily delivered and easier to analyze than longer online surveys because there are fewer questions to analyze.
Many online survey platforms cost a monthly fee to use, but Survey Monkey allows surveys to created and up to 100 responses to be collected for free. Survey Monkey also provides analytics of the data collected. If more than 100 responses are desired, a fee can be paid to increase the number of respondents.
Think about a local gym that wants to possibly offer different operating business hours or a new personal training package. Finding out about their target market’s preferences could be accomplished by creating a micro-survey and asking a few simple questions.
• What time of day do you prefer to work out?
• If we were open until midnight during the week, would you use our gym?
• Do you have a personal trainer?
• If you could try a personal trainer for 1 session for free would you be interested?
A few simple questions as a micro-survey online could add tremendous value to the local gym about their ideas for change.
Option 3: Conduct Market Research With Current Customers
Current customers refer to people who already purchase a company’s product or service. Market research can be conducted with a current customer database. When a company has current customer’s addresses or email addresses, it is less expensive to conduct research with them. It is always more expensive to locate non-customers. Using a current database for research will decrease the cost of the market research project.
Option 4: Use Your Website
A company website is mobile real estate. A current customer or potential customer is likely to visit a website to check out products and/or services offered. A link to a consumer survey can be placed directly on the homepage. Any visitors to the website will have the opportunity to respond to the survey questions without the company spending money to find respondents for the survey.
A company can increase participation by placing it directly on the homepage so a visitor will immediately see the option, create a pop-up box encouraging the visitor to participate, or offer an incentive for participation. An incentive could be 10% off their purchase for responding to the survey.
Option 5: Use Social Media Tools
Social media platforms have exploded in popularity and accessibility in the last decade. Most companies have social media business pages and typically use multiple social media platforms. Social media is a great way to reach a target market and expand brand exposure.
Take Nike for example. Nike has over 32 million followers on Facebook, 81.2 million followers on Instagram, 7.65 million followers on Twitter, and over 1.6 million followers on LinkedIn. Think about how many responses Nike could get if they posted a survey on their social media platforms. Nike could easily acquire hundreds if not thousands of responses from simple social media posts by leveraging their current followers.
Nike is an example of a large brand, but any sized company could use social media to gain responses to a survey from their followers. Another relatively low-budget option is to run paid targeted ads on social media platforms. Social media ads can be targeted to current followers, new audiences, or a combination of both. Companies can also boost posts, allowing the post to be pushed into current follower’s news feeds.
Market research projects can be costly, but there are low-budget market research options available. Although market research firms can design and analyze a market research project directed to your very specific objective, using secondary research, conducting a short micro-survey online, asking current customers, using your website, and using social media tools are all valuable low-budget options.
Contact Our Market Research Firm
Drive Research is a market research firm located in Upstate New York. Interested in learning more about our cost-effective market research services? Contact our team in 1 of the following 3 ways below.
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