Why Market Research Should be in Your 2024 Budget

budget planning concept

Believe it or not, the new year is right around the corner - and that means it's time to start planning your 2024 budget (if you haven’t already).

With every new year comes new objectives, goals, and challenges. How will you choose the right tools to assist your organization in breaking new ground and making it the best year yet?

By adding market research to your 2024 budget. In doing so, businesses can be assured they are taking a step in the right direction. 

Types of market research methodologies to add to your 2024 budget include:

  • Non-customer surveys to generate new business
  • Customer experience programs to increase customer retention
  • Employee engagement surveys to improve team satisfaction
  • Ad concept testing to create data-driven marketing campaigns 
  • Content surveys to easily create lead-generating content

Keep reading as our market research company discusses each of these methodologies in detail and how they can help achieve common business goals. Plus, how much market research costs so you have a better idea of what to budget for.

Benefits of Market Research

Much like when planning for your 2024 budget, it is important to establish clear goals when deciding what type of market research methodology is right for your specific business needs.

Luckily, marketing research is successful in solving several common business challenges.

Original research provides organizations with the data and evidence they need to...

  • Increase profitability
  • Generate new leads
  • Satisfy current customers
  • Maintain a positive work environment
  • Create an effective content marketing strategy

Market research comes in many different shapes and forms. It is not always easy to decide what methodology is best aligned with your 2024 goals.

Perhaps a hybrid research approach (a mix of qualitative and quantitative studies) is more your speed to receive the actionable data to achieve all of your business development, marketing, sales, and HR objectives.

Whatever it may be, our market research company can recommend the best approach based on years of experience working with various brands and industries.

For a quick synoposis, here are a few common market research methodologies our team often recommends.

How Much Does Market Research Cost? 

Like many aspects of market research, there's no direct answer to this question. 

The amount of money you budget for market research depends on...

  • The type of methodology used
  • How often research is conducted
  • How many methods used

There are also plenty of ways market research can be made cost-effective, based on your budgetary needs. Generally, research conducted online tends to be cheaper, which leads us to our first point. 

Online Surveys

Online surveys cost around $8,000 to $40,000. 

We know this is a big range! The reason behind this is that there are many different factors that can affect the cost of an online survey. 

These factors include: 

  • Respondent criteria 
  • Survey length
  • Goal number of responses
  • Level of reporting

The cost is also representative of the entire market research process, from the consulting to the reporting stages. Another factor to consider is the sample cost and number of completed surveys. 

For instance, if you're conducting customer surveys, it will cost less to draw from your existing customer base. If you are drawing from outside that pool, this can be more expensive. 

The amount of responses you need is also a money factor. Think of it like this: 200 responses will cost more than 100, and so on. 

Focus Groups

This qualitative market research option costs anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000. 

Common factors that influence the cost of a focus group include: 

  • Amount of participants
  • Number of focus groups required
  • Length of focus groups
  • Incentives 
  • Focus group location 

Conducting focus groups online is a great way to save money.

You'll save a significant amount of money versus if you conducted them in person. Online focus groups eliminate the need to rent out a space to conduct the research, which is a large reason for the cost reduction. 

In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) 

In-depth interviews are conducted to gather detailed data points and are often used for customer research. 

IDIs vary in price but are a more costly option. The main reason for this is that IDIs require a hefty time commitment. This is for good reason--it's important to take your time with this method as it's a one-on-one interview. 

And there's far more to IDIs than just an interview. An interview guide must be created, along with participant recruiting and other factors. 

All of these additional factors also play a role in the final cost.

Common Business Goals [& How Market Research Can Help in 2024]

Goal #1: Generate New Business

A common business goal when looking at the new year is generating new business in order to increase profitability.

Maybe you have many repeat customers who are more than satisfied with the product or service you have provided.

However, where your business is lacking is in acquiring new customers.

With 65% of a company's business coming from existing customers, this is an ongoing challenge for many organizations.

If increasing your book of business is a top priority, we recommend conducting non-customer surveys.

Solution: Add Non-Customer Surveys to Your 2024 Budget 

Non-customer surveys are a great learning tool for all types of businesses and should absolutely be included in next year's budget.

Based on your target market, whether it is a national audience or those who live or work close in proximity, surveying non-customers can provide detailed insight into why your target buyers are not currently doing business with you. 

How to Survey Non-Customers

It can be difficult to collect contact information to reach those who match your customer persona but are currently giving their business elsewhere.

Not to worry! A market research firm like Drive Research will use a unique and tested approach to recruit survey respondents who match your ideal customer. 

Depending on your audience type, sample sources include third-party panels, paid social media ads, or a combination of both.

Non-Customer Survey Questions

Whether this non-customer survey is conducted online, by phone, or by mail participants will be asked a series of topical questions.

The survey typically includes questions in relation to your organization, respondents buying behaviors, level of satisfaction with their current provider (likely your competitor), likelihood to switch, and so on.

The answers to these questions can unveil marketing and business strategies to implement in 2024 in order to increase the number of new customers.

Better yet, these strategies are no longer based on guessing but are built behind real consumer feedback and evidence as to where there is a gap in the market. 

Recommended Reading: Survey Questions to Ask Non-Customers

Goal #2: Increase Customer Retention

Customer retention refers to the ability of a brand or product to keep loyal customers over a period of time.

High customer retention indicates a business is able to keep returning customers satisfied.

Even more importantly, high customer retention means an organization is not losing customers to its competitors.

In many industries, it is a consumer market – meaning, a customer has several different brands to choose from.

As important as customer retention is for a business, it is a common challenge for organizations everywhere. According to SEM Rush, the average American company will lose 23% to 30% of its customers each year due to a lack of customer loyalty. 

The bigger issue here is that the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70%. Whereas, the probability of selling to a new customer is only between 5% to 20%. 

Budgeting for customer experience (CX) market research in 2024 can certainly help.

Solution: Add a CX Program to Your 2024 Budget 

More and more organizations are recognizing the importance of a structured CX program for their business.

With every new customer or client that leaves, so does a piece of your business, and that piece of your business is given to a competing organization.

A large majority of why customers leave a business or decide not to go through with a transaction is because of poor customer service. 

By investing a small portion of your 2024 budget in creating a structured customer experience program, your organization is able to keep a pulse on customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

With the help of a market research firm, customer data is collected on a regular basis measuring positive and negative changes as they are happening.

These ongoing customer satisfaction surveys allow your organization to act fast to any poor feedback and reduce the number of customers leaving for a competitor. 

For more insight, watch our video where we discuss 3 Reasons Every Company Should Have a Customer Experience (CX) Program in Place.

Goal #3: Maintain a Positive Employee Retention 

Our customers aren’t the only people who deserve to be happy and satisfied, but your employees too.

It is important to understand what encourages employees to drive profitability and remain committed to your organization.

There are multiple reasons an organization should be budgeting for employee engagement.

Some common reasons organizations use employee surveys include:

  • Measuring job satisfaction
  • Improving employee engagement
  • Gathering feedback from employee departures
  • Understanding managerial satisfaction
  • Measuring diversity and inclusion

Although many organizations choose to place a large portion of their budgets on improving customer-centric strategies, it is just as important to pay attention to the opinions and feelings of those who work for us in an attempt to improve employee wellbeing

Solution: Add Employee Surveys to Your 2024 Budget 

Losing top-performing employees can come at a very real cost. Not to mention the significant costs associated with new employee training programs.

While there could be many reasons why employees look for a new job, using custom surveys can pinpoint the exact issue of what is causing a turnover at your organization.

By obtaining employee feedback, organizations are able to better understand employees’ needs so they can become better brand advocates, performers, and less inclined to go on the hunt for a new job. 

The employee survey process is quite simple. However, the toughest part of the process for some organizations is welcoming real, unbiased, confidential feedback from employees. Let a market research company help act as the middleman.

Hiring an Employee Survey Company

It is imperative to use a third party for employee surveys.

By hiring an employee survey company, team members are able to feel most comfortable providing their honest feedback about working for your organization as all responses are anonymous and confidential.

Additionally, benchmarking your employee survey data can help your organization understand where it compares to industry, organization, and national standards with categories such as career development, compensation, benefits, demographics, and more.

There is also the added bonus of the firm creating customized survey templates and unbiased employee survey questions for your organization. For instance, Drive Research created a low-cost, turn-key solution for surveying employees.

Learn more about our cost-effective Voice of Employee survey solution, here.

Goal #4: Create Data-Driven Marketing Campaigns

There is no denying the importance and impact marketing has on any business. Depending on your audience, strategies such as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, email campaigns, SEO, and improved website user experience can generate a lot of revenue.

For that reason, it’s rare that companies don’t have a line item (or an entire section) dedicated to marketing on their yearly budgets.

Marketing experts report there is a common rule of thumb when it comes to establishing a marketing budget.

  • B2B companies should spend between 2% to 5% of their revenue on marketing
  • B2C companies should spend between 5% and 10% of their revenue on marketing

When investing this much money into something, isn’t it better to use data and consumer feedback to drive ad copy, designs, sources of distribution, and so on?

It’s why data-driven marketing campaign gives brands a better chance of seeing higher returns on their advertising investments.

And the best market research methodology for this objective is ad concept testing surveys.

Solution: Add Ad Concept Testing to Your 2024 Budget 

You’ve likely heard of A/B testing. Marketers will launch two ad sets, each with ads that are slightly different from the other.

After spending some time and money on platforms like Facebook Ads or Google Ads, you decide which ad is better based on which performed better or generated more sales.

But did you know using surveys for A/B tests could provide more insights than the traditional approach discussed above?

The steps to conducting an ad concept testing survey include:

  1. Defining your objectives. Are your ads already created? Are you still in the concept phase? What are your goals for the market research? What are you hoping to learn? Who is your target audience? Answering these questions at the start will ensure your objectives are met at the end of the project.

  2. Choosing between monadic and sequential monadic testing. Monadic testing shows respondents only one of the advertisement concepts at a time. Sequential monadic testing shows respondents several ad concepts to compare and contrast. Learn more about the pros and cons of each type of survey design in our blog post, What is Monadic Testing and Sequential Monadic Testing in Market Research?

  3. Writing the concept testing survey. Keep your list of objectives close as you write the survey. Assure that all questions are necessary and stick to the goal at hand. We recommend keeping the survey no longer than 25 questions. If you’re stuck, here are 11 Ad Concept Testing Example Survey Questions to Steal Right Now.

  4. Programming and fielding. Once the survey is approved, it’s time to transfer the questions from a document to an online survey platform. Test the survey thoroughly with our programming checklist for surveys. Then launch the questionnaire to target respondents whether it be through online panels, social media ads, or with the help of an online survey company like Drive Research (we can take care of the entire survey process from kickoff to reporting).

  5. After you close the fieldwork, begin analyzing the survey data. Remove any responses that are not high quality (Here’s how). Based on the feedback, use these insights to make improvements to the ad campaign.

The benefits of ad concept testing are endless. They are a cost-effective solution to gather quick, actionable feedback from your brand's target audience.

As a result, the ROI of these campaigns is higher because you know exactly what message, design, and medium will generate the most interest.  

Recommended Reading: Ultimate Guide to Ad Concept Testing Surveys

Goal #5: Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy

To achieve success in 2024, you cannot afford to ignore the power of content marketing.

Content marketing involves various types of deliverables from blog posts to whitepapers, to webinars, to press releases, to compare cards – the list goes on and on. 

With the rise of search engine optimization (SEO), producing quality, fresh, and original content is more important than ever.

For this reason, when a buyer searches on Google for a service or product that you provide, it is best to be on the first few pages of their search results.

In fact, 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engine sites. 

A great way to start creating fresh, lead-generating content is with the use of original research.  

Solution: Add Content Surveys to Your 2024 Budget 

Consider adding a line item for market research in your budget for 2024 to work with a content marketing research firm.

This type of market research is designed to produce fun, original, and creative content you may be currently lacking.

One content survey can provide a whole year's worth of content that will help advance your organic search ranking. 

Additionally, and perhaps the main reason many organizations use content marketing research, is to share the data in a creative and meaningful way that generates fresh eyeballs and leads for their organization.  

How to Conduct a Content Survey

You may be wondering how exactly content marketing research works.

With the help of a market research agency, an online content survey is designed, programmed, and fielded to a target audience of your choosing.

Usually, when an organization completes a market research project, they keep their findings confidential and in-house.

However, original research is meant to be shared in all facets of your marketing initiatives.

How to Repurpose Content Survey Findings

A content survey report can act as a guide for your 2024 content marketing strategy.

One survey question can equate to one blog post and help position your organization as a thought leader in your industry.

Secondly, the data collected from content marketing research can also be transformed into many different downloadable pieces to help build your website or email promotions.

This will certainly help with creating lead-generation content that can provide contact information for potential customers visiting your website.

Lastly, a great use of content surveys is creating fresh website copy and sales collateral.

Research-driven content can be used to compare your organization to a competitor and showcase key differentiators as told by real customers such as the example below.

Recommended Reading: Defeating Writers Block: How One Survey Can Deliver Endless Content

Other Research Options for Your 2024 Budget

As a full-service market research firm, Drive Research has seen and done it all.

We have successfully partnered with organizations all over the world to improve their business strategies and meet challenging goals.

There are multiple market research methodologies to consider conducting in 2024 should they be right for your organization.

Here are just a few examples of other market research options available for your organization in the coming year: 

  • Focus Groups: Easily measure participants' reactions and receive in-depth feedback from many participants all at once. Focus groups are the only research methodology in which clients can watch live and in person as the group discussion is happening. A focus group can be held at our focus group facility in Syracuse or online via platforms like Zoom.

  • Geofencing Surveys: Researchers designate one or multiple areas on a map to trigger sending a survey to anyone who crosses this threshold. This allows organizations to capture in-the-moment feedback from actual customers of their own location or a competitor’s. 

  • Feasibility Studies: Opening a new location? Introducing a new product or service to the market? A feasibility study can help determine what the demand is for this new venture and define who your main competitors will be. 

  • Mystery Shopping: Test real-life scenarios of what it is like for customers to interact with your organization whether this be in-person, a phone call with customer service, or an online conversation with a website chatbot.
  • User Experience (UX) Research: Earn critical user feedback with UX interviews such as specific likes, dislikes, issues, and suggested improvements to help drive site analytics. 

Get a Quote for Market Research

If curious to learn the costs associated with conducting any of these studies, simply contact our market research firm today.

After understanding more about your organization and specific business objectives, Drive Research can provide a more finite estimate. This will help give a better indication of how much your market research budget should be for 2024.

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

emily carroll about the author

Emily Rodgers

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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