What is Market Research? Definitions and Examples

Understand what market research is, and how to apply it in your business.

Market research is often thought of as the best way to understand your customers or industry in order to establish an opinion, recommendation or insight into your competitors, industry trends or even your own company perception. Market research is an essential part of running a successful business – it helps you make better decisions, gives you valuable insights into how your product or service could be improved and gives you a competitive advantage by having a more thoughtful and realistic view of how your company or topic of interest is perceived by industry players, competitors and customers.

In today’s blog, we highlight market research definitions, how to approach market research and examples of when market research might be a smart move for you to conduct.

Let’s go. 

Market Research Definition

Market research is the process of gathering data on a particular market or industry. It's used to help companies make decisions about their products, services and marketing strategies. There are a number of ways to conduct market research, but the primary methods are: qualitative or quantitative research methods. At the most basic level, qualitative research involves talking with people in person or online, while quantitative methods involve using surveys and other statistical tools to collect data from large groups of consumers or customers. Both are essential research methods that when combined, can give you the perspectives needed to better understand the realities and opportunities within any market. 

Qualitative market research focuses on understanding consumer attitudes, beliefs and behaviors through interviews or focus groups (small discussions). This type of study isn't designed to test specific hypotheses; instead it helps you understand your customers better so that you can develop strategies based on those insights rather than guesswork alone.

Quantitative market research is about getting a data-driven perspective. Surveys, polls and analytical approaches are often used here to be able to understand a variety of market research topics, including aspects of customer satisfaction, retention and competitor advantages and disadvantages. 

When approaching market research, it’s important to have tools that allow you to execute both research methods with ease. For example, with Voiceform you can use surveys to capture both quantitative and qualitative attributes from customers or market players, by leveraging both traditional question types and the power of audio surveys to capture open-ended responses and perspectives. 

Parts of a Market Research Project

If you're new to market research, it can be helpful to understand the different parts of a project.

The process can be the same for many projects, but each element has its own unique goals and challenges which may impact the approach you take to doing your market research. E.g. Your industry and customer demographics may impact whether you take a qualitative or quantitative approach to collecting data. Overall, The steps to market research processes can include:

  • Defining your Problem/Need (Selecting your Research Question)
  • Conducting Primary Research (Primary Data Collection, such as conducting phone calls, interviews or voice surveys)
  • Analyzing Primary Data & Synthesize Findings Into Insights (Analysis)
  • Presenting Insights To Stakeholders For Feedback And Next Steps

Overall, the most important thing to know about market research is that it’s the process of gathering data on a particular market or industry to make informed decisions. That means how you collect your data is one of the most important elements of market research, as quality and transparency will determine how effective your analysis and final recommendations are. To ensure your data is high-quality, it’s important to approach your research in a systematic way, with clear goals, research methods, and transparency in how you collect and interpret data. 

Market research is all about collecting high quality insight.

It helps companies make better decisions, by providing them with data they can use to refine their products or services based on what people want. Market research can be done in many different ways: surveys, focus groups or even interviews are just some examples of how businesses gather information about their target audience or target market. When thinking where to begin, consider Voiceform as a great tool to help collect your quantitative and qualitative survey data on particular markets. Interested in learning more? Click here to book a demo. 

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