What is marketing research?
Marketing research is defined as any technique or set of techniques that companies use to gather information in order to better understand their target market. How to conduct a marketing research?
Organizations use the collected data to improve their products and services, improve their UX, and offer customers an experience that exceeds their expectations and meets their needs.
Marketing research is used to discover what customers want, and how they react to a brand’s products or features.
Advantages of marketing research
The research user experience (UX) is a continuous improvement model based on a quick and efficient research to understand the needs of the customer and test new features.
These are the advantages of marketing research:
- Efficient: it brings you closer and faster to your customers, How to conduct a marketing research?
- Profitable: There is no need to hire an expensive marketing company to get started.
- Competitive: Quick and powerful insight can put your products at the forefront.
Methods for conducting marketing research
The four most common marketing research methods are surveys, interviews, customer observation, and focus groups.
You can conduct research in several ways, without limiting yourself to just one. Let’s dive into each of these marketing research techniques.
Researchers collect responses by deploying surveys and collecting data through online or offline surveys using a display at the point of sale, in which users respond to closed and open questions.
The online survey is the technique most popular marketing research among organizations.
Why are online surveys popular?
Surveys are inexpensive, easy to set up, deploy, and collect responses. It’s easy to collect multiple responses from a tailor-made audience group. How to conduct a marketing research?
The researchers rely on quantitative data, and online surveys provide quick answers compared to more traditional non-online methods. Large amounts of data can be collected in minutes from anywhere in the world.Interviews
In- depth interviews are a more traditional way of doing marketing research. It is a slower and more expensive way to collect responses.
Organizations conducting large-scale marketing research do not prefer this method to collect large numbers of responses. Interviews are conducted both in person and by phone (CATI).
Why are interviews important?
Personal interviews may not be widely used, but they play an important role in understanding exactly what the respondent is feeling. How to conduct a marketing research?
You can record more than verbal responses and better understand the customer. Often when two humans interact with each other, more information is shared due to dialogue.
Personal interviews are useful in small-scale studies, where the researcher wants to interview a specific group of local respondents. Telephone interviews are useful when the participant base is broader.
Traditional focus groups or online focus groups are used in marketing research to involve a number of respondents who participate in discussions on a particular topic.
A researcher leads discussion groups to obtain richer information. The main purpose of a focus group is to have a discussion among several people on a topic of particular interest.
Unlike interviews, members of focus groups are allowed to interact with each other and influence each other.
Why do focus groups have an impact?
It is no secret that focus groups have a great impact on decision making. Researchers get a lot of information by organizing discussion groups. Discussion groups often raise questions not anticipated by researchers. How to conduct a marketing research?
Online or video call focus groups are broad in scope, and many organizations have begun creating online research communities to improve respondent management and data collection.
Direct interaction has a positive effect on clients because they feel that their voices are heard.
Observation, although not popular and widely used, allows researchers to obtain an intuitive answer.
Marketing research companies organize customer observation sessions to gather information on how the user engages with the product or service (or a similar competitor’s product or service).
What makes observation so powerful?
Observation is a great alternative to focus group. Not only is it less expensive, but you will see people interact with your product in a natural environment without influencing each other.
The only downside is that you can’t get inside their heads, so observation is not a substitute for surveys and customer interviews. How to conduct a marketing research?
How to conduct a marketing research?
Here is a guide for you to help you conduct effective marketing research and give you a solid understanding of who your customers are and what they want from a company like yours.
1. Create your user persona
The first step in conducting marketing research is to create a user persona , that is, a semi-fictional character based on demographic and psychographic data of people who use websites and products similar to yours.
To obtain this information, use surveys and interviews on your website or send them by email to understand your users. To ensure you get it right, any survey / interview question you ask should answer the following:
- Who are they?
- What is your main objective?
- What is the main obstacle to achieving this goal?
2. Conduct an observational investigation
The next step in conducting marketing research is conducting an observational study , which involves taking notes while watching someone use your product (or a similar product).
Open observation vs. covert
- Open observation involves asking customers if they will show the use of your product.
- Covert observation means studying users “in their nature” without their knowledge. This only works if you sell a type of product that people use regularly, but offers the purest observational data because people often behave differently when they know they are being watched.
3. Conduct individual interviews
Subsequently, to continue with the marketing research process, it is necessary to conduct interviews, individual conversations with members of your target audience. These allow you to really dig deep and explore their concerns, which can lead to all kinds of revelations.
Tips to get it right:
- Act as a journalist, not a salesperson. Instead of trying to talk about your company, ask people about their lives, their needs, their frustrations, and how a product like yours could help.
- Listen more, talk less, and be curious.
- Ask “why?” to be able to go deeper. Get into the details and learn about their behavior in the past.
- Record the conversation so you don’t have to take notes and can focus on the conversation. There are many services that will transcribe recorded conversations for a good price.
4. Analyze the data
This technique is done in marketing research, as it helps you understand the data without getting lost in it. Remember, the goal of market research is to find quick and practical ideas.
A flow model is a diagram that tracks the flow of information within a system. By creating a simple visual representation of how users interact with your product and with each other, you can better assess their needs.
Why is marketing research so valuable?
Without marketing research, it is impossible to understand your users. Sure, you can get a general idea of who they are and what they need, but you have to dig deeper if you want to earn customer loyalty.
This is why marketing research is important:
- Obsessing over your users is the only way to win. If you don’t care deeply about improving the customer experience , you will lose potential customers to someone who does.
- Analysis gives you the “what”, but research gives you the “why” . User-related data analytics and dashboards can tell you what people are doing at scale, but only marketing research can tell you what they think and why they do what they do. For example, analytics can tell you that customers leave when they land on your pricing page, but only marketing research can explain why.
- Marketing research surpasses assumptions, trends, and so-called best practices. Have you ever seen your coworkers join in a terrible decision? Bad ideas are often the result of guesswork, emotional reasoning, death from best practices, and a breach of the opinion of the highest paid person. By listening to your users and focusing on customer satisfaction , they are less likely to lead you in the wrong direction.
- Marketing research prevents you from planning without data. Your team may be amazing, but they can’t experience your product the way customers do, as customers may use it in a way that surprises you, and features that seem obvious to them can confuse them. Over planning and refusing to test your assumptions is a waste of time, money and effort, because you will likely have to make changes once your unproven plan is put into practice.