There are two types of market research – primary and secondary. Primary market research involves asking people what they think. This is typically done through surveys or focus groups.
Secondary market research involves using information that is already available. Examples include data you have internally (such as sales data), statistics published by the Government, and white papers and other forms of research published by industry bodies and others.
Most secondary research information is available on the internet. Primary research requires a bit more effort.
Ways to do Primary Market Research
Here are some ways you can ask questions about your business, product, or service as part of market research:
- Ask people in the street – this is nothing complicated about this one. It simply involves drawing up a list of questions and then stopping people in public to ask them what they think. There are a few tips you should follow to ensure you have the best chance of success. The first is to get the timing right – for example, it might not be the best time to ask somebody to answer a survey if it is five minutes to two and they are rushing back to work from their lunch-break. Also, make sure the survey is as short as possible (two to three questions) and don’t ask for personal information.
- Ask your existing online audience – this is a great place to start if you already have an audience online and, unlike the previous option, it is much less likely you will get wet. The audience could be followers on social media or your email list of customers. For the best chance of success, make the survey as quick and easy to respond to as possible – it should only take a minute or two to answer. You could also offer a random prize draw competition for everyone who responds to encourage people to get involved. Online surveys are fairly simple to set up using services like Survey Monkey. Many also have a free option, so it may not cost you anything.
- Do a mini focus group – this involves asking a small group of people (3-5) to come to your location so you can ask them some questions about your product or brand. You could ask people by social media, through your email list, or in-store when they are making a purchase. Assure them that there will be no selling at the meeting – you simply want to learn their honest views. The benefit of this approach is you will be able go into more detail. Just make sure you have a prepared list of questions to go through. Offering an incentive, like a freebie or a voucher, is a great way to encourage people to participate.
- Survey visitors to your website – many online survey services like Survey Monkey (mentioned above) also have options that let you create popups for your website. This will display your survey to whoever visits, giving them the option to participate or not.
Of course, you can also go to a market research company, if you have the budget. They will essentially do the above for you – find people to survey about your brand or products and then present you with the results. With the internet, however, you have lots of options, depending on how much you want to spend.
For more help and advice with your business please contact a member of the Gilroy Gannon team today.