When a company is looking to improve the quality of its products, it is often beneficial to conduct market research to get a better understanding of their customers’ needs. Market research includes many types of methods, including Focus groups, surveys, and interviews. The following three methods are particularly useful to companies:
Analysis of the market
A strong market analysis should include data that is factual, relevant, and objective. More data means better insights, so make sure your research includes this information. Surveys of current customers can also be conducted through online platforms. You can ask them about their overall satisfaction with a product or service, whether they like promotional materials, and what type of customer referrals they give. Focus groups are also beneficial for this purpose.
The results of an interview with a customer can give the research company more information than what could be obtained through a survey. For example, a small company may pick a sample of nearby residents as interviewees, while larger companies may pick a representative group of people from different parts of the city. If the results of qualitative research aren’t conclusive, quantitative research can be used to confirm the qualitative findings. It can also help confirm qualitative results, since quantitative research offers numerical measurement and statistical predictability.
Focus groups are excellent resources for a market research company. The quality of your results will depend on the type of discussion you conduct and how well you keep participants focused. Make sure that the focus groups are conducted in a comfortable, friendly environment so that participants can be as honest and open as possible. Also, make sure that the focus group moderator is highly-qualified. There are many differences between focus groups and one-on-one interviews.
Observing consumer behavior
The methods of observation used for consumer research vary depending on the nature of the research. In some cases, observational techniques are used to answer specific questions, such as the number of shoppers in a particular store on any given day, or what type of copy or image draws the attention of the consumer. Others, such as ethnographic research, combine observation and in-depth interviews. Observation is a proven way to uncover unspoken needs and preferences of a consumer.
While data collection and analysis is an important step in the research process, there is also a lot more to the process. Interpreting the findings of the research is an important component of the research process, as insights gained through it can significantly change a company’s strategy. Secondary statistics provide context and background that enhances understanding of survey answers. It is also important to analyze qualitative findings in light of the survey results.