If you have decided that your business could benefit from market research, there are a number of different market research methodologies readily available. Which one you ultimately decide on for your research will depend on a number of factors; including your budget, timeline, and other pre-identified restrictions (i.e., location, target market, etc). In today’s blog, we’ll give you an overview of the five most common ways market research is conducted to help you determine which method is best for the needs of your business.
When most people think of market research, focus groups are likely the methodology that comes immediately to mind. Focus groups offer many advantages, including allowing you to gather data from a diverse group of people at the same time. During the group, a moderator will ask scripted questions while observers/clients watch the group from behind two-way glass to analyze social behavior and body language clues.
When a large sample size is needed, surveys are often the most cost-effective way to get the information you need. Questionnaires are given to participants either by mail, email, telephone, or in-person in a location such as a shopping mall. Although it can be difficult to recruit high-value participants, surveys are inexpensive and relatively simple to conduct so they are one of the most popular market research methodologies.
Interview participants are asked broad, open-ended questions which means that responses tend to provide deeper insight than methods like surveys. However, because conducting interviews is time-intensive, sample sizes are generally not large enough to be statistically reliable. Still, if you want to better understand how consumers feel about your products and the deeper motivations behind their buying habits, interviews can provide insight that’s difficult to gain with other methods.
If you have an established product and you’d like to get real customer feedback on it, putting it on the shelves with a test run can help you determine whether the effectiveness of things like packaging, price point, and the product itself. Small local stores and online shops are often happy to help small businesses conduct field trials.
Participant’s written or oral responses to questions are often at odds with how they behave in real life, so observing the actual behavior of customers can be invaluable. By capturing video of consumers interacting with your product–either in-store or after they have brought it home–you will gain a more accurate picture of your customer’s usage and shopping patterns.
About Observation Baltimore:
At Observation Baltimore, we understand that the success of your research is directly tied to the quality of your participants. Recognized as one of the top Maryland market research facilities and rated “One of the World’s Best” by Impulse Survey, we believe that Experienced Recruiting Makes the Difference. Our experienced recruiting is the foundation of our mission, as well as courteous and proactive hospitality and client services. Just six minutes from BWI airport and AMTRAK, our Baltimore research facility has a great location. Most importantly, we understand market research!