What is Market Research

Effective market research offers businesses like yours the advantage of making knowledge-driven, informed choices to create a profitable marketing strategy. For those stepping into new markets or broadening into a totally new market segment, market research mitigates business chances by discovering precisely what your customers need.

Moreover, market research simplifies the process of committing substantial resources on a venture by ascertaining the commercial feasibility of it beforehand. 

Market Research can be categorized into two parts:

Primary Research: Keeps you informed on the target market you’ve compiled for your brand or pay someone to gather for you

Secondary Research: Compiling research on the data of target audience that is already available in government documents and whitepapers, trade associations and reports from potential industry competitors.

3 key primary research methods to interview your target demographic

Direct mail

A direct mail questionnaire can get personal responses to structured queries. To get the most succinct direct mail responses it’s important that questions are straight to the point, addressed personally to the individual in question – explaining to them the reasoning behind the questionnaire – and potentially, an incentive for them to complete it, such as a discount on their next purchase of your products. Return rates of three to five per cent are generally considered acceptable for direct mail campaigns.

Telephone interviews

Phone surveys tend to be one of the most cost-effective primary research methods for businesses looking to get an understanding from their target audience. A telephone interview can be somewhat scripted, although it’s best to memorise the script as much as possible to ensure the conversation appears as natural as possible to the respondent. Phone interviews are not only cost-effective – with the ability to cover wide geographic areas inexpensively – they are quick to carry out too. Experienced interviewers will be able to conduct at least six telephone surveys an hour.

Personal interviews

Taking a face-to-face approach to primary market research can also pay dividends. Whether it’s a focus group used to brainstorm with a select cluster of respondents about product ideas, buying preferences and decisions; or a one-on-one in-depth interview, allowing the respondent to address the topics they desire with minimal questioning, it’s one of the most effective forms of marketing research.

What types of secondary market research can I use?

Public data sources

Publicly available data is largely free to obtain. Government departments are usually one of the best public data sources, as well as business departments of public libraries that may be able to provide industry statistics and previously recorded research.

Educational sources

Institutions and colleges remain valuable data sources despite the fact they can often be overlooked as a secondary research method. Universities, colleges and institutes tend to carry out more industry, niche research than almost any other sector of the business community.

The key to any successful business is the ability to make well informed business decisions. To get a real picture of how your market sector is developing and stay abreast of key legislation affecting your business, avail The Owl Strategy’s market research services. 

What types of primary research can I find?

Exploratory research

This tends to be an open-ended approach to market research; making the most of unstructured interviews with respondents, allowing them to provide lengthy considered answers that, in turn, work to highlight specific industry problems.

Specific research

This type of primary research is considerably more precise in its approach than exploratory research; usually because it is conducted after exploratory research has identified a particular issue. Of the two market research methods, specific research is the more expensive option; largely due to the level of structure and formality to its approach.