Here are 5 places where you can go to get consumer marketing research:
- Google search – Check what is available for free
- thinkwithgoogle.com – Articles from Google’s UK analysts
- Consumers – Your own surveys, interviews and focus groups
- Marketing agency – Providing insight in their specialist domain
- Research house or consultancy – In-depth, commercial use industry insights
Marketing research is one of the most overlooked and undervalued disciplines. Busy roles, allocated budgets or failure to recognise the strategic value are just a few reasons. Additionally, Forbes states that “Every marketer knows that customer insights should form the foundation of their product and marketing plans”. So why do so few execute a thorough plan when it is so important?
Read on to find out more about consumer marketing research and where to go to get it.
What kind of marketing research do you need?
First of all, you should agree what the purpose of your marketing research is. Are you launching a start-up, a new product or revenue growth?
Secondly, consider what the goals of your marketing research are. Are you supporting your company’s overall strategic objectives, underpinning your marketing plan or testing the reception to a new product?
Thirdly, you need to understand the timescales, budget and level of accuracy required. These will influence the research methodology and sample size used. It helps to document this in a research plan so that you know what you are trying to achieve.
What types of market research are there?
There are two types of market research. Quantitative and qualitative research which can be primary or secondary.
Quantitative research is about gathering data, often numerical, and potentially lots of it. This can be in the form of online survey scores, a survey kiosk or ‘taste test’ preferences (A or B) for example.
Qualitative research is about gathering information, mostly non-numerical. The data obtained by the researcher is qualified within the research framework to ensure relevance to the focus of the study.
Primary research is data gathered directly from consumers using self-directed methods. Much quantitative research falls into this category and the numerical nature of the data lends itself to conclusive results. Primary research tends to be the most expensive approach to research because it involves people and takes longer to harvest.
Secondary research is data gathered from third-party or historical sources. This relies on previously conducted research studies, research reports, the results of past scientific studies or other published sources. With the right skills, sources and expertise, secondary market research techniques is a faster and more cost-effective approach because the data is already collected.
What are the benefits of consumer market research?
Imagine launching a business or a product but only having a hunch as to what will succeed. Let us consider Theodore Levitt’s postulation about marketing and management myopia, that there is no such thing as a growth industry, only businesses created and organised to capitalise on growth opportunities. You first need to identify the opportunities so you organise to capture them.
The 5 benefits of consumer market research are:
- Identify market growth opportunities to capitalise on
- Understand the competitive landscape so you retain competitive advantage
- Identify consumer needs and tailor products and services to that need
- Understand the market so that your start-up has space to grow
- Identify new markets for your products or services
What are the drawbacks of consumer market research?
There are a number of drawbacks to research that vary depending on circumstances. A start-up may lack the cash to conduct a thorough study at the outset. An established business may grow myopic and complacent to new entrants, substitutes and rivals. The timescales, budget and accuracy required present a challenge to the methodology used. Ultimately, there is no return on the research itself, only on the better outcomes it facilitates.
Some of the drawbacks of consumer market research are:
- Short timescales compromise quality
- Reliance on secondary sources due to a lack of budget
- Small sample sizes due to cost reduce accuracy
- There is no one-size-fits-all methodology
- Research plans are rare
- Primary research suffers from personal and subject bias
- It requires planning, communication, research and analytical skills
How do I overcome bias in primary research?
To overcome bias in primary research, consider taking a more scientific approach. The field of neuroscience studies the human nervous system and consumer neuroscience and marketing, or neuromarketing, applies it to marketing research.
Neuroscience studies seek to eliminate bias in research by measuring the emotional and physiological response to stimuli. This is conducted via interviews with neuroscientists, online tests through a smartphone or laptop and studies with external sensors attached to the participant. Data is collected, processed, analysed and interpreted to reduce bias as far as possible. In summary, less bias from participants equals greater accuracy.
The most cost-effective option in some cases is to harness the expertise of the neuroscientists combined with secondary research from previously conducted studies of related concepts.
Marketing research services near you
We are a marketing consultancy offering a range of marketing services. These cover strategy, research, digital, inbound, lead gen and also training. Our extensive research options and tools deliver exceptional industry insights from trained librarians, qualified marketers and neuroscientists. Our in-depth, commercial use industry insights are from premium data sources, which we analyse with expert researchers. Furthermore, the final output is delivered by a qualified marketer to ensure you get the most usable and valuable insights.
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Finally, why not check out our research themed articles and learn a little more about marketing research.