As marketers, we’re often tasked with creating marketing campaigns that grab our audience’s attention and convert them into customers.
But deciding on a target audience, choosing the best channels to reach them, and identifying which types of creative will resonate with them requires a deep understanding of your target market. That’s where marketing research comes in.
Marketing research is the process of gathering information about customers’ needs and preferences to help you effectively create and sell products or services and it helps you do so profitably.
Marketing research can seem like a daunting task. It can be time-consuming and expensive if you don’t know where to go or what to do.
The good news is that there are many different types of marketing research that target different business problems and each type has its benefits, limitations, costs, and time constraints.
In this article, we’ll unpack 16 common types of marketing research so you know exactly how each method can help improve your marketing efforts and steer clear of any potential pitfalls along the way!
(Hint: If you’re just getting started with marketing research for your company, I’d recommend starting with brand recall testing.)
|1. Market research is essential for informed business decisions.
|2. Various types of research methods cater to different business needs.
|3. Quantitative research provides numerical data for analysis.
|4. Qualitative research delves into understanding consumer motivations.
|5. Competitive analysis helps identify market trends and gaps.
|6. Customer feedback aids in improving products and services.
|7. Surveys are valuable tools for gathering consumer insights.
|8. Focus groups provide in-depth understanding of consumer perceptions.
|9. Observational research studies behavior without direct interaction.
|10. Experimental research explores cause-and-effect relationships.
|11. Behavioral research examines actual consumer actions.
|12. Ethnographic research studies consumer behavior in their environment.
|13. Geographical research focuses on location-based insights.
|14. Trend analysis helps predict future market directions.
|15. Social media research taps into consumer conversations online.
1. Brand Recall
Brand recall is the ability to remember a brand name. It’s also a measure of brand awareness and image, as well as a proxy for other metrics such as brand equity, loyalty, and power.
Brand recall can be measured by surveying participants about their responses to an ad or other marketing content.
You can also use this research method to test how effective your current advertising is with consumers it’ll tell you whether they can recall seeing or hearing it before.
When planning a survey, it’s crucial to consider various aspects to ensure its success. Our guide on 14 Tips Before Conducting a Survey provides valuable insights to help you design an effective survey and gather meaningful data.
2. Word Of Mouth
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools for marketing. It’s often referred to as WOM, and it can be defined as “the sharing of information by a customer with his or her social network.”
The best way to measure word of mouth is by using surveys and focus groups. You want people who are familiar with your brand or product, but they don’t need to be loyal customers just people who know about it well enough to give an opinion on it.
If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to building an effective survey or focus group, consider asking these questions:
What do you think about our product? How would you rate us compared with other similar products? What could we improve?
What do you like about the product? Why did you choose this product over another one?
3. Buzz Test
The buzz test is a qualitative research technique that’s used to measure the effectiveness of a brand’s marketing communications. It measures the strength of a brand’s “buzz” or “hype” in the marketplace.
The buzz test has been in use for decades, but with some modifications and additions, it remains an effective method of measuring how well your marketing efforts are working.
Looking to tap into the insights of Reddit for your market research? Discover how to leverage this platform in our article on How to Use Reddit to Conduct Market Research, and explore the potential of engaging with a diverse community for valuable data.
4. Qualitative Research
Qualitative research is used to understand people’s motivations, attitudes, and opinions. It’s perfect for understanding the differences in the way people think and behave.
Qualitative research can also be used to learn about a particular group or population of people, for example, you could use qualitative research methods to see what it’s like for teenagers to grow up in New York City versus suburban Massachusetts.
Qualitatively-based marketing research studies are ideal when you’re trying to gather information on a specific topic that doesn’t have clear-cut answers.
Or when your focus is on understanding why people do things rather than simply how they do them (e.g., what drives customer loyalty).
5. Quantitative Research
Quantitative research is a research method that measures the relationship between two or more variables by using numerical data. Some of the types of quantitative research include experimental and quasi-experimental studies, surveys, and content analysis.
The main aim of quantitative research is to measure, test, and predict outcomes. In this type of study, we can find out how something works or what outcomes it produces. For example: How do people respond to an advertisement?
Do they buy the products advertised? Or does seeing an ad make them buy more often? These are some questions that need answers for you to know if your advertising campaign has worked or not.
Online marketing research presents unique opportunities for creativity and innovation. Dive into our piece on 10 Creative Things to Know About Online Marketing Research to uncover novel approaches that can enhance your market research strategies.
6. Voice Of The Customer (VOC)
VOC is a tool that helps you understand your customers and what they think about your business.
VOC allows you to get feedback directly from the source and discover what they like, dislike, and want. This will help improve your customer service, product development, and many other areas of your business.
It can be used to understand:
- What do customers expect?
- How do they feel about their experience with your company?
- What would make them happier with their interactions?
- How can this information be used in practice? It depends on the type of research you are doing but it could be:
- To optimize or create new products or services based on customer needs/wants (e.g., hotels)
- To recognize any issues early on so that these can be addressed before getting out of hand (e.g., airlines)
7. Customer Experience And Usability Testing
Customer experience testing is a great way to get a better understanding of your customer’s experience.
It can also help you understand their expectations and how they’re using your product or service, which can be useful for developing new features or improving existing ones.
Two types of customer experience testing are used in marketing research: qualitative and quantitative.
The more traditional approach would be the qualitative method, where the researcher takes notes during an interview with customers about their experiences with the brand over time.
This helps them identify any issues early on so that they can be addressed before they become problems later down the line (and potentially cost you valuable revenue).
The newer approach uses numbers rather than words; this involves setting up some kind of tracking system for users as they interact with your site/app/product.
Then give each interaction type its label so that it’s easy to determine what actions people are taking after clicking something like “Sign Up.”
To figure out what works best when promoting certain things through different channels like social media ads vs emails sent directly from company staff members who have access rights set up properly within Google Analytics
New to marketing research? Our Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Research offers a comprehensive overview of key concepts and methods. Whether you’re a novice or seeking a refresher, this guide will help you build a strong foundation.
8. Competitive Analysis And Marketing Research
Your competitors are a critical part of your marketing research since they help you better understand your customers.
Understanding the market is another big reason to do competitive analysis and marketing research. It helps you see what’s popular in the industry and how people are responding to those products or services.
Marketing research also helps you understand your product better so that you can improve it and make it more appealing to customers.
9. Business-To-Business (B2b) Marketing Research
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing research is the study of customer preferences and buying habits in a business setting. While B2C marketers are concerned with how to get their products into the hands of consumers, B2B marketers focus on getting their products into the hands of other businesses.
B2B marketing is different from B2C marketing in several ways.
First, because businesses tend to be larger than individuals, there are more stakeholders involved in making purchasing decisions for a company’s goods or services including not only customers but also employees and shareholders.
Second, because each decision-maker has different information needs when making purchasing decisions and can’t always be sure that those needs have been met by your sales team it’s important for you as a marketer to understand exactly what information they’re looking for.
Finally, unlike individual consumers who may purchase something once every six months or so (or longer), it’s likely that your target customers will make multiple purchases over many years;
Therefore it’s critical that you maintain good relationships with them over time rather than just focusing on one transaction at a time.
10. Consumer Marketing Research And Consumer Behavior Analysis
Consumer marketing research is the study of consumer behavior and consumer decision-making. It includes analyzing how consumers make purchasing decisions. The process of making those decisions is called consumer decision-making.
With this type of marketing research, you can better understand your customers’ purchase habits and preferences to target them more effectively with your advertising campaigns.
11. Market Segmentation And Market Target Analysis
When you’re developing a new product or service, it’s important to know who your target customers are and what they want. Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct groups of buyers with similar needs.
It helps you to identify these buying groups so that you can target them more effectively in your marketing communications.
Market segmentation can be used by both B2B and B2C companies, but it may be more relevant for B2C businesses as they often have more complex products or services that appeal to different types of consumers (for example, children’s toys versus travel insurance).
If done correctly, effective market segmentation will help you to better understand your consumers’ motivations and behaviors so that you can improve how well your organization meets their needs.
12. Product Or Service Development And Testing
Product or service development and testing is the process of creating new products, services, features, packaging, or pricing options. It also involves testing whether consumers are willing to pay for them.
You need this research because every product or service you sell has a cost involved in its development.
If it’s not something that people want to buy at a price that covers the cost of development plus profit margin (or sometimes even if it is), then your business will lose money and eventually go out of business!
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13. Product Usage Studies, Pricing, And Brand Positioning/Positioning Strategy Research
Product usage studies, pricing, and brand positioning/positioning strategy research is the process of understanding how customers use a product.
This type of marketing research can help companies make better decisions about pricing, distribution channels, and product features.
Product usage studies are used to understand why customers choose to buy one brand over another or continue their loyalty to a company.
These types of studies are also useful in determining how many products should be manufactured for each store location as well as what times during the day each store will see higher or lower sales numbers.
Pricing and brand positioning/positioning strategy research looks at how consumers perceive costs associated with buying certain products (i.e., perceived value).
Consumers often place more value on items they deem rarer than other similar products available on the market today which may have been produced in greater quantities but cost less money per unit sold overall.
Due to economies of scale enjoyed by larger companies producing more units at once without having all those additional costs associated with producing smaller quantities at once.
So even though both might be made out of similar materials with similar labor costs involved manufacturing them would still end up costing less money overall because we’re technically getting more bang for our buck here!
14. Advertising Effectiveness And Media Mix Modeling Research
Ad effectiveness research is used to determine how well an ad campaign is performing. The research helps to identify the most effective media channels, creative executions, and targeting strategies.
This type of research should be conducted when you’re ready to launch a new ad campaign or product line, or when you have a current advertising campaign that isn’t performing well.
Advertising effectiveness studies are conducted before and after media exposure so that you can measure if your ads have gone as planned and if they meet your objectives (such as awareness, brand preference, or sales).
You can also use these studies to see if there’s room for improvement based on the results of your test group compared with those who didn’t receive exposure to the same messaging at all.
15. Copy Testing And Creative Evaluation Methods
Copy testing and creative evaluation methods are used to test the effectiveness of your copy and marketing materials. They help you determine whether you’re hitting all the right points, and if not, how you can make it better.
The most common way to do this is through a focus group: invite approximately 8-12 people in your target audience in for an hour or two where they’ll discuss your product or service along with their opinions about various aspects of it (like design elements or price).
Then ask them questions about their impressions so that you can find out what works well and what doesn’t and then use those insights to revise the copy accordingly.
Another method is to conduct a survey online via email, website survey, door-to-door survey, or telephone survey. These data provide insight into how consumers feel about specific pieces of information (such as headlines) about other parts (such as images).
16. Social Media Research / Social Listening Analytics Tools
Social media is a great way to find out what people are saying about you, your brand, and your competitors. Your customers and prospects are talking about their experiences with your brands on social media channels.
Social listening tools can be used to monitor social media conversations so that you can find out what people are saying about your brand as well as other brands in the same industry.
Social media monitoring tools help companies gather data from public online sources such as blogs, forums, and news sites; it allows them to identify key insights that they would otherwise not have had access to without using such tools.
With all these data points coming together in one place, businesses can easily spot trends and patterns among customers’ opinions on products or services offered by different companies in the same industry.
This gives businesses an advantage over their competitors because they know which parts of their marketing strategy need improving or changing before anyone else does!
That was a lot of information! We’ve covered some pretty niche topics, like predictive analysis and qualitative data. When it comes to marketing research, though, it’s important to remember that there are no limits.
The world is your oyster, and you can pick and choose from among these methods to create the kind of unique mix that will give you the answers you need.
Types of Market Research: A Comprehensive Guide
Explore a detailed guide on various types of market research methods, providing insights into their applications and benefits.
Exploring Different Types of Market Research with Typeform
Learn about different approaches to market research using surveys, and discover how Typeform can facilitate your data collection process.
Market Research: Understanding the Basics
Delve into the fundamentals of market research and gain an understanding of its significance in making informed business decisions.
What are the key benefits of market research?
Market research helps businesses understand their target audience, identify market trends, improve products/services, and make data-driven decisions for growth.
How can surveys contribute to market research?
Surveys enable businesses to gather insights directly from customers, providing valuable feedback on preferences, satisfaction, and areas for improvement.
Are there different methods for conducting market research?
Yes, market research can involve various methods such as surveys, focus groups, interviews, and data analysis, each offering unique perspectives on consumer behavior.
How does market research impact business strategy?
Market research guides businesses in refining their strategies by uncovering consumer needs, identifying competitive advantages, and evaluating potential market opportunities.
What role does technology play in modern market research?
Technology enhances market research through online surveys, data analytics tools, and social media analysis, enabling efficient data collection and deeper insights.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.