Marketing Research Cheat Sheet

Market research can seem intimidating for people who don’t do it every day. But, even if market research is usually your coworker’s job, there will be times when you need to brush up on the basics, like what are some good survey questions or when should you use a focus group? 

Or maybe you want to find out how big similar companies are before you pitch them as potential clients. In this blog post, we’ll review all of that and more.

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Key Takeaways
1. Understand the essentials of marketing research techniques.
2. Learn how to conduct effective market analysis using surveys.
3. Access a comprehensive guide to primary market research methodologies.
4. Gain insights into key concepts and techniques for accurate marketing research.
5. Discover tools and resources to enhance your marketing research skills.
6. Explore the importance of ethical considerations in research practices.
7. Differentiate between primary and secondary research approaches.
8. Obtain practical tips for maintaining data accuracy and credibility.
9. Strengthen your decision-making process with data-driven insights.
10. Enhance your understanding of market trends and consumer behaviors.

Take The Time To Craft Questions

Make sure you know what you want to ask. You cannot just ask any old question and expect useful results. If your research project is not well thought out, the data may not be useful or even actionable.

Make sure you know what you want to find out. Again, if your goal is not clearly defined, it can be difficult or impossible to achieve it with research results alone.

Make sure you know how you will use the answers. If there’s something wrong with your question, there could also be something wrong with how those answers are analyzed and presented or even used in marketing campaigns and budget decisions later on down the line!

Building a strong foundation in marketing research is essential for success. Learn about What Marketing Research Is & How to Do It: Step-by-Step to understand the fundamental steps and processes involved.

Be Upfront About Your Intentions

Be upfront about your intentions. If you are collecting survey data for research purposes, it’s important to explain that up front. 

People may be more likely to respond if they know their answers will not be used against them in any way and that the information provided will be kept private.

Inform them how their responses will be used. For example, if you are conducting market research for a new product launch, let people know that this survey is intended to help determine whether or not the new product should move forward into production and distribution.

Give people the option to opt out of answering questions if they wish so (but don’t make opting-out difficult). 

If someone does choose not to take part in a marketing study because of privacy concerns or other reasons.

Respect his decision by informing him why he might want to reconsider taking part anyway (for instance: “We’d love your input on our new product launch! We’ll look at all the answers together later on.”).

Get Organized

To get your survey template set up, you’ll need to do the following:

Create A List Of Questions

Think about what information you want to collect from participants and how you want to present it. 

For example, if you’re trying to figure out which product features are important for your customers and how much they value them, consider creating a scale with five levels that range from “not important” to “extremely important.” 

You may also want to consider asking open-ended questions such as “What is one thing our company can do better?” or “How likely would you be willing to recommend our products or services?”

Create An Answer Sheet (Or Multiple Answer Sheets)

This is where participants enter their responses into each question on the survey. You can create an answer sheet by using Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel in class. 

Start By Surveying Your Current Audience

If you’re trying to figure out what products and services your customers want, the first thing you should do is survey the people who already buy from you.

Ask them about their experience with your product. How does it work for them? How easy was it to find? Were there any problems along the way?

Ask them about their experience with your service. Was it friendly and helpful when they had questions or needed support? Did they feel like they were being taken care of as a customer or client by someone who understood what they needed better than they did themselves?

Ask them about their experience with your company. Do they feel like they can trust your brand based on how honest?

Transparent and authentic it seems in everything that it says or does from its products or services down through its website design choices right up until how quickly replies are given back through email queries made through contact forms found at different locations throughout social media sites such as Facebook Messenger (or Instagram DMs).

To excel in marketing research, it’s crucial to leverage the right tools. Discover the hidden gems in the field with our guide on The Top 10 Most Powerful Marketing Research Tools You Haven’t Heard Of, and elevate your research game.

Discover How Your Customer Identifies With Your Product

After you’ve figured out what your customers want, it’s time to find out how they feel about your product or service. This will help you understand what kind of message will resonate with them based on their emotions. There are many ways to explore this topic:

Ask them how they feel when using the product. How do they feel about themselves? About others? Do they see themselves as more confident or competent after using the product?

Ask them what others think of them when using the product. What kinds of things do friends and family say when around them while using the product (or seeing pictures/videos taken during that time)? Are people impressed by their new look? Are people jealous?

Ask them about their lifestyle choices and goals before purchasing a new item from your company; compare those answers with how those goals have changed since purchasing from your company (if applicable).

Find Out What Your Customers Need At Each Stage

There are several simple methods you can use to find out more about your customers’ needs. For example, you could ask them directly. You could also ask them how they feel about your product or service.

You may find that some people prioritize their needs differently than others do. Some people have no idea what their next step is when it comes to buying something new! 

To see this in action, try asking a few people what they think will happen next and then comparing the answers with other people’s responses.

Create A List Of Possible Answers And Ask People To Rank Them

You can also ask people to rank the items in order of importance, frequency, preference, likelihood, or ease. This is a more in-depth way to understand how important an item is. 

For example, if you’re developing a new product line and want to know what features are most important for your target customers, you could ask them to rank these three choices:

  • “I’m looking for something that does A”
  • “I’m looking for something that does B”
  • “I’m looking for something that does C”

Continuous learning is key to staying ahead in marketing research. Explore our curated list of 16 Free E-Courses for Market Researchers to enhance your skills and knowledge in this dynamic field.

Create A Survey And Show It To People Face-To-Face

Face-to-face surveys are more effective than online surveys, phone surveys, email surveys, or text message surveys. This is because they get better results and allow you to get information that you wouldn’t be able to gather otherwise. 

For example, if someone is uncomfortable talking about their income level on Facebook but feels comfortable telling someone their age over the phone or in-person? 

You’ll know this because when conducting research with your users (and especially when interviewing them), try not only asking questions that require an answer but also observing what they’re doing while answering those questions.

You’ll find out more about them and their behavior than any other method!

Use Photos To Help Elicit Emotions And Reactions

One of the most powerful ways to get your audience’s attention is to use photos. Photos can inspire emotions, such as love and joy, or they can elicit strong reactions like disgust or anger. With the right photo, you can make someone cry whether that’s tears of happiness or sadness.

You can also use vivid images as a way to help people understand your product or service better by showing what it looks like in real life. 

For example, you might show how tall a building is; how big your new car will be; how much room there is inside an airplane cabin; or even what kind of food would come on a plate if they order at a restaurant.

Ask People What They Think Will Happen Next

You can ask people what they think will happen next. I’m not talking about asking them to predict the future, but rather to predict what will happen in the future with their company, organization, or product.

The most common way to do this is by asking respondents if they think a certain event or phenomenon will occur. 

You can also ask them how likely it is that something specific will happen and then measure their confidence level in their answers (e.g., “How confident are you that your business will grow in the next year?”).

Stay up-to-date with the latest practices in marketing research by referring to Updated Marketing Research Guidelines: A Summary. These guidelines provide a comprehensive overview of best practices and changes in the field.

Ask How They Feel About Specific Things That You Provide Or Don’t Provide

When conducting market research, it’s important to ask how they feel about specific things that you provide or don’t provide. Here are some examples:

Ask them about their experience with your company. Do they feel like they’re receiving good customer service? Are they satisfied with the way you handle problems? Do they find your brand trustworthy?

Ask them about their experience with your product or service. Is it easy to use? Does it solve their problem(s)?

Ask them about their experience with your website: Is it user-friendly? Is the information easy to find on it? How long did they spend trying to figure out what you’re selling before giving up and going somewhere else?

Ask People To Prioritize Their Needs, Wants, And Desires

How To Do It

You can ask participants to rank them in order of importance or you can ask them to assign weights (1=lowest importance, 10=highest importance).

What You’ll Learn

This method allows you to discover which features are most important to customers and how much they’re willing to pay for each feature. 

It also reveals what competing products have that your customers wish yours had as well as what they like about your product but are willing to look past if given another option with better features at a lower price.

How To Apply This Information

Use this data when developing new products by making sure each feature has been properly prioritized by your target audience based on its value relative to other features that may be included in the final product design or marketing strategy.

If You’re Not Doing Surveys, Ask For Feedback Following Webinars, Sales Calls,

If you’re not doing surveys, ask for feedback following webinars, sales calls, and so on.

The best time to ask for feedback is when someone has just signed up for a free trial or downloaded a white paper. 

You’re most likely going to get a higher response rate and better quality comments if you follow up with an email versus waiting until later and hoping they remember what they liked about your product or service. The next best time is after the customer buys your product.

The request must be clear and concise: “Please take 3 minutes of your time to tell us how we can improve [the product/service].” 

If you want them to fill out a survey form that pops up automatically upon submitting their comment, make sure it’s 100% optional by clicking “No thanks” at every single step of filling out the survey form.

Keyword planning is a crucial aspect of effective marketing research. Uncover the essential metrics with our guide on Top 18 Google Keyword Planner Search Volume Metrics You Should Know, and ensure your research strategy is well-informed.

Ask Why Over And Over Again Until You Get To The Root Cause Of What’s Happening With Your Customers And Prospects

The most important question to ask is why.

In a friendly tone, ask yourself why you need marketing research. Then ask yourself again and again until you get to the root cause of what’s happening with your customers and prospects.

You’ve probably already thought about this, but let’s say you’re starting from scratch: There are all sorts of reasons why people might need marketing research! 

They might want to know how consumers feel about a new product or service (or if they even want it), how their products compare with those of competitors, and whether the way they deliver products or services could be improved (or if their current approach is working at all).

Armed With The 80/20 Rule

If you’re confused about how to apply the 80/20 rule, a good place to start is by using it as an overall strategy for your marketing activity. The 80% of the information you have can be used with the 20% of questions you don’t know, and vice versa. 

For example, if your product research shows that most people are looking for a way to solve problem X and make money Y, then use this knowledge when writing sales copy for your product page. 

Most people who read this page will be looking for something that will help them with their problems (not just information) and will end up buying it if they have enough trust in the business or brand behind the product offering.


There you have it. Armed with the 80/20 rule, a little organization, and some creative questions, you’re ready to create a survey that will uncover valuable insights about your audience. 

Next time we’ll tackle more advanced market research methods and how to get the most from them. Until then, may all your marketing be profitable!

Further Reading

Explore these additional resources to deepen your understanding of marketing research:

Typeform’s Market Analysis Cheat Sheet: Access a concise guide to conducting market analysis using Typeform’s interactive surveys.

Marketing Research Cheat Sheet: A comprehensive cheat sheet covering key concepts and techniques in marketing research.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Primary Market Research: Gain insights into primary market research methodologies with this comprehensive cheat sheet from CFR Research.


Have questions about marketing research? Check out these answers to common queries:

What is the importance of market analysis in research?

Market analysis is crucial for understanding consumer behaviors, identifying trends, and making informed business decisions based on data-driven insights.

How can I ensure the accuracy of my primary market research?

To ensure accuracy, focus on proper sampling techniques, unbiased survey questions, and reliable data collection methods. Regularly validate your findings to maintain credibility.

What are some effective tools for conducting marketing research surveys?

Popular tools like Typeform, SurveyMonkey, and Google Forms offer user-friendly platforms to design and distribute surveys, facilitating valuable data collection.

How does primary market research differ from secondary research?

Primary market research involves gathering firsthand data directly from the target audience, while secondary research involves analyzing existing data and sources, such as reports and studies.

What ethical considerations should I keep in mind during marketing research?

Respect participants’ privacy, obtain informed consent, and ensure data security. Strive for transparency and honesty in research methodologies and reporting.

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