Do you want to determine the needs of your customers and obtain information on your competitors? If yes, then what your business needs is market research. By investing in marketing research, your company can use data to analyze your problems and develop the right marketing strategies.
However, if you are new to market research, or if research is not one of your core business skills, then you may be confused about which type of marketing research to go with. Should your business go with phone surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviews or actual test marketing? Which type of market research would be suitable for your business? And which would bring in better results?
Read on to find out more about the different types of market research:
1. Focus Groups
A focus group is generally conducted at a focus group facility, which is equipped with one-way mirrors. This way, you can listen to your customer’s feedback about your product/service without being seen. The ideal size of a focus group is 6 to 10 people, headed by a moderator or trained interviewer who runs the focus group. The moderator will develop a discussion guide of 5-10 questions related to your service/product and then ask the participants about the service/product, using these questions. Focus groups help companies narrow down several versions of a product down to the best – the one that their customers like the most.
2. One-to-One Interviews
One-to-one interviews are very similar to a focus group, except instead of a group, there is just one person. These interviews go beyond the typical personal interview. One-to-one interviews give companies the benefit of actually watching someone use their product. For example, a software company may want to test out their new program, so they set up a computer and observe individuals use their program behind a one-way mirror. A moderator will be present and question each person on how they liked the program and if it was easy to use. Based on the actual customer usage, the software company will determine if the software program needs changes.
3. Phone Surveys
A phone survey is often used by companies to further validate the information obtained from one-one interviews and focus groups. Phone surveys are usually conducted among the higher numbers of customers and consumers. The data taken from the higher number of phone surveys is indicative of what the average customer thinks about a particular service/product.
For example, a bank who wants to know how satisfied its customers are, can use phone surveys to find out the answer. To start off, a questionnaire will be developed to include measurable elements like timeliness, friendliness and accuracy. Customers will then be asked to rate these elements on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest rating. The bank can also ask the customers to elaborate on their answers or give feedback. The information obtained from these surveys can be used to improve the bank’s customer service.
When compared to other types of market research, actual test marketing is often used to take marketing research to the next level. For example, a restaurant has introduced a new chicken sandwich. The restaurant may then roll out its new meal into five centres out its ten local restaurants. The restaurant may also advertise the meal on the radio, the television and through coupon ads in local magazines/newspapers. Corporate marketing experts will then track the sales and profits to measure the success of the new chicken sandwich. The restaurant will then know if its market research actually brought in success.
Which type of market research do you prefer and why? Let us know by leaving your comments in the box below. We love to hear from you!
If market research is not one of your core skills, then why not outsource it to India? You will not only get access to expert research services, but you can also enjoy savings in cost, time and effort. Moreover, the stress of market research need not shift your focus away from revenue-generating business functions. Outsource market research right away and see your business grow to new heights.
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