5 Basic Methods of Market Research

Focus groups, observation, personal interviews, surveys and field trials are the five basic methods of market research. Read more to find out which method will most suit your enterprise.

There are several ways to perform market research. However, most enterprises use one or more of the five basic methods of market research: focus groups, observation, personal interviews, surveys and field trials. How much money you are willing to spend and the type of data you need will determine the techniques you choose.

  1. Surveys – You can evaluate a sample group that represents your target market with concise and straightforward questionnaires. The larger your sample, the more reliable your results will be. You can choose from in-person surveys (one-on-one interviews carried out at high-traffic locations), telephone surveys (less expensive than one-to-one interviews), mail surveys (easy to reach a large audience) and online surveys (simple and inexpensive way to collect data, though not reliable).
  2. Focus groups – In this type of market research, a moderator will use a scripted series of questions / topics to lead a discussion among a group of people. The sessions take place at neutral locations, with videotaping equipment and an observation room. It can last for one or two hours and it will take at least three groups to obtain a balanced result. You can get valuable insights into customer attitudes and also uncover issues with new products/services.
  3. Personal interviews – Like a focus group, a personal interview also includes open-ended and unstructured questions. They can last for about an hour and are typically recorded. Personal interviews offer more subjective data than surveys. However, the results are statistically reliable as they don’t represent a large segment of the population.
  4. Observation – Individual responses to focus groups and surveys can be at odds with the actual behavior of people. For instance, when you see customers at action by videotaping them at stores or at work, you can observe how they use a product or buy a product. This will give you a precise picture of the shopping patterns and usage habits of customers.
  5. Field trials – When you place a new product in a few selected stores, you can test the customer response under real-life selling scenarios. This can help you make product modifications, improve the packaging or adjust the price. You can establish rapport with local store owners and web sites, so that they can help you test their products.

Which market research method will you choose and why? Let us know in the comments box below. Do you want to outsource market research services? We, at Outsource2india can assist you with cutting-edge services that will help you stay on the top. Find out more about outsourcing market research services.

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