What is a market research study and how is it done?

Who are our customers? How do they think and feel? What do they think about our products or services?

Who are our customers?  How do they think and feel? What do they think about our products or services? What are their needs? How do they prefer being treated? What do they expect from our brand? With which values do they identify?

All these questions have one thing in common: their answers arise from a market research methodology.

What do we mean when we talk about market research? There can be many definitions, but it’s basically a way of getting feedback directly from the people who have the final say on the fate of your business: customers. In other words, guesswork and hunches won't cut it if you're looking to launch successful products and craft appropriate marketing messages. They require more sustainable evidence-based conclusions.

Learn more about online surveys and other methods

You can use several market research methodologies, but the most common ones are surveys, interviews, focus groups and observational techniques. In other words, these techniques can and should be complemented. None of them alone can issue a final judgement on consumer needs and preferences.

Now, let's focus on one of these methodologies: surveys. Unlike a focus group or interview, a market survey allows you to get detailed feedback from many people in a standardized format. This means you can process the collected data and turn it into actionable insights.

Market research surveys, in that sense, serve to better understand your target audience. You can use them to access key demographic data and thus obtain information on whatever comes to mind: from what your brand's customers like to the type of product your market needs.

“A market survey allows you to get detailed feedback from many people in a standardized format, process the collected data and turn it into practical insights”.
What is a market research survey for?

A market research survey can help you understand various aspects of your target audience and, as a result, allow you to improve the quality of your decisions. The benefits range from understanding the size of the potential market to determining the optimal price for your products.

Surveys are a great opportunity to get feedback on your target audience as long as you have access to a good sample of the market to survey.

Now, where do we start if we want to do an online market research survey? Here are some recommendations on issues that cannot be ignored when developing it:

1. Set an objective

Asking questions is the best way to understand why you want to conduct market research through an online survey. The hypothesis method is good practice when asking this question. If you are, for example, the Marketing Manager of a beverage company, you may ask yourself about a product launch: "If we launched a new flavor, how would the public react?" Based on that, you will begin to develop your campaign.

2. Find the correct audience

Reaching a specific audience that serves the purpose of research is one of the greatest challenges. How can you do to reach your target audience and not die trying? Online surveys allow you to classify the audience. You can use filter questions at the beginning of the poll to qualify or disqualify respondents. For example, if your target audience is women between the ages of 16 and 35 who live in the metropolitan area, then the first questions may be aimed at getting to know them better, starting with slogans such as "Tell us about yourself." Then, the system will allow you to select the answers that correspond to your target and discard those that do not.

3. Define a shipment schedule

When will you send your survey? How many times will you do it? By what date do you expect to receive all the information? One of the most important challenges when developing an online survey is to generate interest in the audience. In general terms, experts affirm that the window of time between 48 and 72 hours after sending the invitation to complete the online survey is the correct moment to fire the email with the reminder. 

4. Analyze the information

Now is the time to examine the data collected. It is the key stage of the online survey process. This situation poses a central challenge that we could sum up in a question: now what? A number of good practices for analyzing online surveys include tips such as using platforms that automatically transform numerical results into percentages and graphs, finding ways to categorize open responses, or defining these parameters or benchmarks. All these will allow you to understand the true value of the numbers or percentages that you obtain from your online survey.

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