Rubber mallet or nail gun? Grabbing the right tool for the job.
Market research is valuable tool to have in your marketing toolbox. The truth is, many of us probably have tools in our toolbox that we’re not quite sure how to use. Often, the hardest part of putting market research to work for your company is knowing which tool to use and when. These tools include surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, mall intercepts, and ethnographies, to name a few.
The tool you choose depends on the goal of your research.
Qualitative research gathers responses from fewer people, but is able to dig deeper into the thoughts and emotions behind the respondents’ opinions. Qualitative studies are more like a conversation, and as a result, can shine light on areas where a company has little knowledge. A qualitative study is often the first step for a brand; this exploratory research can be the basis for a broader quantitative study.
Quantitative research surveys a large number of people, who are all asked the same set of questions. This research focuses on the numbers: frequencies, percentages, and ratios. This approach uses a mix of close-ended questions (e.g. Yes/No, rating of 1-5, etc.) and open-ended questions (When you think of bath soap, which brand comes to mind first?) to gather data.
Qualitative Research Methodologies
- Focus Groups: Bulletin Board and In-Person: Focus Groups are used to explore the perceptions of category users, specifically their wants, needs, behaviors, and perhaps most importantly, the vocabulary they use to describe the category. This approach helps uncover need gaps and helps marketers understand how to talk with consumers effectively.
- In-Depth Interviews (IDI): IDIs allow marketers to explore the deep recesses of a consumer’s mind about a product or category. Due to the one-on-one nature of the methodology, consumers will sometimes tell interviewers things they wouldn’t share in a public setting. A trained interviewer can read between the lines and gain a sense of what’s not being said.
Quantitative Research Methodologies
- Brand Awareness: In addition to measuring the effectiveness of your advertising, you can also measure how effective your marketing efforts are through brand awareness surveys. More specifically, brand awareness can help you find how often your brand is recognized, remembered first over competitors, and trusted.
- Market Segmentation: Used to learn more about potential and current customers, specifically their demographics, wants, needs, and behaviors. These customers are then grouped together based on their similarities. Market segmentation can also be used to analyze the market, or industry, itself.
- Product, Pricing, & Advertising Testing: Product concept testing determines whether or not the product meets customers’ needs and identifies the competition. Advertising testing determines an audience’s responses for a company’s campaign. Both product concept and advertising testing will help determine if (and what) improvements need to be made to help the company achieve success. Pricing research helps determine which product features your customers value more. Customers are asked to choose between various products with different features and price points to find the features that they’re willing to pay more for.
Which Method is the Right Method for you?
Knowing when to use the various research methods depends on which stage your brand is focusing on: awareness, targeting, acquisition, or retention.
- Awareness evaluates the consumers who are aware of your product (or creative), and to what degree.
- Targeting focuses on identifying the individuals most likely to be influenced by your marketing message.
- Acquisition is about finding new customers, or expanding your existing customers’ product use
- Retention focuses on ensuring they remain your customers
If you haven’t pulled Market Research out of your toolbox yet, or aren’t sure how, Persuadable Research can help you find the most effective market research tool for your current needs. Take a look at our core strengths to see how we can help you. One of our Solutions Experts would be happy to talk with you and help identify the best approach for your brand.