There are many different approaches when it comes to market research, different methods may be better for different companies and what information they’re trying to find out. It also depends on a company’s budget and time constrictions, as some forms of market research can be very costly and time-consuming. If market research is done correctly it can be extremely beneficial for a company. Here are some of the different types of market research you can use;
Focus groups are conducted by a moderator or interviewer and usually takes place in a special facility where the manager can listen to and see customers’ reactions through a one-way mirror. The best size for a focus group is between 6-10 people, with 5-10 guide questions about the product/service made up beforehand. The feedback received will go towards either narrowing down a selection of products to give customers the best offering, to decide on whether to keep a product or take it off the market, etc.
One-to-one interviews are similar to focus groups, except with only one participant. These types of interviews can also be used to allow the participant to test a product. Another difference between one to one interviews is that it may be more effective – people tend to be influenced by what other people say – so in a focus group you may have people lie to try and ‘fit in’ with the general group opinion. With one-to-one interviews, you are often more likely to get an honest answer.
Internet surveys on sites such as SurveyMonkey are a cost-effective and time-efficient way to do surveying. All a company needs to do is write up the survey online and then either send it to consumers via email or post it on their website or social media places. There are a few problems with this as if not many people answer your survey you may not get an accurate measure of public opinion. But on the other hand, you could actually get a lot of people answering.
Companies use phone surveys to validate information obtained from focus groups and one-to-one interviews. Phone surveys can reach a higher number of people as it tends to be a lot less expensive but is still extremely time-consuming compared to internet surveys. For example, a company may conduct 300 phone surveys to measure how satisfied customers are with the customer service, they would develop questions relating to measurable elements such as friendliness, timeliness, and accuracy of the questionnaire. The answers could be rated from 1-10, with 10 being the highest, and whoever was conducting the interview could them analyse the data and find out what in the company can be improved on.
There are different types of test marketing, for example, a restaurant chain will make their new dish available in certain stores and offer coupons in magazines and advertise the new product on TV or radio. Managers will then track sales and profits to validate the success of the product.