5 Things You Need to Know to Plan Your Marketing Research in 2020

Feb 3, 2020

There’s a big difference in knowing your business will succeed versus only hoping it will. Making marketing decisions based on a gut feeling rarely works and when it doesn’t, your entire business could be at risk. Taking the extra effort to seek accurate and valid market research can create opportunities for your business to keep in touch with what your customers want or better yet, what they’ll want in the future.

There’s no “one way” to conduct market research and it’s not always easy finding the methodology that best fits your company’s needs. Luckily, our full-service market research firm has put together a roadmap to planning your market research for 2020.

1. Establish your goals

The most important part of the marketing research process is knowing what you want to learn from the research. Your goals will determine what information you need and how you can get that information. Not having a specific objective in mind can cause you to run a marketing research campaign for something entirely different than what you intended. Not only are you wasting time and money but you are no closer to understanding your target market as you were before. Creating goals will keep you on track and help develop the strategy you need for your research.

2. Understand your current consumer base

Consumers are constantly changing and aging so understanding who it is you are trying to market to can be more difficult of a task than you thought. The rapid growth of technology, especially digital, social, and mobile, allows consumers to get the information they want whenever they want it. Understanding where your buyers/customers are searching for information and making their buying decisions will help guide you to where you should be doing your research. If you have a large social following but haven’t started an email list yet, then you wouldn’t choose to run a survey over email. Find your customers where they already are and ask for their feedback in the space that they are the most comfortable.

While more and more people are spending time online, there are still many times that in-person research is still the best method for gathering data. This can be intercepts, on-site surveys, coordinated focus groups, and other options where skilled researchers interact directly with research participants.

3. What questions do you need to answer?

The most crucial piece to market research is knowing what it is you are looking for. How many people will choose A or B? Is red an attractive color for my product? What do my customers really think about my service? In order to be successful in doing any research and collecting data, you have to know what you want to get out of it. Creating questions you need and want to have answered can help steer which direction you should take for your research project.

It’s important when creating questions to also think about the answers you will receive. Sometimes, you may want the survey participant to have an opportunity to share their own thoughts rather than choose from limited-meaning answer choices. Close-ended questions could give you little to no information on what you want to know about your customers. Open-ended questions allow for well thought out answers that can provide more insightful feedback. Other times, however, the opposite may be true.

4. Qualitative or Quantitative

When it comes to the actual research portion, you’ll need to know or have help deciding which method to use, qualitative or quantitative. It’s important to understand which type of research you need to fulfill your goals. To keep it simplified, qualitative research is unstructured information (focus group comments, observations, etc.) that is summarized subjectively, as opposed to mathematically. Quantitative research is structured (numerical) data that can be plugged into a spreadsheet and analyzed with statistical methods.

To decide what’s best for your project, think about the goals you want to achieve and the questions you want to be answered. Does the information you’re looking for just need numerical data points or do you want real personalized answers? If you need to know how many times a week someone Googles a place to eat near them, then you would choose quantitative research. If you want to know which restaurant someone would recommend in the area, you would choose qualitative research.

5. You don’t have to do it alone

Conducting quality marketing research is not an easy task. It takes time and a dedicated, highly-skilled team to coordinate an effective research strategy. Our team has conducted thousands of projects across various industries and helped companies get the answers they need to make better business decisions.

Instead of trying to figure it all out on your own, contact our team to create a custom-tailored research solution for you.