Market research has always been the stepping stone for businesses. Although the scope and the methods used for market research keep changing, its fundamentals remain the same. A business, just starting or having already been established, requires market research to understand how much potential the products have.
Market research, paired with data analysis can help strengthen your position, minimize investment risks, discover your strengths in the market, and so forth. And since digital and traditional marketing strategies are reliant on market research, knowing the four types of research you can do to support them is essential.
1. Primary Market Research
First-party data or customer data is the basis of primary market research. The data is collected directly from the customers or prospects through interviews, surveys, and polls. This kind of market research lets you understand the nerves of customers.
Long before launching a new product, you should start with market segmentation studies to understand where their current products stand, what the market lacks, and the demographics that you can target. For B2B companies, market segmentation research includes size, revenue model, and category of the prominent companies in the industry.
As market segmentation depends on direct communication between you and the prospects, it enables your company to get info to develop a marketing strategy that works for the demographic that you are targeting.
Brand awareness is mostly a post advertisement survey. But it can leave you with raw data about how well (or how bad!) the brand awareness campaigns have behaved. It also can be done through surveys or poll-based marketing research facilities that are conducted either through social media or through means of direct communication with the prospects.
A specific set of questionnaires can be adapted to successfully research brand awareness:
- Questions that ask the customer if they can recognize the brand by name
- Options that let customers choose your brand from a set of brands
- Questions that display if customers trust your brand or what’s their perception of your brand
- Customer Experience Surveys
If you already have competitors or have started to sell your product or service, customer experience surveys can help you navigate the problems your customers are facing with the product, shipping, and payment attributes.
IN B2B marketing, customer experience surveys give customers a perspective that the brand is trying to improve itself and is considering their problems to do the same. Thus, even if something was wrong with your product, they would give you another chance to prove yourself.
2. Secondary Market Research
Secondary research consists of outsourcing or scraping data already available on the market. The data can be either from your competitors or your brand. But any information that’s not collected or analyzed for the product in question is considered secondary market research.
Understanding how your customers are driven toward your or your competitor’s brand opens up the possibility for you to develop your marketing strategy around it.
Some products are more brand sensitive than others. If you are a luxury brand, your consumers are more brand-centric than B2B businesses, whose customers are more into functionality than branding.
Brand attributes are also considered in branding research. Customers are driven toward brands that resonate with their requirements. The branding attributes may be tangible or intangible. Tangible attributes are visual and semantic features. And intangible attributes might be the vision, promise, and relevance of your brand. Your marketing strategy should revolve around the branding features that your customers like.
The marketing strategies of your competitors are included in the competitive analysis. How they have designed their strategy, where they are marketing their products, how their market grasp is, and everything else is considered in competitive analysis market research.
To develop marketing strategies, competitive analysis is an effective tool. Although you might need to find your unique value proposition to promote your brand, the already proven strategies can come in handy when developing yours.
Some products have a fixed price. Some vary with the market. But in the end, a pricing strategy is necessary for you to lure your customers into buying your product.
The most effective way to come up with a pricing strategy is to research the market price of other products. But not only once. You need to keep tracking the prices of the products for a while and see how your competitors are changing.
Your conscience might tell you to set the price lower than your competitor’s lowest price, but that often ends in vain. You have to find a balance between the quality and pricing of your products to reach a sweet spot.
3. Qualitative Market Research
Qualitative research can be defined by data measurements. It can be appended to primary or secondary market research, but it just depends on the feedback of the customers. Open-ended questions are the basis of qualitative research.
Product research is a type of market research that shows the potential of your product. This kind of market research is typically done after launching a new product and the outcomes are used to develop market strategies.
In most cases, a product trial phase is introduced to the potential customers and the feedback is monitored.
Product research techniques often include questionnaires that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. After you’re done with a distribution cycle, you can add questions in the primary market research strategies like:
- How do our products stand up to the competition?
- In the future, what features would you like to be added to the lineup?
- Which services or areas do you think we can improve?
Product research lets you analyze why customers choose other brands over you, or your brand over them, and build up a marketing strategy around that.
4. Quantitative Market Research
By taking metrics from sources that you’ve used your marketing campaigns for, you can develop better strategies for future campaigns. Quantitative market research is strategically evaluating the data derived from tools that you’ve used.
Your domain is your gateway to customers. As your customers find your products through the domain, ranking up in search engine result pages (SERPs) is critical. Your rank for specific keywords determines what percentage of traffic you might end up with from the customers interested in similar products.
Metrics from third-party applications like Alexa are reasonably accurate in this aspect. As long as you aren’t sitting on the top of each keyword that you want, there’s room for your marketing strategies to grow.
Search engine optimization (SEO) metrics are critical for you to rank higher in SERPs. Without SEO metrics, you’d not be able to rank up or stay on top of your competitors. Whenever you are developing new campaign strategies, consider taking SEO into account as a sustainable traffic source.
Paid Ad Metrics
No marketing campaign is complete without paid ads. As you need to lure as many as customers you can, keeping track of your paid ad metrics can help tweak the campaigns to get a better result. Most advertising platforms like Google and Facebook offer detailed metrics and recommendations that help you out.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, you’ve understood how you can leverage market research to support your marketing strategies. The four types of fundamental research include primary market research, secondary market research, qualitative market research, and quantitative market research.
The types can be divided into more detailed sub-types like brand awareness, market segmentation, product survey, domain ranking, and more. Don’t shy away from using any of those to support your marketing strategies.