Most business owners know that market research is important, but not everyone knows how to go about it. This step-by-step guide will take you through the process of conducting effective market research for your business.

Whether you’re just starting or you’ve been in business for a while and want to refine your strategy, this guide has something for you. So let’s get started!

A business analysis reports on the screen

Step 1: Define The Goal

The first step of market research is defining what your end goal is. It’s essential that you start your market research with a clear thought process of what you’re trying to achieve and why you’re investing your time and money in any research. If you don’t have a clear objective in mind, there’s a chance that you might move away from the main point of your research or dig deeper into irrelevant information.

When you’re studying your target audience, you’ll come across many problems in the market which might not be relevant to your goal. Our market research experts suggest that you take note of these problems to look into during different research.  

You can make this step easier for yourself by listing the reasons why you’re conducting this research. For example, if your goal is to find the most effective pricing strategy for a service or product, the list of objectives can look like this:

  • Identify the audience pool you’re trying to target
  • Find out who your competitors in the market are
  • Learn what your target audience is paying for the product
  • Research how much they’re willing to pay
  • Discover what features might attract them more

Ultimately, this step aims to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve in the future. Instead of focusing all your energy on current problems, devise plans and targets you want to follow.

A woman discussing market research strategy with her team

Step 2: Redefine Your Target Audience

By this point, you already know what kind of product you’re trying to sell to what type of customers. But you need to develop a detailed client and buyer persona in this market research step. These personas will represent the qualities you want in your target customers.

When you’re working on building your ideal customer profile: the factors you should consider are:

  • Demographic: Gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, location, etc.
  • Personal information: Marital status, family status, hobbies, etc
  • Job-related questions: Employment type, position, level, annual income, decision-making level, etc
  • Pain points: Life struggles, problems in accomplishing goals, etc.

Step 3: Identify The Sample

This step is essential because the market research sample you identify will represent your ideal customer. In this step, you need to define the scope of the study, where you focus on to what extent you’re willing to further your market research.

Once you’ve decided on the scope of the study, you’ll decide whether you want to collect data based on one buyer persona or multiple profiles. If you think focusing on multiple profiles will help you understand the market better, then define separate market research samples for each persona. Once you have collected the data, you can compare the samples’ results at the end of your research.

Although there’s no defined number for a research sample, our market research experts recommend using a sample size based on a 95% confidence level. It’ll be more effective if there’s a 5% accuracy level.

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Step 4: Collect Data Through Various Research Methods

Once you have clearly defined your sample size, you can move toward the next step: conducting market research and collecting data through various research methods.

· Prepare Your Questions For The Survey

When developing your survey questions, you can use the ones you formulated early in the first step when defining your goal. Try to keep the phrasing of your questionnaire as understandable as possible. If your target audience doesn’t understand your question, they’ll choose unfavorable answers, creating bias in your research.

· Do Secondary Research

Before you go through with your primary research, it’s a good idea to get an overall idea of trends and patterns by reviewing the free data available on government websites. This will help you narrow down your research and look for biases and outliers you might encounter along the way.

· Try Exploratory Methods

  • Observation: During this stage, try to sit back and observe how your target audience responds to the products when they’re unaware of the survey.
    • Focus group meetings: You can have focus group meetings where you, the audience attracted to your product, can have an open discussion about the product in the presence of a mediator. This will give you additional insights into how the customers respond to the market.
    • Personal interviews: These are an interesting add-on to the group meetings as they’ll allow you to ask the participant follow-up questions about the product and learn more about the customer’s goals and preferences.

· Distribute Customer Surveys

You can use all the information you have gathered through your focus group or individual meetings and design a survey aligned with your research objectives. Send out the surveys to your target audience. The answers to these surveys will help you prove whether the hypothesis you created during the exploratory stage was true.

A data visualization report

Step 5: Analyze The Data And Transform It Into A Report

The data you gather at every market research stage should be analyzed and organized into a report. These initial reports will help you make more sense of the data at the last stage.

You’ll gain qualitative and quantitative market results at the end of your research. Viewing the numbers and presenting them can be overwhelming, so instead, you can use data visualization services to create engaging data visualizations. These visualizations will help gain a better understanding of the market. Plus, it’ll be easier for you to convince the stakeholders.

You can also use customer journey maps to look at the bigger picture of your market research.

Invest In Top-Quality Market Research Services

At The Analyst Agency, we listen to your business goal and design a market research plan aligned with your needs. We perform high-level market research using primary and secondary research methods, including focus groups, surveys, and much more.

We also offer business analysis services, data visualization consulting, media and industry analysis, and more.

Contact our team for more details about our services.

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