Have you ever started planning your market research and then realized that you don't know which target market you need to be studying to get your desired results? Yes, me too! Whether you’re a startup or an accomplished company, asking the wrong people the right questions will always end up with a flawed analysis. So let's start with the basics!
What is a target market?
A target market is a group of people who are potential customers and the base of your market research analysis. These are the people who will give you the information you need to move forward with your new product or service.
Why should you have a target market?
Any business, no matter how big or small cannot market to anyone and everyone and it definitely should not. Not only will they be wasting their time but also a huge sum of money. A target market will help them have a defined audience to study and get the right feedback, queries, and perspectives of their product or service.
What is the difference between a target market and a target audience?
A target market is a group of people that a business wants to sell its product or service. On the contrary, a target audience is a much narrower group of people who are expected to buy the product or service. In simpler terms, a broad group of potential customers is a target market, whereas a smaller, specific group of people in the target audience.
Here are a few tips for you to find your ideal target market -
The first step to finding your ideal target market is breaking it down into different demographic segments. This will give you a basic idea of who your customers are, what their day-to-day tasks are, etc. Some of the factors you can take into account are:
These factors will help you determine on a large scale who your target market can be and if they would like to buy your product or service. This is the market that creates a huge impact when you put out advertisements on your product or service.
Once you have a basic audience, let's narrow it down! It’s not enough to know who is buying your product but also why they are buying your product because let's face it if your consumer doesn't require your product or service, what is the point of projecting a study on them? Here are some psychographic factors to consider:
These factors will give you a deeper insight into your target market’s lifestyle and their need for your product or service daily. Immersing in your target market’s purchasing motivation & other psychographic factors will reveal trends and common aspects in their nature, interests, and attitudes.
Multiple businesses set up their market in specific locations. In other words, they may not be available anywhere and everywhere. It is important to consider these locations when conducting a study unless your business is trying to expand and increase its reach to new consumers.
Always recheck and evaluate your target market. Even though you have segmented your market based on age, gender, occupation, personalities, etc, they must fulfill the criteria of your research. Will they be able to afford your product? What platform or forms of advertising would help you reach them? Do you know what will drive them to buy your product? Ask these questions and make sure you have a decent as well as contrasting sample size for your research.
If you are an accomplished brand, look into your existing customers. Your existing consumers are the perfect audience to conduct a study on as they are already a part of your consumer base, meet your criteria and give you a good idea of how your market should look. Reach out to them from your social media handles, emailers and ask them for feedback or issues while using your product or service.
Your competitor’s target market is a great way to find out who they are targeting and whether they have missed out on particular areas that you could take advantage of. Another thing you could do is look at how your competitors are communicating with their audience and engaging with them which could help you get inspiration for your own product or services and how you could stand out in the market.
There you go! These are a few tips and tricks that will help you narrow down and find the right target market to study. After gathering all the information you need about your potential customers, make the necessary changes or improvements to your product or service, making it more appealing to them. The information you gather from your analysis will also help you create an effective marketing strategy and the right communication for your campaigns.
Reach out to our research experts to know more about how you can create the right market research strategy for your business!
Anyone can be a market researcher with a little bit of training and understanding. One of the best practices a good researcher follows is avoiding any research blunders! To make it easy for you, we have listed down 8 of the most common mistakes made by companies during market research & how to avoid them. Read it through because this is your sign to avoid them all!
Is it possible to launch a new product/service without knowing who your customers are and what they need? We say, absolutely not! Market Research is one of the most important things you can do to know whether a new product or service will be accepted in the market by your customers. One of the main reasons for new product failures is not doing any market research on target markets and what they need. So, before you plan on launching your revolutionary product, do your research!
Here are a few steps for creating successful market research.
“What are my customer’s needs?”, “What amount will they pay for my product?” or “How do I measure this research?” One of the most common mistakes researchers make is not knowing exactly what information their research should give them. Whether the objective is to know the price point or acceptance of the product, the researcher should be clear about his main goal to get the desired results.
Even though your product can be unique, there are similar products that not only exist in the market but are also extremely successful. Not looking into your competitor’s products, why they stand out, and what their pricing is, is a classic mistake. To gain an edge over your competitors, you need to know anything and everything about the way they conduct their business and work on your market research accordingly.
If your questions are not clear or do not convey what you are trying to ask the consumer, your results will end up being completely different from what you may have intended. Simple words that you think look okay can have different meanings and can be interpreted differently by different people. You would be surprised how much a professional researcher could make a difference to your market research and business. So feel free to hire help!
Conducting a survey is something all marketers do but just a survey is not enough! Depending on the objective of your research, there are various market research tools you can leverage. Using the right tool for your research is imperative so you know exactly who your customers are and what they need from you.
Read more about the Market Research Tools You Can Leverage for creating a high quality report.
We have all been guilty of projecting our research on family and friends thinking it would be easier and faster to get desired results. What we miss here are unbiased opinions and honest answers. Cutting on incentives for people who are genuinely interested in your product/service and are willing to give their time to your research is a huge mistake. This broader sample will help you get unbiased opinions and honest feedback that will help your research and business in the long run.
The internet is a big pool of information and the best place to start your research. However, there are high chances that some information may be biased or wrong. So it is always recommended to research your research material and make sure it's right and solid.
Data speaks louder than assumptions when it comes to market research, so believe in the data you have collected. Let it speak for your product/service instead of being overly optimistic. A professional market research agency can help give you an unbiased report that will help your company in more ways than one.
How To Avoid These Mistakes
2. Like I mentioned before, the internet is a huge pool of information and the data available on it is abundant but it is necessary for you to conduct your own primary and secondary research to be up to date. In short, do not completely rely on data from the internet! This will keep your data fresh and unique.
Primary Research refers to collecting data from your target audience, real people.
Secondary Research is collecting data from published and verified research studies.
3. It is always important to have a plan before you start any market research. Businesses are always in such a hurry to get answers when conducting market research that they often end up making mistakes that can be avoided. Planning and preparing in advance will help you avoid mistakes before they can even occur.
4. Ask for help when you need it. Market Research is an important part of your brand strategy and any mistakes or roadblocks can create a major impact on the product life overall. Hire a professional agency that can help you with your market research and understand the results so you can go ahead with the right insights.
5. Understand your bias about the subject at hand. It is very easy to make assumptions about your product so that you get the results you are trying to achieve. Control the urge to make these assumptions and listen to what people are saying, listen to your customer’s feedback, and then act on it.
6. Lastly, identify your target market correctly. A target market is a group of people who are potential customers and the base of your market research analysis. If you get this right, then you can get the rest of your research going smoothly.
These are a few tips and tricks that will help you conduct your research with minimum pitfalls. When it comes to quality, there are no shortcuts! Releasing a new product/service is a huge step that requires a lot of effort, money, and time. One mistake and you are led to the path of failure. If you find it difficult to conduct research or have questions that are unanswered simply because you don't have an in-depth understanding, it is time you reached out to a professional agency that will give you a better understanding of your market and customers!
Reach out to our research experts to know more about how you can create the right market research strategy for your business!
The pandemic, last year, brought about a wave of digital transformation in the country. Due to lack of choice or concerns about safety or just plain convenience, consumers started taking to digital ways to fulfill their needs. This change in behaviour boosted the growth of the e-commerce industry in India. The last few years had already witnessed a rapid growth in the segment due to increase in internet and smartphone penetration, but the pandemic accelerated that growth by 3x. Right from groceries to clothes to books to personal care products, every item was now being purchased online. The Indian e-commerce industry is expected to be a USD 200 billion market in the next 3-5 years.
An interesting thing to note here is that the consumer behaviour underwent massive changes at a very fundamental level. Most of them started adopting new ways of shopping online out of necessity first, but soon this changed into a habit due to the sheer convenience of sitting at home and having everything delivered to your doorstep. This caused a chain reaction to everything around - right from products, services, to brands and categories.
For marketers like us, consumers are the centre of our universe and therefore, it became imperative for us to dive a little deeper into their behaviour to understand how the growth of e-commerce changed their lives. In order to do this, we conducted a survey online and asked a series of questions to consumers to understand their shopping behaviour and patterns.
Our report on the E-commerce sector in India has a detailed account of the changing consumer behaviour pertaining to the e-commerce industry, key takeaways for brands and businesses in this space and some interesting insights. You may also find it interesting to read our recently published book, Decoding the Digital Jungle.
Key takeaways for brands & businesses in the e-commerce space -
1) The path to purchase is indefinite & complex -
The number of touchpoints in the digital environment for the consumers has increased, so has the number of avenues for a brand to be present at, innovate at and be interactive at. As per a recent Amazon report, consumers use 4 platforms on an average before making their decision. The report also says that more than half of the consumers visit Amazon with the purpose of research implying that the platform is not just a point of purchase/action area in the consumer journey. As per a study conducted by Google, the journey between Trigger and Purchase goes through a messy middle which consists of a process of exploration and evaluation. The loop can be broken only by a brand that is present at the right touch-points providing appropriate information to help evaluation quickly. An important marketing tool post-pandemic is to advertise on Amazon and Flipkart if the product and services are relevant. The advertising need not be limited to conversion objectives but it should be about driving consumers through the funnel. Brands also need to ensure that ad messaging is tailored to the needs of shoppers who are in the evaluation phase. As per a study conducted by Google, there are behavioral biases that influence our shopping decisions. We need to put out our messaging by aligning our biases and category aspects. For example, scarcity bias plays a role when it comes to the Lifestyle and Fashion/luxury/premium category. As stock decreases, the products become more desirable to purchase. Brands should also form tailored email marketing campaigns to aggressively engage with potential customers. Retargeting and basket abandonment message to engage with evaluative shoppers before they make a decision. Need of the hour is for brands to have a robust social media strategy and a full-funnel marketing plan to drive consumers to purchase. More Social Media platforms need to be explored and defined as per the target audience and objectives. This will assist consumers to evaluate and come out of the “messy middle” quickly.
2) Grocery Shopping : A clear winner!
When it came to understanding the key categories which were a boon to E-commerce, Grocery came out as a clear winner as per the survey results. Availability of items on grocery apps and websites is a major driver for a consumer to be loyal to that platform. Continuous non-availability can drive consumers to reconsider loyalty. Also, consumers have a strong affinity towards buying from local stores, familiar shops and brands they know about. The experience on the User Interface makes a lot of difference to a customer's preference. There are instances where consumers expressed that they distinguish Zomato and Swiggy based on their user interfaces. A simple, self-guiding and clutter-free UI can change the game.
3) Brands with a purpose -
The global pandemic has elevated the idea of a company's purpose or the idea of a meaningful business - how brands give back to the community and the environment. There were a few key attitude shifts during 2020. As per a research conducted by Google, 86 % of the respondents say that they have become more environment conscious due to the pandemic. Consumers have expanded their
horizons and hence, they are open to more choices, rather better choices. As it is rightly said, it takes one downfall to make you learn for life. As per our survey, 70% of the respondents said that they started using sustainable brands post pandemic. Giving a higher purpose to your brand is essential now as it is no more just a differentiating factor - consumers might place more importance on this
than on customization.
4) A shift towards Digital payments -
As per a recent KPMG report, In October 2020, digital transactions jumped to 23.7 million amounting to around 4000 crores. Through our survey, we found out that 70% of the respondents preferred using digital payment methods while shopping online. People in India feel more secure while transacting with physical cash than paying digitally as per the prevalent consumer behaviour. The findings imply that there has been a phenomenal shift in consumer preferences. It is very evident that the consumers of today are experimenting and trying newer platforms for financial transactions. The brands in this sphere need to be very proactive in forming strategic partnerships with fintech platforms.
In conclusion, we’d like to say that today’s ecommerce brands cannot be complacent anymore. Consumers today are well-informed and smart and have very high expectations of brands. An E-commerce brand of today has many more touchpoints, many more potential consumers and a complicated consumer journey to look after. Let us get on with it and adapt better!
IPL - it's that time of the year again and we are as excited as you are! Yes, it's not the same as before and we can't cheer our favorite teams directly from the stadium but we know our enthusiasm has not died. Also, the safer we are the better, right?
Who doesn't love a good cricket match with some of the world’s best players and a side of outside-the-box advertisements that leave you awestruck? The marketing fever has already started with CRED doing something we never thought was possible and it's safe to say that Rahul Dravid is now a marketing sensation. To understand this landscape a little better, our Consumer Insights and Market Research team conducted a small survey and we are here to tell you that this is just the beginning.
Marketing on the IPL Platform has been growing ever since it started back in 2008 and it only knows one direction - UP! Throughout 13 seasons we have seen various brands leverage the IPL Platform to connect with their consumers on a large scale. This hasn't been just through sponsorships but also specific advertising campaigns that brands came up with on their own using the IPL platform. According to our survey, 73% of brands think that IPL is one the most effective platforms to market their products and services.
Why is the IPL a good platform for marketing?
Since it started in 2008, the Indian Premier League has taken the internet by storm. The whole concept of having cities in one country play a sport that is loved by all, against each other has created an audience filled with love and passion for their home teams. The loyalty that was created by this league has only seen a rise, not just in India but the whole world. What better way to market your brand, right? You hit all your target audiences from kids, teenagers, adults to the aged on one single platform. It's a JACKPOT!
Brands pour so much money into sponsorships that it has become one of IPL’s biggest revenue streams. As a result, the valuation of the league was 6.8 million in 2019 according to Your Story. Although we saw a lot of tension during 2020 around the league, they still pulled through. According to our survey, 90% of brands are spending their marketing budgets on Digital & Social Media Marketing this IPL season. So what are you waiting for? If you haven't thought of it yet, it's time you do!
The IPL network is worth Rs. 47,500 crores and its brand value only keeps growing with a rate of 13.5% as of 2019. Brands are investing a huge part of their budget for marketing during this season, some spending Rs. 50 lakhs and above. Not only are they spending a lot of money but they are also increasing their budgets every year. 63% of brands have increased their budget this year as compared to 2020 with regards to Digital Marketing.
What Digital Platforms to use for IPL Marketing?
We have various platforms to advertise on starting from Instagram & Facebook to Twitter and YouTube. But before we start with which platforms, there is one thing you need to be sure of - who are you marketing to. Your key demographic plays an important role in selecting your ideal advertising platform. After this, choose a platform that is content relevant but make sure you don't extend yourself to too many platforms. It's always good to stick to quality rather than quantity.
Facebook is a definite platform of choice even though it is not the newest or most interesting one. With over 2 billion monthly active users, it is one of the biggest platforms to advertise on. This followed by Instagram which has over 1 billion monthly active users is the best way to reach a younger audience. According to the survey conducted by Social Beat, 46% of brands are advertising on Instagram during this IPL season. Twitter & YouTube are two other platforms that would work great for IPL marketing and will help create a buzz to interact with your audience.
What are brands looking to achieve through IPL Marketing?
There are various objectives and goals that a brand wants to achieve when it is marketing on digital platforms. They range from awareness, branding to sales and product launches. While conducting our survey, we found that during the IPL season, 57% are only looking towards branding of their product and services, while 22% prioritize product awareness. A small percentage of the business industry look at this as a Sales or Product Launch platform for their business.
Brands That Have Leveraged IPL In The Best Way
CRED is a credit bill-paying platform that is known for its creative advertising. Their most-awaited and recent IPL Campaign has blown the minds of every cricket fan, every cricketer, and every marketer. They unleashed a side of Rahul Dravid that we would have not even thought of and this has taken the internet by storm. The instant tweeting by cricket players, the memes made on the advertisement by many different brands have made this campaign a raging success. The immediate recognition and fame show that IPL is the right platform to gain excessive awareness and reach.
Gulf Oil India is a leading lubricant brand for automobiles in the Indian Lubricant Industry. They started their partnership with the iconic IPL Team Chennai Super Kings in 2011 and have been going strong ever since. Their most recent ad with MS Dhoni shows an interesting conversation between a young Dhoni and the present Dhoni and the fans love it because what's better than one Captain Cool? Two! For Gulf Oil, cricket is not just a sport but an emotion and through this, they have won every Indian’s heart.
The Indian Premier League themselves have come out with an interesting ad to promote the league and teach us an important lesson. In their newest ad starring Captain Cool aka MS Dhoni who takes the avatar of a monk, VIVO IPL wants to show that India now has a new mantra for success. In the ad, MS Dhoni teaches his students how greed is not a bad thing if pursued in the right interest giving an example of Mumbai Indian’s Captain Rohit Sharma and how the team has won the league 5 times.
As mentioned earlier CRED is a credit bill-paying platform known for their creative advertising and they have held that reputation proudly. With an addition to their previous ad with Jim Sarbh & Rahul Dravid, they have created yet another eye-catching advertisement featuring Jim Sarbh & Jackie Shroff. CRED lets the audience in on a small secret about their credit bill-paying platform along with Jackie’s secret to staying fit - ZUMBA! Talk about how to get a customer's attention, huh?
After the viral CRED ad with Rahul Dravid, Magicpin found a way to troll the brand by creating a spoof of their ad bringing out some interesting points. It is true that all things have a positive and negative side and Magicpin just hit the right spot! The ad is a perfect contrast of the CRED ad and has been executed brilliantly by Vijay Raaz in order to bring out how Magicpin is down-to-earth.
The Indian Premier League 2021 started not long ago and we are already seeing some super innovative ads from brands all around India. We are excited to see what more is in store from them. Our small survey has led us to see that the Indian Premier League is a marketer’s dreamland and we sure will get lost in it!
“Consumer centricity comes from talking to consumers every few days and that should be a part of your organization culture” True words spoken by Manish Makhijani during our insightful webinar session with him.
Manish Makhijani is the Global PDC Director at Unilever and he is the Vice President of The Market Research Society of India(MRSI). He has spent more than twenty years in the research industry on both agency and client-side. Apart from India, he has worked with Unilever in the UK, Singapore, and Thailand across different categories and brands. Before Unilever, he worked on various brands and clients in Starcom and Kantar TNS. He is known for his expertise in the field of insights and analytics and is passionate about enhancing the insights capabilities of the organizations. He has written various papers for ESOMAR and MRSI, presented in different industry forums and webinars. He has helped many budding researchers in their journey as he has also been a visiting faculty and guest lecturer- from MICA in Ahmedabad to the London School of Economics. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Ginny Valentine Award for Courage in Research.
Market research should inform Strategy development. How do we ensure that they remain integrated from starting from research initiation to strategy execution?
" The journey needs to happen within an organization. The insights function needs to evolve from being a research provider to a strategic consultant to an advisor.
For that, you need to build that credibility with the marketing team and advertising agency first, by offering them a genuine market research insight as to why something like say a particular ad wouldn’t work? Apart from being good thinkers, insight managers should also have leadership capabilities - they should be able to drive a change agenda and be able to stand up and say - look this product is not going to do very well in the market and this is the reason behind it. The talent you hire, the grooming you do, and how insightful you make the team, it all makes a difference to the journey of a research function"
Do you also get into the kind of mapping that figures out the pillars on which a brand is built so that, no matter what the piece of communication is, you ensure that it stands on those pillars?
"We do see what are the various category drivers like how do people choose a brand within a category? Then we look at the brand drivers – for instance, the fundamental driver of Surf Excel is to be able to clean clothes properly, then comes the fragrance, and then we also need to see how our brand is performing on those parameters. There might be other emotional hooks as well. So, even before you show your brand in the ad, people should know that this is a Surf Excel ad and then you know that this is what the advertising of your brand is all about."
Could you paint this picture for us in terms of the needs a product addresses and the psychographic profile of the people who use it?
"Talking about beauty soaps, generally speaking, in India, women in the slightly lower than middle-class category don’t have access to too many makeup products because they don’t want to spend on makeup. They tend to feel a little guilty about spending the money on themselves. A strong part of femininity is that you want to feel good about yourself, not that men don’t want to feel good, but women want to feel soft skin, they want to have a good fragrance, and they want to smell nice because that gives them a sense of wellbeing. Now, can you provide all this in a bar of soap - a soap that keeps you smelling nice for a long period and makes your skin soft, that fulfills the need state of your mind – that is what beauty soaps like Godrej no. 1, Lux, and santoor do. Santoor takes a slightly different angle - it targets slightly older women and for years, they have been showing an ad where there is a young girl and a child suddenly appears and says, mommy. The surprise element is that she does not look as old because she is the mother of a young child.
For a simple humble category like a soap, where people switch brands without even blinking, they need to think about the need state of the consumers they are targeting and do their advertising accordingly. The point is to be consistent over time so that you own that position."
In the current environment, there is a deluge of data and information available. How do you deal with this amount of data and derive intelligence and insights out of it?
"It is very easy to get lost in the data that is available today. Hence, a sharp focus of what you are looking for is extremely critical and a clear understanding of where you are going to get it from is important as well and that is why your skill as a researcher comes in. For example, if I want to know why my sales are declining and I have loads of data coming in, I will run through a hypothesis similar to a typical critical thinking method. Let's say I identify the reason that I am not available anymore as much as I used to be – Now, I need the distribution data, like details about who is selling my brand and who is not selling it, and I will focus only on that data. I think the ability to think critically is far more critical today than it used to be 10 years ago because that gives you the ability to filter out what you don’t want to see and filter out what you don’t need to see. As human beings, we have got our own biases and filters which we need to be aware of and therefore set filters accordingly."
Can you tell us something about the PDC so that we can get an idea of how it is organized to be able to draw insights from multiple sources?
"There are two streams of insights in the people data centre out of the three streams - one is the social listening part, the second is the consumer engagement centre and the third is digital marketing. We use social listening tools extensively to listen to the conversations that people have on social media, of course, which are public - what people are thinking and how their emotions are changing. For instance, initially in the pandemic, people were excited about being at home for a few weeks because they thought they will have a better work-life balance then people started getting tired of that. This was all available on social media as a conversation. You need to make sure that you’re listening to people of different profiles, people from different parts of the country, enough men and women of different economic strata, and so on so that you’re not being biased by one segment. But you complement this with the primary research as well. This is one part of what the new way of doing research is, the other part is through the call centre route which is our global vertical that I lead. There, when we speak to millions and millions of consumers across the world, 30 percent of the time they spend reaching out to us is because they have a problem and they want to complain about a product, but 70 percent of the time they are reaching out to ask a genuine question or give a suggestion. That tells you how interested they are in these products and brands and that itself is a sign of involvement. The insights that we get from those unprompted conversations are huge, so we agree we have brought products back into the market which had been delisted due to this "
Can you tell us if there was a clear progression of how people were responding to lockdown and were you able to do something in terms of insights for marketing?
" Yes, we did through Analytics and Social listening. We couldn’t do research fieldwork for a few months so we recruited some panels of people and started having a conversation with them through WhatsApp every week. We were doing video calls with those ones who were affluent. Women, for instance, who were working but who were now at home because of the lockdown went through a really big problem. They said that at least they could get out of the house for eight to ten hours earlier. Now, they are expected to do all the housework along with the expectations for work from home. Their problems multiplied and incidences of home abuse went up dramatically, So, we did activities not just in terms of launching new things like surface cleaners and toilet cleaners which are very obvious recommendations but we took initiatives for their mental and emotional trauma and helped communities too. We took those kinds of initiatives where we look after people in terms of their well-being."
How can small businesses do research? Is it more like a DIY approach?
" It is not that you don’t need skilled practitioners but at the heart of it, market research is about understanding your customers, what is it that drives them to buy, when do your people leave and go to the competition. You can do it yourself by talking to a few customers and making your organization more consumer-centric or customer-centric. For example, in Unilever, we have a full consumer centricity program where people go and meet consumers and we call it a consumer connect program and even the leadership team spends at least 10 to 15 hours every month meeting and talking to consumers directly. We talk to them asking what they are using? How are they using our products? Have you seen our new ad? Thus, if you spend every month talking to consumers, it gives you a thorough understanding of the real situation. I think that consumer centricity is all about an organization's culture."
Today several brands do purpose-driven advertising - when do you think that would work and when would you recommend it?
"There is clear evidence that purpose drives a brand and in the last 10 years, brands with purpose have grown a lot more than brands without purpose. But it works only if the brand truly means what it says. This can happen only when the purpose is truly integrated into the brand. For example - Surf Excel's purpose is to provide the right parenting guidance so that they provide the right environment for their children. That is integrated into what the brand stands for and aligns with the brand philosophy, then it doesn’t feel like you are doing something else whereas if you just once in a while do some promotion then it doesn’t work. People will forget about it quickly. "
Does one need to know data science and have the technical knowledge to understand consumer insights?
"Consumer insights are more about the innate ability to connect the dots – For instance, if I see somebody eating ketchup and I see the same person watching Netflix, I should be able to understand if there could be a connection between these two? One gets very random pieces of data, the point is how do you connect them. Of course, you should have the technical knowledge and you might need to use analytics as well but that is not enough. It is only a foundation but it is your ability to connect intuitively and understand consumers is that matters. Insight is a true integration of both science and art."
Watch the complete session of this webinar on Youtube.
Einstein once said ‘The important thing is not to stop questioning’ But does the count matter? Does every question lead us to the desired learning? The trick is not in asking questions but knowing how to ask the right questions.
Holistic market research requires us to either own that skill or learn it. This is all the more pertinent now that businesses are becoming more and more consumer-centric. We can reach a consumer-oriented solution only by knowing what our consumers want, when they want, and how they want, and we need to ask them the right questions first.
Let us first understand what market research is. A new opportunity in a business and its related domains should be analyzed first through market research as it gives us an idea of the viability and feasibility of the decisions to be taken. As precisely explained in one of our previous blogs, market research plays a vital role when we have to spot business opportunities, to understand our consumers in-depth, to understand our competitors and their approach, to grow in business, and to identify the right channels of marketing for our business.
A very powerful form of market research is primary research, which is best described as an entirely new form of data collected by asking questions to the existing and prospective consumers of our brand. There are multiple types of primary research implemented depending upon our objectives - Interviews, Focus groups, Surveys, and Observations. When it comes to collecting information from a large number of people systematically with a decision orientation, a survey is highly effective.
After a market research survey has been generated, rolled out and after our data points are in place, the next logical step is to analyze these points and derive actionable insights. This is a lengthy process through and through. In fact, the data collection process alone can take months, even years sometimes, hence, it is all the more important to start off on the right note. Mind it, Surveying could be cumbersome and non-conclusive if the number and type of questions are not appropriate.
Hence, we have put down steps involved in making a successful market research questionnaire to ask meaningful questions to our audience.
First and foremost, we define our Research Problem & Target Audience
A simple way to define our research problem and target audience is to answer the following questions first.
What is the goal of this research?
What problem are we trying to solve with this data? What sort of decision will this survey lead to? Where will it be implemented?
How will it be useful to the consumers, brands and products? What information do I want from this market research questionnaire and why?
What do I hope to understand about my target audience through this research?
What market is this survey targeting? Which segment is the perfect fit and will help in the decision making process with reliable insights?
While answering these questions, we need to keep in mind the following - the size of our audience sample, the channel, and medium of our survey, and the detailed characteristics of our audience. Several data points with only a handful of them qualifying the characteristics is a waste of resources with no conclusive results.
We can use a few online tools to also build our consumers’ persona as explained in detail in one of our previous blogs.
Divide the information to be collected into Information Areas
After defining our research problem, we put down all the information that needs to be collected and group them in logical heads which are our key information areas. This list needs to be exhaustive, because a single missing piece can lead to an unsolved puzzle in the end and the process cannot be practically repeated. We also make sure that these key areas are not overlapping or contradicting each other.
Let us take an example to understand this better.
For a market research survey conducted to design a marketing strategy for an existing FMCG product, the information areas could be Usage of product, Purchase behaviour , Profile, Perception, and Brand health.
Logically sequence your information areas
After the information areas are in place, we order them as per logic to ensure that the survey nurtures respondent friendliness. The flow of the market research questionnaire is kept such that the respondent does not get mentally fatigued in between, hence, it is also a good practice to keep the questions about the core purpose of the study right in the beginning. Some common criteria to decide this order are chronology, expected bias, and the level of critical thinking.
Some of the common structures that are followed include -
Start asking questions now!
Now, we can start forming questions within the Information areas. An effective way to create questions is to divide the information areas further into Variables and Indicators.
For example, under ‘Category behaviour’ mentioned in the previous head, the variables are ‘Purchase behaviour’ and ‘Usage behaviour’. Furthermore, the indicators under ‘Usage behaviour’ are ‘frequency’, ‘purpose’, and ‘type’.
Within these heads and subheads, the questions belong to two categories - Open-ended and close-ended. When it is important to capture spontaneous answers or when we can’t put together an exhaustive list of responses as an aided list, we use open-ended questions such as ‘what do you particularly like about Product X?’ or ‘What are the reasons for not using Product X?’
On the other hand, Close-ended questions are easier and quicker to answer for a respondent as they have options to choose from. The respondents are given an aided list, which is an exhaustive list of all possible answers. Here, we make sure that the options are mutually exclusive and are not open to interpretation.
We always go for short, simple, and clear questions. For example, rather than asking,
‘Have you used the conditioner at least twice in the last two months?’,
we should be asking ‘Have you used the conditioner two or more times in the last 1 month?’
Similarly, ambiguous questions are avoided because they don’t lead to a thoughtful answer.
Proofing, and Piloting
Now, when we have put down our questions in the market research questionnaire, it is imperative to check for errors and test it once. We examine questions against the initial information areas in terms of completeness and we run a need test (for knowing if there is any question that is not required). Finally, we run it informally to know if the flow works, to check if any contradictory answers are emerging, or if any questions are heavy on the respondents' memory, and to assure the length of the survey is correct.
Before rolling out the market research survey online or online, it is crucial to examine the survey as a whole once. Hence, we ensure to provide context to the respondents in the form of reasons. Also, we set the expectations for the participants concerning length, time taken to complete it and a progress bar within the survey is always a great option.
While these are the steps involved in creating a market research survey, one wise thing to do not just while making it but also executing it is to follow logic and common sense. Remember, a true researcher should always remove his cloak of views and biases before starting to work on a survey because it is more important to know what others think.
Voila, our survey is ready to go!
Reach out to our research experts to know more about how you can create the right market research strategy for your business!
You don’t watch a show on Netflix without doing thorough research about it, do you? Then why compromise on research when it comes to marketing your product or brand digitally. While the internet has taken over the marketing world completely, good market research is still in trend. Market research plays an extensive role in digital marketing. It provides you with significant and vital information, and in a way can make or break your digital marketing campaign. This blog will give you an insight into some top market research tools to help you grow your brand.
But before we move any further into, let us understand -
Market research or marketing research is a technique that is employed not just by market research companies but sole traders as well, to collect information and gather insights about another company/brand’s target audience. If you own a business you would want to know where your customers spend most of their time, what are their pain points and preferences, what pushes them to buy your product, what holds value for them, and so on. Market research helps you to answer all these questions, design better products, and improve user experience. Market research analysts play a key role in market research companies as they are designated individuals who are experts in creating market research reports and essentially carrying out the market research process from start to finish.
Most of us shut our minds on hearing the word research and “geek-shame” it. I just came up with that term, but I am sure you know what I mean. All of us have million-dollar business ideas that we want to bring to life and market research never finds space in that to-do list. But let me tell you obsessing over your customers and getting them to know them up and close, is the only way to win.
Now if you are one of those who isn’t big on research but still wants to leave a mark which is not limited to your carbon footprint, you have landed on the right page. There are so many market research tools out there that will make your lives easier and help you maximize market research efforts. Lucky for you, I have done thorough research on them.
SiteProfiler, from Mangools.com, as the name suggests is one of a few market research tools that analyze websites, and compiles all your competitors' website statistics and SEO metrics in one place. All you need to do is enter a website URL and SiteProfiler will provide you with all the statistics about that website.
It shows all aggregated data - domain authority, page authority, citation and trust flow, rank, and so on. It also provides you with all the backlinks with top referring domains directed to a site.
Along with this, the market research report by SiteProfiler will also show you the top content the site has generated and where their major traffic comes from.
The main advantage of this market research tool is that it also breaks your audience by age, location, gender, interests, and so on. When it comes to competitors, SiteProfiler shows you the competitive landscape of the website along with relevant keywords.
One of the simplest and easiest market research tools that visualize data in the form of charts and statistics, making it extremely easy to decode it. SiteProfiler also has a google chrome extension and hence you can find insightful information about any website as and when you browse.
Other tools to measure statistics - Tableau, Statista
Originally an online search tool, Google trends is also known to be a great market research tool as it allows you to see how often specific keywords and phrases have been searched for over a period of time. It analyses Google searches and provides you with information as to how many searches were made for the particular terms and keywords along with geographical information about the users. It can also be used for comparative keyword studies and to discover spikes caused in keyword search volume due to certain events.
The best part is that Google updates the data on Google trends daily, but I would suggest that you take this information with a pinch of salt owing to the data sampling issues and approximations that might be employed to compute results. One more advantage that makes Google trends one of the more effective market research tools online is that it provides you with real-time data inclusive of the latest trends from across the globe. Many market research companies find the user-interface also extremely easy to use and navigate.
How to use it? Enter a search term in the search box at the top and see how the search volume has varied for that keyword over different locations and periods of time. You can produce more fine-grained data by changing the location, time frame, category, and type of search.
The data found in Google Trends can be used for several different marketing purposes :
Other tools for content research - Flipboard, Slideshare, Google alerts
Answer a series of questions about your ideal customers and this market research tool will generate buyer personas for you. Make My Persona is a free online market research tool by Hubspot that aids your buyer persona research and helps you organize and understand better. After answering a few strategic questions you will be presented with a personalized shareable persona sheet providing you with significant details about your target audience. Research and market to your ideal customers on a platform they spend most of their time on! You cannot get any more specific than this.
How to go about this -
Other tools to get social insights - Facebook and LinkedIn analytics, Social mention
This blog lists a few of the top market research tools available and I urge you all to take out some time and try your hands at each of these tools before you start your online market research as it will help you to identify your target audience efficiently, know what digital areas and platforms you should be active on, study the market, and identify the key influencers. It teaches you to keep a watchful eye on the market while providing a direction to your brand.
And since the digital landscape is changing ever so rapidly, consumer research is extremely vital. Without using the right resources to maximize market research efforts, your business can become lost and more so, become a prisoner of your assumptions. So put on your research hat, channel your inner geek, and get started!
Happy Researching! :)
“Running a company on market research is like driving while looking in the rearview mirror”, says Anita Roddick and we couldn’t agree more. To break down what market research is in a simpler form, it is considered the backbone of any business. When you first think of a business idea or come across a business opportunity it is important to understand the market landscape, who your competitors are in addition to knowing your consumers. The first few months can prove to be precarious to any new business and if you haven’t spent enough time and effort into market research, then you’re not going to have a business model strong enough to ensure that those customers don’t stop coming to you. Let’s look at what market research entails and why it is important for businesses to invest in it.
What is Market Research?
Market research is the simplest and most efficient way for businesses to keep up with the industry trends, identify consumer problems and track realistic competitors while maintaining an edge by sizing up a business opportunity. It isn’t a specific activity or a method, it’s just an attempt for businesses to learn more about their target audience to maintain relevance and longevity of their business. Market research can be carried out in different stages depending on different objectives - for instance, if your business is launching a new product or service, conducting research from the pre-launch stage makes sense as it will help you gain a sense of how your target market may respond to your product/service and help you establish a sound business strategy to grow your brand and leave your competitors behind.
Now that we have a better understanding of ‘what is market research’, let’s look at how it could prove to be fruitful to a burgeoning business and ensure it’s growth and longevity, or simply put - the importance of marketing research for businesses.
In conclusion, all we’d like to say is that if you are a business that’s just starting out, ensure you spend enough time and resources to get a better understanding of the market landscape as it guarantees success and growth. We have put together this article to help you understand what is market research and to elucidate the importance of marketing research for your ambitious business plans.