Market research is an integral component of new product development as attested by the relatively slow but steady growth of the industry. In fact, the number of independent market research companies continued to increase in recent years while many other market research firms have evolved into more sophisticated consultancy groups that provide customer satisfaction and impact evaluation among others.
This growth spawned diversified data collection methodologies and analytical tools in market inquiry. Yet, classic approaches remain relevant and important foundations of contemporary market research.
Market research refers to organized activities that help to systematically determine the commercial and economic viability of a new product or service. In simple terms, market research,- whether it’s business to business marketing research or business to customer, aims to establish if a product or service is profitable and can provide evidence for use in strategic business planning.
Generally, market research involves collecting data about the needs, preferences and buying behavior of different demographic categories. Known as market segmentation, this type of research focuses on understanding and categorizing different groups of consumers based on their response to certain marketing actions.
Product differentiation, on the other hand, provides information about potential competition. It seeks to determine the performance of similar products or services in the market or the nature and competencies of other companies that produce similar products and services. The end goal is identifying what sets your products and services from what your competitors offer and highlighting yours as the better choice.
The most common market research method is surveying, a timeless and popular method due to its simplicity and reliability. Surveys are typically short, open-ended questionnaires that can be readily answered by target respondents and may be deployed in a variety of ways such as mail, spot-distribution, or electronic means, with the last item mentioned making it easy and inexpensive to deploy.
One drawback of the survey method, however, is that it can only generate very limited information from a fixed set of questions and potential responses, which is why interviews are often conducted to substantiate survey results. Interviews are one-on-one conversations with targeted respondents or potential users who can provide necessary ‘depth’ to responses, especially for exploratory inquiries.
Focus group discussions, on the other hand, are generally open forum-type conversations conducted among small or pre-set groups of respondents. It is an excellent method for brainstorming, allowing facilitators to extract more information through other means, and for respondents to express their feelings and ideas on the product that otherwise cannot be elaborated in surveys such as suggestions or creative input.
With the advent of the information age, newly-developed technologies provided marketers with novel techniques for conducting market research. Many of these strategies are currently used by market research companies in Singapore, which has become a haven for startups and big names alike in the digital service industry.
The widespread use of information-communication technology (ICT) has provided ways to analyze content and monitor consumer behavior. Social media analytics allow researchers to track the number of likes, shares and reactions to posts, which can be a window to public preferences and sentiments. Utilized properly and with consent, mobile ethnography enables the monitoring of digital media consumption and online buying patterns of individuals.
Interactive platforms are also new ways to gather consumer data and have provided marketers avenues to get feedback through crowdsourcing, research gamification and sensory testing. These platforms allow product designers to validate user and consumer suggestions that can be used for product improvement.
New market research methods are becoming more and more popular since they capitalize on the increasing dependency on internet-based technology among users. However, there are still market research concerns that can only be addressed by more deliberate, precise and specific inquiries. As such, surveys, interviews and focus group planning remain as relevant market research methods since they may be retrofitted for a company’s particular goals.
As it is, the number of proven and emergent market research methodologies today provide a range of options to choose from and combine for more effective results. Digital marketing experts such as Media Manager, a Singapore-based firm, can assist you with your digital marketing research needs. Visit https://www.mediamanager.com.sg/ to know more about options and ideal market research strategies for your needs and objectives.