Market research methodologies are numerous and you have to select the right methodology according to what you want to find out about the customer. Brands can collect a lot of valuable information about their audience and target markets through effective market research.
There is primary and secondary market research where primary research refers to going out to the field and collecting data while secondary research is relying on information that others have collected whether by researched studies, financial data reports etc. This also refers to the examination of collected data in the primary research stage. Paid surveys Australia and interviews fall into primary research. There are also focus groups where you select people out of certain criteria and bring them into a room to ask them questions about certain aspects of the company, products, competitors etc. to get an idea of how the wider customer base thinks and behaves. There has to be a moderator that directs the discussion. You can select people based on occupation, interests, geographical locations, demographics etc. This method can be a little hard to execute as the sample group’s opinions may not reflect wider views. So selecting the sample has to be done carefully and the moderator should have experience to facilitate natural discussion between the participants and direct the flow of the conversation to important topics.
Surveys can be done over the phone, through emails, in person or using online forms. You can use open ended or close ended questions. For close ended questions, you have to go with a rating scale, giving two choices such as yes or no, multiple choice questions, matrix options, checkboxes etc. These surveys can be easily created when you understand what outcome you are going for. You also have to consider how you are asking the questions as this will direct how the customers will respond. You can also use more modern methods of market research by using social media listening tools. People use social media on a daily basis and much of their lives and interests are provided on these profiles. You can use consumer research tools to identify which topics are of more interest to your target customer and track when your brand is mentioned on social media posts.
There are field experiments that can be carried out in the participants’ environment to understand customer behaviour in real life. There are also covert studies where the participants may not know they are being studied and this allows for more accurate results as they are not being influenced in any way. But there are some limitations when it comes to replicating these experiments. Interviews can shed some in-depth information about customer habits as you are directly connecting with the customer. And most of the time, you will be able to go beyond surface level and get to the core of what the customer is looking for and whether their expectations have been met. But this can be a time-consuming process that can be quite expensive as well.