What are the best ways to conduct market research?

To conduct market research using any one of the market research methods i.e. surveys, interviews, focus groups, or observational method, it is first important to understand the type of business. What are your business goals? How will the market research information help your business? These are some of the questions that you need to analyze before choosing a research method or method. Below mentioned are some of the best ways of conducting market research.

Create user-friendly questionnaire

If you’re opting for the interview method, make sure that the questions you prepare are easy to understand. People usually don’t have much time to go through complicated questions. Customers will want to answer only when they find relevant questions. No matter whatever questions you’re asking, it should answer you the following:

  • Who are they?
  • What are their goals?
  • What challenges are there for accomplishing these goals?

What you need to avoid here is preparing too many questions. Keep a maximum of 5 questions to get the right answers. It’s better to avoid questions like background, age, etc. Here, the demographics shouldn’t be the first priority. The questions should be based on the customer’s goals.

Observational research

This is one of the most powerful market research methods that involve taking note of a user while they’re using the product in a natural setting without any influences or biases. There are two ways by which you can perform this kind of research- overt and covert. In overt observation, you need to seek permission from your user whether they’ll allow you to watch them while they’re using the product. Covert observation is just the opposite of overt observation. In this, you won’t let the users know that you’re observing them. However, there are limitations to this method. It will work only if the product is of daily use. However, the best thing about this type of observational research is that customers can behave naturally. But in overt observation, the behavior might be different when they know that they’re being observed. So below mentioned are few tips that’ll help you in performing this research in the right way.

  • Use field notes to record the observations along with a timestamp.
  • Record the why, what, and for whom of each of the actions they make

Observational research is one of the purest forms of market research methods; however, you should avoid the following mistakes:

  • No matter whichever observational method you use, do not record any video or audio because the customers might get nervous knowing that you’re making recordings.
  • Make sure you explain to your customers why you want to observe them. This is applicable in the case of the overt observation method.

Individual interviews

Individual interviews are one of the market research methods where you interact with your customers on a one-to-one basis. This helps in a better understanding of the customers. Here are some of the ways by which you can conduct interviews.

  • Do not act like a salesperson. Behave like a journalist and ask general queries about their needs, likings, and disliking.
  • Talk less, listen more.
  • Dig deeper and get answers for ‘why’ and ‘why not.
  • Make a note of the conversation that you had with the customers.

However, do not ask any loaded or leading questions to your customers and also do not ask any opinions on future behavior.

These are some of the best ways to conduct market research methods. Remember it is important to understand the pros and cons of every method to understand how the gathered data will influence your decision-making process.

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