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Market research tips

businessmeeting26251473.jpgPart of building a strong customer base and developing products your customers really want to purchase is to do market research. Market research can be done independently or you can hire a market research company. If you choose to hire a company, you will pay a large fee as this industry makes over $10 billion annually. Market research firms are one of the fastest growing industries in the world right now. The reason for this is because companies need market research firms to help them develop stronger relationships with their customers.

The benefit of market research firms
One of the nice things about having market research firms collect the data for you is because they have lists provided to them by the federal government as to which households have requested their number to be removed from phone lists. Having this information will protect you as a business owner if you are trying to contact your target audience individually. These individuals can lash out at you and many of them will report you if you are calling while their number is on the do not call list.

Market research firms provide you with reports from the information they are able to collect. The reports consist of information about industry trends, market demographics, competitive analysis, and issues pertaining to your particular industry.

Types of market research
There are 2 basic types of market research, primary and secondary. With secondary research, you are obtaining generalized information about your industry. Secondary research is usually done for another business and you are able to use the information to your advantage. With primary research you are gathering new information that is specific to your industry and the needs of your company. Primary research is more expensive but it is tailored to your business, allowing you to create better products and services for your customers.

Market research forms
When it comes to gathering market research, you will use a qualitative or quantitative method to collect the information you need. When you use a qualitative approach, you are using focus groups to collect the information. Many times you are asking questions or holding interviews with your customers to find out what their opinions are. Here are some tips on the qualitative approach:
1. Ask open-ended questions. These questions are not going to be yes or no answers as they are questions that will cause the customers to think a little bit and then answer with additional information. This provides you with plenty of information to use in order to develop better products or services. The downside to this type of market research is that you can literally spend hours talking to your customers to collect all this information.
2. Focus groups. This is one of the most common types of market research as it involves hiring a company to gather the information you need. The market research firm will bring in about 12 people and ask them a number of questions pertaining to your products and services. Focus groups are actually the cheapest form of market research and they do help you gather some of the best information.

The quantitative method of market research involves numerical information. You will analyze this information using surveys that take some time to develop. The surveys are easy to administer as you can create them and send them out to survey firms with a list of qualifications for each applicant that takes the survey. The surveys should only take a few moments to complete in order to get people to actually take them. You can administer surveys on your own by sending them out to your customers or you can contact your customers via telephone to gather this information.

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