Market Research

What is market research?

Market research is a systematic process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting information about a target market, consumers, competitors and the industry as a whole. Market research is the foundation of any successful company and it can be used for a number of different purposes – from identifying a new market to launching a new business.

Market research helps entrepreneurs make well-informed decisions, take the guesswork out of innovation and funnel resources into ideas and projects that hold the most potential. Businesses at different stages of growth carry out market research for different reasons. There is a list of ways how businesses can use market research:

How is market research conducted?

There are two types of market research data: primary information and secondary information.

Primary information is first-hand data gathered from original sources. You either collect the data yourself or hire someone to do it for you, but the bottom line is that you control the process from A to Z.

Secondary information is information and data that has been gathered by others and is publicly available either online or offline. This could be data published in newspapers, reports, journals and so on, or information freely available online. The downside here is that everyone has access to this same information and you have had no control over the collection methods.  

The types of information collected through both primary and secondary sources can be either qualitative or quantitative.

Qualitative information helps you gain a better understanding of how people feel about certain topics, what they think and how/why they make choices that they do. The best sources to collect qualitative information include in-depth interviews, focus groups, and direct observations.

Quantitative information is based on statistics and tends to be more structured. Closed question Questionnaires and surveys fall under this type of information.

Sources of primary market research

Although primary research is often more expensive and time-consuming, it is the best way to get the information that your business needs. The most popular primary research tools are:

Sources of secondary market research  

Often referred to as ‘desk research’, secondary market research is best suited for gathering broad insights into market trends and predictions and analyzing the current situation in terms of competition. The most popular secondary research sources are:

Want to learn more?

Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know!

Justas Markus: CEO & Co-Founder of GetFound XL and a blogger at Entrepreneur.com, Observer.com, Influencive.com and others. Catch up with Justas on Twitter.