By InterQ Intern Kiana Walden
Our world is overflowing with information and data. It’s no surprise finding insights on your market or audience can be overwhelming.
That’s where market research comes in. It is a way for companies to get answers when they have questions, unknowns, or get stuck. In a perfect world, the market research process would begin before the design process in order to gain insights to shape the design and user experience. After launch, additional research will give companies insights on how their products are being used and what needs improvement. Unfortunately, it takes companies being pushed to the brink for them to realize they don’t understand enough about their customers, product usage, brand perceptions, or user experience.
Whether you’re at the beginning stage or your company is at a loss and searching for insights to guide your next steps, it’s imperative to use proper market research methods.
How will you know which market research method is best? In this blog we’ll break down the steps to help you.
First question to ask, quantitative or qualitative?
It’s best to start by figuring out whether to start with quantitative or qualitative market research (or both). How are you going to figure that out? Ask yourself these questions to guide you towards the best methodology…
Who is your target audience?
If you don’t have the answer to this, then quantitative research will help your team build accurate segmentation categories based on population commonalities.
What is the competitive landscape?
Unsure? A hybrid qualitative and quantitative approach can give your company insights on who your competitors are, pricing strategies, and market sizing by using databases and target demographic surveys.
What is the market need and fit for your product or service?
This is where qualitative research really shines. Using techniques such as in-depth interviews or focus groups, you’ll be able to gain insights from consumers on how they would use your product/service, identify any gaps in the current market, find opportunities, and/or roadmap needs for improvement.
How are customers using your product? Are prospective customers using competitive products?
Qualitative research would be the better approach in this situation- in-depth interviews, or focus groups will give you insights into general product usage trends. However, a hybrid approach using quantitative surveys as well could give a broader look into overall trends.
Are you trying to develop a marketing campaign, but don’t have the strategy document for your creative team?
Focus groups (qualitative research) will find data on consumer attitudes- how they think, use products, and their perceptions. These insights will help your creative team grab the attention of your audience and speak to them effectively.
Do you need to test campaign perceptions, brand awareness, and/or brand lift over time?
Post launch, it’s important to test the effectiveness of your targeting efforts, ad spend, and marketing messages by instituting a longitudinal (every 6 months/annually) brand awareness and perception survey.
Are you trying to find out what people think about your user experience (app, website, or email messages)?
A hybrid approach would give you the ability to assess and test UX. Through screen sharing interviews (qualitative), you can find how customers move through your design flows by journey mapping with customers. These trends can be translated into a survey to see if they resonate with a larger population.
What now? Consultation, proposal, and timelines.
Now that you’ve finished the guide, hopefully you have the tools to create a guideline for your strategy, product, and marketing teams to decide which market research methods to employ to answer strategic business questions. Now it’s time to consult a reputable market research firm to create a detailed proposal and outline methodology, timelines, and cost- your team can then make assessments before you launch your market research project.