“Seeing is believing.” It’s a saying that holds particular meaning for ambitious companies, as customer observation is often the only way to tell how and why and when customers really use a product. By meeting up with consumers in their own environments – the places in which they live and work and shop – you can push past what they say they want and need and do and see the reality firsthand instead. Fieldwork market research, in this way, distinguishes itself from other types of market research by illustrating actualities rather than perceptions.
What is Fieldwork Market Research?
Fieldwork is basically the process of getting data directly from external sources (such as the customers mentioned above, but also competitors, distributors and/or industry experts). It allows you the opportunity to directly observe, and oftentimes interact with, members of a target population and includes research techniques like mystery shopping, user experience (UX) testing, ethnographic studies, interviews and more. While fieldwork market research can reveal some quantitative facts (such as demographic characteristics), it is most often used to uncover insights via qualitative examination. This leads to a better understanding of market behavior as it removes a level of interpretation (either your own or your subjects’), thus reducing the likelihood that results are misconstrued. Fieldwork market research exists in contrast to secondary research reports and other types of primary quantitative and qualitative measures that evaluate respondent opinion remotely but don’t explicitly monitor respondent behavior face-to-face, making it a critical task for companies to undertake if they want to truly customize their own products and services to maximum benefit.
Why Fieldwork Market Research is Important
A company’s success depends on its ability to identify and respond to a market’s need. The thought is that if you understand consumer need, then you can design products, services, policies and research projects that support that need, thereby generating a profit of some sort. We believe there is no better way to understand people than by watching and connecting with them in real time and in real circumstances. Direct observation enables you to identify the things you are doing well and the things upon which you could improve with the littlest margin of error. It’s much harder to misinterpret something you’ve seen firsthand than something you’ve heard secondhand. After all, you have control over data collection and analysis and are fully informed of potential biases because they are all your own. In this way, fieldwork market research provides you with the ability to amend your business practices, as well as your research strategies, according to a methodology that is totally focused on your own specific customers and partners. It’s a benefit that affects your bottom line. With the data you glean from fieldwork market research, you can better meet the needs, habits and budgets, not only of your customers, but your partners, too. And you can design a research strategy around only the most pressing issues going forward, saving you time and money.
Want to Learn More?
Fieldwork market research is a vital part of a company’s research strategy because it can highlight how the people in your own business sphere shop for, buy, use and talk about your specific products and services. In turn, you then have the necessary data to create additional research projects that explore the problems and opportunities that mean the most to the people you serve. Our team at Communications for Research can help you meet your customers, colleagues and business partners where they live and work and shop, getting you the information you need to make fully informed decisions that are tailored to your own business objectives. Contact us today.