Primary market research is the backbone of any successful business. With competition and innovation, as well as evolving technologies and consumer needs, changing industry landscapes seemingly overnight, business leaders must keep their fingers on the pulse of the market around them in order to keep their companies relevant and profitable. Primary market research allows them to gauge consumer behavior and expectations so that they can better understand how to meet and sustain customer demand. Take a look at our ultimate cheat sheet for understanding the basics of primary market research:
Primary market research is research that you or a company you hire to do it for you conducts directly with your customers. It answers questions specifically designed for and about your business.
The Types of Primary Research
Primary market research can be either exploratory or specific. Exploratory research identifies problems, and specific research seeks to find answers for those problems. Exploratory research methods usually involve asking open-ended questions to a small group of people, whereas specific research is usually conducted on a larger scale with more precise objectives geared toward obtaining quantifiable data to solve a specific problem.
Primary Market Research Methods
There are many ways to communicate with consumers and collect data. Qualitative research gives a subjective overview of a topic; quantitative research gives the facts.
Qualitative research methods include:
- Observation – watching consumers to learn how they behave in regards to your product (or one like it). It’s a quick way to gather preliminary information about a subject.
- Interviews – talking with one or more people at a time to answer “who, what, when, where, how and why” questions concerning a company’s consumers and products. There are many ways to interview people, including face-to-face personal and group interviews, as well as via the telephone. The depth of data needed will determine the exact type of method used with more targeted and sensitive information being sought with skilled facilitators asking questions in person rather than remotely.
- Focus Groups – gathering a group of consumers together to discuss their emotions, motivations, preferences and actions within a market and regarding a product. Useful for gleaning multiple opinions in a shorter amount of time.
Quantitative research methods include:
- Polls – asking consumers one question to quickly determine how a topic is viewed by a certain group of people at a certain point in time. Polls are not to be used for making generalizations or predictions.
- Surveys – asking consumers multiple questions that later can be analyzed and extrapolated to a larger group of people in order to predict future consumer behavior. Surveys can be administered in person or over the telephone and Internet, as well as through email and regular post mail. They are more cost-effective than interviews, but do not provide as much explanation or detail.
Need More Information?
All companies need solid primary market research in order to stay competitive in today’s market. But knowing the type of research needed, as well as when to conduct it, can be a challenge. Our team at Communications for Research (CFR) has over two decades of experience creating, administering and evaluating studies meant to increase a company’s profitability, as well as consumer satisfaction. Contact us to learn how we can help you.