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Market Research Blog

Updates from CFR

4 Common Types of Market Research Surveys & When to Use Them

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/23/2017

market research surveysPeople who live in extreme northern and southern parts of the globe have dozens of words for snow, because there’s far more than meets the eye (or can get packed into one heck of a snowball or snowman).

In the same manner, market research professionals have several ways to describe market research surveys. Below, we highlight four of the most common and highlight when using them makes the most sense:

  • Brand Awareness Market Research Surveys

This type of market research survey is used to help businesses understand how their brand is perceived and positioned relative to others in the marketplace and industry. At the same time — and just as valuably — these surveys help businesses determine whether their brand messaging is optimized, or needs to be calibrated (or sometimes overhauled).

Ultimately, the business intelligence gleaned from brand awareness market research surveys is used to gauge and improve purchase intent among both existing and new customers.  

  • Customer Satisfaction Market Research Surveys

Customer satisfaction is one of the most deceptively elusive things to identify — because many customers themselves proclaim that they’re happy (or at least, they don’t declare that they’re unhappy) right before they switch to a competitor.

The core challenge here isn’t that customers lack self-awareness, or that they don’t want to reveal to a business how they truly feel deep in their heart of hearts. Rather, it’s that there is a big difference between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The former refers to a customer whose expectations have been met: i.e. they are not miserable or angry, and are not seeking to return their purchase (or dissuade others from making a purchase). The latter refers to a customer who actively identifies with a business and a brand, and is willing to lean forward and make more purchases (and persuade others to do the same).

As such, customer satisfaction market research surveys help businesses identify which of their customers are loyal and leaning forward, and what they can do to increase the ranks of this highly profitable group of active customer stakeholders and brand evangelists.

  • Product-Based Market Research Surveys

While there is overlap between brands and products, there is separation as well — and product-based market research surveys help businesses understand how their products are being used, in what ways they meet or exceed expectations, and in what ways they fall short and could be improved.

Indeed, customers can be an incredibly valuable and insightful source of improvement data, which can often lead to new product development.

  • Competition-Based Market Research Surveys

Most businesses have “notes” on their competition, and some have more sophisticated scans and analysis (complete with feature-by-feature comparisons, and talking points for sales reps to emphasize advantages and mitigate weaknesses).

However, trying to glean information about the competition from third party industry reports, and also from competitors themselves (marketing material, product documentation, etc.), may not — and usually does not — tell the full story: because it’s ultimately customers who determine what the competitive landscape looks like.

To that end, competition-based market research surveys help businesses connect directly with customers to glean how they perceive competitors, and what their preferred buyer’s journey looks like before, during and after a purchase.

Learn More

At Communications For Research, we develop multiple market research surveys — including but limited to those above — to help our clients make smarter, faster and more profitable business decisions. To learn more, contact us today and you’ll speak with our co-CEO Colson Steber to decide which surveys you need to achieve your business goals.

For more information on how to use market research online surveys successfully, download our FREE eBook:

market research online surveys

Topics: market research

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