It is essential that a business knows what their customers want and need. They should also know what customers can afford and what they do not like. Market research is any activity that a business can carry out to find this information. It helps a business to make better informed decisions and spot any gaps in the market.
Research can be either PRIMARY or SECONDARY.
Primary research is original information found out by the researcher. The main types are surveys, questionnaires, focus groups and observation (e.g. customers can be observed in stores to see if they are enticed by new displays or if they can understand new signage).
Secondary research is data which exists already. The main types are using the Internet, market reports and Government reports.
The data collected during research can be quantitative (which involves numbers e.g. “60% of people said they liked the first colour”) and as a result graphs can be drawn using the data.
It can also be qualitative which tries to work out customers thoughts and feelings about something.
The use of social media in research
You must make sure you are aware of this as it is a very current issue.
Advantages for using social media in market research:
- Cheaper than organising a focus group
- Real time and more up-to-date than other methods which can take months to gather data
- Access to a much larger audience for responses
- Can track trends by searching for popular hashtags and posts
Reliability of data
A business must be sure the data it is using to help it make decisions is reliable and that any findings can be applied to a wider audience.