No business can be successful without having an understanding of the needs and wants of the consumers that will buy their products, which is why market research is vital. There are a number of proven ways to tap into a target audience, such as online surveys, face to face interviews or forums. Effectiveness however in giving your particular business the exact answers it needs will depend on choosing the right method.
This guide by leading UK audience insight company crowdology will explore the content factors to consider when choosing the type of market research method that will best suit your business needs
Asking the Right Questions
An effective survey is often largely determined by the types of questions you need to ask your target market. These are the considerations to bear in mind:
Type of Questions
It is important to clarify the following, since this will impact the type of survey you undertake:
- Do you need short answers or in-depth explanations?
- Will it be possible to construct a set of answers to choose from based on understanding the likely responses?
- Do you need personal information or more general opinions?
If the topic of your market research is complex, a short online survey will not get the job done. Particularly if the subject has multiple facets, you will need to branch into sub-questions. In such cases face to face interviews will be optimal since the interviewer can steer respondents in the right directions
The most effective market research is based on targeting the right audience – to do this, screening questions are needed to weed out the consumers that are not relevant to your needs. While this starting point might seem time consuming, it is better to gain feedback from smaller number of people who will buy your product/service, rather than wasting time and money on a large volume of people that will never make a purchase.
Sequenced or Exploratory
Some insight will require a survey which is structured into sequenced questions to gradually gather a full picture, while other studies can be more exploratory. It is important to clarify this.
If you require in-depth, complex insight from your target audience, you will need to factor in the lifestyle of your target audience. For example, face to face interview will not be appealing if a person has to travel far, and a lengthy telephone interview can be tricky to arrange as the respondent will need to clear their schedule and stay seated for an extended period.
The content or subject of your market research will play a large part in the type of survey method you choose. These are the factors to consider:
When choosing people to target for insight, bear in mind that they could seem like the ideal candidates but be unable to provide adequate feedback because they have no knowledge of the subject you will be asking them about. For example, if your survey requires knowledge of current fashion, there will be no point talking to people who do not keep up with the latest trends.
Bear in mind that if the people you need feedback from can only answer questions if they consult certain information, they will need to be forewarned of the survey to be prepared. For example, a telephone survey asking people how much food they spent money on last month would not be successful without first arranging for respondents to have those details to hand.
Although the above points can turn into major obstacles which prevent companies from gaining the consumer insight they need to drive their business forward, experienced market research agencies such as Crowdology have a proven arsenal or tools to tap into the right audience.