Conducting market research can be highly beneficial for your company. It can be used for many different aspects of your business such as product testing for new product development, and gathering customer insights. There are two different types of market research primary and secondary, both these have different methods of conducting research such as interviews, surveys and government reports.
Primary research is carried out first hand. Surveys, one to one interviews and focus groups are methods of conducting primary research. Primary research can obtain qualitative and quantitative data. Furthermore due to it being created by the researcher the questions can be tailored to the issue the researcher is aiming to answer.
Surveys are a quick and easy way to generate lots of data. They primarily use closed questions that have yes or no answers, however open ended questions can be included. Surveys can reach a large audience due to being easily shared through email and social media. In addition, online surveys also provide automatic analysis of data, therefore increasing time efficiency.
One to One Interview
One to one interviews generate rich in depth qualitative data as they include open questions. They are a useful research method for investigating sensitive topics. In addition to the rich data the reactions of the participants can be recorded. However, one to one interviews are costly due to the time they take to conduct and the analysis of the data. To further this due to the nature of one to one interviews unless multiple interviews are conducted, the results may not be representative.
Focus groups are when a group of participants are assembled to discuss and provide feedback on a product or particular topic. They generally have eight to ten participants and an interviewer asking questions. Focus groups are good for product testing as interviewers can observe how participants interact with the product. Another benefit to focus groups is due to technological advancements these can also be carried out online. In addition due to the open discussion, ideas can bounce of each other as its informal. However due to the nature of a focus group individuals may not give there honest opinion if it differs from the group, reducing the validity of the findings.
Secondary researched is research that has already been conducted. The main types of secondary research are government reports and journal articles. A negative of secondary research is that it has been carried out by a third party therefore it may not fit the requirements of the researcher. Gaining access to secondary research can also be costly depending on the type. In addition reports can also be outdated making them irrelevant. However secondary research is readily available, therefore depending on the circumstance of the situation it could be more appropriate.
Government reports cover a vast array of topics. Also many of these are free, therefore making them accessible for businesses with limited funds. Reports carried out by the government such as Census are updated every decade, therefore comparisons can be made between future and past reports. However due to the research being conducted for other investigation purposes the results may not be generalizable to your target audience.
Journal articles are pieces of writing conducted by experts about research in areas of their expertise. They are written for academic purposes, meaning that they are not always easy to understand. However, the research and findings are credible due to the it being original research. Nevertheless journals are often costly and due to the research being carried out for other purposes it may not be beneficial for business objectives. Furthermore the research is not generalizable unless focusing on a particular topic.