Marketing Basics: Marketing Research Methods

Posted: 02.07.2018

Welcome to our blog!


It's a new year: a great excuse to hone those marketing chops in our ever-changing, dynamic marketplace.

The goal is to review and sharpen the reader's marketing skillset. For this week, let's look at the basics of market research methodologies.

There are 4 basic methodologies, though what is done with the resulting data are multitudinous:

#1. Surveys: Engage a sample group that represents your target market. There are several ways this data is collected: Online or In-Person, Simple scoring ("quantitative") or In-depth interviews ("qualitative").

#2. Focus Groups: Create a discussion with representatives of your target market. These sessions usually take place at facilities with videotaping equipment and an observation room with one-way mirrors.

#3. Observation: Validate individual responses with observed behavior (without the subject's knowledge)

#4. Field Trial: Place the product or service in the live marketplace, but in select locations. Use live metrics (sales, satisfaction, etc.) to determine what modifications are necessary before indroducing the change on a wider basis.

Once a methodology (or mixed-methodology) is chosen and the research conducted, the resulting data are then used to make a business decision or feed "Secondary" sources like Simmons or Nielsen panel.

When trying to choose a market research methodology, consider the following:

- How big of a sample do I need in order to be "statistically significant?". Give this calculator a try.

- What are my key business objectives? I.e., what questions do I have, and how will I use the answers?

- Based on the importance of the business objective, what is my budget for obtaining this knowledge?

I hope everyone has a great week and great year - let's make it profitable too! :)