Accepted and commonly used definition of research implies that this is a systematic collection of information for planning next steps. Under investigation, we can only include qualitative and quantitative research, and more broadly, to include all formal and informal methods of gathering information.
The company (small or large) usually refuses to work research because they believe that is sufficient knowledge of the market, or view it as a waste of financial and human resources. However, it is also true that without a well-conducted research there is no progress because of the quality of business decisions precondition at any moment to know which market you are addressing.
Variability and dynamics of today’s market is not necessary to explain, and on its changes for the most part we have no influence. Evolutionary rule “adapt or perish” always applies in a listening how to customize if you do not know what changes and what areas occur?
A well conducted and, more importantly, properly interpreted, it is necessary to explore the beginning – the formation of the company (no matter how it is entrepreneurs or multi-million company, the difference is only in the size of the needed research), and preferably in the development of new or placement existing product on a market, changes in the design, pricing, distribution methods, and every major step in the life of your company and its products.
1. Define the problem
The first step in creating a good plan of market research is to define its own needs. What do you want to achieve? Your market research aims depend on the decisions that need to make. If you have more than one target, you may need to conduct a qualitative study (for example, through focus groups) to define which issues are primary to you.
Social networks have become very popular study of consumer behavior, this is an excellent channel to include a wider range of people with the subject you want to do. You can create a short survey, even just one question to get feedback on what is most important for consumers and this will help in creating a good questionnaire.
Type of research that you carry depends primarily on the questions that you want to get answers. Consider these four key business areas:
Increasing familiarity with the product or service. If your goal on the market is to know about your product or service, your research will deal with consumer attitudes about the use of products or services, to measure the quality of your relationships with the public and reach and understanding of advertising messages by consumers.
Determination of target groups. If your goal is to determine which part of the population should be targeting, your research might be directed to brand positioning and competitive analysis.
Sales improvement. If your goal is to optimize your marketing message in order to improve sales, your research will deal with the concepts of the product, understanding usage patterns, price products and test ad sales.
Customer retention and extended shopping. If your goal is to increase the sale of the existing customer base and to increase customer loyalty, your research will deal with customer satisfaction and insight into their behavior.
Once you have defined the problem and set a goal, you are ready for the action plan. Prepare a list of actions you will conduct.
2. Create a questionnaire
Most of your questions should be quantitative in nature. Quantified, measurable data will give you the opportunity to influence it in the future. You can use several qualitative questions, but keep in mind that the number of open issues should be limited.
Ask only questions that are relevant to the research goals. By setting the wrong questions you can get wrong answers that lead to bad business decisions.
Know how to ask questions is just as important as what you ask. Avoid leading questions and questions that are sensitive for some respondents, too personal or offensive. Your questions should be simple, specific and direct.
3. Determine sample
Before collecting data, you must specify the sample size and its structure in order to get comparable data.
Sample size. Since we cannot interview the entire population of marketing, create a sample that best represents the population with which we want to do marketing research. If there are variations in your target population or you are interested in finding statistically significant differences between subsets of the sample, the sample size should be adapted accordingly.
In what way to distribute the questionnaire? The choice of research methods is very important for the quality of the collected data. Different methods of data collection carry different restrictions so you should carefully consider your target public and choose the best channel to achieve a sample that represents the public.
For example, if your target group is the elderly, social media and Internet channels cannot be the best option for distribution of questionnaires. Of course, phone or face-to-face survey will be the best option for a survey of your target group.
However, if your target group consists of young and active population, the survey on social networks, e-mail, via mobile phone, it is probably the best choice. It should consider other methods of distribution links with the survey, such as QR codes or web addresses to print brochures or flyers.
4. Analyze the obtained data
Before you do a report and share your results, there are several steps that should be taken to make the obtained data entirely relevant.
Clean the data obtained by the survey. Consider cleaning your surveys. Identify and eliminate the answers that are illogical or inconsistent with other data.
Analyze your data. Analyze the data to determine whether the answers to the questions are in the format that you expect. Unusual trends could indicate a problem with some question or type of questions. If so, you may need to discard this question or start another study to refute or upheld the resulting trend.
Segment your data. Filter data by segment to determine whether there is a logical relationship between the segments. If not, you may need to believe in given answers. Segment your data constantly keeping in mind the goal of the research. You have to be able to understand the most important results you got.
5. Present research results
You are now ready to present and share the results of your research!
Bring strategic business decisions armed with data from the conducted market research, far more reliably is you make decisions concerning the management of your business.
6. Plan your next online market research
Planning of market research can save you time, effort and money in the long run, providing proof that you have correctly determine your target groups that have invested money into an effective marketing campaign and your potential or current clients send right marketing message. A well-designed plan marketing research allows you to make the right tactical and strategic business decisions. And then – go to plan your next market research!
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