Market Research Techniques: What’s (actually) effective in 2024
Market research techniques have been indispensable for businesses globally, helping them source fresh consumer insights and market trends. The onus of consumer satisfaction lies with businesses. While this may come as an intuitive thought, it does explain their reliance on market research techniques to fill in market gaps and unlock new levels of consumer satisfaction.
The utility of market research in the corporate space is undeniable. With this blog, we plan to uncover some new market research techniques for 2023 and talk about the benefits of integrating new technologies like emotion AI in the research space.
- Why are Market Research Techniques Important for Businesses?
- Avenues for Market Research
- How can Emotion AI Help in Market Research?
Why are Market Research Techniques Important for Businesses?
Market research is the compass that guides businesses through the dynamic and often unpredictable modern marketplace. Its importance cannot be overstated, as it serves as the foundation upon which companies make informed, data-driven decisions. Market research allows businesses to understand their target demographics, competitors, and market trends, ultimately helping them strategize and position themselves in the right direction.
At its core, market research allows companies to maintain a customer-centric approach. It is about getting into the minds of the consumers and identifying their pain points and desires. In a world where customer-centric businesses are 60% more profitable, it’s evident that prioritising the customer’s needs is the right thing to do. By using advanced models like segmentation-targeting-positioning (STP), companies can tailor their products and marketing strategies to cater specifically to their customer segments.
By understanding their target audience’s demographics, interests, and behaviours, businesses can meticulously choose the right marketing channels and craft content that resonates with these specific groups. And by testing concepts and verifying the demand for a product or service, market research helps reduce risks. It prevents companies from investing heavily in ideas that may not have real potential.
Competitive advantage in the market is another key outcome of market research techniques. By understanding their customers better and focusing on unmet needs, companies can outperform competitors and target underserved market segments. This makes them more competitive, agile, and in tune with the ever-evolving consumer landscape.
Market research techniques also allow companies to stay ahead of trends. It offers valuable insights into emerging consumer behaviours, preferences, and industry developments. In industries where trends shift rapidly, such as fashion and technology, market research is indispensable. It ensures that companies keep pace with the changing times and consistently deliver products and services that resonate with the current consumer.
Avenues for Market Research
There are two primary avenues you can source research data from-
1. Primary Research Avenues
Primary avenues are a more direct way of sourcing fresh consumer insights through direct interaction with the consumers. Some examples of this would be one-on-one interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Companies usually pay a research institute or organisation to use these market research techniques and unearth fresh insights from the market.
2. Secondary Research Avenues
Secondary research avenues offer research that has already been completed by other organisations. For instance, Grand View Research is one of the best research organisations that offers research data to companies from the S&P 500.
9 Powerful Market Research Techniques for 2023
Listed below are the 9 best techniques for market research that companies can truly rely on to grab the changing market wave and ride it in 2023.
Qualitative or Direct interviews are one-on-one interactions between a moderator and a participant. It focuses on exploring and understanding people’s experiences, perceptions, attitudes, and in-depth behaviours. This research method aims to uncover the underlying motivations, feelings, and cultural contexts that drive human actions. Qualitative research is often used to answer “why” and “how” questions rather than “what” or “how much.”
2. Focus Groups
Focus groups are one of the most popular market research techniques. It is a research method that involves a small, carefully selected group of participants discussing specific topics, typically related to a product, service, or idea. The purpose is to collect qualitative data and gain insights into the opinions, attitudes, and reactions of the participants. A trained moderator guides these discussions, ensuring they remain focused and productive. Focus groups are used to better understand the perspectives of a target audience and can be valuable for market research, product development, and gauging public opinion.
3. Ethnographic Research
Ethnographic research is a qualitative research method focused on the systematic study of people within their natural environments to gain a comprehensive understanding of their way of life, cultural practices, and their interactions with their surroundings. This research approach offers a detailed, in-depth account of a social setting from the perspective of the participants involved.
Researchers conducting ethnographic studies typically immerse themselves in the community or group they are studying for an extended period. This immersive approach allows them to gain valuable insights into social interactions, behaviours, and practices. Data collection methods in ethnography include participant observation, face-to-face interviews, and in-depth conversations.
Observations or Observational research is one of the simplest market research techniques. It is a qualitative approach focused on studying individuals and phenomena in their natural environments. Unlike controlled settings, such as laboratories or focus groups, this method involves observing and documenting subjects’ behaviours and reactions as they naturally occur.
The key principle is to minimise interference, ensuring authenticity in data collection.
Observational research includes multiple techniques, including naturalistic observation (unobtrusive observation), participant observation (researchers actively participate while observing), and structured observation (observing in controlled environments to study specific behaviours). Researchers choose the most appropriate method based on their research goals and the level of control required.
Surveys are structured methods of collecting information or data from a group of individuals by asking them a series of questions. These questions can be delivered through various mediums, including paper and pencil, online forms, telephone interviews, or face-to-face conversations. Surveys are usually conducted to gather data that represents the surveyed group, allowing researchers or organisations to make informed decisions, draw conclusions, or understand trends.
Key characteristics of effective surveys include clear and concise question design, impartiality, and avoiding leading or biased questions that might influence respondents’ answers. They are a valuable tool for businesses and researchers to gain insights into customer preferences, employee satisfaction, market trends, and a wide range of topics.
6. Field Trials
Field trials are one of the market research techniques often used in healthcare circles to test the efficacy of medicines. These trials are designed to evaluate prevention strategies, health education methods, training procedures, or other public health programs. They are distinct from clinical trials in that they involve individuals who are not patients suffering from the disease in question.
The key distinction lies in the fact that field trials focus on individuals who have not yet contracted the disease being studied. These trials aim to assess the effectiveness of preventive measures rather than treatment protocols. Field trials play a significant role in public health and epidemiology by providing insights into the impact of interventions on populations considered at risk for specific health issues.
7. Competitor Analysis
Competitor analysis is a systematic process of evaluating and scrutinising the strategies, strengths, weaknesses, and performance of rival companies or brands operating in the same industry. It offers you insights on questions like how your business fits into the larger competitive landscape.
At its core, competitor analysis involves in-depth research into the products, services, branding, and marketing approaches of your competitors. It goes beyond merely recognizing who your competitors are; it delves into the specifics of their business activities, which can provide invaluable lessons for your growth and success.
8. Purchased Data
There are instances where companies don’t have exorbitant funds to conduct primary research themselves, that’s when the secondary avenue proves to be useful. Companies can buy research data from organisations for a one-time fee or subscribe to a monthly service, where they get access to fresh research across sectors every month.
9. Public Data
Public data in market research refers to information and data that is publicly available and accessible to anyone. This data is typically not proprietary or confidential and can be obtained from research centres, government databases, polls, academic publications, and publicly accessible online resources. It is one of the most valuable market research techniques across corporate circles, as it does not require any capital.
How can Emotion AI Help in Market Research?
Traditional market research techniques such as the ones mentioned below sure are great, but there is one problem with the insights drawn from such techniques. There is no way to verify the authenticity of the responses from these market research techniques.
Consider this for instance, when a company or an organisation conducts a survey and incentivises participation. The participants have a natural inclination towards the incentives rather than offering genuine insights in that survey, and most participants rush through the survey without paying heed to the questions, just for the sake of the incentives. Now, the quality of the insights drawn from such surveys is often questionable.
The same goes for every other market research technique out there. This is exactly what emotion AI solves. Emotion AI is a subset of AI that can record, interpret, and analyse human emotions using advanced tools like FACS, voice transcription, visual tracking, and conversational intelligence. We have a detailed blog on how emotion AI can revolutionise market research that you can read here.
When organisations use emotion AI with traditional market research techniques, the quality of the insights drawn from these techniques is richer and more authentic, because one now has the option to remove unauthentic and insincere responses from the insight pool and work with genuine responses.
For instance, organisations can use Insights Pro to analyse live interviews, focus groups, or surveys and the software will break down the entire interaction into individual frames and extract emotional insights from every frame using facial coding analysis. One can easily access, download, and share these insights from the dashboard. You can book a free demo here to explore all the features of the product.
Market research offers inherent benefits and organisations have been relying on them to fill market gaps for decades now. However, the veracity of the insights drawn from conventional market research techniques like surveys, focus groups, and interviews is questionable since humans can choose to be dishonest.
Emotion AI helps solve this and facilitates richer insights and in turn directs more powerful actions helping organisations achieve the same results more quickly. The future of market research is taking a new form and emotion AI offers the scaffolding for this exciting metamorphosis.