Market Research
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Market Research is a cornerstone to understanding your customers and potential prospects.  Good market research provides facts as opposed to anecdotal comments from staff  that may not reflect customer attitudes, needs, wants and desires.

The purpose of market research is to provide relevant data to help solve marketing problems a business faces. Conducting quantitative and qualitative market research is the foundation for any successful business. In fact, strategies such as market segmentation and product differentiation  would be impossible to develop without market research.

There are two types market research that gather data.  The first is primary research information that you  compile yourself or hire a market research vendor to gather. The other type of market research is referred to as secondary research data that has already been compiled and organized for you.  Market Research Reports and studies done by government agencies, trade associations, or other businesses within your industry are examples of secondary research.  


Primary research is basically done four ways:

bulletdirect mail
bulletpersonal interviews
bulletfocus groups

When considering which type of survey to use, keep the following costs versus benefits in the back of your mind when making a decision:

bulletMost of the costs are for the printing of questionnaires, envelopes, postage, the cover letter, time taken in the analysis and presentation, the cost of researcher time, and any incentives that are used.
bulletMost of the costs are for the interviewer's fee, phone charges, preparation of the questionnaire, cost of researcher time, and the analysis and presentation of the results of the questioning.
bulletPersonal interviews 
bulletMost of the costs are for the printing of questionnaires, prompt cards,  incentives if used, the interviewer's fee and expenses, cost of researcher time, and analysis and presentation.
bulletFocus Groups 
bulletMost of the costs are for the interviewer's fees and expenses in recruiting and assembling the groups,  conference room or other facility rental charges, researcher time,  incentives if used, analysis and presentation, and the cost of recording media such as videos or audio tapes if used.

Market Research should be integrated within your overall business and marketing plan for your organization.

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Last modified: November 21, 2007