What is market research and how to do it?

market research

Decision making is often delicate. But knowing what market research is and doing it properly can make it so much easier.

Furthermore, in the digital environment, where almost everything is quantifiable, it can even be embarrassing to make decisions without first analyzing data. This usually happens when you don’t even know what a market study is.

Digital marketing is a type of marketing, so marketing study practices, in addition to drawing up the marketing plan itself, are also necessary. They can give you information about purchase intent and other details about your job segment.

Also, you will see in this article that market research is nothing out of this world. The Sebrae, for example, offers affordable and consulting that can help in this process.

But the first step, which is to understand what this type of study is about, must be taken by you.

So we propose, in this article, to give tips on what it is and how to carry out your market research. Good reading!

What is market research?

In a nutshell, market research is the collection of information about a certain market segment with the objective of increasing the efficiency of a company’s business, that is, its viability. The famous benchmarking, for example, which is a survey of competing companies, is part of this strategy.

The best times to do market research are when launching a new product, a new campaign, or significantly changing a strategy.

Thus, market research can provide information such as:

  • Where your current audience or customers search for products or services to consume;
  • Which of your competitors are sought after by your audience (by offering information, more options or exclusive offers);
  • What is or could become a trend in the industry;
  • What challenges are present in the market;
  • What influences purchases and conversions among your target audience.

You can still search in two ways.

In the primary research, your own company sets out to collect the data. This path works well for:

  • Exploratory research: these are open-ended questions, whose answers are usually problems that still need to be addressed in the enterprise.
  • Specific research: seeks answers to previously encountered problems, often through exploratory research.

Already the secondary research is the result of an analysis made by another company, including the government, like the famous IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) or a private company like our Panorama of Digital Business.

Why do market research

As already mentioned, the main benefit of market research is that it tests the viability of an idea. But beyond that, you can discover an entirely new niche or micro-niche and be the only one to profit from it.

Another advantage, when analyzing satisfaction surveys, which are a type of market survey, is the improvement of the teams’ internal and management processes.

Rarely will all your employees give real feedback on the company’s day-to-day activities, but with this study you can get an overview of the quality of service, response time of employees, etc.

Lastly, because there are several types of market research available, the insights you can gain are in different spheres of business, such as:

  • Consumption habits;
  • Brand image;
  • Campaign test (paid traffic).

Step by step market research

After all this talk, it’s time to understand how to do this valuable research. Follow:

Describe your buyer persona

Before understanding how your customers make their purchases, it is essential to know who they are. Buyer persona is the semi-fictitious and generic profile of these customers. So meet around 15 real customers and, from their data, answer the following questions about the persona:

  • What is your age, gender and location?
  • What do you work with?
  • Who do you live with and what is your income?
  • What are your problems and challenges?

Identify a persona group to interact with

Now go the opposite way. From your real customers, see who the people most fit the buyer persona are. They will form your persona group (ideally 10 people). This group would be a kind of sample with the power to respond to market research.

In addition, members of this group should be engaged people — who have evaluated any purchases of your product or service, for example, in the past six months or the year before, depending on your business’s sales cycle.

Prepare survey questions

The elaboration of the questions, normally, also presupposes the use of a discussion guide (even if it is for an individual interview). This script serves as a reminder of the most important questions if the participant cannot answer them all, and saves time.

Remember to ask questions naturally, not scripted. Practice the interview yourself if necessary. However, questions are usually sent via e-mail, which dispenses with these oratory questions.

List your strongest competitors

Based on that persona group’s preferences (and how incisive their questions were), you’ll spot your main competitors. Sometimes they’re not even in your own niche, but they market something extra that ends up competing with your business.

Also, consider your own position on the internet. Company X may not be your competitor, but the blog or YouTube channel might be.


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