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Tools And Techniques For Gathering Market Research

What is primary market research ? Basic information is given about the purpose of each type of research. From there, useful, relevant statistics are provided for every type of research. For advanced readers, more detailed descriptions are available for most types of market research.

The primary market research methods are customer surveys, interviews, focus groups,  and observation. The secondary market research methods are also called indirect surveys or investigation methods.The most efficient way to select the right primary techniques is to put an equal weight on all four techniques (you can do this intuitively without measuring it accurately) and then rank order the four techniques by the most efficient to least efficient. For example, if observation falls lowest on your primary scale then don’t consider that method at all. If you like the method of observation based on instinct that does not mean that based on experience you should like interviews more because interview


Market Survey

Market survey is one of the most widely used MR techniques. Market survey is at times viewed as synonymous with market research. This is erroneous. It has to be understood clearly that market survey is just one of the techniques of MR and is not synonymous with MR. It is just one method of collecting the marketing information required for carrying out a given marketing research task.

It is used if the required data is not available from the company’s internal records and from external published resources. It amounts to original field research work for the purpose of collecting primary data. There are two types of market survey -the census survey and the sample survey.

Steps Involved in a Market Survey:

The steps involved in a market survey are noted below. It is worth mentioning that some of the steps will be applicable to the Marketing Research task as a whole, as well as to the market survey technique.

Steps in a Market Survey Planning the Survey:

i. Problem definition

ii. Selection of the survey method

iii. Sampling

iv. Questionnaire development

v. Pilot survey

Personal interviews

Like focus groups, personal interviews include unstructured, open-ended questions. They usually last for about an hour and are typically recorded.

Focus groups and personal interviews provide more subjective data than surveys. The results are not statistically reliable, which means that they usually don’t represent a large enough segment of the population. Nevertheless, focus groups and interviews yield valuable insights into customer attitudes and are excellent ways to uncover issues related to new products or service development.

Telephone Interview

Another method is the telephone enquiry method. This method of survey is extensively used in developed countries. In India, the scope for employing this method is relatively narrow. It can be used for certain types of products.

Mail Interview

As per this approach, the questionnaire along with a covering letter explaining the purpose of the study and seeking the respondent’s cooperation is sent to all respondents in the sample. Obviously, this method cannot be used if the respondents are illiterate.

Questionnaire Development

Questionnaire development is an important part of the market survey job. It is an art that calls for a lot of expertise and resourcefulness on the part of the researcher. The questionnaire should be so structured as to collect all relevant information. It often sets in the framework as well as the tone of the survey. The research data is built up on the framework of the questionnaire. If the questionnaire is faulty, it will generate incorrect information and no amount of analysis and interpretation can set it right. The choice of words in the questionnaire should also be appropriate and should be unequivocally A understood by all respondents.

Field trials

Placing a new product in selected stores to test customer response under real-life selling conditions can help you make product modifications, adjust prices, or improve packaging. Small business owners should try to establish rapport with local store owners and websites that can help them test their products.


Google Keywords Tool

The Google Keywords tool acts as a window into the behaviour of consumers when searching online for products or services such as yours. To use this you’ll need to create a Google Adwords account (it’s free however) and it’s also advisable that you read a couple of introductory articles to the tool and making the most of it.

Client Heartbeat 

Client Heartbeat is a paid-only online survey tool with some advanced reporting features that make it stand out from the competition. For starters, it notifies you when you have unhappy customers. Moreover, you can compare customer satisfaction against your industry benchmark. Likewise, it also offers a testimonial widget to help you display endorsement on your website. While the advanced reporting features make it one of the most compelling online survey tools around, it also costs comparatively higher than survey softwares from other online survey tools. The good news is you can try Client Heartbeat for free for 21 days without any credit card.


Outstanding feature(s): Quick overview of competitors’ position and marketing spend.

This one’s another popular market research tool among the 60 marketers we talked to.

The team at All Phase Media, for example, uses SEMrush to identify marketing trends based on how keywords are used in their market. In Mike Errico’s words, “Our team uses SEMRush which allows us to identify trends in keyword usage across any vertical or niche market.

If we see a trend for a keyword relative to our company, or our clients, we can quickly create content and compete for that keyword.”

Similarly, Beth Cooper of KNB Communications shares, “SEMRush has been super helpful in gaining insight for our business. Everyone is online, so pulling market data by analyzing web traffic around domains and keywords makes a lot of sense.

We are also able to see digital ads domains are running and how much people are spending on marketing. It helps us benchmark our own success, set goals, and refine our marketing tactics and messaging.”


Outstanding feature(s): Easy to use and great data visualization.

An important aspect of marketing research is getting to know your audience and their problem. To this end, talking to them helps, which brings us to the survey tool, Typeform.

Ashley Cummings from Searchlight Content notes it’s great for all businesses irrespective of their size. Talking about her work, Cummings elaborates, “My business is smaller, but I still conduct primary research regularly.

I recently used Typeform to send out a survey to freelance writers that helps other writers benchmark rates. Typeform was perfect for my needs. It was easy to create and distribute a survey.”

Best of all, Cummings shares, “my participants were familiar with the platform, so it wasn’t difficult for them to complete the survey.:

“Typeform also visualizes the data, making it easy to interpret,” Cummings adds. “Typeform also allows open-ended responses for qualitative data, which was helpful for me on questions where I wanted deeper answers.”

Google Analytics

Whilst not technically a wider tool providing market research in its entirety, Google Analytics can provide feedback as to how your customers are behaving whilst on your website. It may show you which products many view, but few buy (or vice versa) and it can illustrate what social media channels your customers are responding to, amongst many other insights.

Google Forms

Google Forms is one the most efficient online survey tools out there, available free of cost. In fact, it’s the only free online survey tool which offers free skip logic features. Immensely popular among Google users, Google Forms offers many attractive benefits including unlimited surveys, unlimited respondents, a wide range of theme options, skip logic and page branching. You can also add your own custom logo, image, videos, add collaborators, and embed surveys into emails and websites. The survey answers are collected automatically using Google Spreadsheets.


When conducting research, most companies choose using one of two primary methods: secondary research or primary research. Secondary research is the most common method, where information is gathered; whereas primary research is more targeted and is typically used to learn about a particular topic or subject. These methods will help you to better understand the marketplace in which you intend to sell your product or service, including determining your pricing.

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