MARKET RESEARCH METHODS: Top 10 Effective Research Methods For Any Business.

Market research methods
Table of Contents Hide
  1. What Are Market Research Methods?
  2. Primary Market Research Methods
    1. #1. Focus Groups Primary Market Research Methods
    2. #2. One-on-One Interview Primary Market Research Methods
    3. #3. Ethnographic Primary Market Research Methods
  3. Secondary Market Research Methods
    1. Public Sources Secondary Market Research Methods
    2. Commercial Sources Secondary Market Research Methods
    3. Educational Institutions Secondary Market Research Methods
  4. Different Types of Market Research Methods
    1. #1. Survey Different Types of Market Research Methods
    2. #2. Social Media Monitoring
    3. #3. Interviews in Different Types of Market Research Methods
    4. #4. Experiments and Trials in the Field
    5. #5. Observation in Different Types of Market Research Methods
    6. #6. Competitive Analysis
    7. #7. Data in the Public Domain
    8. #8. Purchase Research
    9. #9. Examine Sales Statistics
  5. Few Tips That Will Help Businesses
    1. Define the Goal of Your Research
    2. Research Your Prospective Customers
    3. Understand That Knowing Who You Serve Allows You To Determine Who You Do Not Serve
    4. Study Your Competition
    5. Get Your Target Clients To Open Up and Tell You Everything They Know
  6. Which Four Different Research Approaches Are There?
  7. What Are the Six Main Research Tools?
  8. What Does Research Checklist Mean?
  9. What Tools Are Used To Acquire Data?
  10. What Exactly Is a Research Tool?
  11. What Does Research Validity Entail?
  12. What Does Research Data Analysis Entail?
  13. Conclusion
  14. Market research methods FAQ’s
  15. What are the 4 market research methodologies?
  16. What are the 3 main types of market research?
  17. What are the 5 methods of market research?
  18. Related Articles

Research is a way many questions are answered or things are proven to be effective or not. Therefore, we’ll be looking at the methods of market research. Both the primary, secondary, different and types of market research methods. 

What Are Market Research Methods?

Market research methods are the process of determining the viability of new goods or services through direct customer research. Hence, this strategy enables businesses to identify their target market, gather and record feedback, and make wise decisions.

 Moreover, market research methods can also be undertaken directly by organizations or they can be outsourced to agencies with competence in this area.

Additionally, market research can be accomplished by distributing surveys, communicating with a set of people termed as a sample, interviewing, and other similar methods.

Primary Market Research Methods

Primary market research (a mix of qualitative and quantitative data): Primary market research is a procedure in which organizations or enterprises contact end-users or hire a third party to conduct relevant studies to gather information. However, the information gathered can be qualitative (non-numerical) or quantitative (numerical) (numerical or statistical data).

When conducting primary market research, two sorts of information can be gathered. Exploratory and specific. Exploratory research is a type of open-end research in which a problem is investigated by asking open-end questions in a comprehensive interview format, typically with a small set of people known as a sample. Meanwhile, the sample size has its limit which is 6-10 people in this case. Specific research, on the other hand, focuses more and utilizes remedies to the problems highlighted by exploratory research.

As previously stated, primary market research methods are a combination of qualitative and quantitative market research. Basically,  A qualitative market research study collects semi-structured or unstructured data using some of the most often used qualitative research approaches, such as:

#1. Focus Groups Primary Market Research Methods

One of the most popular qualitative research methodologies is the focus group primary market research methods. A focus group is a small group of persons (6-10) who answer internet surveys that are sent to them. Meanwhile, the best aspect of focus groups is that the information can be gotten remotely. Without having to communicate with the group members personally.  However, because it is use to gather complex data, it is a more costly option.

#2. One-on-One Interview Primary Market Research Methods

As the name implies, this approach involves personal communication in the form of an interview, in which the researcher poses a series of questions to the interviewees in order to acquire data or information. The questions are mainly open-end and asked in a way that encourages answers. Further, this strategy is primarily reliant on the interviewer’s ability and expertise in asking questions that elicit responses.

#3. Ethnographic Primary Market Research Methods

This sort of study is undertaken in the respondents’ natural settings. This strategy necessitates the interviewer adapting to the respondents’ native surroundings, which could be a city or a distant village. Unfortunately,  Geographical limits can be a barrier to undertaking this type of research. Ethnographic research might range anything from a few days to several years.

Organizations employ qualitative research methodologies to conduct organized market research by using online surveys, questionnaires, and polls to get statistics insight to make informed decisions.

Previously, this approach uses pen and paper. However, this has now progressed to the distribution of structured online questionnaires to responders in order to obtain actionable information. Researchers typically structure and design their surveys using current and technology-oriented survey platforms in order to elicit the most responses from respondents.

Data is simply collected and reported using a well-structured method. And appropriate action may be taken with all of the information that is made available firsthand.

Secondary Market Research Methods

Secondary market research methods make use of information arranged by outside sources such as government agencies, media, chambers of commerce, and so forth. Moreover, this information is widely disseminated through newspapers, magazines, books, company websites, free government, and non-government organizations. Meanwhile, the following are examples of secondary sources:

Public Sources Secondary Market Research Methods

In secondary market research methods. Places such as libraries are fantastic places to get free information. Government libraries typically provide free services, and a researcher can document available material.

Commercial Sources Secondary Market Research Methods

Commercial sources, while reliable, are also costly. Local newspapers, magazines, journals, and tv are excellent commercial sources of information.

Educational Institutions Secondary Market Research Methods

Even if it’s not a common source of information, most colleges and educational institutions are valuable sources of knowledge because they conduct more research projects than any other corporate sector.

Different Types of Market Research Methods

Below are different types of market research methods on this list. Go through it and choose the ones that fit your business. 

#1. Survey Different Types of Market Research Methods

In survey research, questionnaires are used. Respondents are asked questions in a survey (Be it in person, over the phone, emailed, or an online platform). Moreover, closed-ended or open-ended questions are acceptable. There are several different types of closed-ended questions like

  • Dichotomous (having two options, such as ‘yes’ or ‘no’)
  • several options.
  • Checkbox
  • Scale of evaluation
  • Likert scale (the most common version has five options ranging from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’)
  • The Matrix (options presented on a grid)
  • The demographics (asking after info such as gender, age, or occupation)

Because of the variety of question formats, surveys are extremely adaptable. So,  It requires thinking and effort to know how to blend and combine them to get what you need. Different questions necessitate a different arrangement.

How you present and ask questions is of high importance. A good analysis begins with good questions. Writing straightforward, concise questions that avoid ambiguous terms and do not steer respondents along a specific path will assist your results to represent respondents’ genuine colors.

Meanwhile, there are numerous ways to conduct surveys, including designing your own from scratch or employing programs that perform much of the heavy job for you.

#2. Social Media Monitoring

Social media, which are another different types of market research methods. it has become so embedded in our lives that it is difficult to imagine life without it. Moreover, people freely voice their views, ideas, and hot takes on social media because it is a digital extension of themselves.

Since people share so much stuff on social media, and since the sharing is so immediate, social media is a goldmine for market research. Notwithstanding, there is a wealth of data to be mined and analyzed.

Researchers can find subjects of interest and then evaluate relevant social posts using a social listening tool like Consumer Research. They can, for instance, track brand mentions and what customers are saying about the products held by the brand.

Because of the huge amount of unedited information available, social media listening democratizes ideas and is especially beneficial for market research. Since it is uninvited, you can be quite certain that what is expressed is an accurate representation of what the individual truly cares about and believes.

#3. Interviews in Different Types of Market Research Methods

The interviewer talks directly to the respondent during the interview. This form of market research method is more personal, enabling for conversation and elaboration, and is therefore suitable for open-ended questions. Secondly, interviews allow the interviewer to delve deeper than surface-level comments.

The disadvantage is that interviews can be time-consuming and expensive. Therefore those who choose this strategy must figure out how to efficiently allocate their resources. You should also be cautious of leading questions, or just poor ones that lead to ineffective findings.

#4. Experiments and Trials in the Field

Field tests are carried out in the subjects’ surroundings. Furthermore, they rely on the independent and the dependent variable. Hence, the independent variable is in control by the researcher in order to examine its impact on the dependent variable. The trick here is to determine whether or not there is any causality at work

#5. Observation in Different Types of Market Research Methods

Observational market research is a qualitative research method in which the researcher watches their participants in natural or controlled surroundings. This strategy is similar to being a fly on the wall, except the fly makes notes and later analyzes them. Subjects in observational market research are more likely to behave organically, revealing their true personalities. Moreover, they are not under a lot of strain. They can, however, behave differently if they are conscious of the observation.

This form of research works well in retail since the researcher may observe shoppers’ behavior by day of the week. the season when discounts are given, and so on. Observational research, on the other hand, can be time-consuming, and researchers have no influence over the surroundings they study.

#6. Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis is a very strategic and particular type of market research in which the researcher examines the opponents of their firm. It is vital to understand how your brand compares to competitors. To begin a competitive analysis, firstly define the product, service, or brand, as well as the market segment. There are numerous subjects on which to compare your company to its competitors.

It might be from a marketing standpoint: content creation, SEO structure, public relations coverage, and online presence and interaction. It can also be from a product standpoint: sorts of products, pricing structure, and so on. SWOT analysis is essential for determining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

#7. Data in the Public Domain

The internet is simply a magical place. Public data is available for people who are short on resources or just want to supplement their research with more data. With more data being produced each year, the issue of accessibility and curation becomes more relevant. which is why researchers and librarians are interested in open data.

There are numerous types of open data that can be used for market research. including government databases, polling data, “fact tanks” such as the Pew Research Center, and others. APIs also provide developers with programmatic access to applications. A lot of this information is available for free, which is a huge plus.

#8. Purchase Research

Money cannot purchase everything, but it can purchase research. Importantly,  Subscriptions are available for those interested in purchasing relevant industry and research reports. Sites like Euromonitor, Mintel, and BCC Research sell a variety of reports, generally with the choice of a single user license or a membership.

This can save you a lot of time and give you a better understanding of what you’re getting right away. You will also receive all of your data in a logical format, saving you time and effort in cleaning and organizing.

#9. Examine Sales Statistics

Sales data is a piece of evidence that can assist show the whole picture of market research insights. It basically indicates the outcomes. When combined with other market research data, sales data assists researchers in gaining a more complete picture of action and effect. It’s also critical for knowing your consumers’ purchasing patterns and how they’re evolving over time.

Few Tips That Will Help Businesses

Define the Goal of Your Research

Before you embark on your research mission, consider what you want to do with your firm next. Do you want to enhance traffic to the site? Or do you want to enhance sales? Or do you want to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers?  Identifying your goal will allow you to personalize the rest of your study and future marketing materials. Importantly,  Setting a research objective will help you figure out what kind of information you’ll need to gather.

Research Your Prospective Customers

The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that your company caters to a specific type of customer. So, Identifying your unique consumer has several benefits, including helping you understand what language to use when creating marketing materials. And also how to start building relationships with your customer You can locate the greatest products and services to market to your target consumer if you invest time to identify them.

You want to learn everything you can about your target customer. This knowledge can be gathered by observation and research about the kind of customers who visit your type of business. To begin, knowing their age and income is beneficial. What exactly do they do for a living? What is their marital status and degree of education? These might look like nothing but they are equally important.

Understand That Knowing Who You Serve Allows You To Determine Who You Do Not Serve

Take, for example, a classic instance from copywriting guru Dan Kennedy. He claims that if you create a fine-dining steakhouse focusing on sumptuous food, you already know you’re not going to attract vegetarians or dieters. With this knowledge, you may build more effective marketing campaigns that communicate directly to your target clients.

It’s fine to exclude people from your target consumer base. As a matter of fact, for small firms, recognizing who you don’t cater to can be vital to their growth. The reason you ask? Simply put, if you are tiny, you have the advantage of being able to bond deeply with a particular segment of the market. You want to target the right client who is already likely to spend money on your offer.

Spreading yourself thin by attempting to be all things to all people will only dilute your primary message. Instead, keep your attention on your intended buyer. Define them thoroughly, and you’ll be able to determine how to effectively serve them with your products and services.

Study Your Competition

This applies to both brick-and-mortar and online businesses. Why?  since it helps you to put yourself in the shoes of your consumer and gain a new view of your business. Just take a look around the internet and in your neighborhood. Visit your competitors’ stores if possible. For instance, if you operate an Italian restaurant, dine at another Italian restaurant in your neighborhood or the next township.

Examine what is done properly and badly as you see the business from the customer’s point of view.

Can you identify any areas that require attention or improvement? In comparison, how do you run things? How good is their product and how good is their customer service? Are the customers satisfied? Take a thorough look at their market niche as well. Who else is a customer of theirs? Are they the same folks that spend their money with you? By asking these questions and conducting in-person research, you can actually gain a wealth of information that can assist you in defining your unique sales approach and developing even better offers for your clients.

Get Your Target Clients To Open Up and Tell You Everything They Know

An excellent customer survey is one of the most essential market research tools. Because it allows you to get into the mind of your consumer. However, keep in mind that some feedback may be unpleasant, so use criticism as a tool to guide you on the right path.

It is easy to set up a survey. Inquire about what your customer believes you’re doing well and where you may improve. You may also ask them what sorts of items and services they’d like to see you add, which will provide you with invaluable information on how to monetize your business more effectively. Many clients will be very happy to provide feedback. Finally, customers who complete surveys can even be given a gift. such as a special voucher for their next purchase.

Which Four Different Research Approaches Are There?

Descriptive, correlational, causal-comparative/quasi-experimental, and experimental research are the four main subtypes of quantitative research. attempts to determine the causal connections between the variables.

What Are the Six Main Research Tools?

Research tools are certain methods or techniques that a researcher uses to gather, process, or analyze data. Six standard research instruments: The human intellect, the language, the computer, measuring methods, statistics, the library, the computer’s resources, the computer, and the computer’s software

What Does Research Checklist Mean?

You can determine what you will investigate, why it is relevant and significant, and how you will do the research using a research proposal checklist.

What Tools Are Used To Acquire Data?

A paper questionnaire or a system for computer-assisted interviews are examples of the types of tools/devices that are used to collect data and are referred to as “data gathering tools.” Case studies, checklists, interviews, sporadic observation, surveys, and questionnaires are some of the instruments used to collect data.

What Exactly Is a Research Tool?

A research instrument is what? A research instrument is a device that you can use to gather, quantify, and evaluate information on your research interests. In order to evaluate patients, clients, students, teachers, employees, etc., these instruments are most frequently employed in the social sciences, health sciences, and education.

What Does Research Validity Entail?

Validity. The degree to which a concept is precisely quantified in a quantitative investigation is known as validity. A poll intended to study depression but instead measuring anxiety, for instance, would not be seen as valid.

What Does Research Data Analysis Entail?

Data analysis condenses gathered information. It entails the analysis of acquired data using logical and analytical reasoning to spot trends, correlations, or patterns.


Market research methods use analytical and statistical techniques to collect and analyze information in a systematic manner.

Market research methods FAQ’s

What are the 4 market research methodologies?

Four common types of market research techniques include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and customer observation.

What are the 3 main types of market research?

There are three types of objectives that can be deployed in marketing research: exploratory research, descriptive research, and causal research.

What are the 5 methods of market research?

While there are many ways to perform market research, most businesses use one or more of five basic methods: surveys, focus groups, personal interviews, observation, and field trials.

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