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6 Steps to Conducting a Successful Market Research Survey

Market research can help you understand what your target market wants. Knowing who your target market is and what they need enables you to improve the quality of your decisions when marketing to them.

Vase.ai
Vase.ai

Nov 08, 2022

Market research can help you understand what your target market wants.  Knowing who your target market is and what they need enables you to improve the quality of your decisions when marketing to them.

A well-crafted market research survey can be used to access critical demographic information so that you can find out just about anything about your target market. For example, a market research survey can tell you what your customers like about your brand and the types of products they need.

Conducting a market research survey before launching a marketing campaign is essential in today’s highly competitive marketplace. However, in most cases, people still rely on their gut instinct derived from years of industry experience when we all know that guessing and gut instinct are not enough for launching products and crafting the right marketing messages.

To keep current customers and to generate new business, you need the correct data to help you make the most informed decisions.

Here’s what you need to conduct a successful consumer research market survey.

Step 1: Set A Clear Goal

It would help if you had a clear goal when starting your market research survey.

You need to know

  • Why you’re conducting the survey?
  • What you want to find out?
  • Is it to improve products with existing customers?
  • Are you trying to launch a new product and need to know if there’s a demand for it?

You need to know what outcome you’re seeking to get the answers you need for your marketing campaign.

Here is a template that Vase.ai usually gets clients to fill up before getting started on a research. This can also be done together with Vase.ai to get the template filled up.

Step 2: Know Who Your Customers Are

Not everyone will be a customer. Targeting everyone is equivalent to targeting no one. Therefore, you must fully understand who your customers are and where they come from.

Some of the things that you need to know:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Education Level
  • Marital status

Once you find out who your ideal customers are, find out their needs, interests and personalities / psychographics.

Buyer personas can help you find out who your ideal buyer is. Then, when you compile different customer characteristics, you can build different personas to represent your typical customer.

Understanding your target market can help you market more efficiently to your customers.

Step 3: Identify Which Persona Group to Engage

The buyer personas that you create will let you know who your ideal customers are.  Once you have that information, you can use it to identify which group to market to. This should be as specific as possible so that your advertisements and marketing messages are highly relevant.

The group you decide to engage is usually made up of just 1 – 2 profiles of the people who have recently purchased your products.

Here are some tips on getting the right participants for your research.

Identifying the right people for your market research survey

To start off, in the case of a mass market product, such as a bottle of shampoo, reach out to 1,000 people of the profile that you’re marketing to. For example, in the case of a household product, you’d want to reach out to decision makers / joint decision makers when it comes to household products.

Once you’ve built the different personas from the research data, you can then drill down deeper into uncovering more insights from a particular segment.

Select Customers Who Have Recently Interacted with You

You want to focus on people who’ve interacted with your company within the past six months.  If your company has longer sales cycles or is in a niche market, you can focus on customers who’ve interacted with your company within the past year.  Your participants will be answering very detailed questions, so their experience must be fresh.

Gather A Mix of Participants

You want to recruit people who have either purchased your product, bought your competitor’s product and decided not to purchase anything at all. You should compile all the information you need from your customers; getting information from people who are not yet customers will help you develop a balanced view of your market.

Here’s how you can reach out to your target audience:

  1. Using your own database:

Get a list of customers who have made a recent purchase. Get a list of customers who purchased from you within the last six months and filter it for the characteristics you’re looking for. You can do this by using your CRM system if you have one, or you can ask your sales team for assistance.

2.  Use an external database like Vase.ai (important to pay attention to the pool of respondents to see if they’re verified):

Reach out to people who have purchased from your competitor. This gives you a more holistic view of the entire market rather than just your own customers.

Step 4: Prepare Research Questions for Your Participants

For a research to be successful, you need to keep in mind to ask the right people the right questions. In the case of coming up with the right questions to ask, it can be quite tricky as we do not want to introduce any bias by asking leading questions. There are templates readily available with a simple search on Google but if you’re using Vase.ai to run your research, in addition to the templates ready for customization on the platform, you have access to a team of research experts through the chat support.

A tip on crafting the questionnaire – identify the data you’ll need in order to hit the research objective(s) stated in the research brief from Step 1. Work backwards to get the questions you need to ask to get the data.

Here is an example of a question without any bias:

Ask: Which of the following items have you purchased in the past 3 months?

Instead of: Did you purchase [product] in the past 3 months?

Step 5:  Determine How Your Survey Will Be Delivered

With the reach of the internet, online surveys have proven to be the most effective method given its reach and speed to data collection. However, more traditional approaches such as street intercept (where you walk up to a person to get them to fill out a survey), is the more effective approach if you’re targeting a specific area. For example, if the objective of the survey is to learn about the behaviour of shoppers in a particular mall, the best approach would be to talk to people in the mall since it’s really targeted.

With that being said, for a street intercept survey to be successful, you’d need really experienced interviewers so that they know which are the relevant questions to ask a participant rather than have the participant go through the entire survey including the questions that do not apply to them.

In the case of an online survey, an experienced interviewer is not necessary given that most platforms support display logic where participants will only be shown the questions that are relevant to them based on answers provided in previous questions. In terms of getting responses, you can consider consumer research platforms such as Vase.ai where it comes with a proprietary panel of 2.6 million identity verified consumers ready to answer your questions. What this means is that besides having a guarantee on the quality of the responses, you’re able to have a far better reach instead of sending the survey to your circle of friends and family members, which means that the data you collect is skewed towards your circle of consumers.

Step 6: Analyse the Data

When it comes to analysing the data, one common way is to put the respondents into groups based on their demographic profile – age, gender, race, region, household income and marital status. Once the filters are in place, compare the groups side by side to see if there are any key differences between the groups. Another common thing to do is to find the “mean”, where you add up the number of people who select a particular answer and divide it by the total responses. Once this is done, anything that is above the “mean” should be paid attention to.

Consider using tools that are available in the market to aid analysis or to outsource your data analysis to an experienced researcher.

Did you know? Vase.ai’s platform automatically suggests insights to you. Check it out here.

Conclusion

For a market research to be successful, it all starts with identifying the research objective. Once this is done, remember to ask the right people the right questions. At the end of the day, we want to collect data that is actionable.

Ready to get started on your research? Reach out to our experts here.

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