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Information to Conduct Advertising and marketing Analysis

Have you ever started an advertising campaign with high hopes to be disappointed with the results? Or how about launching a new product with great enthusiasm just to find out that the market wasn't interested? These situations occur in business life. And this is where market research makes a difference.

If you have big goals, market research can help your company take the right steps and not waste time and money on the wrong ones.

Not only that, but market research can help you win happier customers. For example, 94% of guests choose a restaurant based on online ratings, according to a study. Another study found that 82% of customers expect an immediate answer to a sales or marketing question. If you know these types of facts, you can implement the processes and tools to delight the customer and attract new ones.

In this article, we define what marketing research is in plain text, including the different types of market research. You will quickly and easily learn how to conduct market research, which techniques work best and how to use existing third-party information. The ultimate goal is to succeed.

What is market research?

Market research is the process of gathering information about prospective customers, customers, market size, competitors and more. Companies use this information to develop products and services, set prices, increase lead flow, increase sales, improve customer satisfaction, and develop marketing and advertising campaigns.

If you take nothing else from this market research definition, think of one thing: data is the basis of a company's marketing strategy. Research is the starting point that directs your marketing in the right direction.

Market research prevents you from responding to incorrect assumptions or consistent advice and making costly mistakes. In a world of trial and error, market research does more with less error.

Types of Market Research

Marketers use two different types of research: primary and secondary research. Whether you know the terms or not, you probably know both.

Let us first consider primary research. Primary research refers to the process of collecting data that has not yet been collected by another party. In other words, primary information is simply information that you discover and collect yourself. When people share their experience with your company or their satisfaction with your product or service, this is the most important information. Primary research includes the following:


Surveys ask people questions that they can quickly answer to reveal their opinions, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. Companies are conducting surveys by post, by phone, or increasingly online today. Surveys are one of the most common research methods for a small business.

Personal Research

Personal research involves talking directly to a consumer, potential customer, or existing customer – and includes:

  • Interviews – These are one-to-one interactions to delve deeply into the reasons that determine the respondent's beliefs. Interviews are relatively inexpensive and can involve simply calling a customer.
  • Focus groups – A focus group gathers 5 to 10 people in a group to provide feedback. Focus groups are expensive and really require an experienced moderator to get unbiased information.
  • Ethnography – Ethnography simply means interactions with others in their natural environment. A common method is "flying on the wall", in which a researcher quietly observes someone in a store or while using a product. A digital method uses heat maps to test where a visitor's attention lingers on a website.

Other Marketing Research

  • Diaries – People track their behavior to see how they interact with your products or services.
  • User Tests – Users test and give feedback on how they experience your product or service in real time. We have all seen examples of this in television advertising: the blind taste tests.

Primary methods like the ones above have many uses, but small businesses find them invaluable in two situations. First, small businesses use it when trying to uncover the true user experience with their product or service. Second, they use primary methods when they need to understand how their customers feel about their company.

Next, let’s look at secondary research. Secondary research uses information that has already been collected by another party. A lot of secondary information is online research and free or inexpensive. Examples are:

Government research

  • USA. Census data (a good place to start is Census Data Gems).
  • Information from government agencies such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, FEMA or SBA.

Research by third parties

  • Research reports (not your own) or information collected by other companies. Example: A research diagram from eMarketer.
  • Secondary data from trade associations such as the National Retail Federation. It publishes industry statistics and studies.
  • Information provided by special digital tools. One example is Google Trends data, which shows trends in public search.

Market research examples

What exactly do you use marketing research for? There are hundreds of uses. Only 15 examples are listed below:

  • Identify Revenue Opportunities – Research may reveal customer segments you have never considered, or the ability to cross-sell or up-sell. You can also identify new industries that are ready for expansion.
  • Set Prices – Research may show whether your prices are high or low compared to the market. Research could show that price increases are justified.
  • Take advantage of competitors' weaknesses – Learn what the market hates about your competition so you can compare your brand and convince potential customers.
  • Identify Competitor Strengths – Find out what the market likes about your competitors better so you can hit or beat them.
  • Spot Trends – Trends may indicate new technologies.
  • Improve Reputation – Your company may discover a reputation problem due to poor online ratings that your team has to overcome.
  • Write successful marketing messages – Research can reveal which advertising messages appeal to your target market.
  • Identify a New Offer – Changing habits, tastes, and needs can trigger ideas for products or services.
  • Enthusiastic customers – Customer expectations can deviate from your assumptions, and studies show what is important.
  • Demonstrate the Authority of Industry – Find out what your target buyer appreciates and how he wants to deliver it to him.
  • Test Concepts – Ask the public if a brand name appeals to you and test concepts before you start.
  • Determine the most important influencing factors. – Determine who has influence over buyer decisions so that you can combine and use the influence.
  • Increase digital presence – Rate your visibility on search engines and social media. Identify ways to get a bigger footprint.
  • Identify Product Features – Research helps you with your development efforts by suggesting the quality value proposition at every stage of the product life cycle.
  • Improve Your Website – Collect data about what makes potential customers aware of your website. Identify elements they love and discover why they convert.

Market Research

After we understand the importance of market research, the steps to conduct the research are straightforward. Here are seven market research steps:

1. Identify your goals

Start with your goals. Write down what market research information you want to collect and how you will use it. Be specific about the challenges in your company. Some example goals are:

  • Compare competitors' prices to see if your company has room for price increases.
  • Increase word of mouth by improving customer service levels.
  • Identify your ideal potential customers so that you can tailor products and services to their needs. Provide age, gender, location, income, and specific problems your customer wants to solve. Create customer personalities to control your sales work.
  • Isolate the news that works best for an advertising campaign.
  • Size of the market before developing a new product or starting a new company.

2. Choose a type of research

Choose the type of marketing information required to achieve your goals. Start with these simple steps:

  • Primary or Secondary? Decide which type gives you the information needed for your goals.
  • If primary, determine the format. For example, you can invite current customers to participate in interviews. Ask your social media followers to take an online survey. Or try a service like Google Surveys to get answers from consumers and the public.
  • If secondary, determine which sources should be examined. Always check first if government research has what you need. Google searches direct you to other secondary information, including industry organizations.

For more information, visit: 21+ market research tools .

3. Conduct the research

Now it's time to actually do the research. The best way to know what people think is to ask them directly. In this section, we focus on the three main ways to get customer research: interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

Customer survey

Customer interviews can be conducted by phone, in person or using one of the many web-based tools.

Talk to 10 to 15 people to make sure you get feedback that is representative of your target audience. Request 20 to 30 minutes to speak at a mutually convenient time. Be prepared for your questions in good time.

Ask respondents if they give you permission to record the interviews so you can refer to them later. Alternatively, you can take someone with you to take notes.

Remember not to coach people or to get answers that you want to hear. They want their honest feedback. Don't respond to what they're saying. Your job is to collect your thoughts and not correct any assumptions or perceptions that you may disagree with.

Holding Focus Groups

A good focus group size is 8 to 10 participants.

Conduct focus groups in person or online with apps that are suitable for this purpose. Many local libraries and community centers have rooms that you can use inexpensively or for free. Trade fairs and conferences also offer the opportunity to conduct interviews and focus groups. You can also use online conference tools to facilitate this group interaction.

Start the group with self-introductions. Let everyone know that all opinions are valid and there are no wrong answers. Then lead them through a discussion that you prepare in advance.

Limit the session to no more than two hours or even 90 minutes. This should be enough time to gain insight while giving everyone the opportunity to express their opinions.

Conducting surveys

Surveys are great for collecting customer feedback. Nowadays, most customer surveys are conducted online using a professional survey tool. Simply set up a survey and email a link.

Add questions to collect demographic or firmographic information such as zip code, age, title, gender, industry, frequency of purchase, etc. (but skip everything you already know). This helps you to analyze the data specifically.

Then ask your questions.

After gathering the information, take the time to isolate trends and segments. Most survey software today generates beautiful charts and graphs. But you have to study them and maybe do a deeper analysis than the standard charts offer.

You can also interview non-customers. This option is ideal if you need industry data or general consumer input. Many survey software packages also provide access to a survey panel of non-customer respondents. You have to pay for responses from non-customers. Survey prices vary for answers:

  • Consumer samples are usually relatively inexpensive, maybe $ 1 per response, although the costs increase as your requirements become more specific. For example, surveying consumers over the age of 25 is one price, while surveying men between 35 and 44 who have children is another price.
  • For comparison, Google surveys start at 10 cents per answer for just one question, but this number can be up to $ 10 per completed survey if you want 2 to 10 questions. If you want respondents to be screened for specific audience characteristics, this will cost more.
  • Business-to-business responses are more expensive than consumer responses. It could cost up to $ 100 per completed executive survey.
  • If the budget is challenging, check if you can trade with another organization with a large membership. You can improve the performance behind this "question" by working with other companies like your vendors to see if they join you in making this request.

Best Practices

When starting exploratory research, follow these best practices:

  • Pretest. Do a trial run of a customer interview with someone on your team in an RPG. Ask some colleagues to take a survey as a test. This contributes significantly to making questions understandable and information useful.
  • Respect the time of the respondents. Keep the interactions short. For example, it is better to run a branched survey where respondents see relevant questions based on previous answers only rather than forcing them to go through a dozen irrelevant questions. People quickly lose interest if they feel that they are taking too much time.
  • Use simple language. Use vocabulary that the respondents recognize. At the same time, adjust your questions to get specific answers. See: 75 questions on market research .
  • Follow in the customer's footsteps. Ask questions that make sense from your customer's perspective. For example, instead of asking a technical question about your software configuration process, ask the customer how long it took between opening an account and starting using your software.

Time and Skill

Before you begin, record the research process so that you are aware of the effort, time, and money. Small businesses tend to underestimate the amount of time and distraction from other priorities.

Also consider whether you have the skills for the research process internally. For example, do you have the ability to develop a survey, attract respondents and analyze the data in depth? What about time A professional researcher may be able to complete the project in a fraction of the time of an unskilled employee. In the end, it can be faster and cost less.

Primary research can take between 1 and 3 months.

Secondary research is faster, but sets a time / hour budget. Keep in mind that it takes some time for someone to find, analyze and collect the secondary data. Set a certain number of hours per week for secondary sources and then stick to this schedule. Don't fall into "rabbit holes" because there are so many sources.

4. Analyze and summarize

You have completed market research – what now?

Good companies often stumble here. For example, you spend a lot of time on a survey, but then the survey sits. You only look at a few diagrams.

The best data is useless if it is not analyzed properly. Analyze the data, draw conclusions and take evidence-based measures. Your research may identify new opportunities or suggest that you should not take action that you are planning. Think of a list of action items based on the data.

Summarize the results in a report. A report makes data usable internally. You and your team will forget the details a month later, so you need to be able to access something.

5. Integration into your marketing plan

Integrate the research information into your marketing plan. Here are two examples.

Example 1: Company A used research to successfully adjust its marketing approach for a product launch. Research on social media showed that consumers responded to certain messages and not others. The company has optimized its marketing messages to better convey the benefits consumers wanted to hear about than the benefits they thought were important.

Example 2: Company B conducted focus groups and found that instead of a single target market for the product, the market actually consisted of a few segments, each with different needs. The customer was able to change their content marketing plan to target each segment with more meaning rather than a unified plan.

6. Adjust internal processes

Share the market research with your team and look for their ideas. Identify and implement some actionable steps.

Market research could indicate that your processes and procedures need to be revised. For example, you may need to rethink your customer complaint handling method. You may need to fix reputational issues like years of bad reviews. Or, you may have to redesign your products to meet competitor offerings when your current added value is low. Let's look at two examples.

Example A: After a focus group, company Y found that some of the services offered were highly valued, but others were not. The company was able to shift efforts and resources to the services customers wanted most.

Example B: Company Z observed some business customers using their product in their offices and found that customers in certain industries used the product in an unexpected way. Company Z received testimonials specifically mentioning these use cases, and sales in these industries increased.


We hope this guide has helped you understand market research in business. Most small businesses and startups could be more successful if they did simple exploratory research before launching a product or starting a business. Regardless of your budget or staff size, research will make your company more proactive and results-oriented, with decisions based on facts to drive your growth.


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