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How to Do Market Research

Market research can help you learn about your audience and competitors. Check out this guide to learn how to do effective market research.

Whether you are making a new product or introducing a unique service, market research stands out as a crucial step of its launch. It not only helps you understand the needs of your target audience, but also allows you to know what type of solutions competitors are offering to your potential customers.

If you don’t have the relevant data to analyze these factors, you are essentially shooting in the dark. This leads you down a path full of potential missteps, mistakes, and losses. Due to these reasons, it is absolutely critical for you to learn how to do market research.

From drawing out buyer personas to gathering tools for relevant social media ads, here is how you can conduct market research for an ideal rollout.

What is market research?

Market research is the process of collecting and analyzing data about a target market, relevant audiences, and associated demand for a product or service. The approach is most often used to assess the potential of a new offering within a specific market.

Conducting market research helps you learn the strengths and weaknesses of your solutions through the eyes of your target customers. Additionally, the process enables you to know more about market drivers such as economic indicators.

In turn, your product developers can refine your offering to fit market expectations. At the same time, your marketing department can put together buyer personas to leverage their buying habits to your advantage.

This enables you to use techniques such as behavioral targeting and market segmentation before, during, and after your product rollout. As a result, it becomes easier for you to achieve critical goals such as creating a positive buzz, building a high buyer interest, and increasing your return on investment (ROI).

Typically, market research covers various segments of data collection, such as the following.

  • The overall demand for your product or service.
  • The general size of your target market.
  • The economic strength of your associated audiences.
  • The demographics of your potential customers.
  • The availability and prices of similar solutions.

When you learn how to conduct market research that includes these key aspects, you are able to determine the overall viability of your offering. This gives you a guideline for making informed decisions for your business, and keeps you from investing in a solution that seems doomed from the start.

When to conduct market research

More often than not, businesses perform market research before the launch of a new product or service. But that is not the only situation where the process stands out as an important step. In fact, the decision of when to perform market research depends upon your approach towards your solutions, policies, and target market.

Keeping this in mind, you can execute your market research in situations including but limited to:

  • Testing the potential of a new product or service.
  • Understanding buyer sentiment for an existing solution.
  • Refining your offerings through feedback from target customers.
  • Analyzing market reception to product updates and changes.
  • Assessing the strength of your existing product or service against new competitors.

To put it simply, doing marketing research is most common before rolling out a new offering. But you can also continue performing it well after your initial launch. The latter may seem like an additional ongoing investment. However, it also consistently strengthens your solutions in light of new data, trends, and consumer buying habits.

What are the benefits of market research?

There are various advantages to conducting market research across a number of situations. On a macro level, all of these perks work towards enhancing your market positioning and increasing your ROI. This allows you to achieve your goals without running into unnecessary hurdles.

On a micro level, each of these benefits bring something distinct to the table. As a result, these individual rewards contribute to your business’ growth in more than one way.

The following segments describe some of the most common benefits of conducting market research.

You learn more about your target market

The most glaring advantage of performing market research comes in the form of understanding your target audience. This includes but is not limited to gathering more information about the needs, expectations, and buying habits of your potential customers.

By collecting and organizing relevant data, you can also determine your target demographics that tell you more about the age, location, and income of your average buyer. This allows you to determine buyer personas, and leads you to meet the demands of your target customers.

You get to know the latest industry trends

Market research also gives you a firm grasp over the latest industry trends that could make or break your offering. This includes the hype around certain technologies, buyer sentiment towards particular solutions, and the overall strength of the economy.

Through primary and secondary research, you can also learn about the most popular methods that encourage potential customers to voice their opinions. You may then use this information to optimize content for surveys and interviews alike.

You are able to gauge your competition’s status

Even when you are not performing a complete competitor analysis, asking your target customers certain questions can paint a picture of your competition. This reveals if anyone is offering the same solution as you, while also outlining their reputation and status within your target segment.

Through this data collection, you can also determine the strength and weaknesses of your competitors’ offerings. This helps you set your product positioning, messaging, and pricing through an informed approach. This way, you can be confident to spend money on measures that give you an edge over your competitors.

You can easily refine your offerings

From launching a new solution to making updates to your existing offerings, market research can help you determine where your product or service stands for potential customers. This gives your product developers a guideline to improve your solution and cater to your audience’s feedback.

Besides helping you steer clear of losses, this approach lets you bring a compelling product to market. This also sets a foundation for your approach towards customer service, and encourages you to continue listening to customers for consistent benefits in the future.

You may build a strong marketing campaign

When you learn how to conduct market research, you are able to obtain information that goes beyond your basic buyer demographics. By understanding your target audience’s behavior towards personal research and information consumption, you can devise an effective marketing campaign for your solutions.

Learning how to perform market research also gives you the ability to invest in a variety of marketing methodologies. This covers segments such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), and email outreach. By using a range of marketing tools, you can effortlessly connect with your potential customers and existing audiences in the long run.

Types of market research methods

Since market research is a broad subject, it also holds different types of measures to collect relevant data. Depending upon your business’ requirements, budget, and the outlined timeframe to bring your product to market, you can choose between different types of market research approaches.

Some of the most popular ways to conduct market research include the following methods.


While learning how to perform market research, you may come across the benefits of primary research. Unlike secondary research that uses pre-published and generalized findings, this method allows you to directly collect data from your target market. As a result, you get conclusive and definitive results that are specific to your product or service.

Surveys are a big part of this primary research approach. With the availability of digital avenues, they also allow you to reach out to potential customers without a huge investment of time and money. For seamless data collection through your surveys, you can also turn to an email marketing solution.

Personal interviews

Another part of primary research, personal interviews provide you with the opportunity to conduct face-to-face conversations. This method also gives you the ability to ask open-ended questions, which lead you to have a deeper understanding of your potential customers, their likes, and their dislikes.

With the availability of video call solutions, you can also conduct these interviews digitally. When you don’t require the physical presence of involved parties at the same location, you can hold these conversations in a timely and convenient manner.

Focus groups

You may have already heard of focus groups through the web, TV, or print media. These groups comprise a set of people from different walks of life who examine your offering in a controlled setting. This primary research approach also involves conversations with open-ended questions.

While focus groups are an important part of market research, you need to understand the pros and cons of using a focus group carefully. One of the biggest considerations in this regard is an individual’s biased opinion that could influence the final results for the whole group.


Unlike many primary research methods, observation does not ask questions or indulge the participants in conversations. Instead, it involves a designated professional watching over a participant while they interact with your product or service. This can be a highly effective method of learning how potential customers feel about your offering.

While conducting market research through this method, you should be ready to give your participants a fully-functional product. This allows you to get specific opinions about all of the product’s features and benefits. This way, you can rest assured in the strength of the activity’s results.

As you move forward with these approaches, it is important to learn the differences between quantitative research and qualitative research. Simply put, the former provides you with numerical and statistical data, while the latter delivers detailed views and commentary. You should use both approaches for optimal results.

How to conduct market research

Once you understand the basics of market research, conducting it is simply a matter of following predefined processes. When you have helpful information such as a market research template at hand, you can go through the required activities without additional stress.

While conducting market research, you can use the following methods to reach out to your target market.

  • Digital ads. These online ads on different websites and search engines help you find people from your target audience who are willing to participate in your chosen method of research.
  • Email marketing. You can run a marketing campaign to reach out to existing and potential customers through emails. Besides helping you get appointments for interviews and observational research, it is also one of the easiest ways to conduct surveys.
  • Professional solutions. You can hire seasoned professionals who specialize in conducting market research. This outsourcing approach is often followed for personal interviews and focus groups.

You can consider any of these market research approaches or even combine them for maximum effect. With that being said, you should always have tools in place to track performance and make decisions according to latest results.

You can also use best practices to get the most out of each research methodology.

How to lead personal interviews and focus groups

  • Have your specific product or service ready for demonstration.
  • Lead with a description of your offering.
  • Ask open-ended questions about consumer perception.
  • Inquire about competitors and similar solutions in the market.
  • Present questions about what’s missing from the offering.
  • Ask for opinions about your intended price.
  • Watch out for any single participant who is influencing others’ opinions.
  • Get concluding notes and commentary from each participant.

How to perform research in observation settings

  • Ask potential customers if you can observe them while they use your solution.
  • Notice if they face any difficulties in accessing the features of your offering.
  • Assess the overall interest of the participants while using the product or service.
  • Highlight how comfortable or challenging it was for them to complete certain actions.
  • Use meticulous record-keeping approaches to document their experience.
  • Include how long each participant engaged with the product or service.

How to build a market research template

Since surveys are predetermined questionnaires that you can send through emails, you can get inspiration from a template of this market research method.

Typically, an effective template for conducting market research surveys covers the following aspects.

  • Demographic. This covers aspects such as age, gender, and location.
  • Industry. This relates to the recipient’s familiarity and involvement in your sector.
  • Business. This refers to the participant’s professional life and routine.
  • Brand. This asks for their knowledge about your brand.
  • Competition. This involves questions related to similar solutions.
  • Product or Service. This inquires about the recipient’s perception towards your offering.

After learning how to do market research using these methods, it becomes easy for you to draft a detailed questionnaire that leads you through interviews and surveys alike. As long as you are mindful about all the necessary details that you should cover in your research, you can get the answers you need to ensure an optimal product rollout.

Final notes

Conducting market research is an essential step for all types of businesses that are planning a new product rollout or refining their existing solutions. By adopting the right practices for market research, you can ensure that your product or service is ready to check all the boxes for your potential customers.

With Mailchimp, you can perform your market research through digital avenues, while also benefiting from intelligent analysis and reporting tools. By utilizing our all-in-one email platform’s automation, customization, and segmentation features, you can get the most out of each research effort by your brand.

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