Market Research: Common Business Issues and Their Respective Research Methods


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Sizing market - This type of survey is designed to create approximately the market size (measured by units or dollar volume) that the new product is expected to garner available. In general this is usually accomplished for entirely new product category or anticipating the creation of a new product that substantially changes the competitive landscape in which customers are already familiar (by way of example, I would suspect how the new premium chewing-gum category which includes emerged in the last 1 . 5 years might have upset the traditional wisdom of analysts for the reason that industry). Conducting such a market research can be expensive, and so the best place to start is often by evaluating the off-the-shelf syndicated general market trends reports that are available for any market of a reasonable size. Sizing a niche is almost always a quantitative general market trends study, although depending on the market specifics possibly that there might be a qualitative lead-in activity or perhaps a qualitative follow-up to get more details on a specific portion of the market.

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Product Concept Development - Product concept survey is typically designed to provide customer input to assist product-marketing managers develop products that more directly meet the requirements of the target customer. Typically there are tradeoffs involving ease of use, price, industrial design decisions and bundling options. To the product marketing manager, conducting market research allows them an opportunity to get feedback in the group who is you go to decide whether they'll pay bills or not, the customer. Product concept survey can be done either qualitatively or quantitatively. Normally the direction hinges on absolutely free themes familiarity with the product or changes being considered, plus a terminology that is well enough understood by the potential respondents to make sure that clear communication has taken place without significant uncertainty that the definitions match what we should believe them to mean. If your product category is thought, and the terminology is well enough defined, quantitative research is possibly the best bet. Otherwise it's planning to fall to qualitative methods to ensure a complete knowledge of the concepts and also to the respective reactions.

Customer Profiling - The intent of customer profiling general market trends is to create a profile of the customer who purchases a particular product or service. Having a complete profile of the customer can be very helpful when defining a design center to formulate the next generation of a product category also to ensure that the engineers and marketers possess the right person in mind as they make those decisions. Setting up a customer profile often includes collecting the next:

Demographics (age, title, physical town of location),
Firmographics (company industry, amount of employees, decision making structure across the product category being studies) and
A quantity of questions about the particular product was purchased, how it was being used, what product it replaced, the quantity of people using it...

Most of the time, customer-profiling research becomes the "bible" as a product development team makes decisions in what features or capabilities could be desired and which other ones would be passed over. For smaller companies conducting profiling market research is often the first kind of research that a company does because it's straightforward and it's difficult to argue with "who are our customers?".

Positioning Research - Positioning studies often closely linked to branding market research, as its function is to view the positioning of one product when compared with another. Much larger companies actually conduct positioning research only to understand whether or not their "line logic" is obvious or understandable by the clientele - and doesn't even enter the complexity of how customers relate their manufacturer product line with other company's products. This can be very interesting research since it is often the case that the positioning produced by marketing managers might be different than the way customers view weaknesses and strengths of different products relative someone to another. Sometimes, towards the chagrin of marketing managers, the phrase 'perception is reality' comes up over and over again in this type of research, as marketing managers realize that it takes more than words with a brochure to change customers' perceptions of your products positioning. Consider whether a Jaguar holds greater status than does a Mercedes. Which car do you expect to be more comfortable? Which car can you expect to be faster? Developing a portfolio buy-up strategy, which calls out your benefits of the next product, without having to say derogoratory about the product just down the line, is a challenging task, but that is where positioning research really shines.

Messaging Research - Messaging studies very closely related to advertising research, although it tests the most basic concepts of the advertising campaign - a month . idea that is believed to be the primary motivator for the product. As an example, what do you see when you watch a Rolex advertisement? Do they tout the increased accuracy of a Rolex watch over others? Would they talk about how much more shock resistant a Rolex is than another watch? Do they talk about how much deeper in the ocean a SCUBA diver can be with a Rolex than another watch? No, they don't message on these points, instead when you go to their website they show handsome people directing their million dollar yachts through rough seas, they show close-ups of the meticulously detailed watches, they show brave men, obviously risking their lives, climbing to the top level of a snowy, distant peak. Their messaging is around living the good life and being ready for just about any adventure - you may be made of that stuff or otherwise not - as though developing a watch that costs thousands of dollars puts you simply a little bit closer to intrepid. In the crux of messaging market research is, what are the few items that we should emphasize if we're fortunate enough to get a few seconds of consideration coming from a potential customer? Messaging researching the market is about finding the blend of unique capabilities or tools in our product and framing that in a way that makes sense to the people that are somewhat inclined to buy our product. Messaging research is often qualitative because non-verbal communication is an enormous part of communication and a lot of people want to be able to "read" the respondents as they first try to digest our schpeel.

Industrial Design - Industrial Design (or ID because it is more typically called) typically means the shape, feel and texture of the product. You could claim that the ID with the RAZR phone is a big hit, big enough that other companies are quickly copying it. ID studies focused on understanding what effect the economic design may participate in the purchase of a certain category of product, and how to optimize a product's industrial design for the target audience. As we all own precisely the same products, it appears that ID has become one of the fundamental ways in which companies are trying to differentiate items that are otherwise quite similar. ID general market trends has generally considered best handled in face-to-face qualitative research (often in-depth-interviews with anyone at a time). However online capabilities have increased significantly in the last several years and there is a reasonable case for conducting ID research on the web site. If you're looking for an illustration of this how strong online capabilities came take a look at the Audi website - where you can view their cars, pull out, zoom in, view the car from any angle just by positioning the mouse. The capabilities can be obtained from some of the high end online research houses. Usually the one caveat is that people often need to feel the heft of a product to understand should it be plastic, metal or wood, understand how quality the finish looks, notice the quality of moving parts. On many occasions online research is capable of supplementing face-to-face methodologies and then for some product categories could possibly replace it entirely.

Customer Segmentation - Segmentation general market trends studies attempts to know very well what groups of customers appear in a product category in order to more precisely target the requirements or to target the needs of your more attractive group (most likely the high quality group, rather than the value driven customers). While these customers may all be purchasing the same products, since they have different perspectives, they're responses to product changes could be entirely different, so it's a good idea to understand how large your groups, or segments are, and exactly how they'll likely respond to the changes that you're company is considering. It is a type of market research that generally ends with a large quantitative bang. Segmentation research could be very simple - finding out how customers in the Eastern area of the country dress than others down South, or it might involve very high-end statistical analytics that may be very costly. However, good customer segmentation can greatly improve a companies developing the site and target customer efforts.

Channel Research - This research can take a number of forms with regards to the critical business issue. Channel research may be conducted to understand how a company's channel partners are ACTUALLY behaving, as opposed to how it is believed that they're behaving. Channel research may be conducted to understand what is motivating channel partners, or understand whether a brand new channel partner that is certainly being considered can be an appropriate choice for a particular product category. This is the very broad class of possible research methods that can span from efforts like "mystery shoppers" - who walk-through a typical customer process and report on their behavior on the experience, to price checks or product offering reports.