Every single piece of marketing advice you’ve received thus far in your career has involved the word research, but have you ever actually sat down and wondered what types of marketing research methodology are out there? What marketing research techniques can you utilize to find the information you need to implement a successful marketing plan? Well, whether you’re just starting out in the marketing field or you’ve been the CMO for decades, the best market research methods are the same.
Secondary Market Research
The most popular and most commonly used marketing research methodology involves tools you can access without ever leaving your office. Hop online, and do a quick, simple search for “marketing data tools.” There, you’ll find hundreds of thousands of companies ready to sell you marketing leads, mailing lists, email lists, and more. With secondary marketing research, you invest some of your marketing budget, and all the heavy lifting is done for you. Within a short period of time, you can access all of the data you could possibly want for your chosen demographic. Secondary is great for saving you time and offering you data through some basic marketing research.
Primary Market Research
If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge that will be somewhat time consuming but that will offer you some very specific data to your specific business, then primary market research is the marketing research method for you, and it even offers some options.
Surveys – Ask your current customers how they found out about you, where they get their news, what marketing outlets appeal to them, etc. Ask them what makes a particular brand stand out to them, and why they choose one over another. You might even consider surveying potential customers through the use of some the data you could purchase through secondary market research.
Focus groups – Gather a group of individuals from your chosen demographic for a lunch and learn type of session, in which you can pick their brains. Optimize your time with the group by asking them for direct input on what you could do to make the business more accessible to them in terms of marketing.
Field Studies – Put together a social media campaign to let your followers help you decide how to move forward. Give them a few options to choose from in terms of new branding/marketing ideas and move forward with the most popular option.
Other marketing research examples include observation. Spend some time in your store’s showroom. Spend time in other businesses’ showrooms. Watch what draws consumers in. If there are two different brands of the same product sitting on a shelf, what does the customer look at to determine which one they’re going to purchase? Is it the price? Packaging? Or just the brand itself? Did they spend any time deliberating or simply choose the first one they came to?
Personal interviews are another common primary market research method. These involve sitting down with individuals one-on-one and outright asking them what makes them choose a particular product, store, etc.
There are many other options for primary market research methodology, and often the end results of the two main types of marketing research methodology can be combined to really enhance your marketing plan. Whether you choose to go with the more commonly used secondary market research method, or you’re willing to put forth the time and effort to wade through some of the primary market research method options, or you plan to combine the two, utilizing research as you construct your marketing plan is the best way to help your business thrive.
For more information on marketing research methodology, you might consider attending a marketing conference. These are great sources of information and will definitely benefit you as you work to put a solid marketing plan into play.