Marketing research projects provide a panoramic evaluation of any business to help identify untapped opportunities and unrecognized problems. Rigorous, thorough research can yield data that helps evaluate and refine existing marketing techniques to not only retain current clients, but also attract new clients. A company typically launches a marketing research project when there is an interest in merchandising a new product or service to gauge how well it will perform in the marketplace.
Establish marketing research project goals to begin strategizing and immediately set objectives for each of those goals. It is often helpful to think in terms of a hypothesis at this planning stage, such as which product concepts deserve further investment, or what percent of the target market even realizes that a product exists. Once the hypotheses are stated, assign a goal to each.
Socialize in the social media realm to collect consumer demographics, feedback and information from your target audience. If your company is not already present on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, this is a good time to become active in all three.
Brainstorm a list of questions to ask current and potential consumers. You want to focus on exactly what needs to be known and why it needs to be known during this planning stage. Worry about editing questions and narrowing the list later; now is the time to concentrate on determining which information is most vital.
Assign questions to the appropriate social media outlet. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are ideal for starting conversations and developing your target audience. Impromptu question and answer sessions will help your target audience become more familiar with your products or services. Social media outlets can serve as focus groups for open discussion to help you frame more specific questions prior to advancing your research.
Prioritize suggestions you gather from social media to develop a crowd-sourcing technique and tap into as many online communities as possible. IdeaScale, TalkFreely and Spigit are but a few crowd-sourcing tools available that help prioritize and appropriately address consumer feedback.
Create online surveys. Strive to keep your questionnaire response time under five minutes, as respondents will likely not wish to spend more time than that on a survey. MicroPoll or Survey Monkey can assist greatly in your online survey effort, as each site provides a survey summary upon completion.
Social media accounts
Online survey accounts
Product or service feature list
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About the Author
Karin Napier contributes to various online publications, specializing in topics related to canines, equines and business. She holds career diplomas in bridal consulting, business management and accounting essentials. Napier is a Sunday school teacher, a certified veterinary assistant and current student pursuing certification in natural health care for pets.