Data is one of the most valuable assets in the digital era. Access to the latest information and analyzing them accurately can help a company stay ahead of the curve. So it is absolutely necessary for a company to conduct market research.
Sure, gut feeling is a thing, but when you’re investing a lot of money on a project, it pays to have an informed understanding of the matter beforehand. With a team designated for market research, you will know how much ROI a strategy can yield and whether it’s worth it.
This market research could be of varied sorts, depending on the purposes. If you want to get to the root of the problem, then you should conduct quantitative market research. But if you’re going to understand the reasons behind a problem, you better get qualitative market research done.
Quantitative market research
As the name implies, quantitative research deals with data that can be represented using numbers. Here, various data are collected in a well-organized way from different sources like surveys, polls, etc. and are later analyzed.
This process includes mathematical, statistical, and computational methods to obtain data. Quantitative research yields a very rigid result and helps companies to look at their assets and liabilities objectively as well as their targets and practical roadmaps to how to achieve them.
Quantitative market research is usually conducted to explore the scopes of a business and to have precise projections on the matter. They help to identify the different problems within a structure and pin down the causes behind them.
Qualitative market research
The results of qualitative market research may vary based on one marketer to the next. This variance occurs due to different skill levels, or even because a particular marketer values a quality differently than another.
Qualitative market research deals with behavioural, or observational data. As a result, these are evaluated subjectively.
Qualitative market research can help a company get an overview of a problem or simply understand what its users want and act upon that actualization.
Which is better? Qualitative or quantitative market research?
In nature, qualitative market research is more exploratory and, generally, conducted on small sample sizes. Here, a detailed analysis is done on unstructured data, and the results are later presented in themes.
On the other hand, quantitative market research is more definitive. It is conducted on a larger sample size. Structured data are aggregated and averaged to get to a result, which is later presented in numbers. Charts and graphs are used a lot in this process as well.
Both methods have their own merits. While quantitative research helps us identify a problem efficiently, qualitative research helps us understand the issue. At the end of the day, both are needed to run a company smoothly.
However, today we’ll be discussing quantitative market research in-depth and some of the best practices for this.
Importance of market research
Whether you are looking for a way to enhance team performance or a good understanding of your customers – you will need to conduct market research to get results. If you can execute research well, you will have better and confident chances of efficiently selling a product or service to a market. Moreover, you will know the exact points you need to work with your team to improve company performance.
Furthermore, if you implement the methods well, you can learn from the most surprising sources – your competitors. Yes, a nicely carried out market research will layout in front of you the strategies of your competitors, tactics that helped them succeed, how to go past them using their own strategies and learning from their mistakes. You can learn from them and implement them as well.
There are several ways well-executed market research can help you. Some of them are given below.
- Developed business strategies
- Increase in profit
- Improved team performance
- Investigating competitors
- Reduced loss
- Better customer management
How is quantitative research used in market research?
As we’ve mentioned before, quantitative research is mainly used to attain concrete facts that influence decision making. They are executed to measure their market or how much the customers want or need a particular product or service.
Quantitative research is implemented through surveys, polls, questionnaires, quizzes, etc. They often ask direct questions like, “Have you heard about our product ‘X’?” Or “Did you find the feature ‘Z’ helpful?”. Questions like these give companies ideas as to what their customers want, and how much they are willing.
However, there’s a catch. The research must be done on a large pool of customers or to-be users. Or else, any result obtained from a constricted pool of volunteers may be subject to misinformation. With a big pool of respondents, one can ensure the quality of the information collected.
Moreover, an excellent team of expert analysts is needed to analyze and present this information. A lot of companies often lack analysts, and so they do the whole research themselves. Although this seems compelling at first glance, it causes the company harm in the long run. Because analysts know what to ask and who to ask, they can design the research questionnaire effectively and produce concrete results out of them.
Data types in quantitative market research
Quantitative market research is a very structured way of data collection. So here, an analyst coordinates a set of questions that serves the purpose of gaining exact answers. These data can be divided into two major groups.
Discrete data consists of finite numbers. So if you are asking “how many”, you will get discrete data after the research. Examples of discrete data include how many websites may an average user be hosting, or how many workdays an average person working in IT has.
Continuous data include fractions and decimals. So if you are asking “how much”, you may get continuous data after the research ceases. Examples of continuous data include how much time does an average user surf the internet, or how far their workplace is from their home.
Data collection in quantitative market research
There’s a number of ways that data can be collected for market research. Some of the most standard methods are mentioned below.
- Face-to-face interviews
- Telephone interviews
- Survey via email
- Online/web survey
Face-to-face interviews are conducted with an interviewer asking respondents a set of questions. These respondents can be volunteers, guided to enter a facility, and take part in the research. Or frequently, easygoing interviewers go to public places and ask random people questions. Both of these methods have their credibility and are conducted accordingly.
Telephone interviews are more precise. You have to have the telephone numbers of the respondents, which means it is conducted on distinguished respondents. It can be done among members of a company, or users of a product.
Again, respondents are often sent a questionnaire via email. It is very feasible for the surveyor but has lower completion rates. This is why these surveys need other things to make it work. The questionnaire needs to come with an introductory cover letter, explaining to the audience why they are conducting a survey. Moreover, the respondents require incentives to go forward with the questionnaire.
A predominant form of market research is done through online forms. A company can embed a survey form on a specific page of their website and redirect their users to it after a process. Like, say you have a shoe company. You can have users redirected to a designated survey form every time they complete a purchase. This will help you know where your users stand and what you can make better.
We have a detailed article on how to create a customer satisfaction survey. You can give it a read.
Best practices for quantitative market research
When it comes to quantitative market research, there are some golden rules that one ought to follow. By following these rules, a researcher can conduct impactful market research that will yield good results for the company. Some of them are discussed below.
Be clear about your research goals
When you are designing a questionnaire, it is very easy to get carried away. There are so many questions that you can ask your customers, but you have to bear in mind that not all of them are necessary. Moreover, you cannot cloud your judgment and design the form according to your will. You have to understand your purpose and develop the form in a way that appeals to the people.
Choose an appropriate sample size
Say you are a local florist who is looking for ways to scale up. Then all you have to do is ask your regular customers what kind of improvements they are looking for. Not all surveys require thousands of people. Hence, sit and decide what is the appropriate sample size for you first. And then start designing the survey.
When you have decided your sample size, start designing the questionnaire. Note down the answers you need from these people. Now naturally word the questions. Avoid confusion and be very specific. If you are using online forms, make sure your WordPress form builder plugin provides appropriate input fields like the Fluent Forms plugin. If people don’t understand what you are asking for, you won’t get answers that you’re looking for. Simple!
Give an easy start
When you are conducting market research, you want people to cooperate with you. One simple way of guaranteeing that is by giving them a smooth start. Keep the easy questions at the beginning. This way, respondents will have confidence and go through with the survey. Keep the complex issues at the end.
Limit page breaks
Check how many page breaks you include in your questionnaire. If it’s too many, your respondents will feel bored. So be sure to include page breaks only where it’s needed. And if you can fit all your questions in a single page, then kudos to you!
You can reduce bias by randomizing your options. People focus more on the options that are presented at first. So if you are conducting market research to understand the value of your product, you better put your brand somewhere in the middle or towards the end. If you place your brand at the top, you cannot be sure whether people actually like it or if the positioning influenced them.
Know your boundaries
Yes, data is our friend. The more information we have on our customers, the better the products or services we can deliver to them. But you can’t go on asking about sensitive information. Even if your questionnaire includes one question out of its place, there’s a risk of respondents skipping the survey. So, know your limits before setting the questions.
You can use slang in your surveys, and this will help you connect with some of the respondents. But for a significant portion of the audience, you will remain incomprehensible. This will reduce the quality of the collected data. A practical way of ensuring relevant data collection is by skipping slang, acronyms, sector-specific terms, etc. Use appropriate words that are easy for everyone to understand.
Keep a little something for everyone
Say you run a yoga studio, and you want to research to know when people generally do yoga. So you ask in your questionnaire and include options like ‘in the morning’, ‘at night’, and ‘in the evening’. Your survey doesn’t leave any prospect for a person who doesn’t do yoga at all. Here you can add an option like ‘none of the above’ to make them feel included. Do so with all your questions, so everyone feels like they have a choice.
Give a test run
This may not be feasible for all. But if you have enough time and resources to do a test run of the survey beforehand, do it. As a marketer, you can let your tech buddies or designers have a go first. This way, you can know if there is a flaw before introducing it to the sample public. This will save you from wasting resources if there, indeed, is a flaw.
How can Fluent Forms help
As you can imagine, market research is a bit of a tricky feat with plenty of things to keep in mind. But you can simplify these tasks using easy, user-friendly tools like Fluent Forms. Fluent Forms is a WordPress form builder plugin that is rich in functional features.
There are plenty of features included in Fluent Forms that can make market research hassle-free for you.
Likert scales are very predominant in almost all kinds of surveys. So, when it comes to market research, it is no different. Likert scale, sometimes also known as rating scale, uses a scale of five points where responders define their level of agreement or disagreement.
You can easily deploy Likert scales to your webform using the ratings input field of the Fluent Forms.
Range slider field
Another useful way of assessing the public response is by using sliders. Here, researchers ask a question and responders provide their answer by sliding the bar.
There’s a straightforward range slider field that you can easily use for your market research.
Net promoter score
When it comes to market research, people often want to know if the users are willing to share the brand with their family and peers. This is where the Net Promoter Score comes in. There’s typically a scale of 10 points and users are asked how likely they are to spread the brand’s name.
Fluent Forms sports an efficient net promoter score input field. You can customize it to ask any question that you would like on a scale of 10.
Survey feedback form
If you are familiar with the form builder plugin, you will know that the WordPress plugin features 75+ prebuilt form templates. If you don’t want to build useful forms from scratch, they come in very handy.
One such prebuilt form template is the survey feedback form. It’s built to take survey feedback. Moreover, you can customize it and create a customer satisfaction survey you can be proud of.
As we mentioned before, you are going to need a lot of proficient input fields for an effective market research form. The fields need to be simple and demand concise answers.
Fluent Forms is rich in 30+ input fields. Input fields like the radio field, checkbox, multiple-choice, etc. can help you get concise answers.
The market research form needs to be very simple. If it is intimidating, it will scare away responders. Consequently, market research becomes more difficult. To solve this issue, the form can be broken into useful segments.
Fluent Forms has a form step input field that breaks down a form and makes them easier to comprehend. You can use this to ensure a better response.
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It is essential to know about the market before you dive into a venture. Well-planned market research will allow you a peek into your market, your competitors, and, most importantly, how your customers are taking your product.
Also, you must remember why you are conducting the research. Is it to find out the faults in your work strategy, is it to find out how your customers are reacting, or to know how to improve your team performance? In all cases, you are to find out about people, how they feel. They can be your customers or your team. Hence, survey questions need to be carefully picked so everyone can voice their opinions freely, and you get useful data.
The data collected is then analyzed. More often than not, statistical approaches are overtaken. These help to understand the trends in the data. You can repeat your surveys after a specific interval to keep updated with the running trends. We have noted down a few things to keep in mind about quantitative market research.
- Design in a structured way
- Take a large sample population
- Make sure the sample population is relevant to your research
- Design an easy questionnaire
- Illustrate the results in forms and charts
- Make informed decisions based on the results.
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