How to Conduct Market Research

Market research is an important activity for every business to engage in.


1. Determine your target market. A target market is the group or groups of people you will be promoting, advertising, and ultimately selling your product to. To find your market, you should begin by answering some simple questions

  • What are the demographics of the area you are competing in?
  • Who will buy you products based on price?
  • What is the age range?
  • Males or females (or both)?
  • Are they single or married? Do they have kids?
  • What kind of lifestyle does your product relate to? Is it everyday use, specific to times of the year or to specific activities?
2. Have the marketing manager and marketing researcher define the problem carefully and agree on research objectives.
3. Have the researcher help the manager to define the problem and suggest ways that research can help manager to take better decision.
4. Take the data you have collected and analyze it to figure out the specific groups within the market you are going to actively persue as clients and customers.
5. Develop a plan for gathering information efficiently.
6. Present the plan to marketing management.
7. Have the Marketing manager research the cost of research plan before approving it.
8. Once you figure out your target market, make an effort to reach out to this group and find out what they think about your product. This is the heart of market research, and there are many ways to do it.

  • Qualitative research is more exploratory and anecdotal. It is a good way to find out the kinds of feelings and needs people have about your product or service, but it is not statistically representative. Methods include focus groups and in-depth interviews. You could go to a skate park and ask skaters what they think of the logo and newspaper ad you have designed for your skateboard store.
  • Quantitative research gets you solid statistics you can base your financial plans on. Surveys can be conducted by phone, in person, by mail, or on-line. The key to getting good research is to get a truly representative, random sample of your target market. For example, you wouldn’t try to survey rich people by hanging out at the check cashing store.
9. After doing the research, the findings have to be analysed and interpreted. The findings can be interpreted in charts and tables.
10. Lastly, the marketing manager has to present the findings well and give his decisions after the research. This is a very important step as it is taken into consideration for future decisions. This is known as product testing.
11. Product testing can be done once you have a product and want to try it out on people. For example, give people samples of cookies made with two recipes you are considering. Let them take home your new broom and dustpan to see if it works on the kind of floor they have.


  • There is sometimes more than one target market. Finding new markets is a great way to expand your business.
  • If you don’t have much of a budget, look first for reports that are free and available on the net. Also look for reports that have been published by your industry association or in trade magazines (magazines for professional hairstylists, plumbers, plastic toy manufacturers, etc.)
  • You might be able to get local university students to take on your research as a class project. Contact the professor who teaches a marketing research class and ask them if they have such a program. You may have to pay a small fee, but it will be less than a professional research firm.
  • If you are making decisions that will cost you a lot of money if you are wrong, invest in a professional market research consultant. Get bids from a few.

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 at 10:20 pm and is filed under Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.