If you’re in the business world, you’ve probably heard of market research. As its name suggests, market research consists of analyzing a market in detail in order to optimize the launch of your business or the launch of a new product or service. The question you may be asking yourself then is: How to do relevant market research?
What is market research?
As mentioned earlier, market research is a detailed analysis of a particular market. You analyze your target, their needs, their demands, their fears. You also analyze your competitors, what they offer, their strengths, their weaknesses, the customers they are targeting. The purpose of a market study is to identify areas to develop where you will be able to find a place for yourself and impose yourself. Market research allows you to determine precisely what you should offer your customers, at what prices and in what way. It’s a bit like your guarantee not to do unnecessary actions.
You should know that doing market research essentially consists of doing a field survey. A field survey allows you to get an idea of the state of the market, consumer expectations, the degree of trust they place or are ready to place in your brand, what they think of you or of your other competitors. In short, a field survey is the tool that allows you to learn more generally about your market. If you manage to do a relevant field survey, then you can be sure that your market research will be too. You will then be able to build sales and marketing strategies that make sense and that will have a good chance of working.
When to do market research?
Market research can be done at any time in the life of a business. You can do a market study before starting your business. And honestly, we can only recommend it to you. In any case, in your business plan, you will have to demonstrate that your project makes sense and doing a market study can demonstrate the full potential of your project and its viability.
You can also do some market research once you get started. For example, let’s imagine that your company wants to launch a new product, or a new line, or let’s imagine that it wants to expand its brand. Well, to prepare for this launch, you need to carry out market research. Doing market research will help you ensure that your customers will appreciate and be receptive to this change. By doing market research, you will also learn about the competition that is already in this niche. We then speak of a competitive study. If there is no one, so much the better. But honestly, that only happens very occasionally. Often there are competitors. So you must include in your market research a study of the competition.
How to carry out a market study and a field survey?
As we said earlier, when we do a market study, we essentially do a study of the competition and a field survey. In this article, we will take a closer look at the field survey. A field survey consists of questioning a sample of people. It is up to you to define the people you are going to interview. You are also the one who will construct the questionnaire and choose the way in which you will question your sample. You will also be responsible for analyzing the results in order to highlight interesting points and extract key information.
Field survey: choosing your sample
How to determine the number of people to interview?
Let’s be clear, you won’t be able to interview all your potential customers. You must choose a sample of people representative of the clientele you are targeting.
In itself, having a large sample of people does not necessarily guarantee you to have qualitative or very reliable results. The quality of your results depends on several factors such as the quality of the sample chosen, the relevance of your questionnaire, etc. You can therefore choose a small sample and have very weak results. In addition, the choice of your sample size will depend on your budget. If you have a small budget, interview a small sample of around 100 people, and if you have a bigger budget, you can afford to interview a larger sample, say 400 to 800 people.
Which sampling method to use?
Once you have determined how many people you are going to interview, you need to choose the type of person you are going to interview. By type of people, we mean the profile. Do you want to interview only women? Or, only young people between 18 and 25 years old? It really all depends on your target. The most widely used method of establishing a list of people to interview is called the quota method.
The principle of the quota method is simple:
- You choose a given region, region where you want to settle.
- You collect statistics on this region on sites such as INSEE or Data.Gouv for example.
- You reproduce the real model on a reduced scale. For example, if in the region there are 48% women and 52% men, and you choose to interview 100 consumers, then you will interview 48 women and 52 men. Of course, you don’t have to choose gender as the distribution key. Depending on your targeting, you can rather choose the age or the socio-professional category for example.
There are other sampling methods but which are much more difficult and complex to master and apply. So here, there is not much point in talking about it.
Field survey: content of the questionnaire
The basic rules to follow
When you are going to write the content of the questionnaire, do not lose sight of one thing: what do you want to know? What information do you want to collect and what will you use it for? It is important to clearly clarify your objectives because they are the ones that will guide the way you will build your questionnaire.
Be sure to ask understandable questions that flow well and logically. The more your questionnaire will be structured and flow smoothly, the easier it will be for respondents to answer it. Don’t make the questionnaire too long. If it is too long, you risk boring the people who answer it. But don’t make it too short either. You need to collect enough information to draw real conclusions. Find the middle ground. What we advise you here is to have your questionnaire tested by a few people so that they can validate it (like your collaborators or relatives for example).
The different types of questions
When you are going to write your questionnaire as part of your field survey, you will be able to choose several types of questions. Among the most common are:
One-choice closed question
- Example: Do you have management software? The possible answer is either “yes” or “no”.
- Advantages: speed to answer the question and simple answer to process.
- Disadvantages: we are not going to capture the feeling or the opinion of the consumer here. These kinds of questions have something “robotic” about them. We advise you to put the single-choice closed questions at the beginning of the questionnaire. This allows the respondent to enter the questionnaire with questions that are easy to answer.
Closed multiple choice question
- Example: What features do you like about the software? The suggested answers are: “customer management” “inventory management” “invoicing” “project management”. The interviewee can then choose several answers.
- Advantages: once again the speed to answer the question and the simplicity of processing the answers.
- Disadvantages: this kind of question can influence the people questioned because of the answers offered. It is true that the answers can be biased and not necessarily neutral. Another disadvantage is that, if you carry out this questionnaire orally, the person will not memorize all the elements of the answers and will choose the answer that he remembers the most.
Doing market research is essential if you are building your business or planning to launch a new product or service or expand into a new market. A market study mainly involves a field survey. You will question a representative sample of the market through a questionnaire constructed in the most intelligent way possible. The results you will get will allow you to generate valuable statistics and get started without a hitch with real strategic assets.