6 Low-budget Ideas to Perform Market Research

Business Marketing Ideas

While performing market research has gotten pretty “high tech” in recent times, with algorithms and analytics bringing business intelligence over mobile devices, there’s something to be said for getting back to basics. Some of the best ideas to perform market research are those tried-and-true classic methods that get you down “in the trenches” with customers; they can also be implemented in a way that’s easy on the budget. If you’re looking for more insight into your business, consider these six time-tested ideas to perform market research:

1. In-person questionnaires. In-person surveys refer to those “man on the street” interviews usually conducted in high-traffic areas where your target audience tends to be. A shopping mall, a city street or wherever potential customers congregate can be an ideal location. Start by creating a concise questionnaire that will help you to analyze your most pressing business questions. The larger the sample group, the more reliable your results will be. Ask targeted questions, show product samples, and get feedback about packaging and advertising ideas. The response rate of in-person surveys is up to 90%, making them well worth the effort.

2. Online surveys. While online surveys have a more unpredictable response rate, their convenience cannot be denied. Online surveys are a simple, affordable way to collect data and find out more about your customers’ opinions, habits, needs and preferences.

3. Direct observation. Responses to surveys, while valuable, can sometimes be at odds with actual consumer behavior. Consider observing your customers in action in your stores as they go through the decision-making process. You might consider setting up a camera system; also, take the time to watch YouTube video product reviews and demonstrations posted by your customers. Observation will provide a more accurate picture of shopping patterns and product use habits.

4. Indepth interviews. Consider contacting some of your most active customers for a more indepth interview about their experience with your product, service and business. Find out what makes them tick, what drew them to your business, and what keeps them coming back.

5. Focus groups. Focus groups are excellent for learning about consumer attitudes and test-marketing new products. The sessions can be videotaped discreetly or observed via one-way mirrors. A neutral moderator should use pre-scripted questions on the topics most pressing to your business. Generally, you should conduct three separate focus groups to ensure accurate data.

6. Field trials. Offering a new product or service in select stores is a great way to assess customer response in real-life conditions. From there, you can make product modifications, improve the packaging/marketing, and adjust pricing as needed.

While the marketing landscape has gotten more complex in recent times, these six ideas to perform market research can generate solid data at an affordable cost. Stop by PaperDirect for all your business communication needs!