Without online market research many businesses and organisations are flying blind basing decisions on hunches or best guesses. Market research can result in substantial cost savings for businesses and organisations and provide the insights needed to set the direction when developing, changing or testing a product, service or communications strategy. Market research helps business to gain invaluable insight into market trends, consumer opinions, competitor weaknesses and customer needs.
The ease of which you now have access to an online research tool like GroupQuality enables businesses for the first time to quickly capture their own actionable insights. It is now possible for anyone to ask effective questions and capture answers to gain decision making knowledge quickly and cost-effectively. The most common uses of online research includes online surveys to measure customer satisfaction, or conduct live online focus groups to test new brand opinion, product packaging or website testing.
What is a market?
“A market is a group of potential customers who have a need, want or desire for your product or service and the ability to pay for it ”.¹
What is market research?
“Market research is the process of gathering and analysing information to help identify and define marketing opportunities and problems, as well as generate sales”.²
Market research is an important activity for every business regardless of the industry or size of the market.
Market research allows business to gain insight into customers, trends, opinions, competitors and needs. Often businesses only undertake research when starting out however market research should be a continual process as businesses grow, products and services change, competition increases and customer needs evolve. It is a vital process and a ‘golden key’ to ensure a business remains profitable.
Effective market research can result in substantial cost savings for businesses by providing clear direction. Without market research businesses are literally flying blind and hoping for the best. GroupQuality has been built with the knowledge included so anyone can use the powerful features to ask their own questions and capture the answers needed to make clear businesses decisions.
What is online market research for business?
Online market research involves using online tools to ask questions and capture answers that will assist with marketing and sales. Traditional research methods can be time consuming, costly and result in reams of paper-based reports which take time to read, understand and action. Online market research using GroupQuality allows you to track and record results instantly, with top level responses and results available as soon as responses are received. This allows business to gain vital information about customers, products and markets before their competitors and at a cost and turnaround time that is hard to match.
Types of online market research
There are 2 main types of online market research you should be aware of:
Online Qualitative Market Research
Qualitative market research helps you answer the why. It focuses on revealing people's attitudes, behaviors, values, motivations and lifestyles influences. It is research to help you gain a clearer understanding of the decision making process. This form of research generally derives its data from a relatively small group of participants.
Live (real-time) online focus groups, online website usability testing, and one-on-one interviews are examples of this type of data collection. Qualitative marketing research is great for gathering top line feedback, like what kind of thoughts, feelings, or associations consumers have with a product, service, brand or media channel.
Online Quantitative Market Research
Quantitative marketing research, often associated with online surveys, derives its data from a much larger sample group. This means you gather responses from a larger number of participants. A large enough sample to make accurate assumptions about all people in the target audience. In most instances it would be time consuming and costly to interview everyone in your target audience. An online survey made up of a sample of people from the larger target audience generally provides the information accuracy needed to make informed decisions about the whole audience, or population.
How businesses can use online market research
Understanding who your customers are
- Who are the end users of your product or service?
- How old are they?
- What are their interests?
- Are they male or female?
- Married or single?
- Kids or no kids?
- What do they do in their spare time?
- Where do they live?
- Have they used a product or service like yours in the past?
- What are their intentions for future use of a product or service like yours?
Understanding your competitors
- Is your target market using a competitor product?
- What is their opinion around competitor products?
- What do consumers like about competitors and why?
- What are the weaknesses of you competitors and how can you make your business better?
Setting a course for strategy
- Which geographical markets to target?
- What is the demand in a market segment?
- How does your product or service differ from the rest?
Setting goals and targets
- What is a realistic price point for your product or service?
- What are realistic sales targets based on perceived demand?
- How do you communicate the benefits?
Finding solutions to problems or roadblocks
- Is the market ready for your product or service?
- What are their basic expectations from that product or service?
- What is their perception of your competitors?
Defining your marketing?
- Are your inbound marketing messages effective?
- How do people react to proposed advertising?
- Will the website convert visitors into customers?
How are you travelling?
- Will customers recommend your product or service to others?
- Are customer satisfied with your service level and will they come back?
Do I need to be an expert to run my own online research?
The answer is ‘No’. More and more businesses of all types and sizes are using online research to gain valuable insight about their market. GroupQuality is the all-in-one online market research platform wrapped in the know-how to empower anyone to generate their own actionable insights! Unlike others, we make accessible both qualitative and quantitative research tools with the knowledge so anyone can ask effective questions and capture answers. And we are here to help you get the most out of your tools.
If you need more help, you can also contact us and we can put you in touch with one of our Certified Expert Partners who can assist you in getting your projects underway and fill in the gaps wherever needed.
Types of online market research that can be conducted
Online Focus Groups
Online focus groups bring participants together in an online environment to discuss topics, and share ideas and opinions, facilitated by a Moderator. Just as you do in a traditional focus group session but from the comfort of your own home or office via the Internet. Online focus groups are divided into two main types, the more common chat based focus groups and the more recent webcam and audio based focus groups.
Online Community Discussion Boards
This type of online market research occurs in a secure environment where participants login and post comments on an online research discussion board in response to a specific topic. Discussion is generated by a Moderator and posted for participants to comment. A discussion board topic can include question, images and website or video links.
Online surveys are perfect for validating ideas, measuring customer satisfaction, employee feedback, and even qualifying people to participate in discussion boards and live groups. Using GroupQuality, you can easily create your online survey and either invite participants personally or distribute or advertise a link to a survey. Results are available to view as soon as responses are received. You can also easily run reports to quickly see where responses are weighted and the comments as they are submitted.
How do I source participants for conducting online market research?
Participants for your online market research can come from a number of different sources.
1. Many businesses have a customer list or member database. This is a great place to start. In many instances it is possible to recruit from business lists you may have acquired over time such as:
- customer lists
- newsletter registration lists
- supplier lists
- competition entry lists
- newsletter registration lists
2. A professional recruitment agency can assist in sourcing individuals for your group either from external audited research panel lists, or by helping you recruit from your own customer lists. CINT, one of GroupQuality’s valued partners, is one such example (). For more information please send us a support ticket.http://www.cint.com
3. You can also include a link on your website to a short online intercept survey to capture participants, or by using twitter or Facebook to distribute a participant screening survey. This short survey which you can use to recruit people for your projects includes a preformatted question type in GroupQuality to help you manage the people in the integrated panel manager.