How to Conduct Market Research

Today’s customers have more choices than they’ve ever had. To stay competitive, businesses need to deeply understand their target market and effectively meet their expectations. Customer satisfaction is one of the main goals of market research, with 20% of all market research spending going toward CRM and customer satisfaction surveys

However, 23% of organizations don’t have a clear market research strategy. It can be daunting to get into market research – there are many different options available, and it can be difficult to know how to begin. This article will orient you to the field of market research. We’ll cover the basics: we’ll define it, explain why it matters, list types of market research, and explain how it works.  

What is Market Research? 

Market research is a systematic process used by businesses and organizations to gather, analyze, and interpret information about a market. It includes a broad spectrum of activities aimed at gaining insights into consumers, products, competitors, and industry trends. The primary goal of market research is to inform decision-making, providing a solid foundation for developing effective strategies and achieving business objectives. 

Market research seeks to answer critical questions to help make a business successful, such as:  

  1. Who are the potential customers, and what are their demographics, behaviors, and preferences? Market research helps to define the characteristics of the audience, helping businesses tailor their products or services to better meet their needs. 
  2. Is there a demand for a particular product or service? Market research helps identify market gaps and opportunities, enabling businesses to make informed decisions about launching new offerings or entering new markets. 
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of competitors? Understanding the competitive landscape is crucial for differentiating products or services and gaining a competitive edge. 
  4. How can products or services be improved to better meet customer expectations? Market research provides insights into what customers like or dislike about existing offerings, guiding product development efforts. 
  5. What price points are acceptable to customers, and what value do they associate with the product or service? Market research helps determine optimal pricing strategies to maximize profitability. 
  6. Which marketing channels and messages resonate most with the target audience? Market research informs marketing efforts, enabling businesses to allocate resources efficiently and create compelling campaigns. 

Why do Market Research? 

Market research is the key to effective decision-making for many reasons. There are two main reasons companies invest in market research: 

  1. Market research helps companies make strategic decisions backed by data.  
  2. Market research helps them understand consumers’ or their own customers’ needs and expectations. 

Essentially, market research connects businesses with their customers or potential customers through data-driven strategies. It empowers organizations to make well-informed decisions, adapt to market changes, and create products and experiences that genuinely meet customer expectations.  

Market research offers many other advantages: It helps businesses identify market gaps and emerging trends, so they can seize opportunities before competitors. It also maximizes marketing effectiveness by pinpointing the best channels and messaging for engagement. It also helps businesses proactively address risks and challenges and facilitate expansion. Market research is an investment in the future viability and competitiveness of any organization. 

How Does Market Research Work? 

Let’s break the market research process down into seven steps: 

  1. Define Objectives: The first step is to clearly define the objectives of your market research. What specific questions do you want to answer? What are your goals and what do you hope to achieve through the research? 
  1. Data Collection: Market researchers collect data using various methods, such as online surveys or phone interviews.. 
  1. Sampling: Researchers often use a sample of the target population to collect data. This sample should be representative of the larger population to ensure the findings are applicable and accurate. 
  1. Data Analysis: This step involves organizing, processing, and interpreting the data to identify trends, patterns, and insights. 
  1. Interpretation: After data analysis, researchers interpret the findings to answer the research questions and objectives. They draw conclusions and provide recommendations based on the data. 
  1. Reporting: The results of the research are documented in a comprehensive report or presentation.  
  1. Actionable Insights: Market research provides actionable insights that businesses can use to make informed decisions. Whether it’s improving products, targeting specific customer segments, or refining marketing strategies, the insights guide strategic actions. 

Primary vs Secondary Research 

Primary and secondary research are two fundamental research approaches, each offering distinct methods and advantages.  

Primary Research 

Primary research involves the direct collection of data from customers or consumers. Primary research offers tailored and specific insights into the unique goals of your organization.

Secondary Research 

Secondary research, on the other hand, relies on existing data and sources like industry reports, academic studies, and publicly available information. It is less resource-intensive and provides a broader overview of a topic. However, secondary research may lack customization and may not address specific research questions.  

Types of Market Research 

Now we’ll list some of the types of market research – and keep in mind that we’ll just cover a handful of the many methodologies.  

  1. Voice of the Customer Research: Voice of the Customer (VoC) research captures customer feedback and opinions. It helps to align products and services with customer expectations. 
  2. Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Research: This research measures customer satisfaction levels and identifies factors influencing loyalty. It guides efforts to enhance customer experiences and retention. 
  3. Competitive Analysis Research: This research assesses competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, market share, and strategies. It helps businesses refine their own strategies and gain a competitive edge. 
  4. Net Promoter Score Research: Net Promoter Score (NPS) research measures customer loyalty and likelihood to recommend a company’s products or services. It provides a single metric to gauge customer satisfaction and loyalty. 
  5. Customer Segmentation  Research: Segmentation research involves identifying  target customers. It helps businesses tailor their marketing and product strategies to specific customer segments. 
  6. Brand Awareness Research: Brand awareness research gauges the awareness  and perception of a brand among consumers. It helps businesses to identify their target market, assess their brand’s image, and identify their brand’s strengths as well as weaknesses, in order to improve consumers’ perceptions of the company.


Market research is an indispensable tool for any business in making data-driven decisions and gaining a deeper understanding of its target market. It helps businesses gather insights to refine strategies, create products that resonate, and stay ahead of the competition. 

If you’re interested in taking the next step to start your journey towards more informed decision-making and greater market success, contact CSP and explore how tailored market research can empower your business to thrive and prosper in an ever-changing world. Your success story begins with understanding your market, and we’re here to help you write it. 

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