Market analysis: concept, methods and stages of implementation
Market research is defined as the process of gathering data about products and services to determine whether a product or service will satisfy customer needs. Market research can reveal market trends, demographics, economic shifts, shopping habits, and important competitive information.
Types and methods of analysis
Marketing research of the market can be divided into two separate sections: primary and secondary.
- Primary (field)
May include creating your own focus groups or conducting surveys.
- Secondary (office)
This could be research or financial data published by companies. Secondary data can be census data, social media comments, magazine articles, and more.
Let's look at the main methods of market analysis typical for primary research:
- desk research is the collection and analysis of secondary data published in open sources, on specialized portals, government statistics, etc.
- Polls is perhaps the most widely known and used, rather sophisticated market research tool. It requires awareness of actions, and will be appropriate when the following conditions are met:
- You want to measure something objectively (or quantitatively)
- Do you have something specific to measure. In other words, you've gone beyond your research and now want to test more specific questions.
- You have a relatively large sample to query
- You have the resources (time and money) to conduct the survey
- Focus groups
Focus groups are bringing together a group of people in one room (usually physically, although technology is making virtual or online rooms more possible). These people fit the target demographic (for example, ""mothers under 40 with incomes over $50"", ""college men who play video games 8 or more hours a week"", ""guys with red beards under 6 feet tall"", and etc.) depending on the product or service in question. Members almost always receive some form of reward, be it cash, coupons, free products, etc.
The moderator will lead the discussion with the aim of encouraging the participants to discuss the topic among themselves, relaying thoughts to each other in a natural group setting. Professional focus group rooms will have a one-way mirror on one wall and observers on the other. The company or research sponsor may attend the meeting with members of the research team who can take notes without disturbing the participants. Focus groups are great for qualitative research. This is a great tool to use before a survey because they will make your questions more specific and focused.
Focus groups can also be useful afterward, as a way to delve very deeply into the topic covered in the survey. For example, an employee satisfaction assessment might reveal that ""cafeteria food"" is a big problem. A follow-up focus group with employees will allow the employer to better understand this question (What is the problem with food? Is it taste, price, health, temperature, or something else?).
Individual interviews are a qualitative method of market research. To make things easier, think of individual interviews as focus groups with one participant and one moderator (interviewer). Depending on the purpose of the interview, there is a wide range of interview formats.
Interviews can be free-form conversations that are loosely limited to a general topic of interest, or they can be highly structured, with very specific questions.
The interviews are useful for research. Use this method if you are interested in getting very deep into a particular aspect, looking for client problems, understanding the psychological motives and underlying beliefs.
- Identification and definition of problems
This step aims to reveal the nature and boundaries of the situation or issue related to the marketing strategy or its implementation. In identifying questions or problems, the researcher should take into account the purpose, the relevant background information, what information is needed, and how it will be used in decision making.
- Development of a research project
This step aims to create or generalize how you are going to solve the identified problem. The research plan or approach is the basis for conducting a marketing research project. It details the procedures required to obtain the required information and aims to design a study that will test the hypotheses of interest, identify possible answers to the research questions, and provide the information needed for decision making.
The research plan includes the following steps:
- Secondary Data Analysis
- Qualitative Research
- Methods for collecting quantitative data (survey, observation and experiments)
- Determining the required information
- Measurement and scaling procedures
- Questionnaire design
- Selection process and sample size
- Data analysis plan
- Data collection
Get the information you need to solve the identified problem. Data collection involves field forces or personnel who work either in the field, as in the case of a face-to-face interview (at home, interception at the mall or personal computer-assisted interview), from the office by telephone (telephone or computer-assisted interview) or by mail (traditional mail and mail panel surveys among recruited households).
- Data interpretation
This step aims to examine the data and come up with a conclusion that solves the problem. It is necessary to analyze the received data, through the construction of reports, graphs, tables for comparison.
- Results Report
The final step is to communicate the findings to those who need the data to make decisions. The results should be presented in an understandable format so that they can be easily used in the decision-making process.