Diving Into Longitudinal Surveys

Diving Into Longitudinal Surveys

Longitudinal surveys are the most powerful assets that marketers and market researchers can use when conducting longitudinal research. 

We’ve previously highlighted the three main types of survey research methods, which include cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies and retrospective studies. In this article, we will cover longitudinal surveys and their underlying studies.

You can apply longitudinal studies for a wide range of verticals and purposes. As such, it is crucial to learn about this research method so that you can set it off smoothly for your survey research needs. 

Defining Longitudinal Surveys

A longitudinal study is defined as a study in which researchers gather data on the same set of variables (respondents) over a period of time. This kind of research grants researchers the ability to closely examine the trajectories and changes of their subjects over time.

This study includes gathering insights on the sample pool’s opinions, behaviors, sentiments, desires, reactions and several other aspects. Mostly used in medical and social sciences, this form of research is also invaluable for brands, as studying your target market is key to keeping your business alive.

A form of correlational research, researchers (and businesses) conduct longitudinal research via collecting data on a group of variables without influencing or affecting the variables in any way. Each data collection is called a wave.

It is optimal to conduct this kind of study via longitudinal surveys, as they are designed to garner all the questions you need and to create them in innovative ways.

The Key Aspects of Longitudinal Surveys

To fully understand longitudinal surveys, you should peruse some of their key features. This will help you understand their make up and decide whether to use them for your survey research.

The following lists the core facets that distinguish these surveys from that of others. Here is how they differ aside from their deployment frequency:

  1. These studies and their surveys gather insights over long-term periods.
  2. Despite being typically used for a long period of time, there is no fixed amount of time required to constitute a longitudinal study.
  3. These studies can range from several weeks to years and even decades.
  4. They are part of observational studies, in which no intervention takes place, only pure investigation.
  5. They involve repeated observations of the same group of participants.
  6. They are used to uncover relationships between variables that are not connected to background variables. 
  7. They are used to discover how the sampling pool (respondents) changes over time.
  8. They are used after extracting some findings from cross-sectional studies, when those studies warrant more data and inquiry. 
  9. They collect both quantitative and qualitative data.
  10. They can be conducted through primary research, along with secondary research.
    1. Primary sources: surveys, survey panels, interviews, focus groups
    2. Secondary sources: government websites, focused reports, ex: longitudinal studies on American youth

How They Differ from Cross-Sectional & Retrospective Surveys

Longitudinal studies are often contrasted with cross-sectional studies. They also differ from retrospective studies. The survey of each study follows suit, as it will be distinguished in design, function and deployment frequency. 

Unlike longitudinal studies, cross-sectional studies involve examining samples of a given population (the cross-section) at a particular point in time. The surveys in this research method paint a snapshot of a sampling pool, usually the prevailing one.

As such, cross-sectional studies are far shorter to conduct. They are often used as precursors to longitudinal studies, in that they discover correlations that can be further probed longitudinally. 

Retrospective studies combine aspects of both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. They study respondents with surveys about past events. Researchers can thus compare past feelings and attitudes with those of the present, much like in longitudinal studies. In this way, these studies are used hand in hand with longitudinal studies, despite that retrospective studies form their own distinct set of research.

Retrospective surveys can be conducted just once, as are cross-sectional surveys. They may also amass data on several points in time. These surveys draw from a pool of an already existing data set.

As such, retrospective studies only deal with events of the past and will not gather any new data; that’s where longitudinal studies are needed to be used in tandem with them. 

It’s important to note that all three of these research methods/survey types are observational, allowing researchers to record and understand the subjects’ behaviors via observation only.

The 3 Types of Longitudinal Surveys

Longitudinal studies can be carried out in various ways. There are three main classifications of longitudinal surveys: a panel study, a cohort study and a retrospective study. As mentioned above, retrospective studies make up their own major form of research. However, due to their close involvement with longitudinal studies, they can also exist as a form of these studies. 

  1. Panel study: 

    1. It involves sampling a prerecruited set of survey respondents.
    2. These respondents agree to a particular length of participation.
    3. Surveys are sent to the exact same group of respondents.
  1. Cohort study: 

    1. It is conducted through online survey software. 
    2. Respondent selection is set by way of shared characteristics, such as a geographical location, births and historical experiences.
    3. It also deals with respondents on the basis of demographics and opinions and behaviors (the latter two are collected via screening questions).
  1. Retrospective study: 

    1. It uses past information on the same or similar subjects (variables).
    2. It involves studying the past with recorded data. Ex: medical records, past surveys.
    3. It complements any current or soon-to-be gathered longitudinal data. 

The first two types of surveys are part of prospective longitudinal research, in which a sampling pool is studied over a period of time. They therefore fall opposite to retrospective studies.

Which Industries Depend on these Surveys for Market Research

There are several industries that utilize longitudinal surveys for market research undertakings. These surveys therefore provide a wide variety of applications. The following list details the various verticals that rely on longitudinal surveys.

  1. Healthcare: Physicians, other healthcare providers and researchers can study any biological change in participants in terms of their lifestyle, i.e., their diets, their fitness/ sedentary habits, health upkeep, reactions to medicines and much more.
  2. Retail: Retailors can study shopping habits from time to time and discover how advancements in the sectors affect those habits or form new ones.
  3. Psychology: Psychologists can conduct these surveys to study how the mentality and psyche of various groups change over time in reaction to stimuli or any change. 
  4. Education: Those in the education sector can use students' test scores, work and products to track developments over time. Monitoring student progress can also identify disparities in academic performance levels among students.
  5. Real estate: Real estate agents and business owners can use these surveys to gather opinions of residents and businesses within a neighborhood or property over time. 
  6. Technology: Tech leaders and manufacturers can learn how consumers change or develop certain behaviors due to the use of existing technology or the emergence of new kinds.
  7. General business: Brands can conduct these surveys to closely monitor their target market, especially in relation to their products. Additionally, businesses can study closely associated target markets or even different knees to gain new patrons. 

Types of Business Surveys that Rely on Longitudinal Studies

Dovetailing onto the final industry using longitudinal data, that of general business, it is crucial to understand just the kinds of surveys that brands can use. This is because a wide array of survey types (based on the subdisciplines of business) can be applied in longitudinal studies. Here are a few key survey types:

  1. Marketing market research: Brands can use marketing surveys for market research to study trends in the market and within niches firsthand. They can also help businesses capture demand for their product/service, along with measuring campaign success. 
  2. Customer Satisfaction: A major component of any business, there are a variety of surveys for this purpose, such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and the Customer Effort Score (CES).
  3. Product feedback: These surveys provide necessary insight into the sentiment around product launches or existing products, should you want to test their levels of customer contentment. You can test for usability, awareness and general opinions on your products via longitudinal feedback.
  4. Employee engagement: Not all survey research is external, not even when it comes to the longitudinal variety. As such, it is apt for businesses to keep an eye on their employee engagement levels. This involves checking on employees’ comfort on the job and collaboration with others. A longitudinal survey on employee engagement will give you the full scope of your company’s pulse and how to improve it. 

The Pros and Cons of Longitudinal Surveys

Longitudinal studies, like others, come with their own sets of benefits and stumbling blocks. You ought to consider both sides in order to get the full picture on this kind of research method. Understanding the pros and cons will help you determine whether it is worth using this kind of study and its accompanying survey(s). It will also keep you aware of what to expect. 

Pros

  1. Longitudinal surveys allow you to monitor your target market and general sampling pool in real time. This allows you to place all insights sequentially and be able to correlate events with causes.
  2. This is the only study that gives you access into observing developments and life-spanning issues.
  3. These surveys allow you to study hypotheses conjectured at cross-sectional surveys to learn more and form educated decisions.  
  4. This is the most optimal study for identifying causal relationships and cause and effect.
  5. It stamps out the risk of recall bias, which denotes the inability to remember past occurrences.
  6. It can be used within a variety of survey types and industries including ones not mentioned above such as advertising, community feedback and more.
  7. They allow you to discover which sentiments and behaviors are conditional and which withstand the test of time. 

Cons

  1. These are the most time-consuming surveys; they may not work alongside other surveys since they’re results aren’t complete until the end of the studied period.
  2. They require the most resources and are the most expensive kind of survey to conduct.
  3. Respondents may drop off over time, as not all are going to be as committed to the study. This is known as selective attrition

Beyond Market Research: Longitudinal Studies as Content Assets

Longitudinal studies take the most amount of dedication and commitment — both on the end of the researchers and respondents due to their time-consuming nature. Nonetheless, they are valuable sources of primary research.

For businesses, these kinds of surveys do far more than just provide firsthand insights and data. Marketing teams can delight in that conducting longitudinal studies provides an invaluable content marketing asset, the kind that will easily distinguish a brand from its competitors.

Many businesses rely on content to increase brand awareness and gain leads. In fact, 60% of marketers produce one piece of content per day to grow their business. There are brands who use it to boost their user experience (UX) and even retain their customers. While blogs and social posts are typical, a longitudinal study is a downloadable asset worth conducting. It may be enlightening enough to gain media attention. 

 


How Market Research Can Build Consumer Loyalty

How Market Research Can Build Consumer Loyalty

Consumer loyalty is the principal objective of any business, a purpose more that should be more sought after than sales alone. This is because consumer loyalty is the main driver behind repeat sales.

This end cannot be reached overnight and to the surprise of many brands, it cannot be reached simply with a quality product. Instead, it takes several factors to build consumer loyalty. 

This article explores consumer loyalty, why it is crucial, how it can benefit your business and mainly, how market research can help you achieve it. 

Defining Consumer Loyalty

Consumer loyalty can be defined in several ways, some are more specific than others. While it may sound self-explanatory, for the purposes of market research, this concept is specifically defined as: the measure of a customer’s likelihood to patronize a business repeatedly. 

As the name suggests, this phenomenon stems from a feeling of loyalty to a brand, the kind that chiefly results from product satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and a good customer experience (CX). However, there are many other aspects that play a role in consumer loyalty.

These can be difficult to obtain as brands cannot fulfill all of their customers’ wishes. They certainly cannot achieve this feat if they do not know all of their customers’ pains, needs and concerns.

This is where market research comes into play. You can conduct market research in a number of ways. 

What Brands Gain from Consumer Loyalty

The goal of consumer loyalty is crucial to obtain and not just for the evident reasons. There are key facts of statistical importance that brands need to consider.

Firstly, customer Loyalty is the main contribution to customer retention. A mere 5% increase in retention raises profits by 25-95%. This is not only because retained customers make repeat purchases, but also because repeat customers spend more money.

Consumer loyalty breeds brand ambassadors, and 83% of consumers will recommend a brand they are loyal to.

Aside from these statics of customer loyalty gains, you ought to know how customer acquisition — the act of gaining new customers measures up to customer loyalty. While acquiring new customers is key to business growth, customer loyalty still reigns supreme in comparison. This is because:

How to Build Customer Loyalty with Market Research

Market research is an umbrella term that covers various methodologies to determine the success of a new product or service through researching one’s target market, competitors and the general state of an industry.

By examining your target market, i.e., customer base, you can learn about its preferences, needs and pain points. Tapping into the minds of your target market will allow you to serve them best, whether it is through new products, product upgrades, online experiences or general CX (customer experience). 

Market research involves using primary and secondary research, that is, self-conducted research and research that has already been conducted and made available, respectively. The following delineates the attributes that foster customer loyalty, along with how market research can build them up.

  1. Usability: Customers need to be reassured of the usability of your products/services. Understanding the ease of use of your offerings is thus crucial to creating customer loyalty. Primary research such as focus groups and surveys reveal the degree of your business’s usability, paving the way for understanding what works and what doesn’t.
  2. Trust: If customers don’t trust your brand for any reason, they will not return for future transactions. To test how you fare with your customers, conducting customer satisfaction surveys, Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys and other customer loyalty surveys. To get a sense of how customers generally view brands in your niche, you can use secondary research like statistics sites, industry reports and blogs in your industry.
  3. Customer Service: A key part of UX, customer service involves any touchpoint in which customers interact with company representatives. This includes leads speaking with sales representatives over the phone, a customer relying on a cashier or sales associate for help in-store, chatting with a rep via a site’s chat or getting phone support. You can use secondary research to get an overview of customer service in your industry via industry sites. You can also conduct secondary research on your competitors for ideas on how to boost your own customer service.
  4. Personalization: Greeting customers by their names on your digital properties is no longer a potent personalization method. Instead, customers are looking for more targeted efforts to show that their unique needs and desires are being met. As such, brands should avoid taking generic approaches in customer messaging and journeys. Instead, brands can use secondary research to see what segments in their target market desire. In order to conduct market segmentation, you are going to need to use surveys. Additionally, to understand your customers at a deeper level, you’ll also need to implement surveys.
  5. Social Media Presence: Social media has allowed brands to create more intimate relationships with customers. Creating social content can pique the interest of existing customers, prompting them to return to your brand at least to browse your social content. This can relieve them of boredom or curiosity, while keeping your brand on their minds. Primary research such as surveys can help you test your social media strategy to see what type of messaging and topics yield the most positive reactions. 

Best Practices to Nurture Customer Loyalty

Developing customer loyalty requires market research and after you’ve gathered a substantial amount of it, it’s time to implement some best practices. You can experiment with the following options to see which tactic works best for growing customer loyalty.

  1. Loyalty rewards programs: an oldie but a goody, this type of program helps both to attract customers and to keep the customers buying from you. This program, like its name implies, rewards your customers for being customers. For example, you can implement a point-based system based on the number of purchases customers make, which will reward customers with a discount, credit or some other benefit when a certain amount of points is reached.
  2. Optimize your digital user experience (UX): We live in the digital age, where many purchases are done online. But it doesn’t end, as window shopping is also done in an online format. Many shoppers browse websites to get a sense of your offerings, so you should ensure your best offers are on display, along with seamless website experiences. Avoid long page load times, messy navigation or time-consuming check-outs. 
  3. Communicate with targeted solutions: Show your customers that you’ve been paying attention by only massaging them with targeted solutions. For example, if they frequent your business for one type of need, focus on those such products. Give suggestions on past purchases and cater to their whims. You can achieve the latter by scrutinizing your customers directly, by way of questionnaires. 
  4. Innovate your products: Product development can be laborious and pricey, but it is well worth it when it comes to customer loyalty. With competition left and right on the internet and in brick-and-mortar shops, consumers will look to brands that provide the best product experiences. As such, you should research your top competitors to see how they’re improving their products. You should also inquire from customers directly, what they would like to see improve from your products/services. 
  5. Hire employees who care: Since customer service is dependent on interactions with employees, you ought to hire carefully by vetting your job applicants. You should also place etiquette and politeness as top qualities for any consumer-facing role. But aside from hiring the best talent, you ought to keep your talent happy. Implementing employee satisfaction surveys will help measure how satisfied your employees are on the job. Employee happiness is sure to relay over to customer interactions.

Market Research: The Constant Giver 

Since market research is concerned with staying in the know constantly on your market, customers and competitors, it is thereby a perennial tool for various business needs. As such, it is more than just a tool, as it entails using various sources of data.

Continually performing market research through both secondary and primary means will ensure you’re ahead of the curve, especially when it concerns consumer loyalty. Let’s face it, no matter how well you improve your product, service and customer experience, you are not a mind reader.

Consumers change their minds and can be swayed by competition instantly, especially in our increasingly digital world of information (think advertisements) overload. Surveys are thereby a vigorous instrument to measure customer satisfaction, calculate glitches, reveal frustrations and much more. You can uncover virtually any aspect of the customer experience through survey research, therefore empowering your business and stimulating customer loyalty. 


The Complete Guide to Qualitative Market Research

The Complete Guide to Qualitative Market Research

Qualitative research is one of the most prominent research methods in the ever-increasing research sphere. Running counter to quantitative research, qualitative research encompasses a distinct set of differentiating qualities (no pun intended). These attributes prove that these two methods ought not to be used interchangeably.

So what exactly is qualitative research? At a glance, this type of research method seeks to gather in-depth data about a phenomenon without focusing on numerical data or on quantities.

But there is much more to this kind of study method. Learn holistically about qualitative market research with this complete guide.

What Defines & Makes Up Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research is centered around experiences, ideas and opinions. As such, it does not focus on statistical or quantitative outcomes. Instead, it seeks out an in-depth understanding of an issue, occurrence or phenomenon.

Thus, this research method zeroes in on the “what” and more importantly, the “why” of a research subject. (Unlike quantitative research, which focuses on the “how much”).

Here are some of the applications of qualitative research:

  • Understanding an issue in greater depth

  • Finding the reason behind an occurrence (whether it’s desirable or undesirable)

  • Uncovering trends in target market opinions

  • Forming educated solutions to address customer/studied subject concerns

  • Discovering the causes of certain actions

Qualitative research generally relies on a smaller sample size in order to get a deep read of happenings, causes and motivations. This kind of research method functions through the usage of open-ended and exploratory questions.

Understanding the “why” behind an issue is then used to make decisions on how to resolve the issue or how to improve on an existing productive situation.

Qualitative data must occur in natural environments. This denotes a kind of environment in which participants discuss their opinions at length and at ease, which researchers use to gain deeper knowledge and form inferences around a topic.

Prior to the internet, this kind of research was conducted in-person, but with the advent of the internet and innovations in market research, qualitative data has been collected online. The digital space can also serve as a natural environment.

The Five Main Types of Qualitative Research

Just as with quantitative research, there is not a single approach to conducting qualitative research. On the contrary, there are five main varieties of performing qualitative research. Aside from their methodology, these sub-categories also seek different types of answers and conclusions.

1. Narrative Research

This research is used to form a cohesive story, or narrative, by way of consolidating several events from a small group of people. It involves running in-depth interviews and reading up on documents featuring similar actions as a means of theme-searching.

The point of this is to discover how one narrative is shaped by larger contextual influences. Interviews should be conducted for weeks to months and sometimes even for years. The narrative that the researcher uncovers does not have to be presented in sequential order.

Instead, it should be projected as one with defined themes that attempt to reconcile inconsistent stories. This method can highlight the research study’s ongoing challenges and hardships, which can be used to make any improvements.

2. Ethnographic Research

The most common qualitative research method, ethnography relies on entrenching oneself in various participant environments to extract challenges, goals, themes and cultures.

As the name suggests, it involves taking an ethnographic approach to research, meaning that researchers would experience an environment themselves to draw research. Using this firsthand observation, the researcher would not need to then rely on interviews or surveys.

This approach may seem to be far-fetched where market research is concerned, but it is doable. For example, you’d like to see the effectiveness or frustration that customers face when using your product. Since you can’t follow them home, you can request videos that show them using it. Many big brands have call-outs on their websites (ex: on product pages) for their customers to send in videos of their interactions with the products.

3. Phenomenological Research

This qualitative method entails researchers having to probe a phenomenon or event by bringing lived experiences to light and then interpreting them. In order to achieve this, researchers use several methods in combination.

These include conducting surveys, interviews and utilizing secondary research such as available documents and videos on the studied phenomenon. Additionally, as in ethnographic research, phenomenological research involves visiting places to collect research.

These will help you understand how your participants view your subject of examination. In turn, you will gain insight into the participants’ motivations.

In this research type, you would conduct between 5 and 25 surveys or interviews, then peruse them for themes. Once again, you would scrutinize experiences and sentiment over numerical data.

4. Grounded Theory Research

In contrast to phenomenological research, which seeks to fully form the core of an issue, grounded theory attempts to find explanations (the why) behind an issue. To achieve this, researchers use interviews, surveys and secondary research to form a theory around the issue/occurrence.

The sample of this study tends to be on the larger side, at 20-60 participants. Data extracted from this type of research is interpreted to determine the reasoning behind, for example, heavy usage of or frustration with a product. These types of studies help a business innovate an existing product by getting into the weeds of how it’s used.

5. Action Research

This type of research involves researchers and participants working collaboratively to bring theory to practice. Also called participatory research, collaborative inquiry, emancipatory research and action learning, this method entails the act of “learning by doing.”

This means a group of researchers come together to find and address a problem, resolve it and then study the success of their endeavors. If they underperformed or their outcomes don’t satisfy their expectations, they would then reattempt the process.

In action research, a researcher spends a considerable amount of time on collecting, analyzing, and presenting data in an ongoing, periodic process. This involves researchers coming up with their own surveys and interviews around a subject matter, then presenting their findings to one another to draw conclusions and solutions.

They would put into practice the means to improve a situation and continue measuring their success throughout the process.

Examples of Questions for Qualitative Research

When working within the capacity of any of the above research types, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. Here you’ll find the questions you can use when conducting each of the five types of qualitative research.

Bear in mind that some of these questions will appear to be similar in nature; some are even interchangeable. That is normal, as researchers may search for the same answers, but apply a different approach in their research method.

In any case, all of the below features questions that fit within the larger qualitative research framework.

Learn more about asking insightful market research questions. Here are a few examples of the questions within the five categories:

1. How do people who witnessed domestic violence understand its effects in their own relationships?

    Variable: Views of domestic violence on one’s own relationships

    Demographic: People in relationships, who’ve witnessed domestic violence

    Qualitative Research Type: Narrative

2. What are the lived experiences of working-class Americans between the ages of 20 and 40?

    Variable: Experiences and views of a working-class background

    Demographic: Working-class Americans ages 20-40

    Qualitative Research Type: Narrative

3. How do Asian Americans experience reaching out to address mental health concerns?

    Variable: The experiences in seeking out care for mental health

    Demographic: Asian Americans seeking help for mental health

    Qualitative Research Type: Ethnographic

4. What do you enjoy about this product or service?

    Variable: The positive experiences of using a particular product/service

    Demographic: The target market of a product or service

    Qualitative Research Type: Ethnographic

5. How have people who have experienced poverty changed their shopping habits when they entered the middle (or higher) class?

    Variable: The changes or stagnation in shopping habits

    Demographic: those who experienced poverty, but climbed the social ladder

    Qualitative Research Type: Phenomenological

6. What was it like when you had a negative online shopping experience?

    Variable: unpleasant shopping experiences

    Demographic: a group that is most likely to shop at a particular online store

    Qualitative Research Type: Phenomenological

7. What influences managers in private sectors to seek further professional advancement?

    Variable: Motivation for seniority

    Demographic: Managers in the private sector

    Qualitative Research Type: Grounded Theory

8. How do women in third world countries set up financial independence?

    Variable: Efforts at reaching financial independence

    Demographic: Women in third-world countries

    Qualitative Research Type: Grounded Theory

9. What impact does collaborative working have on the UX optimization efforts of a telecommunications company?

    Variable: effects of collaboration on the UX of a telecommunications company

    Demographic: workers in the telecommunications space

    Qualitative Research Type: Action Research

10. What strategies can marketing managers use to improve the reach of millennial customers?

    Variable: Strategies to improve millennial reach and their outcomes

    Demographic: Marketing managers

    Qualitative Research Type: Action Research

When to Use the Research and How to Analyze It

The qualitative research method has specific use cases. You ought to consider which is best for your particular business, which includes your strategy, your marketing and other facets.

The core of qualitative research is to understand a phenomenon (a problem, an inadequacy, and a slew of other occurrences) including its causes, its motivations, its goals and its solutions. Researchers do this by observing smaller portions of a population.

Researchers should use this form of research whenever you need to get the gist of a particular occurrence or event. It is particularly useful for studying how your target market experiences certain situations and how it feels about them.

There are several more specific ways that elucidate why this research style is valuable if not completely necessary. Here are some of the most crucial ways this method of research is vital:

  • Helps brands see the emotional connections customers have with them

  • Allows brands to find gaps in customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX)

  • Enables brands to create experiences that are more tailored to their target market

  • Helps businesses understand how they can improve on their product, service or CX

  • Finds experiences that customers had that highlight sensitive topics/language for them

  • Shows businesses how customers compare them to their competitors

  • Identifies possible solutions and innovations based on customer attitudes and experiences

To analyze qualitative research, you should first identify your subject of study and decide on the type of research you need to conduct based on the five types of research that fall under the qualitative category.

Then, brainstorm several questions that you can use to form the base of your studies. During the process make sure to jot down (either digitally or otherwise) your observations. For example, record interviews and store surveys in an organized database.

Make sure you ask open-ended questions in surveys, interviews, focus groups, et al. Aggregate secondary research such as government database documents, articles in your niche,  images,  videos and more.

Search for patterns or similarities within your findings. When you group them together and organize them by demographics, you can start drawing conclusions and proposing solutions.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Qualitative Research

Qualitative research can be extraordinarily beneficial. But as with other aspects of research and beyond, it too comes with a set of drawbacks. As a business owner, marketer or market researcher, you should know both the pros and cons. Here are some notable ones:

Benefits

  1. More intimate understanding of context and causation: besides understanding “what” in a granular way, you also learn the “why” and “how” of a particular situation.

  2. Understanding key experiences: Open-ended questions lead to unique answers, exposing things numerical-based surveys can’t answer.

  3. A foundation of deep insights: The design of the study is made to understand how customers relate to particular occurrences, events, ideas and products.

  4. Context-driven: Finding insights on motivation and past behaviors allows researchers to understand what their target market needs and what it tries to avoid.

  5. No need to find and create the correct measuring units: Open-ended questions don’t require a scale, a number range or any other measuring tools — one less thing to worry about.

  6. Smaller sample size: Smaller sample sizes allow researchers to study responses more thoroughly to form more accurate hypotheses and conclusions.

  7. Inspirational: The responses received can also help researchers form new studies.

  8. Flexible and detail-oriented: Since questions aren’t based on scales and other units, you can ask more creative and in-depth questions. Questions focus on details and subtleties for robust insights.

Drawbacks

  1. Relies on researcher experience: It relies on the researchers’ experience; not all are familiar with industry topics.

  2. Not statistically representative: Only collects perspective-based research; does not provide statistical representation. Only comparisons, not measurements can be executed.

  3. Difficult to make copies of data.  Individual perspectives make it hard to replicate findings, making it it more difficult to form conclusions.

  4. More likely to have researcher bias: Both conscious or subconscious of the researcher can affect the data. The conclusions they draw can thus be influenced by their bias. (This can be avoided by using controls in data collection.

The Final Word

Market research is a wide-spanning undertaking. It has a wide swath of aspects, practices and applications. As such, researchers should know its main categories and qualitative research is one such category of significance.

As opposed to quantitative research, which has four methods, qualitative research has five — not all of which will be of use to your particular market research needs. In any case, this type of research involves imbuing as much context and particularities around a phenomenon as possible.

As such, researchers should create questions more specific to the aforementioned examples of this article. That is because those are more encompassing, generalized questions that researchers can attempt to answer after conducting all of their research and parsing of the findings.

But prior to that, researchers should ask several related questions around a particular topic and tailor those questions as best as possible to the target audience.

Frequently asked questions

What is qualitative research?

Qualitative research is a type of research that is conducted to gain deep or unexpected insights rather than focusing on numeral or quantitative data.

Why is qualitative research conducted?

Qualitative research is conducted to find the “why” of the research subject, rather than the “what’ of that subject. For example, qualitative research might be conducted to understand an issue more deeply, to understand why something is happening, or to learn how to address a target market’s concerns.

What is narrative research?

Narrative research is a type of research that is used to create an in-depth story about a phenomenon or event. It is conducted by interviewing a small group of people who were directly involved in the event.

How is ethnographic research conducted?

When conducting ethnographic research, the researchers use firsthand observations of an environment to more deeply understand the goals, challenges, or opinions of the target audience.

What is action research?

Action research is a type of qualitative research in which researchers and participants collaborate to better understand a phenomenon. Together the group works to find and solve the problem by gathering information on an ongoing and evolving basis.


The Complete Guide to Quantitative Market Research

The Complete Guide to Quantitative Market Research

Quantitative research is a chief category in the research sphere, along with qualitative research. An encompassing aspect of market research, it can include both primary and secondary methods. 

Although used interchangeably with qualitative research, quantitative research is a distinct process that should not be confused with its counterpart. In fact, it is the opposite of qualitative research.

Let’s navigate through the waters of quantitative research in this complete guide.

What Defines & Makes Up Quantitative Research?

As its name suggests, quantitative research is the process of aggregating quantitative, or numerical data for research purposes. This data is used for a number of applications. These include:

  • Quantifying opinions, behaviors, attitudes and problems
  • Making generalizations
  • Forming predictions
  • Discovering patterns
  • Determining averages
  • Testing relationships

Quantitative research generally relies on a larger sample size in order to quantify any issue or variable. In order to achieve this, this research method involves using mathematical and statistical means. 

This type of research answers the “what” and the “how much” of a subject within a research endeavor. As it forms generalizations, this type of method involves surveying a larger population, using measurable data and processing all the data first and then analyzing it from a statistical standpoint.

The Four Main Types of Quantitative Research

There are four main ways to perform quantitative research. Aside from their methodology, these sub-categories also seek different types of answers and conclusions.

1. Descriptive Research

This is used to determine the state of variables. It describes the situation and environment surrounding a variable or topic. As such, it is used for arranging comparisons, outlining sample characteristics, overlooking emerging trends and confirming existing phenomena.

The data is collected by way of observation. Descriptive Research is used to form a hypothesis, but only after having aggregated all the necessary data.

2. Correlational Research

This research method is used to examine the relationships between different subjects and variables. Analyzing relationships is necessary to either test a hypothesis or a prediction. Because this research focuses on relationships between fixed variables, other outlying variables are not part of the investigation.

Correlational research is in direct opposition to experimental research, as none of the studied variables are manipulated. Correlations can be either positive or negative, with different degrees of the relationship’s strength.

3. Experimental Research

This method is used for finding whether there is a cause and effect relationship among variables. This kind of research relies on the scientific method. Unlike correlational research, experimental research involves manipulating variables.

Researchers would manipulate a variable to uncover its effect on another one. This method is frequently referred to as true experimentation, as no experimental undertaking leaves all variables unchanged; at least one must be influenced in some way. 

This includes manipulating, randomizing or reverting back a variable. The variables are then measured, calculated and compared.

4. Survey Research

The final research method is crucial to understanding behavior. In market research, it is often used to acclimate a brand with its target market’s desires, needs, points of contention and behaviors.

Surveys allow researchers to ask pointed questions to either discover their target audience or get a granular sense of their opinions. As such, they can be conducted within one group or many, for the sake of comparison.

Instead of turning to survey panels, which are likely to have skewed or biased results, researchers should use a random sample of people. A non-panel-based survey will garner more respondents that aren’t motivated by professional compensation.

Surveys can be administered by mail,  in-person, on the phone, or digitally. The latter has even more options: online surveys, third-party surveys, emails and in-app.

Examples of Questions for Quantitative Research

Survey research has a far larger scope of questions than do the other three types, as researchers can ask practically anything to conduct their studies. However, there are some best practices in survey questionnaires, such as focusing on your industry, your product and the desires of customers.

Learn more about asking insightful market research questions. Here are a few examples of quantitative research questions in the three other categories.

  1. Is working from home the best option to improve productivity for employees with long commutes?Variable: Working from home and in-office
    Demographic: Employees with long commutes
    Quantitative Research Type: Experimental
  2. How has the coronavirus changed employment for white-collar workers?
    Variable: Employment types and statuses
    Demographic: White-collar workers
    Quantitative Research Type: Experimental
  3. How often do working people travel for a holiday?
    Variable: Amount of times respondents travel during a holiday
    Demographic: working people
    Quantitative Research Type: Descriptive
  4. How much would you pay for a subscription to an entertainment magazine?
    Variable: payments for a magazine subscription
    Demographic: women aged 14-44, those interested in celebrities
    Quantitative Research Type: Descriptive
  5. What is the difference in smartphone usage between Millennials and senior citizens?
    Variable: Time spent on using a smartphone
    Demographic: Millennials and seniors
    Quantitative Research Type: Correlational
  6. Does the leadership style of car shop owners predict the job satisfaction of car salespeople?
    Variable: Leadership style and job satisfaction
    Demographic: Car shop employers and salespeople
    Quantitative Research Type: Correlational 

When to Use Quantitative Research and How to Analyze It

The quantitative research method has specific use cases. You ought to consider which is best for your particular business, which includes your strategy, your marketing and other facets.

The core of quantitative research is to quantify a phenomenon (a problem, an inadequacy, and a slew of other occurrences) and understand its prevalence. Researchers do this by observing large portions of a population.

You should use this form of research whenever you need to be presented with the state of things at a higher level, or from a bird’s eye view. This Is because this type of research can identify links between various factors, look for correlations and discover cause and effect relationships.

Researchers can then use the results of their findings to form predictions. This is useful in market research when launching a new product, brainstorming product ideas or innovations or growing a customer base.

To analyze this research, it should first be made quantifiable and objective. Researchers should pin down the scales and units of measurements in their various studies. Then, they should organize them into easily interpretable formats.

For example, once you gather the numerical data, you can enter it into a spreadsheet. Thereafter, you can organize it by desegregating it into graphs, charts and tables. Finally, you should draw data-based conclusions from your study. You can also do further sleuthing via advanced analytics.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Quantitative Research

Quantitative research has a bevy of benefits; it also has some hindrances. You should peruse both the positive and negative qualities of this research type before setting out on any major research project. The following may help you choose one form of research over the other, or use aspects of both.

Benefits

  1. Larger sample pools: the larger the group of respondents, the more accurate are the results.
  2. Highly structured: Surveys, questionnaires, and other tools for recording numerical data
  3. Focused: The design of the study is determined before it begins
  4. Theory-based: Research tests a theory to provide support/proof
  5. Designed to Be Analyzed: Numbers/statistics exist as tables, charts, figures and other non-textual forms for easy analysis.
  6. Objective: Steering clear of bias as the research is separated from the data & only objective responses are sought.
  7. Direct comparisons of results: The study can be set in different cultural environments, times or different groups of participants with a statistical comparison of results.

Drawbacks

  1. Focuses solely on numbers: This can be limiting as researchers may overlook other data and larger themes.
  2. Superficial Representations: It cannot adequately describe complex concepts (ex: feelings, opinions) it only shows the numbers behind them. 
  3. Several factors can invalidate results: A hypothesis and a model for collecting/ analyzing data.is required; any mistake can lead to bias and inaccurate illustrations.
  4. Erred Structure: If any data is missing or if measurements are not clear, biases easily take precedence.

The Final Word on Quantitative Research

Market research is far too encompassing to fully complete, especially in a limited amount of time. To tackle market research, begin with a research method. Quantitative research is often a good starting point, as it shows you the existence of a problem by way of quantifying it.

Aside from confirming the existence, it can help confirm a hypothesis, find correlations and prove cause and effect relationships. A hard set of data can also help you make educated predictions.

While the three types of quantitative research methods are useful, they do have several disadvantages. The fourth one, ie, survey research helps fill in the gaps and inadequacies of numerical limitations. Interestingly enough, they too can be a source of hard data and numbers. 

Either way, market research is sure to benefit from incorporating surveys as part of the processes.

Frequently asked questions

What is quantitative market research?

Quantitative market research utilizes the techniques of quantitative research in order to better understand the target market. In quantitative research, the information gathered from surveys and questionnaires is converted into numerical values so it can be easily analyzed.

What types of questions do quantitative research answer?

Quantitative research seeks to define “what” and “how much.” It is used for identifying patterns, making predictions, establishing averages, and quantifying opinions, attitudes or behaviors.

What are the four main types of quantitative research?

The four main types of quantitative research are survey research, correlational research, descriptive research, and experimental research.

What type of surveys are used for quantitative research?

Quantitative surveys are best suited for quantitative research. In this type of survey, there are no open-ended questions, and all responses can be assigned a numerical value. In most cases, a quantitative survey is distributed to a large and random sample of individuals.

Why are large sample sizes important when conducting quantitative research?

A small sample size can lead to inaccurate results. The larger the sample size (i.e. the group of individuals who receive the survey), the more likely it is that the results will be statistically significant and accurate.


How to Conduct Real Estate Market Research Like a Pro

How to Conduct Real Estate Market Research Like a Pro

Conducting real estate market research is a considerably different feat than conducting any other kind of market research. This is because this vertical, by its very nature, is packed with market intelligence that can be applied not simply to real estate companies, but to buyers and agents, along with those looking for a new property.

Therefore, as a business, you’ll find a lot of overlap between business-facing research and research that the target market can stand to study. However, even when you come across information that seems more suitable for consumers to review, it is of high value to your business as well.

Why? Because it is crucial to tap into the minds of your target market, to see exactly what they’re presented with. This intel will also grant you comparisons between your own offerings and those in the real estate market. 

The Main Uses of Real Estate Market Research

Research for the real estate vertical can be used for a variety of purposes. The chief goal of market research for this industry is to discover if your business will be successful in a particular location.

Unlike other industries, real estate has an enormous focus on location and the brick and mortar aspect. It is self-explanatory as to why that is, nonetheless, getting a deep understanding of your target market is also essential.

Here are the key uses of market research for this sector:

  • To understand changes and trends in the real estate market at large
  • To understand the current housing/ space rental markets
  • To compare prices of similar properties with yours
  • To be informed on how much you can charge for rent (particularly for investment properties)
  • To gauge your own prices as reasonable, too high or too low
  • To be able to market your properties successfully (gain better reach, prospects and sales)
  • To choose the proper investments

How to Conduct Real Estate Market Research 

The following lists the necessary steps towards conducting a sufficient market research campaign within the real estate market. You’ll notice that this vertical demands doing an analysis on various elements. These remain constantly in existence in the sector, so it is critical to understand how to study each.

You’ll also notice that observing your target market doesn’t occur at a single step, rather it should be done in a variety of stages.

Step 1: Narrow down a region/neighborhood 

Since real-estate is location-based, you must first settle on a region or a neighborhood you are interested in serving. If you are undecided, consider a few areas that you’d like to learn more about. 

Identify the target market of your neighborhood. You can do so via secondary research, by finding the demographics of your intended neighborhood. There are several sources that fetch this data, including Neighborhood Scout, Census demographics data, for example for New York City and Movoto.

Aside from gleaning the target market, these tools gather other key info like crime, local schools and even real estate data. 

Step 2: Study Your Competition 

Once you have narrowed down a few neighborhoods to research, along with their respective target markets, it’s time to focus on the competition.

That means looking further into secondary sources. To do so, check for websites that provide real estate agent, vendor, supplier information in specific localities. BiggerPockets and  Parkbench neighborhood marketing platform, for example, provide information on local real estate agents and vendors.

As for a neighborhood itself, look into The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). This website provides data on recently sold properties in specified areas.

You can also check The FNC Residential Price Index. This platform features exhaustive and up-to-date data on the real estate market from public records and valuations. This index also shines a light on market trends.

Step 3: Observe Your Desired Neighborhoods

Aside from looking at your direct competitors in the particular neighborhoods you set your sights on, you should also look into each neighborhood’s supply. This refers to the number of properties currently on offer in the neighborhoods. 

Then, you’ll need to find how in-demand a particular neighborhood is. To find this, you’ll have to survey your target market, or even the broader market of consumers seeking to find a residence or space to move into.

If you survey your target market, you can get their opinions about moving into a neighborhood. The more responders who prefer a neighborhood, the more expensive its properties become. In short, demand dictates the competition of a region.

As part of your neighborhood observation, peruse several listings of the available properties, office space, apartments, or whichever real estate is most relevant to you. Pay attention to the prices in particular and compare them with your existing ones, or the ones you set out to charge.

This will give you a real-world view of pricing and pricing expectations of your target market.

Step 4: Analyze the physical elements of a neighborhood/property

Analyzing the properties of a neighborhood and the real estate you seek to sell requires not merely examining the physical properties of a home. Rather it also involves inspecting public utilities and services, along with general environmental aspects.

Here are the most pressing aspects to inspect that affect a property’s standing:

  • Water resources
  • Soil
  • Transportation in the area
  • Regional climate
  • Utilities offered and their functionality

Afterward, you will need to inspect the property itself.

  • Size and square footage
  • Number of rooms (bedrooms, bathrooms, other rooms)
  • Age of properties (newer buildings tend to have a higher value)
  • Amenities (decks, fireplaces, gardens, balconies, etc.)
  • ANy recent or noteworthy improvements/ restorations

Step 5: Gauge how the neighborhood has been faring

After you examine the physical characteristics, you should get a deep read of how the neighborhood has been faring. This includes delving into the economics, construction and business performance of the region. 

When developments are underway, they could impact a neighborhood’s properties. At times, they may incite new companies to arrive in the region. Some may impact the local economy positively, while others may worsen it. 

An uptick in commercial real estate is usually a sign of a healthy local economy. This will stoke the interest of buyers and with more sales, the cost per property square foot will be on the rise.

Research the demographics of the neighborhood. This will allow you to be clued in to the target market as well as giving your buyers more insights. An elderly population, for example, is great to highlight to retirees and others within this age range.

But perhaps younger buyers are seeking a neighborhood with other young professionals.

Moreover, age and ethnicity are not enough to determine how a neighborhood will fare — and neither how your business will either. You’ll need to understand your target market at a deeper level.

That is where surveys rear their usefulness again. A survey with the right questions will give you all the answers you need to understand how to best appeal to your target market. It can also give you more insight as to the price and style of real estate your consumers are seeking. 

A Wavering Market 

The real estate market is notorious for its rising costs, whether they concern rent or ownership. Unfortunately, this market has also been under the mercy of rocky times, such as the Great Recession and the Covid-19 pandemic. They have negatively affected sales and demand, especially for urban areas such as New York City.

Due to an exodus from Covid-19 hot spots, which were mostly urban, (at least early in the pandemic) suburban real estate has soared.  

Despite the wavering market, any real estate business has much to gain from conducting real estate market research. There are several secondary sources available (though not all are free). For primary research, surveys help carry out the bulk of understanding your target market. They will provide your firm with answers directly from consumers themselves, on all your most sought-after questions. 

Frequently asked questions

What is market research?

Market research is the process of gathering information about target customers and markets in order to improve or introduce a product, feature, or service.

What is the goal of real estate market research?

The main goal of real estate market research is to understand if a real estate business will succeed in a specific location.

What factors should be considered while conducting real estate market research?

During a real estate market research project, you should seek to understand the following: changes in the market as a whole, current demand for and pricing of housing or commercial space, how your own prices compare to market averages, and current real estate marketing trends.

How can surveys be used during real estate marketing research?

A survey can provide real-time insight into market demands such as pricing, style, and how to appeal to your target audience.

How can demographics be used to plan marketing efforts?

By understanding the demographics of a target location, you can better understand the types of housing the population requires, their price points, and how to market to the various segments.


Marketing & Market Research: How Customer Insights Inform Digital Marketing

Marketing & Market Research: How Customer Insights Inform Digital Marketing

We live in a time of increasingly rapid market shifts, so it’s important to continuously test channels, tactics, and audiences and reflect on the strategies you employ. With marketing market research as an ongoing activity, you can understand changing consumer preferences and market dynamics, and adapt your campaigns before your competitors do. 

When collected and interpreted effectively, the intelligence you gain from marketing market research will boost the effectiveness of any marketing campaign, and generate stronger engagement with your target audience. 

It provides a deeper understanding of how your value proposition is perceived and helps you deliver compelling messaging to your customers on the platforms they frequent the most and in a format they will enjoy consuming. 

Categories of Marketing Market Research

Broadly speaking, there are five different categories of market research that are relevant to digital marketing:

  1. Brand research: Gathering insights that help with developing and managing a company’s brand identity. This could take many forms, from understanding which charities your audience supports to planning corporate partnerships, todesigning imagery, using cultural references, language, and color palettes.
  2. Customer research: Providing insights into the demographics, attitudes, and behaviors of customers (or prospective customers) and identifying niches to take advantage of for your messaging, targeting, or campaign deployment.
  3. Campaign efficiency: Measuring the effects of your message’s efficiency (whether it’s getting through, and that your target market is responding to your campaign favorably).
  4. Competitor research: Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, and/or asking consumers about their own perception of other brands in your niche.
  5. Product development: Crowdsourcing knowledge and opinions to inform the design of a product or service. This involves digging into the experience of using something, also widely known as UX (user experience)which can uncover previously unknown customer pain points and motivations. 

Marketing departments are interested in usability testing, so they can see how customers interact with product features in real time. This can reveal hidden bugs and unseen obstacles. 

However, the five categories mentioned above are the ones that yield data that will inform your digital marketing strategy, because they give you insight into your audience’s values, behavior, experiences, and perspectives. 

Researching Channels & Content Formats for Marketing

Successful marketing campaigns convey a compelling message in the right place, at the right time, to the right people. And to have an impact, you need a media strategy that makes sense in the channels and platforms on offer. With this in mind, your early research can focus on:

  • Marketing channels: Part of understanding your audience persona is to know about which channels you can reach them on, and what state of mind they’re in while using them. If your campaign goal is immediate sales, you need to find out where your audience is in a need state – i.e. where they’re ready to buy.

    For example, your audience might be socially active on Instagram, but not ready or willing to buy. This could lend itself to a brand-led awareness campaign. But for direct sales or lead generation goals, the right channel might actually be Google Search.
  • Content formats: Naturally, each channel requires distinct formats and structures for content. For example, if surveys indicate that your audience browses YouTube to educate themselves about DIY, this could be a perfect channel for how-to video content or direct response advertising campaigns promoting your new drill range. 

While market research can’t help you analyze the success or failure of your tests on different digital channels, asking the right questions sets you up with educated hypotheses. This is superior to relying on your gut instinct alone, and means that you’ll get started on the right foot. 

Survey Strategies: How to Get Insights for Your Marketing

Survey strategies have adapted with technology, and many businesses have moved away from traditional approaches towards online methods. Here are three of the most popular online survey approaches around right now:

  1. Online panels: Online panels collect responses from opted-in panelists who are recruited to participate in specific surveys. With online panels, you can also track trends in responses over time from the same people. However, they have downsides, including panel fatigue, conditioning, and declining participation over time.
  2. Assisted crowdsourcing: This method invites respondents to participate in a survey through social media. It can have huge penetration, yielding a lot of data. But biases can be introduced by quota sampling, which can lead to serious polling errors.
  3. Random Device Engagement (RDE): RDE organically engages respondents (a.k.a.. organic sampling), who are randomly picked from the target audience through the devices, software, or apps that they’re already using. Participants respond to a survey in exchange for an incentive within the delivery platform. Pollfish uses this methodology.

RDE is the immediate successor to Random Digit Dialling (RDD), improving massively on this method by targeting the user’s unique ID – which can be tracked across multiple devices and platforms. This also helps prevent fraud, and the quantity of paradata available when using RDE allows for considerable bias correction within the results. 

By merging machine learning technology with organic sampling methodologies like RDE, at Pollfish we can increase the value of your data by extracting authentic responses from an engaged and representative audience. Combined with massive coverage and programmatic delivery across over 140,000 partner apps, this yields instantaneous and reflexive responses.

These responses are taken randomly from a target sample, who can participate in the surveys without unduly disrupting their normal engagement with their device. This means that your research is conducted in a natural atmosphere, rather than in an unfamiliar environment. 

Gaining Insights Quickly for Your Digital Marketing

Market research surveys can help you set up your marketing campaigns with a better chance of targeting the right audiences with the right messages in the right channels. However, not all survey strategies are created equal, and not all will get quality data in a reasonable timeframe.

Programmatic delivery using organic sampling and RDE allows you to get hold of insights quickly, without sacrificing the data quality. This fast-moving intelligence is particularly useful for marketers who are testing different digital channels and messages to work out the best strategies for generating leads, sales, or brand awareness. 

Do you want to distribute your survey? Pollfish offers you access to millions of targeted consumers to get survey responses from $0.95 per complete. Launch your survey today.

Frequently asked questions

What are the five categories of market research?

Market research can be broken into five main categories: brand research, customer research, campaign efficiency, competitor research, and product development.

What is a marketing channel?

The term marketing channel refers to the area in which a company can reach prospective customers in order to sell their product or service.

What are some examples of marketing channels?

Marketing channels include social media, online advertising, salespeople, catalogs, and in-person experiences.

How can market research help improve a marketing campaign?

Market research provides a better understanding of the target market so a company can create a message that will be compelling to those customers, thereby achieving greater ROI on that campaign. It also helps them understand the platform and format that will be most effective in reaching this audience.

What is assisted crowdsourcing?

Assisted crowdsourcing is a survey method that uses social media to source the survey respondents. It is typically able to gather responses from large numbers of people, resulting in a great amount of usable data.


How to Conduct Retail Market Research Like a Pro

How to Conduct Retail Market Research Like a Pro

Whether you operate a brick-and-mortar, a click-and-mortar or a pure-play brand, you need to conduct retail market research, that is, market research specific to the retail sector.

That is because, in today’s age of mass information circulating at speed, we exist in a market jungle, as market trends oscillate and customer expectations sway, while your competitors are becoming more adaptable.

To stay ahead and survive this market jungle, you need to get acclimated to performing the correct form of market research.

Let’s learn how to conduct market research for the retail sector.

The Makeup of Market Research

Market research, as we’ve covered aplenty, is a wide umbrella term that pertains to studying several facets of a particular market in order to gauge the profitability and success of your product or service.

This includes gathering information on the following:

  • Trends in the sector, vertical and niche
  • Your target market
  • Segmentation within your target market
  • Your competitors (tactics, launches, performance,etc.)
  • The sector at large

It is made up of two sets of research: primary and secondary. The former deals with gathering research that you, as a business, conduct yourself. The latter involves consulting with information that has already been researched and is publicly available (not always for free).

Primary research requires using the following methods to collect information:

  1. Surveys on your target market and closely situated marketsInterviews (in-person or over the phone)
  2. Consumer reviews
  3. Focus groups
  4. Sales records
  5. Employee feedback

Secondary research has a more encompassing set of documents and sources:

  1. Trends sites (Google Trends, Google Alerts)
  2. Keyword searching and SEO platforms
  3. Research agencies
  4. Statistics sites
  5. Market research sites
  6. Competitor sites
  7. Case studies

Techniques Particular to Retail Research

The above provides fundamental information about performing market research — in a general, all-purpose sense.

Since you would need to turn to both primary and secondary data throughout the market research process, you should be able to detect and distinguish these resource types, whenever you come upon them.

But above all, you need to know which exact platforms, websites and tools to use for collating information on the sector of retail. In market research, you move from the general to the specific fairly quickly, and you’ll need information specific to your vertical.

This is especially important if you serve a niche market.

Primary research techniques speak for themselves, as you would need to gather original insights and data from the aforementioned. Secondary sources particular to the retail sector, on the other hand, need to be laid out.

Secondary Research Sources for Retail

Here are a few secondary sources for conducting market research on the retail vertical. Note that many of these platforms aren’t free, but their intel is indispensable.

  1. For understanding the retail industry: MarketResearch.com, specifically the Retailing Market Research Reports & Industry Analysis page, which links to a wide variety of internal research reports. These reports cover the many sub-sectors of the sweeping retail vertical, such as the clothing market, department stores and other related topics such as market analytics.
  2. For understanding customer personas: MakeMyPersona You should constantly be up to date on your buyer personas. This free tool from HubSpot generates personas; all you have to do is answer some questions about your ideal customers. The tool then creates a detailed document on your target market.
  3. For economic data in the retail sector: Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) A division of the US Census Bureau, this program provides economic data on employment, job expansions/ contractions, number of establishments, number of startups and more. This platform supplies annual measures on different business subsectors.
  4. For competitor analysis: County Business Patterns (CBP) Another division of the US Census Bureau, this program presents subnational economic data based on various retail industries. This includes the number of establishments, employment, annual payroll and more to analyze economic changes over a period of time.
  5. For understanding your customer base: Facebook Audience Insights If your business has a Facebook business page, this tool will provide demographics information, along with some behavioral insights into your followers. It shows you their age, location, income, employment type, spending behaviors and even lifestyle (Facebook’s own category).
  6. For multipurpose research: Think with Google An all-in-one market research platform providing guides, data reports, infographics and content reap in insights on the retail industry and your target market. You can use specific tools to grow your store, find your audience and stay up to date with the latest research within your particular retail subsector.
  7. For keyword research, SEO and competitor analysis: SEMrush This platform offers over 30 tools to analyze 3.7 billion keywords and 4 trillion backlinks. It allows retailers to find new organic competitors, as well as those in Google AdWords and Bing ads, to analyze their competitors’ budgets, strategies, ad copy, display ads and keywords.

Wrapping Things Up

Retail is one of the most expansive verticals, as it can include virtually any business that sells products to consumers. It requires both primary and secondary research methods for a thorough analysis and interpretation.

Secondary research for the retail sector involves a distinct set of secondary sources for quality research campaigns. A successful research endeavor will allow you to provide meaningful products and experiences for your customers, communicate with them more productively and improve your standing within your submarket.

Although the above examples of secondary research are invaluable, there are many other online tools for your disposal. Social media, for example, is excellent for market research, as it can connect you with your customers to get their perspectives firsthand, along with their data. 

Frequently asked questions

What is retail market research?

Retail market research is the process of gathering information about target customers and markets to determine or improve upon the success of a retail venture.

What types of primary research are useful in retail market research?

The most relevant types of primary research for the retail sector are surveys, consumer reviews, focus groups, feedback from employees, and sales reports.

How is secondary research performed?

Secondary research is performed by gathering and reviewing previously published information in order to gain insights to support a market research project.

How are buyer personas used in retail market research?

Buyer personas are a good way to define and understand the various customer segments that are likely to purchase from your retail store.

What information can Facebook Audience Insights provide about your retail business?

A shop’s Facebook business page can provide a wealth of information about its followers, including age, location, employment, income, spending behaviors, and lifestyle preferences.


How to Conduct Ecommerce Market Research Like a Pro

How to Conduct Ecommerce Market Research Like a Pro

Whether you’re setting up an ecommerce business from scratch or planning to launch a new line of products in your online store, market research is a crucial starting point.

In this article, we review key ecommerce market research methods that will help you build an in-depth understanding of your target audience and secure success in the competitive world of online shopping.

Discover Key Industry Players and Trends

When you’ve got what seems like a winning idea for an ecommerce business, it’s important to test the viability of the idea by reviewing the market landscape in your vertical or niche. 

Your first step should be to use secondary market research methods to check there’s a need your business can fulfill. Accessing public databases, journals, and industry reports will help you understand more about the current state of the market you hope to enter. You’ll also want to research your main competitors and collect data you can analyze to determine what makes them so successful.

Another option is to examine the market trends surrounding your business idea, either manually or using a tool such as Google Trends. By uncovering changes in search demand for relevant keywords, you’ll be able to see whether your niche is a passing fad or a steadily rising trend. 

So, let’s say you want to start a business selling artisan chocolate online – you might find that “organic chocolate” and “ethical chocolate” are trending up in your market. Not only is this a good sign that your carefully crafted treats have a future online, but you can also use that data to adjust your business proposition and focus on its sustainable credentials.

Conduct Keyword Research to Get the Full Picture

Keyword research is a good place to begin getting a basic understanding of your audience. Although later, you’ll want to move on to explore your target market and ideal customer in more depth, possibly using an online survey

Well-known and widely-used keyword planner tools include the Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush and a slew of others. Another simple method for keyword research is to run a query on a search engine like Google, then peruse the SERP (search engine results page).

For example, let’s say you sell artisan chocolates; a relevant term would be “artisan chocolate.” When you run the query, scroll to the bottom of the SERP and take a look at the list of related keywords that consumers have searched. This in itself will help you generate new keyword ideas.

For our “artisan chocolate” keyword we might find: “artisan chocolate gift box”, “artisan chocolate near me” and the names of some well-known artisan chocolatiers. The artisan chocolatiers you find are important in this example, as they represent the other purveyors of this product in the market. As such, it allows you to understand your competitors. 

You can also use these to begin developing a very broad outline of your target audience. 

For example, “artisan chocolate near me” may suggest that consumers are looking for a local shop to find luxury chocolates. What are some ways you could create that local feel despite being a pure player (an ecommerce- only business). 

Establish Your Ideal Customer Profile

Once you’ve carried out your secondary research and you’re confident there’s a market for your ecommerce products, you can move on to develop a detailed profile of your ideal customer. This stage is focused on primary market research methods, such as research panels, focus groups, interviews, and online surveys. But which method should you choose for ecommerce market research?

Research panels have become significantly more time and cost-effective since you can conduct them online. However, they still have their share of setbacks. Using the same panelists’ time and again can result in “panel fatigue”, where participants become bored and don’t put the same care into their answers. In addition, professional panelists – attracted by the financial incentives – can try to provide the “right” answers so they’ll be asked to participate again, a recipe for skewed results.

Online surveys, on the other hand, can provide much more authentic, reliable insights into your target audience. Pollfish uses an innovative organic sampling method, where in-app surveys collect data from respondents in their natural environment. Participants opt in to take the surveys and are rewarded by bonus points or privileges within the app itself.

With “m-commerce” ( mobile device shopping) predicted to reach 45% of the U.S. ecommerce market by the end of 2020, market research focused on active app users has a major advantage for ecommerce businesses. You can find out more about your audience in the very environment where they may be ordering your goods, for example. This can be done by A/B testing mobile content and interfaces, along with choosing a survey platform that is distributed across publisher apps.

Review and Monitor Social Media Conversations

Social media listening is another important part of ecommerce market research, and it can combine secondary and primary research techniques. Using social media, you can “visit” the places where your potential customers are meeting online and discover more about their wants, needs, and pain points.

An automated social listening tool will allow you to gather quantitative data on key trends and topics related to your business idea from the major social media platforms. However, it’s also worth manually reviewing groups, pages, and threads involving your target audience to gain qualitative insights. One advantage of this is that you can learn the “language” of your audience and then reflect this in your messaging.

To return to our artisan chocolate example, you might review groups related to chocolate enthusiasts, home-bakers, or sustainable living. You could then record common concerns you find there and run a survey to identify what would entice your audience the most when buying chocolate online.

Before you let these insights direct your go-to-market strategy, you can test them for their broader applicability. For instance, Pollfish allows you to design surveys with different types of questions, so you could take the following statements…

  • “I know where the chocolate is made.”
  • “The cocoa is Fair Trade and organic.”
  • “The chocolates are hand-made in small batches.”
  • “The chocolate includes the highest quality ingredients.”

…and ask respondents to rank them in order of importance, select one or more answers, or select “Other” and type their own statement.

Run Analytics on Your Ecommerce Site

Now that you’ve completed your first stage of market research, determined that there is a market for your business idea, gained insight into your target audience – and now your ecommerce site is up-and-running. Time to sit back, relax, and watch the profits come in? Not yet. This is a crucial moment to continue your market research, augmented by the real data on sales, site traffic, product feedback, and more that should now be flooding in.

You should have analytics tools (e.g. Google Analytics) set up on your ecommerce site so that you can build up a thorough picture of how site visitors and customers are behaving. You can then analyze this data in order to keep improving your business. 

For example, if you recognize a high level of cart abandonment, perhaps you need to optimize your checkout flow and reduce the number of steps. Or you might notice a pattern in reviews where the customer complains they weren’t expecting their chocolates to contain alcohol; that points to the need for greater clarity in your product descriptions.

An ongoing cycle of research, testing, and action will make your ecommerce site an effective base for your business and ensure it’s a pleasant shopping experience for your customers.

Beating the Giants of Ecommerce With Deep Research

Ecommerce is a landscape dominated by giants (we all know who we’re talking about), but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get stepped on. Once you have the expertise in your niche, you can provide intrigue around your product and thus, high demand for it. So find your target audience, convince them of your unique value, and they’ll keep coming back for more.

Frequently asked questions

What is ecommerce market research?

Ecommerce market research is the process of collecting information about the target customers and markets of an ecommerce business or the ecommerce sector in general.

How can secondary research help improve an ecommerce business?

Secondary market research can help a business understand the current state of the market help the business understand whether or not they can compete. This information can also help the business understand what makes other ecommerce businesses successful in similar verticals.

How can keyword research help guide ecommerce market research?

Keyword research can give an ecommerce business a better idea of the demand for their products or service. A higher search volume is likely to indicate an increased demand for a particular product or service.

What is a customer profile?

Customer profiles are detailed descriptions of the various market segments that may purchase a company’s products or services. Customer profiles are created using information from primary research, such as surveys, research panels, focus groups, and interviews.

How can website analytics help improve an ecommerce business?

Monitoring a website using an analytics tool such as Google Analytics, can help a business understand how users behave as they move through a website. By identifying and fixing potential problems, the company can continually improve their ecommerce business.


How To Conduct A Survey That You Can Trust In 6 Steps

How To Conduct A Survey That You Can Trust In 6 Steps

Conducting surveys on your customers is one of the most effective ways to collect invaluable data and answer questions that are important to you. 

Surveys let you uncover hidden growth opportunities, reveal public opinion, gain deep insights into customer behavior, and even get extra media coverage when prominent publications cite your research. 

As an added bonus, merely the act of conducting a survey can boost customer retention and revenue, as HBR study shows: “The customers we surveyed were more than three times as likely to have opened new accounts, were less than half as likely to have defected, and were more profitable than the customers who hadn’t been surveyed.”

If you want to get meaningful results that you can act on, you need to survey the right people in the right manner. Otherwise, you risk collecting unneeded data and biases.

We’ve prepared this 6-step guide to help you to design, conduct, and organize an effective survey in no time. Let’s dive in. 

Steps to Conduct a Survey

  • Step 1: Write Down Your Research Goals
  • Step 2: Design Your Questionnaire
  • Step 3: Define Your Target Audience
  • Step 4: Distribute Your Survey
  • Step 5. Organize Survey Responses
  • Step 6. Analyze and Present Survey Results

Step 1: Write Down Your Research Goal

Every successful survey has a purpose. 

Are you trying to find out why you are losing customers? Do you want to know if your policies are effective? Are you figuring out what to do in the current market?

Understanding your survey’s main goal both improves its quality and reduces the time you’ll spend on executing your research.

In case you struggle to pinpoint your exact goal, write down a list of all the questions and issues your market research campaign needs and prioritize the most important ones. 

The following questions will help you understand your survey goal:

  • Do you understand who comprises your target market?
  • Do you need to segment your target market further?
  • Do you already have any existing data that you can use? 
  • Do you need data to improve an existing product or launch another?
  • What resources do you have to perform the survey?
  • What actions are you going to take after the survey is complete?
  • After you have figured out the main goal of your research, you can design your questionnaire.

Step 2: Design Your Questionnaire

The quality of a questionnaire is where the majority of surveys fall short. Experiments suggest that sensitive or vague opinion questions increase the potential of error by up to 30%Put simply, your survey is as good as your questionnaire is. 

Make sure your questions are clear and don’t contain jargon or uncommon abbreviations:

Poor example: Do you think VR is going to take off in the next 5 years?

Better example: Do you think virtual reality (VR) is going to take off in the next 5 years?

Another example of a weak questionnaire are leading questions that are structured to induce a certain response: 

Poor example: Do you agree that this is a great movie?
Better example: What do you think of this movie?

Take some time to learn how to write clear, unbiased, and effective survey questions to get the best results out of your research. 

Step 3: Define Your Target Audience

There are two main concerns when it comes to surveying participants: who should I survey and how many participants do I need.

Let’s clarify both. 

Who should I survey?

Surveying the right people makes all the difference. 

Suppose you want to learn if iPhone users are happy with the recent product updates. By surveying random iPhone users, you may notice that the majority of responses are somewhat neutral. But if you target specifically the Gen Z generation, you might learn that the younger demographic is worried about having to buy extra accessories.  

The more defined your target audience criteria are, the more accurate and deep your survey insights will be. Make sure to brainstorm what target audience will give you the most accurate insights and help you fulfill your survey goal.

How many participants do I need? 

When doctors want to examine your blood, they don’t drain all of it - they just need to take a small sample. It’s the same with surveys: a small sample of participants can accurately represent the opinions of a larger group. 

If there are 5,000 people in your company and you want to know how well the latest HR policy was received, you don’t need to survey all 5,000. In fact, surveying just 146 employees will be enough. 

Thus,  if you want to learn what all American high schoolers think about the recent TikTok ban, you don’t need to ask all 76 million of them. Surveying between 200 and 600 respondents will give you a sufficient amount of opinions to draw from.

For the majority of studies, 200 to 400 respondents will be enough to represent the opinion of a particular population.

If you want to calculate how many participants you need to get scientifically accurate survey results, feel free to use our sample size calculator

Step 4: Distribute Your Survey

Choosing who you want to survey is as important as how and where you will find your participants.

Let’s continue the example with surveying Gen Z iPhone users. Suppose you moderate a local school Facebook group and decide to post your survey there. Even if you get a large number of responses, the results may not accurately affect this demographic. 

This is because in this case, you don't pick survey participants randomly, instead, you survey only those who joined the local school Facebook group that you conveniently happen to moderate. This is called convenience sampling, since the majority of survey participants unintentionally live in one area. The survey didn’t account for Gen Z users from other areas with different average household incomes. 

To ensure you get the most accurate survey results, use a survey platform that can help you reach your targeted demographics more precisely. In short, avoid convenience sampling.

Here are a few common ways to distribute your surveys: 

  • Email. You can distribute your survey by email, especially if you have access to an established email list. The two main drawbacks of email surveys are that it’s harder to set specific target audience parameters and email response rates are generally low.
  • Social media: if you survey people via social media channels, although beware that sometimes social media groups attract people with shared interests that may not represent the opinion of your target audience or the general public.
  • Online Survey platforms: survey platforms such as Pollfish allow you to target specific audiences, control the number of participants, reach all quotas and easily organize your survey results. 

Besides these prominent survey channels, there are other survey solutions you can use; make sure to select the one most pertinent to your market research needs.

Step 5: Organize Survey Responses

After you’ve gathered your responses, you’ll need to organize the data before starting your analysis.

Here are the steps to prepare your data for analysis:

  • Clean. Sometimes people fill the survey twice by mistake. Although Pollfish survey technology prevents duplicate responses altogether, if you’re conducting a survey on your own, make sure to clean duplicates and “funny” answers before you proceed to organize your data.
  • Organize. Group survey answers that are similar to each other and try finding patterns that allow you to structure your data.

  • Visualize. Try finding ways of visualizing survey responses using graphs, charts and images. Visualized data is easier to analyze and refer to, especially if you want to share survey results with other people.


Step 6. Analyze and Present Survey Results

The data you collected during your survey can be presented and analyzed in many different ways, so make sure to go back to your survey goal that we covered in Step 1. 

Analyzing survey results and writing a report often go hand in hand, so it’s a good practice to go back and forth between the two until you fully narrow down your findings. 

Here are some questions that will help you write a better report: 

  • Did you achieve your survey goals?
  • How can you organize your findings into cohesive narratives?
  • What are the main insights that you gathered?
  • How can you use the collected data in the future?
  • Are there other ways this data can be interpreted? 

If you are presenting a report to others, remember that different audiences may be interested in different aspects of your survey.

In case your audience is primarily business stakeholders, then the main focus should be concrete customer preferences or aversions, along with actionable suggestions.

If you are presenting a survey to other researchers, they will be more interested in the technical aspects of your survey such as target audience, sample size, and data analysis method.  

Making Every Survey Count

Every business has a slew of questions about its industry, competitors and customers. . The challenge is twofold:  finding a survey solution to easily distribute our questions to the right audience, and creating a survey with the proper questions. Following our  six steps will help you conduct meaningful and unbiased surveys to answer your most pressing questions.

Good luck!

Frequently asked questions

What is the first step in planning a successful survey?

Before writing questions or recruiting participants, you should establish the goals of your survey. By understanding goals, you can ensure your survey stays focused and will answer your most important questions.

Why are surveys used?

Surveys are one of the best ways to gather information about your customers or target audience. As opposed to simply researching an industry or trend, surveys let you ask specific questions to the people who matter most to your business.

Why is it important to define the target audience for your survey?

A more defined audience will lead to deeper, more relevant insights. A carefully defined audience provides more accurate results and ensures the goals of your survey are met.

How can online surveys be distributed?

Online surveys can be distributed via email, social media, or a professional survey platform.

How many people should take an online survey?

The number of respondents needed will vary from one survey to the next. The important part is that the sample size accurately represents the target audience. For most studies, a sample size of 200 - 400 is a good goal.


Mastering the Different Types of Consumer Surveys

Mastering the Different Types of Consumer Surveys

Consumer surveys are critical tools for sharpening your market research efforts, but they go far beyond that. They also help inform your advertising, marketing, product and sales strategies — they’re that powerful.

However, choosing the right survey for your needs may prove to be difficult, as there aren’t merely many different insights your brand may target, but there are also so many survey types to choose from.

We’ve covered the three main types of survey research methods. These methods are mainly centered on the frequency of survey distribution, while some of them include thematically-oriented sub-types.

Luckily for researchers, marketers and business owners, there is a multitude of survey types and subtypes. Some of these survey types fall within the aforesaid three main survey research methods, while others can be categorized as methods of quantitative or qualitative research.

Let’s get familiar with the various types of surveys for consumer research and other avenues of research.

Brand Awareness Surveys

This type of survey is generally the first you should consider conducting before you undertake any other survey types about your customers.

It is most ideal to run a brand awareness survey when you’re well-acquainted with your target market. However, you can conduct this survey even before you’re fully aware of who makes up your target market.

That is because you want to ascertain who knows about your brand; sometimes this can be consumers who narrowly fit within your target audience and sometimes this can be those who are not potential customers.

The latter is important in that although those consumers may not be interested in your brand, they may pass it along to someone who is, since they know about it.

Band awareness, nonetheless, is so much more than whether customers know about your brand. It includes:

  • Awareness of what your brand stands for
  • What the company is trying to achieve (beyond just selling something)
  • The meaning behind your company name or logo
  • How you differ from your competitors

As such, this survey type doesn’t merely measure, as it largely seeks to market your brand and everything it has to offer (including style and experiences).

Here are a few considerations to concentrate on for your brand awareness survey:

  1. Understanding whether your consumers acknowledge your company when they see it.
  2. Gauging how well your target market can recall your business by way of memory.
  3. Discovering how loyal your customers are loyal to your brand, especially in times of crisis.
  4. Ascertaining what customers associate with your brand.
  5. Bringing to light opinions on your logo and branding components.

When you’re in the midst of a marketing campaign and would like to work out how consumers are reacting to it, you can do so with this kind of survey. Here’s precisely what it can help you:

  • Identify which strategies and investments are most effective and which are under-performing.
  • Confirm if the opinions of your business are in accordance with how you intend on positioning your brand.
  • Pinpoint sentiments and associations about your brand that can help uncover more business opportunities.
  • See how your offering or experiences can improve.

Here are some useful questions to ask in brand awareness surveys:

  1. When you think of this product, what brand comes to mind?
  2. Which of the following have you tried? (Multiple selections)
  3. When was the last time you used this product category?
  4. How many of the brands have you heard of? (Select all that apply)
  5. When you think of this product, what brand comes to mind?

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

The most commonly used types of surveys, customer satisfaction surveys, like their name implies, gauge customer satisfaction.

Businesses can use these surveys to measure how content their customers are about a number of their experiences. These experiences include a business’s:

  • Product
  • Service
  • Online shopping
  • UX
  • Events

Since the participants’ responses are direct ratings of a range of offerings, businesses can make educated decisions on how to change their offerings or their overall CX. The responses can also show businesses which aspects of their business are profitable, so the businesses can, in turn, double down on those.

Customer satisfaction surveys are generally short and rely on several visual measurement tools as ratings. These include:

  • Stars and other shapes to determine how good or bad an experience was
  • Numbered scales
  • Color-coded scales

Like other surveys, customer satisfaction surveys rely on questionnaires (if the above units weren’t adequate for research).

Understanding how pleased your customers are is crucial for innovating your product, service and customer experience (CX). It can also determine the following:

  1. Whether or not a consumer intends to buy from you and is loyal to your business.
  2. Negative feelings towards your product, service, employees or experience.
  3. Knowing and making sure that customers are satisfied will reduce churn and increase customer lifetime value.
  4. Efforts to retain happy customers.
  5. Who to ask for (ex on social media) for good public reviews or testimonials.

Here are some examples of customer satisfaction questions to use in the questionnaire portion of your consumer survey:

  1. How would you rate your shopping/web/service experience?
  2. How likely are you to buy from this brand or this type of brand again?
  3. Was your issue resolved today?
  4. Did you find what you were looking for?
  5. How do you generally feel about the service of [insert industry or specific brand]?
  6. How would you rate the quality of [product, service, customer service representative experience]?
  7. Did you have an overall positive or negative experience with [the service, company, etc]?

Event Evaluation Surveys

This type of survey relies on gaining a more specific understanding of a customer experience, which, in this case, is an event. This survey type is essential to use if your business hosts events, whether they’re grand-openings, marketing events, webinars, etc.

These surveys are also crucial to understanding your target market, even if you don’t host or take part in any events. This is because your customers’ opinions towards certain events can help you tweak your offering or your messaging more to their liking.

It can also allow you to see how your customer base spends their time and money, which is critical to market research.

Here are a few pointers on how to improve your event and business in general via event evaluation surveys:

  1. Ensure your survey captures honest and in-the-moment perceptions from the attendees.
  2. Keep these surveys short, as many people won’t want to answer a survey after participating in an event.
  3. Find a way to tie the event with your product or service.
  4. Put your customers’ needs in the questions.
  5. Allow customers to discover your brand if you didn’t host/take part in the event.

As for the specific questions to ask in an event evaluation survey, we’re narrowed down a few effective ones:

  1. What motivated you to come to this event?
  2. What were your favorite aspects of the event?
  3. What were your least favorite aspects of the event?
  4. How likely are you to recommend this event to a friend or colleague?
  5. Did the event answer your questions and concerns? (can be open-ended)
  6. What did you think of the [products/services] in the event?
  7. Will you consider checking out [brands in the event or a similar brand not in the event]?

Lead Generation Surveys

The purpose of these surveys falls more within the confines of gathering contact information from your target market. They can also help reveal the types of people who make up your target market, as they deal with questions about your consumers’ job roles and preferences.

This survey method is a great way to both learn and reel in potential customers. As such, this type of survey should be used early on in your research. But it is not meant to be rigidly conducted at this point.

You can use it throughout your marketing and market research campaigns to build up a list of quality prospects.

Since the object behind lead generation surveys is to gain leads via their contact info, there are a few things to take into consideration.

  • Use only a few form fields, as too many tend to be unfavorable among users, especially if they are C-level executives who deal with their company’s finances.
  • The most important fields are names, job roles and email addresses, especially in the case of B2B businesses.
  • An opt-in button to get their permission to be contacted through their email address.
  • Questions that ask for their preferences within your industry about your offering
  • Interactive content (GIFs, quizzes, etc.) to set your brand apart.

As for the questions, remember to ask questions that will help your brand determine whether the prospect is an MQL. The following lists a few question examples for lead generation surveys:

  1. What is your role in the company?
  2. Are you in charge of your team’s budget?
  3. How do you intend on growing your business?[or gaining customers, questions that deal with growth/scaling]
  4. Would you consider buying this [ex: software]  to improve your revenue and overall business goals?
  5. How do you stay up-to-date on industry trends?

Job Satisfaction Survey

This type is an example of a survey delving into a specific topic or theme to better understand your personas and user base. Since employment is a major factor in the quality of life, it is wise to pick your consumers’ brains on this topic.

In fact, 51% of American workers have reported that they get a sense of identity from their jobs. Since jobs define who the public is, or at least a large percentage of it, your business can stand to create surveys centered on job satisfaction.

After all, participants more satisfied with their line of work and income are more likely to spend.

A job satisfaction survey is similar to an employee satisfaction survey, but offers a much more intimate view. That is because the latter deals with all members of an organization, whereas the former deals with the personal outlook of an employee to measure their satisfaction.

Here are a few questions designed for this survey type:

  1. What does your job represent to you personally? (Answers can include: just a way to earn money, a way to be involved in something important, a way to better myself, etc.)
  2. How would you rate your satisfaction with the work you do? (Can use a scale)
  3. How meaningful is your job to you? (Can include a scale)
  4. Do you feel empowered to make purchases?
  5. If yes, on what kinds of items? (Answers can include media, travel tickets, products in your niche)

Choosing the Proper Type of Survey

While the above lists several fundamental survey types for your market research campaigns, these are just a drop in the bucket, in terms of quantity. There are various other survey methods, both based on survey research methods and on specific topics.

The true value in surveys comes from their ability to give you full control of the questions, thereby the topics for your consumers to answer. That’s why, before you settle on the types of surveys to use, you should first find a practical and user-friendly survey tool.

This way, you can be sure that you’re gaining the maximum satisfaction in your survey process. Once you find an exceptional survey solution, you can comb through the different survey types and choose the best one for your business.

Frequently asked questions

What is a consumer survey?

A consumer survey is a research method used to understand how satisfied consumers are with products, features, or services. It can also be used to understand how consumers feel about potential or new products and services. There are several different types of consumer surveys, including brand awareness surveys, customer satisfaction surveys, and job satisfaction surveys.

What is a brand awareness survey?

A brand awareness survey is used to understand how familiar your target market is with your brand. It can be conducted with existing customers or with a larger population to understand how you compare to other brands.

What is a customer satisfaction survey?

A customer satisfaction survey measures how satisfied existing customers are with your products or services. They tend to be short surveys that are deployed at a certain point in time, such as after making a purchase.

What type of events can benefit from an event satisfaction survey?

Any type of event that people attend, whether in-person or virtually, can benefit from the use of an event satisfaction survey. They are often used to understand satisfaction with conferences, marketing events, and webinars.

What is a job satisfaction survey?

A job satisfaction survey seeks to measure how satisfied employees are with their job. It can help a company improve many operational aspects, including retention rates, hiring processes, profitability, and management style.