The Components of a Successful Market Survey

One of the most important aspects of each business is marketing. One of the best strategies to promote product sales and awareness is by initially taking a market survey to identify the needs of your target market.

Market surveys–where you actually speak to members of your target audience–are an important part of market research. You can choose to hire a company to do it for you, but conducting the interviews yourself will most likely give you a much better idea of the needs of your target audience and will provide you with insights that you might not otherwise have gleaned.

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Fortunately, you can hire an expert company to conduct the survey but it is best to perform it yourself to form a bond with the market. The following are the essential components of each survey;

1.Surveys. With concise and straightforward questionnaires, you can analyze a sample group that represents your target market. The larger the sample, the more reliable your results will be.

  • In-person surveys are one-on-one interviews typically conducted in high-traffic locations such as shopping malls. They allow you to present people with samples of products, packaging, or advertising and gather immediate feedback. In-person surveys can generate response rates of more than 90 percent, but they are costly. With the time and labor involved, the tab for an in-person survey can run as high as $100 per interview.

  • Telephone surveys are less expensive than in-person surveys but costlier than mail. However, due to consumer resistance to relentless telemarketing, convincing people to participate in phone surveys has grown increasingly difficult. Telephone surveys generally yield response rates of 50 to 60 percent.

  • Mail surveys are a relatively inexpensive way to reach a broad audience. They are much cheaper than in-person and phone surveys, but they only generate response rates of 3 percent to 15 percent. Despite the low return, mail surveys remain a cost-effective choice for small businesses.

  • Online surveys usually generate unpredictable response rates and unreliable data, because you have no control over the pool of respondents. However, an online survey is a simple, inexpensive way to collect anecdotal evidence and gather customer opinions and preferences.

2.Focus groups. In focus groups, a moderator uses a scripted series of questions or topics to lead a discussion among a group of people. These sessions take place at neutral locations, usually at facilities with videotaping equipment and an observation room with one-way mirrors. A focus group usually lasts one to two hours, and it takes, at least, three groups to get fair results.



3.Personal interviews. Like focus groups, personal interviews include unstructured, open-ended questions. They usually last for about an hour and are typically recorded.

Focus groups and personal interviews provide more subjective data than surveys. The results are not statistically reliable, which means that they usually do not represent a large enough segment of the population. Nevertheless, focus groups and interviews yield valuable insights into customer attitudes and are excellent ways to uncover issues related to new products or service development.

4.Observation. Individual responses to surveys and focus groups are sometimes at odds with people’s actual behavior. When you observe consumers in action by videotaping them in stores, at work, or at home, you can observe how they buy or use a product. This gives you a more accurate picture of customers’ usage habits and shopping patterns.

5.Field trials. Placing a new product in selected stores to test customer response under real-life selling conditions can help you make product modifications, adjust prices, or improve packaging. Small business owners should try to establish rapport with local store owners and Web sites that can help them test their products.

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Product Research & New Opportunities

Product market research is one of the best tools to help understand the needs of your target market and grow sales. The research should be a continuous process conducted yearly or so as the needs of most markets will shift with improvements and new problems that arise.

Product development marketing research serves several goals: new product design and market validation research, or assessing existing products. The goal — and your overall positioning and market strategy — drive our product research design.

Effective product market research — for new products and existing products — is well integrated with R&D and technical product design functions. For consumer or business B2B product market research, we take a global approach, incorporating appropriate market research at each design stage: The goal is to align astute technical product R&D, product innovation and design with market demand.

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The primary objective of the market research is to drive the new product designs, market validation, and marketing strategy. The following are some of the valuable benefits of product market research, which are similar in most industries;

1.Product research is a vital part of new product development. At every stage of the process, product research can help you identify key issues and avoid expensive mistakes.

2.Initial product research can be used to evaluate new ideas. Testing a concept can help you discard unpromising ideas, allowing you to concentrate investment of time and money on products with the best chance of achieving commercial success. It is also well worth creating a “minimum viable product”, a simple version that you can use to get customer feedback at the earliest possible stage.

3.As the new product development process continues, market research helps you identify the key factors that matter to customers – showing you what to focus on. Product research can inform other aspects of marketing. For example, it can help you assess how much customers might be willing to pay for new product features. Research can also be used to test other aspects of product design, such as product packaging or names.

4.In the retail sector, product research can be invaluable. The findings can help convince retailers to stock your product and also present information on the best ways to display and promote a product to maximize sales. It is also worth talking to retailers at an early stage of development as their experience and knowledge can be invaluable.

5.Once a product has been launched, product research often focuses on customer satisfaction. Together with research into competing products, product research like this can help you refine the marketing of existing products and inspire ideas for product improvements.

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Most people assume that product research stops after the launch of the product; they cannot be more wrong. Product research is a continuous process after the launch it concentrates on customer satisfaction. The following are some strategies that can make the product market research more successful.

1.Concept testing for new products can be very challenging. Questionnaires and focus groups are useful options, but they can be misleading – the way people react to new products, in theory, can be very different from the reality. Customers may say they like a new idea, but in reality, they may be reluctant to switch products.

2.There are many other ways to test a product. Try doing a Google keyword search for products and services like yours to ascertain the level of demand. You can also find out what customers think about existing products by reading reviews and comments online. This often highlights common complaints and problems that your new product could solve.

3.Product research using actual product samples or prototypes is a good idea. For example, the classic ‘taste test’ can be used to assess how customers compare the performance of different products. Some companies involve customers in early-stage product testing to see how they respond. However, remember that real outcomes once a product has been launched may still depend on factors such as how the product is marketed and to whom.

4.Test marketing – actually selling the product – produces more definitive results, but is an expensive form of product research and can only be used after substantial investment in product development. Test marketing can be a very useful way of trialing products in new markets to assess likely sales or identify what modifications are needed. You can also do a “soft” launch online by building a simple landing page and running a Google AdWords campaign to test demand.

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What to Include in Your Market Analysis

Market analysis is an important part of product branding and consumer satisfaction. It allows a producer to understand their target market that ensures that the product will make numerous sales.

A marketing analysis is a study of the dynamism of the market. It is the attractiveness of a special market in a particular industry. Marketing analysis is basically a business plan that presents information regarding the market in which you are operating in. It deals with various factors.

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Market analysis is a composition of different factors that affect the product. The following is a comprehensive list of material to include in your market analysis;

  • Industry Description and Outlook – Describe your industry, including its current size and historical growth rate as well as other trends and characteristics (e.g., life cycle stage, projected growth rate). Next, list the major customer groups within your industry.
  • Information About Your Target Market – Narrow your target market to a manageable size. Many businesses make the mistake of trying to appeal to too many target markets. Research and include the following information about your market:
  • Distinguishing characteristics – What are the critical needs of your potential customers? Are those needs being met? What are the demographics of the group and where are they located? Are there any seasonal or cyclical purchasing trends that may impact your business?
  • The size of the primary target market – In addition to the size of your market, what data can you include the annual purchases your market makes in your industry? What is the forecasted market growth for this group? For more information, see our market research guide for tips and free government resources that can help you build a market profile.
  • How much market share can you gain? – What is the market share percentage and number of customers you expect to obtain in a defined geographic area? Explain the logic behind your calculation.

  • Pricing and gross margin targets – Define your pricing structure, gross margin levels, and any discount that you plan to use. When you include information about any of the market tests or research studies you have completed, be sure to focus only on the results of these tests. Any other details should be included in the appendix.
  • Competitive Analysis – Your competitive analysis should identify your competition by product line or service and market segment. Assess the following characteristics of the competitive landscape:

  • Market share
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • How important is your target market to your competitors?
  • Are there any barriers that may hinder you as you enter the market?
  • What is your window of opportunity to enter the market?
  • Are there any indirect or secondary competitors who may impact your success?
  • What barriers to market are there (e.g., changing technology, high investment cost, lack of quality personnel)?


Regulatory Restrictions – Include any customer or governmental regulatory requirements affecting your business, and how you will comply. Also, cite any operational or cost impact the compliance process will have on your business.

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Market Size – The size of the market is a critical factor in a marketing analysis. The bigger the market, the more competitors you are likely to have. For a big market, you need to make sure your products and services stand out. Otherwise, the customers can easily switch to a rival product. Not only that, a bigger market makes you rethink your pricing policy. Set your price too high then you are going to lose your customer base to other competitors. Set it too low and people will think that you are just providing cheaper inferior quality goods. If the market size is small, then you can get away with charging a high price. All these facts are kept in the marketing analysis.

Market Profitability – Most companies’ motive to get into the business is to make a profit. In other words, they are profit-motive businesses. Therefore, before getting into a business, you need to analyze the profitability of the market. If the market has a good profitability, then only you are going to invest heavily. Otherwise, it would be a waste of your time and capital. In order to calculate the cost-effectiveness of the market, there are a few things one has to consider. These things include; buyer power, supplier power, barriers to entry and so on.

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