Marketing & PR

Market research: how to choose the right type?

Market research is the most reliable way for brands to find answers to their questions and find opportunities to grow any business. What type of research works best in every case?

Yuliia Samsonova

Yuliia Samsonova

Content Marketing Manager

18 January 2023

What is market research? 

Market research is the process of collecting information on a specific market and customers in order to understand market needs and brand perception, find  untapped market niches, and more. By conducting market research, you can achieve several objectives: 

  • analyze your market landscape and competitors; 

  • improve customer experience;

  • Understand the weaknesses and strengths of your brand;

  • find new opportunities for growth;

  • validate hypotheses;

  • analyze customer behavior, and more. 

How to do market research?

There are many methods of research. All of them however can be divided into 2 main types: either qualitative and quantitative market research depending  upon how they are conducted. 

Quantitative market research involves collecting large amounts of data using market research surveys and pools. This type of study is useful when you need to accumulate reliable facts and statistics to answer a specific question – for instance, if there is a market big enough for your product. 

A particularly good way of conducting quantitative market research is through the use of social media listening. Let's assume you want to understand if there is enough interest in a specific product in a particular market. As an example, we will take the popular kids horror game character, Huggy Wuggy, and check in which country a toy with this character could be most popular. 

Huggy Wuggy

Based on quick research with YouScan, a social media listening tool, we discovered that this game is popular in the USA, while in Europe social media users discuss it 15 times less so. So there is more market potential in the USA compared to Europe where it would be more challenging to create demand for this type of product. 

Huggy Wuggy on social media

Qualitative market research aims to determine customer motivation and emotions through closer engagement and conversation with them. For this method, researchers usually choose a small group of people and arrange face-to-face interviews. Using this method, brands can, for example, uncover why customers like or dislike a specific product, find out what motivates them to buy it and what messages sound more attractive to them, etc. 

Primary and secondary market research

These types of research are based on different methods of data collection. 

Primary market research is research you conduct on your own, working directly with the source of information. There are several ways to carry out this type of research:

  • do a survey

  • Launch an experiment

  • conduct an interview

  • do research with a focus group

What is secondary research in marketing?  It is also known as “desk research” and it is based upon the usage of data collected by someone else.. It is possible to use a wide range of sources for this type of research. Generally, good and reliable sources are those from government data, statistics from research agencies, etc. 

What is the marketing research process?

The marketing research process consists of 4 main steps. 

1. Identifying opportunity. 

At first you need to define the problem you will resolve. You can include here questions you want to answer –e.g.  are product prices too high? why sales figures are getting lower?, why are customers switching to a competitor? , etc. 

2. Creating a research plan and collecting data. 

At this stage, you need to decide what type of data you will require to complete the research and the optimal method of collecting it. The decision should be made based on a problem you want to resolve or a question you want to answer, the available budget, and the amount of time you have. 

Here, social media listening has some benefits compared to other methods. First of all, the market research cost with social media listening is lower. You pay once for a subscription to a tool you choose, and with this tool, you can do market research as often as you want. Moreover, with this tool, you'll be able to cover other tasks like managing your reputation, looking for influencers, and more. 

The research method you choose determines the data you will be collecting. It can be statistics, customer interviews, social media posts, etc. 

3. Analyze your data. 

After all the necessary data has been collected, you can analyze it and draw  conclusions. If you have gone for using focus groups and interviews, you'll have lots of manual work to shift through. But if you have chosen to conduct market research with social media data, you can save time using the capabilities of artificial intelligence to process it.

For instance, social media tools like YouScan can automatically analyze the positive and negative aspects of a brand. You just need to collect all the data, and with a few clicks, you can produce a market research report with all the necessary information and assessment needed. 

The picture below shows a quick market research and competitive analysis in the fashion industry. We compared two mass-market brands – Uniqlo and H&M – and tried to uncover their strong and weak sides. While H&M is loved for its design, prices, and assortment, Uniqlo's advantages are design, quality, and usability. Competitive market research shows that customer service is a weakness for both brands. 

Uniqlo vs H&M

To learn more about this type of research, you can check out our article Competitor research: top mass-market beauty brands.

4. Creating a report.

Once the research is ready, you can present its results to your team. You can create a presentation, a video, or use custom dashboards and track all important data in real time. 

In the example below, you can see how the dashboard for the shaving brand Gillette looks. 

Gillette brand reputation

Why is market research important?

Market research allows brands to answer essential questions and find growth opportunities. While quantitative analysis helps you get lots of precise numbers, qualitative research  allows you to look deeper into customer motivation. 

There are several benefits to doing research with social media data:

  • It saves you time

  • There are no borders for social media, so you can conduct research based on data from all over the world.

  • You get access to historical data and can see how perception of your brand has changed over time.

  • Carry out market trend research

  • Get access to unbiased opinions that aren't limited to any questionnaire. 

Learn more about social listening platform and see how your brand can benefit from it. 

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