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What is market research? Thorough explanation of benefits, main methods, comparison of 6 recommended tools

Market research is an essential process for competitive analysis, target market identification, product development and promotion strategy planning. However, there may be those who do not understand the merits of taking the time to conduct market research, and those who understand the importance of market research but do not know how to proceed.

Therefore, this time, we will introduce the outline and benefits of market research, which is the key to business success, as well as specific methods and recommended tools. Please use this article as a reference to understand the market and make the most of your company’s strengths in your business.

Table of contents

What is market research? Introducing the difference from marketing research

What kind of research is market research? Here, we will explain the definition and role of market research, and the difference from marketing research that is often confused.

Market research

Market research is the process of understanding the overall market situation, trends of competitors, needs and behavioral patterns of target customers, etc. by collecting and analyzing important information in developing business activities. Through market research, companies can obtain decision-making materials for developing, improving, promoting sales of their own products and services, planning advertising strategies, expanding market share, and creating new businesses.

Market research is an essential element in formulating business strategies and improving competitiveness, and is an important process that is directly linked to business success.

Difference from marketing research

Market research and marketing research are both important processes of collecting and analyzing information in formulating business strategies, but their purposes and scopes are different.

The purpose of market research is to investigate and analyze the situation and size of the market as a whole, the trends of competitors, and the needs and behavior patterns of target customers. Market research is conducted in order to obtain information on the market in which the company’s products and services are deployed, as well as market share and positioning.

Marketing research, on the other hand, aims to collect and analyze information related to overall marketing activities from a broader perspective. This also includes the scope of market research, so marketing research is a broader concept than market research. In marketing research, we investigate and analyze elements related to the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) of the marketing mix, such as product development, pricing, sales channels, and promotion strategies.

In other words, market research is a survey that focuses on understanding the market situation and competitive situation, while marketing research is a broad-ranging survey that collects and analyzes information to optimize overall marketing activities. There is a difference.

Benefits of conducting market research

There are four main benefits for businesses to conduct market research:

  • Understanding market needs
  • Competitor analysis
  • risk reduction
  • Increase sales and profit

I will explain each.

Understanding market needs

Through market research, you can get a clear understanding of what your target customer needs and expectations are. This allows us to develop and improve our products and services in line with customer needs and improve our competitiveness.

Understanding market needs also leads to the discovery of new business opportunities and market segments. Accurately grasping customer needs gives rise to ideas for new product development and service provision, leading to differentiation in the market.

Furthermore, understanding market needs is useful for planning marketing activities and promotion strategies. By understanding customer needs and behavior patterns, you will be able to develop effective advertisements and campaigns that will lead to customer acquisition and sales promotion.

Competitor analysis

Through competitive analysis, you can collect and analyze information such as other companies’ products and services, pricing, promotion strategies, strengths and weaknesses. This will give you a clear understanding of where your company is positioned and what your advantages are compared to your competitors.

By conducting a competitive analysis, you can develop strategies for improving and differentiating your products and services. In addition, by analyzing the success and failure cases of competitors, you can use it for your own business strategy. In addition, through competitive analysis, it is possible to understand the market share and competition situation, so it is possible to identify strategies for expanding the company’s market share and opportunities to enter new markets.

risk reduction

Information obtained from market research is used in various aspects of business, such as formulating business strategies, developing products, and optimizing marketing activities. Market research provides a more accurate understanding of market conditions, customer needs, and competitive landscape, and enables a comprehensive assessment of risk.

Specifically, we can reduce the risk of business development by grasping the market size, growth potential, and competitive situation of new businesses in advance through market research. Also, in product development, it is possible to reduce the risk of product failure by accurately grasping customer needs and market trends.

Increase sales and profit

Through market research, you can understand customer needs, behavior patterns, competitive situations, industry trends, and so on. By using this information, you can optimize your products and services, pricing, sales channels, promotion strategies, etc., and approach your target customers more appropriately.

By planning and executing an appropriate marketing strategy, customer satisfaction and brand image are improved, and customer acquisition and repeat purchases are increased. This is expected to increase sales and profits.

In addition, if we can discover new values ​​and needs that customers want through market research, we will be able to develop new products and services and develop new markets. This is expected to further improve sales and profits.

Main methods of conducting market research

There are two types of market research.

  • Primary research (primary research)
  • Secondary research (secondary research)

Each method will be explained with specific methods.

Primary research (primary research)

Primary research is a method of collecting information directly from consumers and stakeholders in-house. Here’s a quick rundown of the five methods:

  • Questionnaire survey
  • interview survey
  • Group interview (focus group)
  • Experiment/Demonstration
  • observation method

Questionnaire survey

A questionnaire survey is a method of market research that allows you to directly hear the opinions and needs of consumers and business partners. Quantitative and qualitative information collection is possible, and data can be obtained efficiently from a large number of respondents. However, creating questions and improving the response rate are issues. Done properly, it can provide useful information for business strategy planning.

interview survey

Interview research is a market research method that directly asks questions to the target person and collects opinions and information. It can be done face-to-face, over the phone, or online. A feature of interview surveys is that a deep understanding can be obtained through dialogue with the respondents. However, the disadvantage is that it takes time and effort. Interviewing the right people can provide valuable information that can be used for business strategy.

Group interview (focus group)

A group interview (focus group) is a market research method that collects information by gathering multiple subjects to exchange opinions. Through discussions among participants, you can explore differences in opinions and impressions, as well as commonalities. You can also expect new perspectives and ideas to emerge. However, the disadvantage is that it is affected by the atmosphere in the group and the balance of the participants’ remarks. If you proceed appropriately, you will be able to collect multifaceted information, which will be useful for product development and marketing strategies.

Experiment/Demonstration

Experimental/demonstration research is a method of market research in which products and services are actually provided and their effects and reactions are investigated. By testing in environments that closely resemble real market conditions, you can directly measure customer response and effectiveness. This will help us improve our products and develop marketing strategies. However, the drawback is that it is costly and time consuming. With proper design and analysis, experimental and demonstration studies can provide valuable information to increase the probability of market success of products and services.

observation method

The observation method is a market research method that collects information by directly observing the behavior and reactions of the target audience. You can understand how customers behave and how products and services are used under natural conditions. Observation methods have the advantage of being able to collect information that cannot be obtained from behaviors that are unconsciously performed and from questionnaires and interviews. However, the drawback is that the observer’s subjectivity and bias affect it. Appropriate observation and analysis can provide useful information for understanding customers and formulating marketing strategies.

Secondary research (secondary research)

Secondary research is a method of conducting research using existing data and information. Here, we briefly explain the following four.

  • Official statistical data
  • industry report
  • Publications/Books
  • the internet

Official statistical data

Official statistical data is a market research method that uses statistical data and research reports published by national and local governments. It provides a wide range of information, including demographics, household surveys, and industrial trend surveys, and is considered to be highly reliable. By utilizing this data, it is possible to understand market size, consumer trends, industry trends, etc., and use it to formulate business strategies and plan marketing activities.

industry report

Industry reports are market research methods that use reports and data published by industry associations and private companies. Gain deep insight with information analyzed and forecasted by industry experts. By using this data, you can analyze industry trends, competitor strategies, emerging markets, etc., and consider your company’s business strategy and marketing activities.

Publications/Books

Market research using publications and books is a method of collecting information from publications such as specialized books, magazines, and newspapers. By using various information sources, we can obtain a wide range of knowledge such as industry trends, technological innovation, market needs, and competitive analysis. You can also refer to the opinions and analysis of well-known experts, which is useful for strategic planning and decision-making.

the internet

Market research using the Internet is a method of using information obtained through websites and SNS. A wide variety of information is gathered on the Internet, and consumers’ opinions and impressions, the latest trends in the industry, strategies of competitors, etc. can be obtained instantly. In addition, since information can be collected in real time, it is useful for quick decision-making and strategy planning.

6 recommended market research tools

Finally, here are six recommended tools to help you with your market research.

SPEEDA

SPEEDA is a market analysis tool that unifies a wide range of data such as official statistical data, industry reports, publications, and information on the Internet, and enables quick and accurate market analysis. In addition, by providing the latest information in real time, it is useful for quick decision making and strategic planning. By using SPEEDA, you can expect to improve the efficiency of market research and the accuracy of strategy formulation.

Features of SPEEDA

  • Comprehensive analysis of various data such as industry reports and official statistical data
  • Providing real-time information to grasp the latest market trends in a timely manner
  • Competitive financial comparison function and automatic document creation function support strategy planning ・7-day free trial available

Sprint

Sprint is a chat interview tool that makes it easy to conduct qualitative research over the internet. You can match with the interview target in a short time, and you can conduct an online interview for 30 minutes. By directly collecting the voices of end-users, you can use them for planning and developing your own services.

Features of Sprint

  • From selection of interviewees to implementation, complete only on the Internet
  • Can recruit interviewees in about 5 minutes
  • You can check the interview video later, and the transcription is also automated

BuzzSpreader Powered by Review @ Chief

BuzzSpreader Powered by Review@Kaketcho is a social listening tool that can analyze word-of-mouth on the Internet. In addition to Twitter and domestic blogs, we have an exclusive partnership with 2channel, and we have the largest word-of-mouth data in Japan. You can easily analyze word-of-mouth on the Internet just by entering keywords.

BuzzSpreader Powered by Reviews@Section chief’s characteristics

  • Social listening tool that can analyze word-of-mouth communication such as SNS
  • You can easily analyze the transition of positive word-of-mouth
  • Possess highly original data in exclusive partnership with 2channel Free trial available

Freeeasy

Freeeasy is a self-service survey tool that allows you to quickly conduct full-scale surveys at a low cost. From questionnaire creation to distribution, it can be done in a short time. The cost is 10 yen per question per person. For example, if you conduct a questionnaire for 50 people per question, it will cost 500 yen, which is a low cost.

Features of Freeeasy

  • AI detects inappropriate answers and improves accuracy
  • A low-cost tool that can be used from 500 yen once
  • Start from questionnaire creation to distribution in as little as 10 minutes

Fastask

Fastask is a self-service survey research tool that allows you to conduct surveys on the Internet. The target number of monitors is 3 million, making it the largest scale in the industry. In addition, it is operated by JustSystems, which is famous for ATOK and Ichitaro, and uses advanced Japanese processing technology. There are more than 3000 companies that have introduced it, and it is used regardless of BtoC or BtoB.

Features of Fastask

  • The number of monitors is 3 million, one of the largest in the industry
  • Utilizes Justsystem’s advanced Japanese processing technology
  • More than 3,000 companies have introduced it, and there is a free trial

Google Trends

Google Trends can visualize the search volume of keywords searched on Google and the search trends of related keywords, allowing you to understand trends and needs. You can also analyze regional characteristics and domestic and international trends by comparing data by region. By using Google Trends, you can expect to accurately grasp business trends and improve the accuracy of strategy formulation.

Features of Google Trends

  • Search trends in Google search are reflected in real time
  • Providing various information such as region, period, related keywords, etc.
  • Free for anyone with a Google account

summary

Market research is an essential process for business strategy planning, and requires efficient and comprehensive information gathering. As introduced in this article, there are various methods of conducting market research, and many tools are available to make them more efficient. In order to make appropriate decisions for the success of your business, use the methods and tools that suit your company to conduct market research.

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