Marketing by nature is customer oriented, therefore research is vital for the growth and development of any business venture. Data collected by research methods can reveal the real wants and needs of internal (employees) and external customers or clients.
Market Research Methods are commonly used by businesses of all sizes and types. Whether your company is a startup or multi-billion dollar cooperation, market research is a key ingredient to the success of your company. Research methods can be cheap or very expensive depending on the needs of the company and the extent of the information required for accomplishment. The purpose of the research should determine the method/s chosen. With everything in life they are advantages and challenges. However, it is possible to choose a method/s that’s perfect for your needs. Primary and secondary research methods can be used to answer important questions that can make a world of financial difference for your company.
Primary research methods: focus groups, interviews, surveys, observation, listening, PLA (participatory learning & action), inquiries, etc…
Secondary research methods (Desk research): Published or digital annual reports, newspapers, library books, articles, etc…
Four Levels of Research Results
There are four levels of information that can be gathered from customers or clients, including getting their:
1. Reactions and feelings (feelings are often poor indicators that your service made lasting impact)
2. Learning (enhanced attitudes, perceptions or knowledge)
3. Changes in skills (applied the learning to enhance behaviors)
4. Effectiveness (improved performance because of enhanced behaviors) The methods mentioned above can help a company to determine their market placement, and help managers and marketing departments chart a successful way forward.
Here is a link to get more information on research methods: http://managementhelp.org/businessresearch/selecting-methods.htm#anchor1062017