man and woman looking at computer monitor

When it comes to marketing, the data you collect is essential to making the best decisions for your business. It tells you what audiences to target, how to appeal to those audiences, and how to maximize your budget. Unfortunately, though, bad data can interfere with your marketing efforts and even hinder your results. In fact, IBM found that bad data costs organizations $15 million a year per organization.

If you want to make smart decisions that will grow your business, you need quality data. A market research insights platform and related market research tools can get it for you. We go over some of the tools you should consider in this guide. First, though, you’ll need to understand the marketing research process and types of market research. Having these in mind will help you determine which tools to use.

What Is the Marketing Research Process?

The market research process consists of six main steps:

  1. Defining the question you want answered.
  2. Making a plan for answering the question.
  3. Collecting data.
  4. Analyzing the data.
  5. Presenting your findings.
  6. Deciding on your next steps.

Let’s go into a deeper dive on each of these steps.

1. Defining the Question You Want Answered

Before you start collecting data, you should set a goal for your research. Doing so will guide your collection efforts. Your goal should center on finding a particular pain point or desire of your target audience and then coming up with a way to satisfy that desire.

  • Keep your goal specific enough where you can take measurable steps to take action
  • But broad enough that you get a clear understanding of what your potential and current customers want.

Brainstorming with your team members can help you get several goal ideas that you can then narrow down until you’ve found your best option.

2. Making a Plan for Answering the Question

Once you have a goal in mind, you will have to figure out how to reach it. Start by finding your target audience if you don’t already have one or if you’re changing it. You need this information from the start of plan development because it’ll ensure that you’re collecting data from the appropriate people. This, too, will help prevent skewing in your data.

At this stage, you should also decide what types of market research methods to use to collect your data. You don’t have to stick to one method to do it. In fact, you should probably use a few different methods, such as surveys or focus groups, to make your research as well-rounded as possible.

Finally, you’ll need to determine how much time and money to dedicate to this research, and how expansive your efforts will be.

How Do You Target Market Research?

To find your target audience for your marketing research, you may consider conducting some additional research. Doing so will allow you to track down which customers will not only buy what you offer, but who also will come back to make purchases in the future. To find your target audience, you might:

  • Look at data concerning who’s already buying your products/services. You can send out surveys or hold interviews to learn more about these customers. With PureSpectrum’s market research platforms, you can get a clearer understanding of who your target audience is and what they want.
      • With the Consumer Sentiment survey template, for example, you can send out surveys to people across the globe and get responses in a matter of a few days.
      • Our Customer and Market Segmentation survey template also allows you to better understand the wants and needs of your customers based on their demographics and behaviors.
  • Find trends within your industry. If you find any places where services or products could be better overall, or missing entirely you might consider targeting those needing that gap filled. You may also want to take a look at the demographics of top customer personas within your industry. The PureSpectrum Insights Platform  allows you to design a segmentation study and analyze customers based on common characteristics, like demographics.
  • Analyze your competitors’ efforts. Look at where they spend most of their efforts. Figure out where they have a lot of success and where they come up short. This can guide you towards choosing a target audience that will maximize your growth potential.

These aren’t the only ways to find your target audience, but they can help you in that process. Note, too, that it’s okay for your target audience to change over time or even from one campaign to the next depending on the product or service you want to highlight. Let the results of each marketing campaign guide you. PureSpectrum’s Insights platform offers tools to help you monitor the success of your campaigns, like:

  • Brand Tracking to understand how effective your marketing efforts are over time.
  • Creative Asset Testing to track performance of campaigns in both the short and long-term.
  • Ad Effectiveness to collect opinions on your advertisements from your customers.

3. Collecting Data

When collecting data, try to use a few different methods to get various kinds of responses. Your primary ones will be any surveys, interviews, data analysis, etc. You should watch out for unintentional bias when designing your data collection approach. Bias can skew results by funneling the answers in the way you expecting by asking leading questions and cause you to not only miss the needs of a particular audience, but it can also lead your team to make a business decision that doesn’t bring much success. If you decide to collect data via surveys, PureSpectrum will help you prevent that bias in responses. Our Marketplace finds respondents from several sources and is transparent about what those sources are. Plus, Marketplace’s multi-source technology works to promote inclusion and to minimize under-coverage of groups by giving you a broader snapshot of the population compared to what a single panel would.

4. Analyzing the Data

At this stage, you’ll work to find patterns in your research that either supports or opposes your original hypothesis. Make sure to be open to both instead of trying to force an answer. Reading the data as is and not as you want it to be will better guide your business decisions. With PureSpectrum’s Market Research Analytics tool, you can easily analyze data in just one look. Plus, you can run significance tests and reorganize your data in several ways to truly understand the results you see.

5. Presenting Your Findings

Next, you’ll have to gather your data and analyses into a market research report and presentation to share with your leadership team. In your report, you should clearly present:

  • Your question
  • Your target audience
  • Methods used
  • Responder demographics and behaviors
  • Data, like survey answers and customer buying behavior
  • Your conclusions

You should also include data visualizations, such as graphs and charts, in your report. They can help you identify outliers and patterns that may not be obvious otherwise. The PureSpectrum Insights platform allows you to create clear, easily understandable graphs and charts that you can download instantly.

6. Deciding on Your Next Steps

Based on the findings, next steps could include:

  • Creating a new product or service
  • Redirecting your marketing efforts
  • Making changes to the brand
  • Finding new ways to reach your target audience

Whatever decision is made should improve efficiency, save money, and boost revenue.

What Are 8 Types of Marketing Research Tests?

There are several types of marketing research testing types that you might employ when collecting your data, eight of which are:

  1. Product/Service Development: Before you launch a new product or service, do some digging to make sure that it’s ready for launch. Does it solve your customers’ problems? Does what it offers attract customers? Questions like these will guide your decision on whether to go ahead with the launch or return to the drawing board.
  2. Usage: This type of research aims to find how exactly customers use your products or services and for what purpose. This information is important because it tells you whether people are using your offerings how you expected them to and can help you revise your marketing and advertising strategies should your intended purpose not match actual use cases.
  3. Brand Awareness: Your brand consists of the tone, values, images, and overall identity of your business. Brand awareness research helps you figure out how people see your brand and whether it aligns with how you want them to feel about it. This research can guide what your business chooses to showcase about itself and where to improve or increase marketing activity.
  4. Customer Satisfaction: Figure out what your customers like and dislike about your business and its offerings. It will guide you towards areas of improvement as well as popular areas that could use more advertising. Within customer satisfaction, you should also look at customer loyalty to see how the customer journey has been since the customer started. What keeps them doing business with you, and what drives customers away? Satisfaction and loyalty will lead to more referrals and, hopefully, more revenue.
  5. Pricing: This research will inform you of typical pricing for similar products or services in your industry as well as what your target audience is willing to pay for them. With data on pricing, you can get a better sense of how much you can charge to attract customers as well as turn a profit.
  6. Competitor Analysis: Look into what your competitors excel at and where they’re lacking. Compare these findings to what your own business is doing. This research will help you discover new markets to explore or audiences to attract.
  7. Campaign Effectiveness: This research gauges whether your marketing efforts are reaching who you want them to reach and whether they’re accomplishing what you want them to. From there, you can decide how best to change your advertising and marketing efforts to improve cost efficiency and to attract more leads.
  8. Buyer Persona: Learn who your target audience is and what they want. Get a better sense of their consumer behaviors and their demographics so you can better market to them. Surveys created through PureSpectrum can reach over 60 countries as well as niche groups so you have the most well-rounded data possible.

What Are Market Research Tools?

Market research tools are features on a market research insights platform or software that provides companies with insights on how to learn:

  • Who their target market should be
  • How that audience feels about the companies’ products and/or services
  • How successful their marketing campaigns are

These tools allow you to collect and compile data to make informed business decisions. From there, you can create and change marketing strategies to put you at an advantage over your competitors. The best market research tools will gather data from a wide range of reputable sources to avoid incorrect market trend predictions, biases, and survey fraud. With quality data, you’ll make better informed decisions to grow revenue and lower spend.

PureSpectrum’s PureScore™ is a machine learning scoring system that ensures that all survey respondents are high-quality. It uses deduplication tools and fraud monitoring techniques to return only the most reliable and consistent data to you.

Which Tools Are Used for Market Research?

Some market research tools examples include:

  • Social Media Monitoring: Using social media monitoring tools gives you a way to keep track of your target audience’s behavior, particularly how they interact with your company’s social media accounts. This monitoring will guide you in determining how to spend your advertising budget and where you can improve your marketing efforts on social media platforms.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): This type of tool allows you to record information about your customers and interactions you’ve had with them. Based on the data you collect, you can find patterns in your churn, returns, customer experience, etc. Your data will show you where the customer experience can be improved and where to better direct your marketing campaigns.
  • Surveys: These are a great way to collect data about your customers and their perceptions about your brand, products, and/or services. With a platform like PureSpectrum, you can create high-quality surveys, receive responses from all customers of several different regions and backgrounds, and compile results all in one place.
  • Data Analytics: These tools are used to collect, save, and examine data. Some of these tools will even allow you to perform statistical analyses on your collected data. You can then use your findings to inform your business decisions. PureSpectrum Insights Platform offers market research analytics that allows you to easily analyze and reorganize data to learn as much as you can from survey responses. With it, you can run crosstabs, export raw data in Excel, SPSS, PowerPoint and deep dive into the data as you need.

All these tools work well to get the data you need for your market research. If you want a platform that allows you to find your audience globally, launch surveys, collect results, and analyze that data all in one place, you need PureSpectrum.

Make Informed Marketing Decisions Using PureSpectrum

PureSpectrum gives you market insights through quality surveys and data collection. You simply create and publish the surveys, and vetted respondents from all over the world provide you with feedback. Our platform’s PureScore™ uses fraud protection and deduplication efforts to ensure that each answer is authentic and unique. What’s more, our platform automates basic data collection for you, so you can save time and money that you would normally spend on manual processes.

Some of the survey types you can take advantage of through our Insights platform include:

  • Brand Tracking
  • Concept Testing
  • Creative Asset Testing
  • Ad Effectiveness
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • Customer and Market Segmentation
  • Ad-Hoc Analyses

To learn more about our platform, schedule a demo with us. High-quality data is waiting for you.

About PureSpectrum 

PureSpectrum offers a complete end-to-end market research and insights platform, helping insights professionals make decisions more efficiently, and faster than ever before. Awarded MR Supplier of the Year at the 2021 Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards, PureSpectrum is recognized for industry-leading data quality. PureSpectrum developed the respondent-level scoring system,  PureScore™, and believes their continued success stems from their talent density and dedication to simplicity and quality.

In the few years since its inception, PureSpectrum has been named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America on Deloitte’s Fast 500 since 2020, and ranked for three years in a row on the GRIT Top 50 Most Innovative List and the Inc. 5000 lists.