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Choosing the right market research insights platform has never been more important. Why? Because consumer behaviors are changing faster than ever before. According to Forbes, significant percentages of consumers from each generation are reevaluating which brands they do business with based on price, environmental sustainability, and other factors. For example, 27% of consumers are looking to switch brands based on price alone. Rather than rely on past success, companies need to understand what their current customers value most.

Oftentimes, the best way to know what’s important to your audience is to ask them. Surveys are a quick, cost-effective method for gathering data that can help you connect with your target market. But using different platforms to create surveys, send them out, track data, and create reports is not ideal. In fact, this approach can cause costly inefficiencies, errors, and missed opportunities.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of market research, the tools you need to be successful, and which platform to choose to get the features that will help you rise above your competition.  

What Is Market Research?

Market research is the process of investigating the customers, competitors, and trends in a specific market. Market research examples include:

  • Field Surveys typically involve going into a public space, such as a mall, and asking people to fill out a survey.
  • Focus Groups entail gathering groups of people that share a key characteristic to react to a business decision. This could involve inviting a group of school teachers to see how they respond to an educational software company’s new product offering.
  • Interviews usually involve open-ended questions that allow for more nuanced responses than surveys. Researchers can also respond to answers and try to get more information about the interviewee’s perspective.
  • Phone Polling works by calling people to ask questions about their consumer preferences. This used to be the most efficient form of market research. However, cold calls are still time consuming, and 75% of Americans don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Instead, digital surveys offer convenience for both researchers and respondents.
  • Digital Surveys are created and made available online for their participants, who can fill them out at their convenience. Businesses can ask for participation in a digital survey after an online purchase, as part of an email campaign, or by posting on social media platforms. PureSpectrum makes this method even more effective with essential functions like advanced targeting capabilities and real-time data updates.

What Are 4 Types of Market Research Use Cases?

Let’s take a closer look at four types of market research use cases—brand and industry tracking, concept and creative testing, consumer sentiment, and price testing.

Brand and Industry Tracking

Often survey-based, these types of studies assist market researchers with understanding how their brands (or the industry in general) are perceived by consumers. When conducted on a regular cadence, brand and industry tracking are a powerful tool for marketers who are looking for real-time insights for their decision making. For example, consider a company that sells baked cheese crackers. Using brand tracking, their marketers could figure out if their marketing plan is working—asking questions about brand awareness or even down to the detail of if their packaging is standing out on the shelf to customers—and then make changes to maximize sales.

Consumer Sentiment

“How are you feeling?” While this question can feel a bit worn out, it gets to the heart of what consumer sentiment studies are all about—collecting and analyzing how people feel about your brand and/or products. Armed with this knowledge, marketers can create messaging that effectively reaches their target audiences. Business leaders can take actions to strengthen their customers’ loyalty, driving better business results and increasing customer retention.

Concept and Creative Testing

This use case involves asking your target audience about your concepts and creative ideas prior to actually launching them. There are many different techniques that can be utilized, like comparison or monadic testing. With comparison testing, respondents are presented with several concepts. Using ranking or rating questions, they are then asked to compare the ideas to each other, giving clear answers about which one is superior. Monadic testing is a technique where the respondents are broken into several groups. Each group receives a short but detailed survey about a different concept. This allows researchers to ask multiple questions and gather in-depth information about each concept.

Price Testing

Essentially, this type of market research determines how much people are willing to pay for a product or service. Finding an optimal price point—capturing the best ROI without making customers feel overcharged—is extremely tricky. With data captured during price testing, businesses can determine prices that will meet these goals and preserve the value of their brand. Not only that, but they can then make strategic decisions about pricing increases as market conditions change over time.

What Is Target Market Analysis?

Target market analysis requires gathering information about the markets you intend to sell to. The methods for investigating your target market are largely similar to general market research. The key difference, however, is that you need to get more specific about who your ideal customer is. You’ll want clear data for the following categories:

  • Demographics: What groups do your ideal customers belong to? Demographic data includes age, income, family size, race, location, and more.
  • Psychographics: What do your ideal customers do and believe in? Psychographic data includes hobbies, political affiliations, shopping habits, and more.
  • Segmentations: Build buyer personas for each of your key audiences to learn how to best reach and activate them for your product or service.

In other words, market research helps you identify the markets that could respond positively to your offerings. Target market analysis investigates how to connect with your audience in each specific market.

What Is B2B Marketing Research?

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing research involves gathering data that will help you sell to organizations. B2B marketing research may include learning:

  • Who the decision makers in different organizations are
  • What products or services already exist in different markets
  • Who the major competitors are
  • What price buyers are willing to pay for your product or service
  • How long the average sales cycle is

While a lot of the data for B2B marketing research looks similar to that gathered for business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing research, there are some key differences.

  • Decision Makers: Consumers often make a purchasing decision by themselves or with input from just a few people. Business decision makers often need to consult more people, such as their team and leadership.
  • Market Size: There are far more people in the world than businesses, so consumer-oriented products can benefit more often from mass-market approaches. On the other hand, B2B marketing may need specialized messaging.
  • Consumer Value: Consumers and businesses typically want different benefits from their purchases. While consumers may be financially motivated, they also care about other factors like personal taste, experiences, and collectability. Businesses need to earn a profit, so they’ll be much more concerned about the return on investment (ROI) your product or service can provide them. 
  • Sales Cycle: Consumers typically have less people involved in purchasing decisions, and they need to worry less about ROI. That means they can make purchasing decisions faster. B2B deals involve more people and often have more at stake, so they take longer to close on average.

Because B2B deals require more time investment and need to provide higher value, it’s critical to have the right data to inform your B2B marketing strategy. That’s where PureSpectrum comes in. Our Marketplace Platform recruits respondents only from trusted sources, so you can feel confident making decisions based on the most accurate information possible.

What Are the Steps To Target a Market?

Before selling to a new market, you want to know how receptive that market will be to your business and who your ideal customers will be. The steps to doing this are to conduct both market research and analysis.

  1. Market Research: This step involves gathering information about how receptive a market could be to your products or services. Key data includes forecasted market growth, price points, and the competitive landscape. Having a combination of primary, secondary, qualitative, and quantitative research gives you more context to influence decision making. Of course, it’s also critical to make sure the information you’re gathering is accurate. PureSpectrum’s Marketplace Platform ensures efficiency and quality with automated fielding and PureScore™ fraud prevention capabilities.   
  2. Market Analysis: The next step is gaining insights from all the data you’ve collected and researched. This is where you make connections between different data sets to guide decision making. For example, if your target market strongly prefers spending less money, then you can develop a product that’s budget-friendly instead of a luxury item. PureSpectrum’s Market Research Insights Platform features capabilities such as market and consumer segmentation to make understanding your customers needs and behaviors easier.

Which Tools Are Used for Market Research?

B2B market research tools are the software that businesses can use to carry out research faster and with better results. Surveys, interviews, focus groups—they’re all more accurate, efficient, and insightful when researchers have access to the right target audience research tools.

What Software Is Used for Marketing Research?

Marketing research software should provide access to electronic data collection tools for easy survey authoring and detailed reporting. Consider the following market research tools examples that are available with PureSpectrum:

  • Automated Fielding: Cut out inefficient manual processes when distributing surveys.
  • Panel De-Duplication: Ensure that each respondent is unique.   
  • Broad Range: Find profiled respondents in over 60 countries.
  • Easy Survey Integration: Use the PureSpectrum Insights Platform or connect our sample Marketplace to the survey tool of your choosing
  • Powerful Location Targeting: Get as specific as respondents’ zip codes when targeting respondents.

Audience research tools are absolutely essential—and so are insights tools. When searching for the best marketing research and insights platform, make sure that is has the following features, like PureSpectrum:

  • Real-Time Data: See results as participants complete their survey and identify patterns during collection.
  • Customizable Visuals: Present your data as graphs, charts, or export for further analysis
  • Quality Checks: Work with vetted sample providers to find respondents who fit your target audience, including B2B decision makers and Healthcare professionals.
  • Analytics: Collect your data and gain insights all in the one platform with dynamic charts and graphs, automated cross-tabs and advanced reporting.

When you have all of your tools in one platform, it’s much more efficient for your team to conduct research and discover patterns that can put your business ahead of the competition.

What Is the Best Tool for Market Research?

The best tool for target market research isn’t any single tool, but a platform that combines many tools and functionalities. And the best market research platforms, like PureSpectrum, bring all the tools you need in one centralized location.

Target Market Research Example

To prove how simple your market research could be, see how it looks with PureSpectrum.

  1. Define your audience.
  2. Set quotas for desired demographics.
  3. Choose from our marketplace of quality respondents.
  4. Launch your survey.
  5. Start collecting data in minutes.
  6. Monitor results.
  7. Change quotas as needed.
  8. Download reports with custom visuals.
  9. Make market-defining decisions backed by quality data.

Satisfaction. Simplicity. Quality. It’s all available with a single end-to-end platform. See for yourself and schedule a demo today.

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.