Market Research Survey – 101 Guide

market research survey

Market Research Surveys enable businesses to go above and beyond before introducing a new concept into the market. Such efforts amplify the probability of winning amidst fierce competition.

However, not every concept thrives. The majority of such endeavors turn out to be failures. 

So how do you explore the depths of your target market and take your research to the next level?

Successful businesses utilize market research surveys to keep up with the market trends. Not only does it support them while launching a new business or a product, but it also proves to be fruitful throughout the product life cycle. You can easily monitor the experience of existing as well as potential customers for positive business growth.

You may now be tempted to learn more about market research surveys…  You should be!

Stroll through this market research surveys guide to better understand the purpose, types, benefits, and actionable tips on market research surveys.  

Let’s get started.

What is a Market Research Survey?

As the name suggests, a market research survey is a medium to interact with your target audience while performing market research.  Such surveys play a vital role in validating their demands, and market trends before launching a new product/business. 

According to a Statista report, among all the quantitative methods used for market research, online surveys account for a major share of 89%.

what-is-a-market-research-survey

But how does it actually help? Market Surveys arm you with precise information about the market, audiences, and competitors. With this impeccable data, you can serve your customers better and make your products/services stand out. 

Now let’s understand the “why” of market research surveys.

Purpose Of Market Research Survey

Just like it demands extensive skills to be a winner in the playing field, similarly, you need to have deep insights to steer your upcoming concept and win the market.

To make it more clear, let’s explore a few reasons as to why businesses employ market research surveys:

(a) Validate The Demand

The probability for your product to fail amplifies when you are planning to launch a product and then trying to find potential buyers. 

Well, to keep such a situation at the bay, make efforts to validate the demand and profitability of your product before diving into the production/development process. Market research surveys could help you attain the desired customer, market, and competitor’s data to save both the cost and efforts that could end up wasting otherwise.

(b) Cost-Effective

Budget often remains a potential concern for businesses while planning to launch a new product in the market. Hence, incorporating the survey for market research helps you avoid huge losses.

Whereas depending upon other sources such as focus group discussions can limit the responses to a certain number of participants and usually requires massive budgets.

On the other hand, the availability of Market Survey tools makes it more effective to garner advanced market insights while saving a lot of time and money.

(c) Wider Market Reach

Today the internet has reached almost every corner of the globe. Merely embedding a survey on your website could help you garner millions of responses. Whereas traditional market research methods are becoming obsolete due to the drawback of limited reach. Thus, match the objectives of the market survey with the objectives of your business and leverage the wider market reach for best results. 

(d) Accurate Responses

Unlike qualitative research methods, market surveys enable users to provide honest feedback about their needs and requirements. Such surveys have structured questionnaires that have limited options – making it easier to apply formulas and patterns to accurately analyze the gathered data.  

Following is the list of questions that you may ask to collect easy-to-segment data:

  • Job title 
  • Type of industry the respondent works with
  • Education level
  • How did they get to know about you?
  • What are you planning to buy from the brand XYZ?
  • What products do you like to buy from a competitor ABC?
  • Why do you buy from the brand ABC?

(e) Insights Into The Competitor’s Products

What can you do to keep your customers from switching to your competitors? Well, the foremost is to offer a better deal after analyzing your competitors’ data. For example, if you are unaware of the competitive prices of a similar product, you might end up charging way more than the prevailing prices. Doing so, you will lose the potential audience and eventually take your product towards failure. 

Thus, a market research survey will enable you to ask the customers about which rival brands they prefer and their reasons for the same. Although it may be hard to hear, yet you should know why customers are not choosing your product over your competitors.

Types Of Market Research Survey

Considering the plausible benefits associated with the market research surveys, marketing professionals across the globe leverage several ways to garner market insights for their upcoming products. 

Let’s discuss a few common ways:

1. Brand Awareness Surveys

Before launching a new product, it’s crucial to know how people perceive your brand and consider your existing products as compared to your competitors in the market. 

Not only do brand awareness surveys help to capture key demographic data, but also offer a detailed analysis of how you can improve your brand positioning among the target market and audiences.

  • What is the first brand you think of to purchase an XYZ product? (Characters remaining 100)
  • How favorable is our brand to you? (Scale – Unfavourable, Neutral, Favourable) 
  • What aspects can we improve on our existing product? (Characters remaining 500)

The business insights gleaned from such surveys are used to gauge and improve purchase decisions among both existing and potential customers.

2. Customer Satisfaction Surveys

CSAT surveys help in measuring the overall satisfaction of the customers with your brand/products/services. Such surveys usually leverage rating scales to gauge the levels of customer satisfaction. However, marketers can also include deeper questions to enable customers to share the reason behind low satisfaction levels.  Such as “How quickly would you prefer our customer service team to handle your queries?

customer satisfaction survey

For this reason, customer satisfaction surveys not only help you measure customer satisfaction levels but also assist product/service teams to take necessary measures to escalate customer problems and offer unparalleled services/products.

  • How happy are you with this product/service?
  • How would you rate this product/service on a scale of 1-10?
  • How likely are you to buy from our brand again?
  • Did our product/service meet your expectations?
  • How satisfied are you with the overall experience with our brand?

Useful Read: 100+ Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

3. Product-Based Surveys

Needless to say, a lot of products exist that offer exactly the same features and cater to the similar needs of the people just as your own products. So, the product-based market research questionnaire lets you analyze the ways you’re meeting your customer needs along with identifying the areas for improvements.

  • What are the best aspects you love about this product?
  • What do you dislike?
  • What was your first experience after using this product? 
  • How would you rate the overall quality?
  • How would you rate the value for money of this product? 
  • How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend or colleague? 
  • Is there anything you would like to improve on this product?

Product-based surveys provide you with a data-centric understanding of your existing products. This will not only help you with your new product launch but also let your customers test out your existing products to understand what’s best about them and what could be improved.

Useful Read: Product Feedback Surveys: Questions, Examples & Types

4. Competition-Based Surveys

With the ever-evolving market, making educated guesses on your competitor’s activities won’t be just enough. However, having a competitive advantage over their products could enable you to lead the game.

Successful business strategies incorporate keeping an eye on the valuable insights of the competitors, and the same applies to the pre-launch product strategy.

How to do it effectively? Competition-based market research surveys would cut down the time and money you’d probably spend otherwise for the exact same purpose. It offers a systematic approach for gathering competitive information to support your business decisions for upcoming products.

  • Are there any other brands that offer similar services you’re currently using or planning to use?
  • Which features do you like the most on [COMPETITOR’S PRODUCT]?
  • What features would drive you to switch to a similar product?
  • Can you think of any other brand offering what you want? 
  • Could you share your views on your dream product?

Such market survey templates will let you know who your potential competitors are, which brands do people prefer the most, and whether you are the only provider of the products that they’re currently using. Also, you can get information on what your customers think about your brand in comparison to others, enabling feedback with a proactive approach to dominate your niche.

Benefits Of Market Research Survey

Market research surveys act as an efficient tool for businesses and help them make better and informed decisions. The more information and research you embed in the product or business planning processes, the more equipped it will be to meet the changing market environment.

Not only this, there’s a lot more it has to offer. Let’s have a look.

1. It Reduces the Investment Risk

Informed investment falls among one of the critical business considerations. Dissipating a small portion of your budget on researching the market could offer a clear picture of the market insights. This ultimately strengthens your knowledge and assists in making informed business decisions. Needless to say, when you will be better informed, the risk of investment will also get decimated.

2. It Fosters Strategic Planning

Stepping into the competitive market without a plan is a sure way to drive your business towards disappointment and failure. Whereas, if you spend some time understanding the fierce market and ever-demanding customer needs, you could achieve your business goals more proactively.

3. It Offers A Competitive Edge

When expecting your business to be the best in the market space, you must work on improvement areas and be willing to innovate. And this could only be achieved when you have the facts and findings garnered from the market research questionnaire.

To make it more clear, consider the following scenarios:

In the first scenario, you have planned and developed your product and you are ready to launch and market it shortly. Neither are you aware of your target audience, nor do you have enough data to analyze what your competitors are up to?

While in the second case, you have dedicated time and efforts to extensively search the market before embarking upon your new journey. You have precise facts about your competitor’s products and a segmented list of your loyal customers (brand advocates).

What do you think? Which case holds the potential to drive success?

While the former case could be based solely upon educated guesses, the latter possesses robust market research data making it more successful than its counterpart.

4. It Helps In Identifying Evolving Trends

As the technology evolves, so do the customer needs. Hence, the best thing you can achieve is the advantage over others in knowing what’s trending in the market. By frequently conversing with your customers and key stakeholders via market research surveys, you can stay up to date with their needs and also drive the necessary improvement for your existing products.

Market Research Vs Marketing Research

When it comes to researching the market for future business growth, you’ll likely come across the two common terms “Market Research” and “Marketing Research”.   

Some people assert that both these terms are similar, whereas others consider market research and marketing research as two different concepts.

So, let us now uncover the truth.

Marketing research and market research are two important terms that are closely associated and often overlapped at the same time. Being similar in nature, people usually get confused with both terms, however, market research and marketing research collectively contribute towards developing robust brand/product marketing strategies.

Market Research

Before embarking upon a product or a brand launch, all the research activities you’ll carry out regarding your target market and industry are termed market research. It encompasses the data collection for marketing trends, competitors, customers’ needs, and target market attributes. Market research could provide answers to the questions such as ‘What to trade?’, ‘Where to trade?’, ‘When to trade?’, and ‘How much to trade?’.

Marketing Research

Marketing research, on the other hand, has a much larger scope than market research as it entails the research activities related to marketing. It focuses on gathering information about the four Ps of marketing viz. Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. With the help of marketing research, businesses usually understand the effect on customer behavior caused by any change in one or more elements of the four Ps. The activities include research for products, pricing, market, and sales along with supporting marketing decisions to select marketing channels, advertising companies, promotion measures, etc.

Primary Market Research Vs. Secondary Market Research

Given that you are already familiar with the benefits associated with market research, Now it’s time to differentiate the two common types of market research: primary market research and secondary market research.

Differences Between Primary And Secondary Market Research

Primary Market Research Secondary Market Research
Primary Research involves first-hand and fresh information via interviews, discussions, and online surveys. Secondary Research uses second-hand information that is already available via primary research.
The process leverages raw data for conducting deep research. Secondary Research incorporates the use of already analyzed and interpreted data.
A researcher is a prime source to collect data. Someone else’s data is sourced to conduct analysis.
The data collected by the prime researcher is usually accurate and relevant. The data collected by the secondary researcher may lack specificity.
Primary research utilizes various resources to collect data, making it expensive. Secondary research is usually economical due to data being already available.
Primary research is usually done from scratch, hence the process is time-consuming. For secondary research, data is already available and the overall process is comparatively fast.

Benefits of Primary Market Research:

  • Accurate and relevant information
  • Offers deep insights into a subject matter
  • Companies can control how the data is collected and used

Benefits of Secondary Market Research:

  • Ample resources available to gather pre-structured data for further analysis
  • This leads to economical research as data is already available
  • Used to determine the feasibility of the primary data

All in all, both primary and secondary kinds of research have associated benefits. While primary research is more accurate due to its first-hand data, it can be more expensive and time-consuming. On the other hand, secondary research can be a cheaper alternative but may not fulfill your business objectives.

How To Create A Market Research Survey

While jotting all the factors to create market research surveys, it’s best to keep your business objectives on the same table too. This will help you craft relevant questions in order for them to fetch you detailed and accurate insights. 

Just because market research surveys could cover a wide range of topics to effectively gauge deep market insights, there’s no such thing as what are the best market research survey questions, because the nature of your queries and business goals decide what types of questions will be included in a survey. 

Follow through this section to discover some of the best ways to nail your market research efforts via effective surveys.

1. Set Clear Goals

Before embarking upon writing survey questions, focus on identifying your business objectives. Once you are clear of the type of data your upcoming concept demands, you can move forward. Here are some examples of market research goals stated as examples:

  • What other products are similar to our brand?
  • Who are our top competitors?
  • What do customers like most about a competitor’s new product/service?
  • What made people choose another company over ours?

2. Be Crisp And Clear

Consider asking direct questions that are clear and short because the respondents will simply leave the survey if they could not understand the exact context of your questions. 

Try to stick to one topic at a time. For example, asking “ How important is it for the product to be fast and user-friendly?” will not get you separate insights on how users prefer user-friendliness or fast products. Thus, being simple could assist in collecting more precise data than otherwise.

3. Avoid Hypothetical Questions

Write questions intelligently to prevent the respondents from sharing hypothetical answers. For example, asking Which is your ideal brand assumes that the respondent has an ideal brand. What if there isn’t any? 

Instead, ask “ Name your ideal brand, if any?”. Such questions prevent users from providing made-up responses and help in gathering accurate data.

4. Include Demographics

Include demographic questions to capture basic details of your customers including age, gender, company, country, or income, as per your business objectives. However, people often argue whether to include demographic questions at the beginning or at the end of the survey.

To see what best works for you? Try A/B testing by placing demographic questions at the beginning for 50% of surveys and place them at the end for the rest. Once you have the results, you can easily identify which methods are more appropriate as per your needs.

5. Incorporate Incentives

Certainly, while being in the process of market research you’d also be surveying the ones who aren’t your customers yet. Therefore, offering rewards in return for a successful survey completion could fetch higher ROIs. However, it should also be noted that perks such as monetary incentives could skew the results by making them speak only positively about your brand – resulting in erroneous data.

So, what should be the appropriate incentive?

Incentives could be in any form. It should be a medium to tie an enduring relationship with the prospects. The incentives could range from discount coupons, gift cards, or entry to lucky draws.

Pro tip: Go for an incentive that offers a free initial subscription to a premium product or service, urging the respondents to be glued to your brand for long periods rather than walking away after collecting discount coupons.

6. Follow-Up Regularly

Following up is the gesture to gently remind people who might have missed completing your survey amidst their busy lives. Once you are in the middle of your first phase, consider sending follow-ups to the participants who haven’t completed their surveys yet. Also, if you aren’t already offering incentives, include them with follow-ups to ensure better response rates.

Now that you’re ready to Create Market Research Surveys, be willing to hear out your respondents when they share feedback with you. Their responses can fetch you insanely positive results for your existing/new product or service.

Dominate Your Market with Market Research Survey

Considering the favorable aspects associated with the market research survey, it would be wise to consider such surveys as a part of your business/product strategy for guaranteed success.  

When you have clarity about the changing market trends, you can gain a competitive advantage in the market and make data-driven business/investment decisions. 

Are you looking to gain rich insights into your target market and meet customer needs? Make use of modern market research software such as ProProfs Survey Maker and propel your business to the success you’ve always wished for.

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About the author

Jared Cornell

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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