Market research is one of the preliminary activities carried out by companies or businesses before the launch of a product or service. Properly conducting online surveys for market research can play an important role in the overall success of a product or service. It can be carried out both online and offline. Currently, most of the market research is carried out online especially for services or products with global consumers.
Market research serves a number of purposes. Two key purposes are:
- Identifying your competition. A simple keyword search on Google will give you results of possible companies or individuals offering the same service as you. From these results, you will be able to view their service, price and customer feedback. It is important to use this information to package yourself better and introduce an advantage over your competitor.
- Identifying and test the market of your product. A product might be well researched, packaged and priced but still does not quite convert as expected. In most cases the problem is with the target market. It is important to carry out a survey on your target market to check how willing there are into buying your product. Is it something they need? If not can an awareness campaign on the benefits of buying your services make them buy?
How to Carry Out Online Surveys for Market Research
Market research is carried out in two ways:
- Quantitative Research. This includes a set of close – ended questions posed to several respondents. They address numerical data on frequency, preference and so on. They are mostly carried out through consumer panels.
- Qualitative Research. Qualitative research seeks to understand consumer opinion on a product or services. They include open- ended questions where respondents are allowed to give their reasons for their answers. They are mainly carried out through focus groups and one–on-one interviews.
Benefits of conducting online surveys for market research
- Free and low cost to conduct
- Helps identify your competitor
- Gives a broad perspective of your target market since a large survey panel can participate
- Gives instant feedback
- Can be used as incidence check on your existing customers
Steps to Conducting an Effective Online Survey
- Select your appropriate online survey method such as mobile surveys or web surveys. While selecting the method, consider one that most of your target market has access to.
- Identify the information you want to collect from your survey panel. This information should then be phrased in to a questionnaire.
- Access your ability to conduct the research. If you are not capable of doing it on your own, you can involve other parties such as consumer panels to help carry out the research. The advantage is that they already have an existing survey panel that would be willing to participate in the survey.
- Create and review the survey. A survey can include both qualitative and quantitative questionnaires. Let the questions be easy to understand. Keep the survey short; not more than five minutes to encourage more participation.
- Obtain your survey panel. It is important to have a representation close to your targeted consumers. For instance, if your product targets women of age 18-25 years living in Paris, let the survey panel have respondents from Paris between ages 18-25.
- Launch your online survey and collect data. For best results, you can have a questionnaire accessible on mobile devices as well.
- Analyze your results. The analysis can be put in graphs and tables for an in depth understanding of the survey.
Online surveys reduce the technicalities involved in carrying out market surveys. Respondents can participate in the survey at their leisure. This makes them more willing to take part than if they are required to physically be present. As a researcher, you can post your online surveys for market research on your website, blog and survey companies. To encourage participation, you can include bargains, coupons on purchase or any other form of appreciation to your survey panel.