How to carry out a market study? Where to start? How to determine the objectives? Which methods to choose? A qualitative study or Quantitative? These are questions that many professionals and students ask themselves.
Conducting a market study is not easy. To know how to go about it, the best thing is to rely on a rigorous step. I propose a method to structure your approach. You will see that in doing so, your market research will become easier to conduct. The proposed approach is based on four main steps:
How to Conduct a Market Study
- Problem identification
- Selection of sources of information
- Determination of the sample
- Realization of the study
This is a building plan before conducting your study. Let’s see each step in more detail now:
- Identification of the Problem and Objectives
This is to accurately determine the why of the study. How many studies are done without the objectives being clearly defined…?
- The identification usually starts with an initial question, type: “Can we replace our” paper “tour guides with guides accessible on the internet?
It places the marketing problem in its entirety. This is the decision to be made following the study.
- The aim of the study questions is to decline the initial question in marketing research questions:
Using our example: to find out if we can replace our “paper” tour guides with guides available on the internet, we need to answer these questions:
- What is the deceivability of our customers for this new form of guide on the internet?
- What price would customers be willing to pay for an interactive guide on the Internet?
- Next is the definition phase of the information to be searched.
For each question, we must define the information that will provide an answer:
What is the deceivability of our customers for this new form of guide on the internet?
- Internet access rate of our customers
- Internet usage rate
- Customer attitudes towards our new formula
What price would customers be willing to pay for an interactive guide on the Internet?
- Online shopping habits of our customers
- Acceptable mini-max prices
- Selection of Information Sources
The source of information corresponds for the field studies to the type of population questioned. Example: we will interview our customers, prospects; conduct the study at the national level…. This data will be refined in the next step.
This approach is also valid for a desk study: the source or sources of information would be for example published studies that the study manager could use.
- Determination of the Sample
- Once the sources of information are selected, we need to precisely define the reference population (or target population). It is about all the individuals concerned by our problematic. Example: it is the installers of air conditioners with a size of at least 10 employees located in the PACA region.
- The next phase is to define the method (method of drawing individuals) and the sampling criteria. This depends of course on the type of survey: quantitative or qualitative. Example: for installers, the size of the company will be a sampling criterion. In the case of a quantitative study, we will use a random sampling method.
- To complete this phase, we need to define the size of the sample.
At the end of this stage, we are able to build our sample.
- Realization of the Study
- The first step is to put in place the data collection plan.
- We will define the survey method and the measuring instruments. In some cases, especially in B to B, it may be useful to specify the profile of the people to be interviewed. This is especially true in cases where the sample only defines the business profile. Then you have to define which contact to interview within the organizations.
- Then comes the construction of the questionnaire. In the case of a qualitative study, it will take the form of an interview guide. It is necessary to define the structure, before designing precisely the questions. It is here that the “information to be sought” part of the “problem identification” phase becomes very important. It will be necessary to build a questioning allowing to bring elements of answering each information
- Data processing and analysis. It is important to define in advance the treatments that will be operated on the data (cross variables, list of sort …), then analyzes conducted.
It is necessary to “close” on the questions of study and on the initial question to ensure the relevance and completeness of analysis. This is the richness of the approach: to design a coherent study by asking the right questions, using the right methodologies and carrying out the right analysis.