Market research can be defined as an orientation tool for the entrepreneur. It is from the data obtained in the consultations that the entrepreneur has access to an overview of the market, whether from the point of view of competitors, suppliers or consumers.
From market research, it is possible to identify factors that generate opportunities , threats due to external factors and the strengths and weaknesses of its competitors. In the case of customers, it is possible to know their profile as well as to improve products and services so that they can be offered in a way closer to their expectations.
What are the objectives of your market research? Learn to define
It is possible to obtain any type of information in a market research. For this reason, it is necessary to establish parameters that allow you to get straight to the point. Some aspects are essential before you start, such as defining who your target audience is and why you want to obtain certain information.
For example: suppose that the research aims to raise the profile of consumers of light meals. Among other things, you will discover their age, whether they play sports or not, what media they use and what are their favorite hobbies.
Search methods: how to choose yours
When we talk about a survey, whatever it is, we can rely on primary or secondary data. The primary data is that collected by you or a research company. This information is not yet available. Secondary data are those obtained in public or external research, such as data from IBGE, PNAD or IPEA.
The difference here is that the primary data applies directly to your reality while the secondary data needs to be analyzed with a little more caution. However, as certain surveys are expensive and laborious to carry out, there is no problem in using official sources as a reference for your decisions.
There are also research methods: quantitative and qualitative. Understanding the characteristics of each of them is essential before you actually start working on data collection.
As the name implies, in quantitative research the results can be quantified, that is, expressed in numerical or percentage form. For example, at the end of a quantitative survey you will have results such as: 60% are women, 40% are men; 35% are married, 65% are single; and so on.
In other words, it is possible to understand which are the majorities and minorities that make up a given group.
In qualitative research what matters is not necessarily the quantities, but the quality of the responses. This type of research allows the interviewee to give open answers, freely expressing his opinion.
Instead of responding to an item with a “like” or “I don’t like”, the interviewee can say the reasons why he likes something and also what he considers as weaknesses. These answers are more complex and more difficult to analyze, but they offer a richer source of information for the researcher.
Defining the sample
From the moment you define whether your survey will be quantitative or qualitative, it is time to define the sample. It is necessary to follow this path because it is not always possible (or feasible) to interview the entire universe of target people. Thus, from a certain profile, it is defined how many people will be interviewed.
For example: based on your target audience, you can determine that you will talk to male people, aged between 30 and 40 years, with a minimum income of R $ 2 thousand and who live in the same neighborhood as your store. Although this greatly reduces your researched universe, the refinement in the data will make the results more accurate, even with fewer people.
How to collect data?
Now that you have the objective of the research, the methodology and the profile of the interviewees, it is time to start collecting data. How will it be done? It is necessary to define a mode of operation and a period.
Will the questions be asked in person, with an interviewer writing down the answers, or online, with the user responding directly? These definitions need to be taken before the start – and a standard must be established.
The questions in your questionnaire must be clear and objective, leaving no room for doubt. Pay attention to the size of the questionnaire: too many questions will cause people to give up halfway or start to answer it with less interest.
The most important questions should be asked first and those who answer them should know the rules of the questionnaire before starting – including whether the answers will be identified or not (give preference to this second option).
Regarding the application of the survey, we have already mentioned the possibility of doing this in person or online. If you choose to answer via the internet, Google Forms is a great free option to do this job.
In the case of face-to-face surveys, determine the time and place that respondents will be approached. Inform them first about what the survey is about and how long it will take them to answer all questions. Finally, the people responsible for applying the questionnaire should receive training so that they have no doubts and that the application is uniform.
Information never hurts: use it
Market researches are essential tools for the elaboration of a business plan or a marketing strategy. Although in some cases it can be a little laborious, the results are worth it. More complex surveys can be expensive and inaccessible for those just starting out, but even the simplest questionnaires are already great ways to better understand your audience.
The most important thing is that you have some background to make your decisions. Avoid “shooting everywhere” or “in the dark”. Be objective and get to the point to achieve better results faster and at less cost.