Market research is a way of getting an overview of consumers'
wants, needs and beliefs. It can also involve discovering how they
act. The research can be used to determine how a product could be
marketed. Peter Drucker believed market research to be the
quintessence of marketing. Market research is a way that producers
and the marketplace study the consumer and gather information about
the consumers' needs. There are two major types of market research:
primary research, which is sub-divided into quantitative and
qualitative research, and secondary research.
How is marketing and public opinion research done?
Most survey research simply involves surveys among a representative
sample of individuals. Very carefully designed questionnaires,
usually administered in a structured manner, are used to guide the
interview. They could be about attitudes, needs or preferences. The
questions could be "closed-end" types (for example "yes" or "no")
or they could be "open-ended" ("what do you think of. . .?"). There
are not right or wrong answers in survey research. We are only
interested in the opinions of the people being questioned.
How are the interviews conducted?
In a variety of ways. The most popular means today is via the
internet. Survey research is also conducted by telephone and mail.
Some interviews must be done in person when there is something that
must be seen by the respondent (the word used in our industry to
describe the person interviewed). In-person interviews are
conducted door-to-door or in shopping centers and other
high-traffic locations. Sometimes groups of respondents are invited
to the research company's office or other location for a session
known as a focus group.
Why do some surveys include some questions that don't sound very
In order for the answers to a research question to be usable, the
questions have to be asked in exactly the same way of
everybody--even though certain questions may be more interesting,
or seem more relevant, to some people than to others. This
sometimes causes a situation where a specific question may not seem
meaningful, or is difficult to answer, to a specific person. But
the answers are always important to the research company.