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Published August 9, 2018

Market research is the systematic effort to gather data related to customer preferences and needs. This data forms the fundamental base of business decisions and strategies.

There is a wide range of market research forms and methods that businesses deploy worldwide. Choosing the one that meets your needs is vital to gain the right insights about your products or services. We’ll cover some of the major types of market research in this article to help you get familiar with them.

Primary and secondary research

Primary research involves the collection of data from scratch. The data you collect will be original and specially designed to solve your business problem. It can get a bit more expensive to obtain such definitive data through questionnaires, interviews and surveys.

Secondary research involves data collection from a primary data source, such as government statistics and trade publications. The original source may have collected it for a different purpose and hence the data may not serve your exact needs. However, this is less expensive as compared to primary research.

Exploratory and conclusive research

Exploratory research helps you get insights on a particular issue or comprehend a specific situation. This type of market research is suitable when you want to figure out a basic idea regarding the solution to a problem at an early stage.

The results of exploratory research aid in conducting conclusive research. The latter is more structured as compared to the former, and that’s why you can use it to draw definitive conclusions. You can use this research data as input for management information systems.

Qualitative and quantitative research

Qualitative research explores opinions, feelings, thoughts and behaviour patterns. The intention behind this is to understand people’s perception and needs in connection with a product or service. You can use focus groups, depth interviews and photo-ethnography for this type of research.

Quantitative research deals with numerical data to draw inferences. Researchers first collect data about individuals’ characteristics or knowledge using web/telephone surveys and personal interviews. They then determine its significance level using statistical analysis.

Other types of market research
  • Advertising research involves tracking the efficiency of advertisements via Attention Tracking.
  • Brand awareness research determines the extent to which customers can identify or recall a brand or product name
  • Customer satisfaction research features studies or surveys to understand a consumer’s satisfaction level
  • Segmentation research ascertains the demographic, cultural, psychographic, and behavioural characteristics of the target audience
  • Pricing research is done through conjoint analysis to know which product features are valuable to consumers and what they are willing to pay for

All the above types of market research can be sorted into one of two major categories: problem-identification research and problem-solving research.

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