A business becomes successful when it understands the real needs of the market and the customer. For this reason, market research is often called the foundation of a strong business. It not only provides the right perspective but also helps in making data-backed, informed decisions, and devising a foolproof seo strategy.

What Is Market Research?

It is the process of collecting and analyzing data from the market to understand the prospects of a product or a service. Market research may involve research about the characteristics, spending habits, and the needs of the consumers. Apart from that, it also essential to understand the competitors and their roles in the target market segment.

seo market research

illustration by Kunal Krishna

Market research is ideally the first step in the business planning process. It helps in identifying the right market segments and create product differentiation to give the business a good start.

Why Is Market Research Necessary?

Starting a new business can be risky at times—one wrong move can prove costly. Market research is the answer to avoiding these mistakes.

Market research is a reliable way of making predictions about the possible demand for their services in the market. It also gives business owners clues about positioning their strategies right to fuel demand after the launch.

Moreover, market investigations provide established businesses the affirmation that they are moving in the desired direction. On the other hand, it can also send warning signals when a change is needed.

What Are The Types Of Market Research?

Market research can be divided into primary and secondary research. Primary research is done by the people who are directly associated with the business, whereas secondary research entails using existing reports and data compiled by the government and other private agencies.

Both methods are distinct in their approaches and are relevant in their own ways. More often not, it is advisable to do both to get the larger picture.

When the business decides to collect the data, it can be done in two ways—quantitative and qualitative.

1. Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is the collection of data from a large pool of sources and is generally used to establish trends and patterns or for comparisons. The data collection process is more structured and involves standard questions.

In quantitative market research, you need to send out questionnaires to your target audience via email or conduct face-to-face surveys. Out of all these, telephonic surveys may work the best in terms of response rates and cost.

Online businesses can take advantage of seo tools to gain more insight into what the audience is searching online by analyzing trending keywords and phrases.

2. Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is more complex and helps businesses understand why consumers behave in a particular manner. It typically involves a small group of customers and uses focus group discussions or personal interviews.

Since qualitative research involves getting to know consumer behavior on a deeper level, it does not involve a pre-determined set of questions. Instead, it is an evolving process where the researcher probes with an end goal in mind.

What Are The Ingredients Of Successful Market Research?

1. A Clear Objective

It may help to write down the goal of the research as objectively as possible. Is it to understand the competitor market or to expand an existing business? Once you do so, it will become easier to plan the rest of the process.

For online businesses, creating a robust marketing strategy will become easier once the objectives are defined.

2. Identify The Target Audience

The entire exercise of market research may be futile if you do not administer the survey on the right audience. You can define your audience after deliberating upon the need for your product or service.

You can either identify the region that your target audience should belong to or define them by their attributes. These can be demographic characteristics like gender, age, income, etc.

3. Create The Survey Questions

The quality of your research is as good as the questions. As important as it is to ask the right questions, it is equally crucial to use appropriate language and item structures to get the desired responses.

In the case of quantitative research, it will be helpful to design short questions. The questions should be direct and simple, and the full-set should not exceed two pages. If not, the audience may lose interest.

It will also help to write a short and crisp introduction as to why this survey is important to you. To attract more responses, you can offer a discount or something equally lucrative for completing the survey.

For qualitative research, it will be useful to prepare a set of questions to steer the discussion in the direction that you would like. Instead of reading it out, memorize it to engage the audience. Lastly, try to gauge the answers with minimal questioning.

4. Distribute The Survey

Once you have completed the designing of your survey, move on to distributing it to the target audience. You may have to account for several factors to decide the right method of administering your surveys, such as the cost and time.

Based on your budget, you can choose emailers, text messages, QR codes, or websites for this. For offline surveys, you can decide to set up kiosks at places like malls where it will be easier to find your target audience.

5. Survey Collection

Collecting the responses is the next crucial step and will primarily depend upon the methods used for distributing the survey. For large amounts of information, data collection software, and automation processes can collate the responses in one place and capture real-time responses.

6. Survey Analysis

Finally, the last process is to evaluate the survey results. Don't just look at the numbers; try to align the data with your research goals to find the right solution.

Statistical analysis tools such as SPSS and techniques like TURF, conjoint, SWOT analysis, etc. can help you determine the current landscape and what it means for your business.


Market research can help your business in making the right moves and be a profitable one. It's good practice to conduct market research from time to time to keep up with the changing preferences of the consumers and stay ahead of your competitors.


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