Large budgets are allocated on consumer research by huge organizations because they are aware of the worthiness of data gathered from listening to customers. However, even small businesses can benefit a lot by asking feedback from consumers. It is the best way to enhance the existing product as well as generate new concepts on the basis of consumer demand.
Key methods applied in consumer research
Generally, customers shillyshally to reveal the motivational factor or reason, which made them buy a specific product or service. So, consumer research makes use of two kinds of methods to study their behavior and attitude.
- Quantitative – Research is descriptive in nature applied to predict customer behavior. It will consist practice like surveys, experiments, observations and technique. This method can be applied before a vast population, data will be quantitative, and gain sophisticated statistical analysis resulting in empirical findings.
- Qualitative – Research includes focus groups, depth interviews, projective techniques, and metaphor analysis. The customers involved are small, so you get limited findings. This method is employed to gain new ideas for creating promotional campaigns.
Blending both qualitative and quantitative research findings can help marketers design solid promotional strategies to gain both consumers feedback [quantitative] and uncover new ideas [qualitative].
Important steps involved in consumer research process
Crucial steps leading the way in shopper research process include –
- Developing research objective clearly
- Gathering & appraising the secondary data
- Planning primary research study
- Gathering primary data
- Data analysis
- Report preparation on findings
Step 1st – Defining research objective
First and most challenging step is to develop solid research objectives to underpin the project. Thus avoid wasting capital in collecting wrong or insufficient data with wrong questions.
- Who is your target audience from whom majority of income is derived?
- What relevant behavior you desire to shape among this demographic?
- What competitive options does your target consumer choose?
Write the real objectives with action verbs like define, identify, evaluate, test or select and result phrases like marketing opportunities, competitive alternatives, product needs, customer usage or consumer preferences.
2nd step – Gathering secondary data
It includes internal [in-house data from early studies like past customer transactions and more and external data collected from accessible external sources.
3rd step – Planning primary research
Primary research is designed on basis of purposes to study. It can be either quantitative [to predict customer behavior] or qualitative [for new ideas].
4th step – Collect primary data
For quantitative research primary data collection is through questionnaire and attitude scales [semantic differential scale, rank order scale, or behavior intension scale]. Qualitative data collection is on a small scale used in early phase to get an idea of consumer behavior, so you can use it to define your new product.
Step 5th – Data analysis
Professional moderator will analyze the response received via quantitative research. The open ended questions are coded first, classified, and analyzed using advanced analytical programs. The information is correlated by choosing variables and the data is grouped under selected demographic characteristics.
Step 6th – Reports prepared on findings
The large surveys are time consuming, so businesses take help from Market Research Company. They use different strategies and prepare a report. The reports are deep and include extensive customer feedback and demographic information.