As an entrepreneur starting a new business or venturing into a new market, any person you approach for advice will likely tell you that it is important that you do some research before you take the plunge. There is just one problem with this advice – often, nobody seems to tell you how exactly you are to conduct your research. What type of information you need, where to find the information, what factors to consider or the scope of research needed is just some of the factors that you need to look into to effectively carry out marketing research.In order for your research to be valuable to your marketing process, you must first have a clear picture of what it is you are doing. Many first time business owners and novice marketers usually confuse ‘market research’ with ‘marketing research’. The main difference between the two is that the latter is on a larger scale as compared to the former. Market research entails analyzing a specific market for your product whereas marketing research not only includes conventional market research, but also new products and services, distribution channels and the consumer’s wants and needs. In a nutshell, it is an all encompassing research on the market that includes product, processes, people, places and competitors.Even though you may have clear understanding of the type of product you want to sell and how it fits into your company’s overall mission and goals, this is not necessarily sufficient to make sure that your product sells. Marketing research can eventually help increase your sales revenues. To perform the research, you can follow the below steps:1. The first step is to define your business goals as far as the product is concerned. Try to be as specific as possible as this will eventually help you obtain an accurate report.2. Set a budget for your research and develop a timeline for research completion.3. Think about the type of data you will need – There are two sources of data – primary and secondary. Primary data is data that you collect in relation to your product and is created from your own observation, understanding and analysis. Primary data can be collected by interviewing the general public through calling a set of randomly selected numbers or observing market reaction to a similar product. Secondary data is information that is obtained from books, journals, industry reports and any other information gathered by a third party. For secondary data, you can use the internet which has a large collection of e-books and company research reports, product information and market statistics. You can also check the library for product research conducted by various companies. Local chamber of commerce and trade and industry offices are another place you should stop by as these not only have research documents you can go through but can also provide vital advice on your intended line of business.4. Analyze the data collected – This is where a lot of the work lies. You have to determine how to represent the data, what software to use and the acceptable margin of error based on the sample you collected and the methodology used to collect the data.5. The final report – The information gathered should help you come up with a report that will help you decide what marketing strategy to employ. This report should ideally include charts, flow diagrams and statistics that back up your research and your intended strategy.Conducting research requires patience and practice – the more you dig in, the more effective you will become.
Paid Market Research
Paid market research is a great way for businesses to learn about their customer’s likes and preferences. In addition paid market research is an earning opportunity for the entrepreneurial minded who want to get paid to share their opinions. Information gleaned from consumers through market research is an invaluable tool. This wealth of information can be instrumental in the development of products and services from start to finish.Paid market research can come in different forms. For instance some market researchers use focus groups. Focus groups may get together in person or online. These groups are designed to reflect the diversity inherent in the general public. Additionally, a participant in market research may partake in an interview (online or off) where their opinions and feedback are thoroughly examined. Also paid market research may come in the form of online surveys. These online surveys have become increasingly popular, because they are convenient for the participant as well as the market research company.Another way market research is used is by having consumers write product reviews. Market surveys attempt to generate relevant questions in a fair way that is representative of the larger population. When used efficiently, paid market research can yield relevant information about how a given product will be received and how to maximize profit.By assessing the ideals and tastes directly from the consumer, a company can create products that appeal to their clients in every way. For example, little differences in the design of a product can make or break the product in terms of marketing success. In addition, input from consumers supplied directly through paid market research, can reveal what packaging and promotion actually sells the product. That is why smart companies are paying good money for your insight and opinions. They are willing to do so because there is no better way to know what consumers are looking for than going directly to the source.Furthermore, paid marketing professionals are trained to interpret the data these surveys generate in useful and insightful ways. The information gained from these surveys can also be used to project what consumers will want in the future. The result is that product development and marketing becomes a dynamic process that remains fresh and cutting edge. Thanks to the efforts of paid survey takers, marketing has never been so exciting.Market research using surveys is fast, simple and provides data at an amazing speed. Information can be recorded and analyzed in half the time it took using old fashion methods of surveys. Those who are paid to participate in this research benefit right away in two ways, first they have the instant gratification of knowing their opinion is valued and second because they get paid good money to express those same opinions.Participation in paid market research is simple and easy as well. Most surveys take mere minutes to complete. Some surveys are longer, but the compensation makes the time and effort worth it. In addition, the products and surveys in question are everyday products that they are probably quite familiar with. There are no special skills or training to undergo, simply a sincere willingness to express your thoughts with a well-defined and comprehensive survey. Many of these surveys are taken online, and are as convenient as clicking a mouse. The fact that the survey is conducted online makes it reliable, too. There’s no room for creative interpretation of your answers like there might be with a survey done in the traditional fashion. Online paid surveys can provide companies with those instant answers that will help them keep their edge on the global market. In addition, they can count on accuracy down to a mere fraction of error.Paid market research may involve being invited to participate in a focus group. However, for many people such face-to-face events are not practical or desirable. For people who would like to sign up to participate in market research, but not leave the comfort of their home online surveys are abundant.Privacy is often a concern for market research participants. Companies that employ consumers to take online surveys, usually carefully protect personal information of the participants. This assures consumers they won’t be swamped with spammers if they consent to take one online survey or if they participate in twenty.In order to be a panelist for online surveys and paid market research, the participant needs to be invited. Because these marketing tools are scientifically engineered to be representative of the wider market, eligibility in a survey or focus group may be dependent on meeting specific demographics that the company is looking for. When a panelist is chosen for participation, they will be invited to participate. Some paid market research panelists are compensated by a set fee. Others are entered into drawings, and still others will receive free or discounted products as an incentive to join.Entrepreneurial people who are motivated to earn money doing market research sign up with companies as potential participants. There is an ample opportunity to make good money in market research by participating in a selection of market research activities, including online surveys, product reviews and focus groups. Market research companies will conduct an interview with potential respondents, to get a clear demographic profile. It is important to note here that these companies are generally very conscientious about protecting personal information. It is in fact an industry standard for market research to do so. After signing up with a paid market research company, consumers are generally free to sign up for only the projects they want to. Some may choose to only participate in online surveys, while others will find focus groups more to their liking. Either way, this could be an interesting, fun way to make extra income. For some this may be an ideal job that has benefits such as flexibility, working days and hours of their choosing, and the ability to make money at their leisure. This paid market research is a winning situation for everyone involved, providing in-depth information for companies and for the consumer will also benefit by having their opinions count and by supplementing their incomes.