How to choose a market research company
Business market research isn't like the normal research you might do on your own—researching new homes or conducting stock market research before you buy new stock, for example—it's a sophisticated process used across many industries to help companies understand their audiences and make strategic decisions for their business.
Market Research Firms
While it is possible to conduct market research on your own, many companies choose to work with a market research firm to ensure they get a fresh, unbiased perspective. Some of the most common services offered by these companies are:
- Conducting market research surveys. A market research survey is simply a series of questions that are designed to glean certain information. They can be written on paper or integrated into a website for conducting market research online. Surveys can be given to potential customers, specific demographic groups or existing customers depending on the information you're looking for.
- Focus groups. Focus groups are like interactive surveys. You simply collect a group of people meeting your demographic requirements, ask them questions or present them with new products or presentations and gather their feedback.
- A/B testing. A/B testing is done by presenting one product or idea in two or more different ways. You can track user response to determine which method is the best. This is also a Web design tool that can gauge how customers respond to your website.
How Market Research Can Benefit You
The goal of market research is ultimately to help businesses increase their profits, but there are many other successes that ultimately lead to this outcome. A market research company can help in the following areas:
- Customer satisfaction. Through the tools mentioned above, market researching firms can measure your company's customer satisfaction and can make suggestions for improvement based on the results.
- Brand research. Market research companies can help you evaluate whether your brand has achieved audience penetration and can examine exactly what message you're sending.
- Customer retention. While finding new customers are generally the goal of any business, customer retention can be just as important. Combining the elements of customer satisfaction and brand research and combining it with other factors such as market analysis, market research companies can help you win customer loyalty.