Market Research: Definition
The insight interest of market research
Market research is a sub-discipline of marketing research and can be defined as the collection, analysis and evaluation of data collected by means of surveys, test procedures or from existing data sources according to current scientific standards. On the basis of the evaluation of this data, companies make important decisions regarding their own market behaviour, for example with regard to the development of new or the further development of existing products and services, with regard to company positioning and communication, as well as for the evaluation and predictive assessment of competitors, market peculiarities, market barriers, purchasing power and sales opportunities.
Collection of data for market research
There are innumerable methods for obtaining data in the context of market research. The respective use of the methods is closely related to the knowledge that one wants to gain from the data collection. For example, there are very elaborate test procedures in the area of product development for product, usability or packaging tests, where test persons usually have to be present. However, there are also very simple methods for obtaining data within market research, to which survey research can also be counted, at least according to current technological considerations. In the course of this article, we will go into more detail about the methods for obtaining data within market research. In addition, this article will deal with the topic of agile market research further below, i.e. the fast and flexible execution of market research projects to obtain and analyse data.
Why is market research of enormous importance?
As markets are increasingly characterised by intense competition, it is particularly important for companies to know and understand the preferences of their consumers and to identify and analyse the relevant target markets. Market research can also be used to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction, reduce customer churn and develop the business. Market research provides valuable information about markets, customers and your own products and helps to determine what customers want and expect. And this knowledge is the basis for designing products or services that actually meet customers’ wishes and can therefore survive in the relevant target markets. By understanding customer needs and knowing the target markets, companies can also forecast and plan their production and sales accordingly. Market research also provides valuable data on all market participants, including the competition. And if you know your competitors, you can also react accordingly to their product and market strategies.
Explanation of terms: What types and forms of market research are there?
There are many different types and forms of market research, some of which we would like to introduce to you below.
Primary market research
Primary market research means that market researchers collect data directly and for the first time on a specific issue. The essence of primary research is that this type of market research is “targeted”, the data collection and analysis is conducted around a specific topic or problem and the entire focus is on getting answers.
One of the most important advantages of primary market research is that the data collected is “first hand” and is collected precisely along the lines of the question. In addition, primary market research can be tailored exactly to the individual requirements and needs of organisations or companies that do not rely on the availability of existing data. Furthermore, primary market research offers the possibility of controlling the way in which data is collected and used.
Secondary market research
Secondary market research, also known as “desk research” or “desk research”, is a research method in which existing data is used for the purposes of the company’s own market research. This data is collected from third party sources, such as existing research material, theses or websites. There are also companies that specialise in collecting data for secondary market research and make it available for an appropriate fee. Secondary research can be cheaper than primary research because it uses existing data. However, the research effort, the effort involved in collecting and merging the data should not be underestimated, as these data must ultimately be brought together in a meaningful way.
Quantitative market research
Quantitative market research is defined as the systematic collection and analysis of quantifiable data for the purpose of gaining insight into a clearly defined issue. Quantitative research involves collecting standardised information (data), the results of which are presented in the form of figures, i.e. they can be “quantified”. Quantitative market research involves larger samples (respondents, survey participants), because more people mean more data. And more data means more accurate results. Quantitative market research is carried out with the help of standardised questionnaires with predominantly closed questions, where the answer options are already given.
Qualitative market research
In contrast to quantitative market research, qualitative market research is a research method based on open questions (conversation), in which data is collected using interview methods. In this method, survey participants are asked questions with no answers given, which means that the answers collected are essentially not quantifiable. However, new semantic text and language analyses based on artificial intelligence can also classify, categorise and connote qualitative answers. We will go into this later in this text. Qualitative market research is essentially based on methods such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, lifestyle immersion, in-home videos, diaries, observation, recording forum and community contributions or projective techniques.
Online market research
Online market research is the term used to describe market research using online media, i.e. the Internet, and not, as is often wrongly assumed, research on the Internet per se, although this can of course also be the case. In online market research, the Internet thus serves as a “tool” for research. The advantages of online market research are mainly the cost efficiency in the implementation as well as the almost universal availability of mobile devices in the western industrialised countries. The latter example, i.e. the use of mobile end devices in market studies, is generally referred to as mobile market research. Probably the best known form of online market research is the classic online survey by means of online questionnaires. But online market research goes far beyond the classic online survey. For example, focus group discussions are now conducted online. The collection of qualitative and quantitative data with the help of a research community is also part of online market research.
Mobile market research
Mobile market research basically means the collection of data via mobile devices for the purpose of gaining knowledge within the scope of consumer and market research. In addition to the classic data collection method via mobile questionnaires (online questionnaires), there are other possibilities and methods of mobile market research, such as mobile diary studies, ultra-short surveys, which can be answered with just one fingertip. And the popular so-called “in-the-moment survey“, a form of questioning that is used directly after the purchase or consumption experience. Here, customers answer in the immediate impression of what is happening on the smartphone with the help of a survey app.
What are the phases and processes of market research?
Definition: What does “market research mix” mean?
The term market research mix is still quite young and was first explicitly mentioned in the early-mid 2000s. In his publication “Marketing Research: tools and techniques“, author Nigel Bradley, who is also a lecturer in marketing at Westminster University in London, describes the sequential main phases of practical market research and summarises them under four P-keywords as a guide to action: Purpose, Population, Procedure, Publication. The term market research mix has not really arrived in the German-language literature yet. We will summarise the meaning of the four P-keywords in the context of market research for you as the market research mix basically describes the complete process of market research.
Purpose or: the goal
Those of you with a business background will have noticed immediately that the principle of the four P-keywords of the market research mix is closely related to the principle of the four P-keywords of the marketing mix. Admittedly: it seems a little constructed. First of all, everyone asks this question about the aim of a survey and not about the purpose, which is the actual meaning of the English term purpose. But let’s not get bogged down in nomenclature. It is therefore important to have a clear objective for your market research, in other words a clear interest in knowledge. Especially in small and medium-sized companies, it is not uncommon for customer satisfaction analyses to ask “into the blue”. And in the end there is hardly any usable data material for meaningful action derivations. Or the questions are formulated out of departmental political interest in such a way that in the end all customers seem satisfied. That also exists. Therefore: before you start, be clear about what exactly you want to find out with your market research project. The consulting partners from QuestionPro’s market research full service division are always ready to help you with advice and support.
Population or: the target group
Of course, it is not only important WHAT you want to know, but also WHO you want to know from. The term “population” therefore does not refer to the entire world population, but to those people who can really help you by answering your questions: the target group of your survey. If you look more closely at the subject of market research or research in general, you may think: well, that goes without saying. In theory, that is true. In practice, however, it often turns out that the topic of target groups is often neglected in market research projects. Especially online surveys that are very easy to set up tempt many companies to spread the link to the questionnaire all over the world and simply let everyone answer. In a previous blog post we made a few remarks on how it is technically possible to limit your survey target group in order to keep the scattering loss as low as possible and to really only survey those whose judgement really helps you. Furthermore, the QuestionPro platform for market research includes the possibility of sample and panel management.
Procedure or: methods of implementation
Market research itself has innumerable market research instruments and market research methods at its disposal, as well as innumerable possible combinations. Primary and secondary data collection, qualitative and quantitative methods. In addition, there are questions regarding time and period, online or offline, personal or anonymous. No matter which way you go, which method you use: QuestionPro maps your market research 1:1 technologically. Our survey and market research platform provides you with tools for both quantitative and qualitative data collection. From simple, one-off surveys to the management of a complex market research community, QuestionPro offers you a wide range of possibilities. Ultimately, your demands should not fail due to a lack of technological infrastructure!
Publication or: Analysis and presentation
By publication, author Nigel Bradley means “making available” and presenting the results of a market research study. After the survey, i.e. the data collection, the first step is to edit and encode the raw data material, which ultimately forms the basis for the visualisation of the findings. And this can be quite laborious under certain circumstances and often leads to frustration because the preferred graphical representation is not possible or several different tools are needed for data preparation, visualisation and reporting. This is often tedious and costs time and nerves. Fortunately, with QuestionPro it is different. The system combines all analysis and presentation options on a single platform. And what’s more, reports and analyses can be compiled at the click of a mouse and exported in any form.
What are the methods of data collection, data acquisition and data mining in market research?
The task of market research is to obtain information by collecting data. This data can be collected and analysed in a variety of ways and methods and ultimately serves as a basis for the management of companies to make market-oriented decisions. Nowadays, data is mainly collected via the Internet. The software for market research, QuestionPro, which is popular all over the world and used in more than 100 countries, has been in use worldwide for a good 15 years. It offers companies in the field of market research or companies that carry out market research themselves a wide range of possibilities for the collection and analysis of data within the framework of online market research, mobile market research and offline data collection, which we would like to present to you here in a selection of examples.
“QuestionPro is a great software for conducting online surveys. The system allows us to ask complex questions easily. Moreover, the customer service is available around the clock”
Executive Director Marketing
The personal interview (face-2-face, in-depth interviews)
Here an interviewer asks a respondent questions in a personal dialogue. In the past, this method of questioning required pen and paper to write down the answers. Nowadays, interviewers enter the answers directly into mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablet PCs. Personal interviews as part of market research are often conducted in pedestrian zones, shopping malls or at events. QuestionPro provides its customers with a mobile app for this purpose, with which data can also be recorded without an Internet connection, i.e. offline. Here you can find further → information on the mobile app.
The telephone survey
Telephone interviews are no longer used as a method of questioning in market research as frequently as they were a few years ago. One of the biggest advantages of collecting data in this way is the cost saving, because travel expenses of the interviewers are eliminated. In addition, the effort is lower. When conducting a telephone survey, one simply clicks on a dialer button, which automatically dials a number and connects the interviewer with his or her interview partner. During the telephone call, the answers are simply entered manually into an input mask set up for the survey within the market research software. QuestionPro also offers a smart solution for this.
Paper and pencil surveys
Due to new technological developments in the field of computer-assisted interviewing, so-called paper & pencil surveys as a method of data collection in the context of market research are only rarely used today, in contrast to the collection of data in the field of medicine, for example, although this method is declining. Even though there are possibilities of automated recording of paper questionnaires by means of scanners, companies in the field of market research prefer to take the direct route of entering data directly into the PC or mobile devices. Nevertheless, thanks to the open interface concept of the market research software QuestionPro, it is also possible to record data read out by scanner.
With feedback terminals you can obtain important data for your market research virtually “in passing” at the point of interest. Feedback terminals have the great advantage that they provide direct and unfiltered feedback, for example at the hotel reception, in a restaurant, on the train, in a supermarket or in the arrival terminal of an airport – in other words, wherever fast and immediate feedback is required.
Survey research: online surveys and mobile surveys
Online surveys and mobile surveys are today among the classic methods of data collection in market research. Online questionnaires can be created quickly and easily and can be shared by link via e-mail or in social networks. Since online questionnaires adapt to the respective end devices used by the survey participants, they are just as convenient, quick and easy to fill in. The market research software QuestionPro is one of the world’s most widely used applications in the field of survey research Online surveys and mobile surveys.
Panel studies, panel surveys
An online panel is a group of people who agree to participate in market research studies and online surveys. These persons register in a portal set up specifically for this purpose and regularly receive invitations to participate in studies or online surveys. Initiators of so-called panel surveys, i.e. surveys of people within an online panel, select survey participants according to certain criteria, such as age, gender, place of residence, income, preferred leisure activity and many more. Online panel members provide this data when registering. For participation in studies or surveys within the scope of online market research and to increase motivation, online panel members usually receive so-called incentives, i.e. rewards. These can be vouchers that are redeemed at online retailers or, for example, access to certain protected information. Product samples are also very popular. In the end, it’s a classic win-win situation: initiators of panel surveys receive valuable data as part of their online market research, members of the online panel receive corresponding rewards. The latter often causes criticism: Due to the “reward” of study participants, the scientific nature of online based studies is questioned. Tactical or arbitrary completion of questionnaires are the most important points of criticism. However, as a provider of online panels, QuestionPro offers technological mechanisms, based on a sophisticated response tracking system, that allow the identification of unfair responses. QuestionPro refunds so-called “bad responses” 100%.
A market research online community, also known as a research community or customer or feedback community and usually referred to in the technical jargon as a market research online community, is a closed group of community members and offers operators the possibility of direct communication with customers and thus also the acquisition of data for online market research purposes. Within the Market Research Online Community, operators can place online surveys, chat with members or conduct virtual focus group discussions. Professional communities like QuestionPro’s also offer extended features, such as an idea board or a social listening function. These are a blessing for operators of online market research communities! This is because all data obtained through community features is stored in a central database. This data can be evaluated by means of a real-time analysis dashboard and thus community operators gain valuable qualitative and quantitative market knowledge. QuestionPro’s Online Community can be up and running quickly, as it takes very little time to set up. Community management is carried out via an intuitive and easy-to-use user interface.
Market research community of QuestionPro
A market research community is conducted over a long period of time, usually many months or even years. Depending on the topic of the community, discussions can therefore be conducted over a correspondingly long period, which means that a lot of qualitative data can be collected and evaluated. So with a market research community you gain much deeper insights compared to other short-term qualitative and also quantitative research methods. Since the discussions and communication between the community members therefore take place over a longer period of time, community members – assuming good community moderation – can be guided step by step through even very complex topics, and these topics can be divided into smaller sections that can systematically drive the discussion forward. A market research community also enables the collection of qualitative and quantitative feedback via a variety of integrated functions and features. And with good community management in the background, members are encouraged to actively participate in the community and to take part in market research studies and discussions.
Methods and testing procedures
In the previous paragraph, we have shown you a selection of basic methods by which market researchers can collect and record data. Below these methods there are a number of specific test procedures (testings) for data collection, a selection of which we would like to present to you here.
The focus group discussion is a method of quantitative market research. A focus group is a moderated group discussion consisting of about 6-10 participants who in turn discuss a discussion on a specific, clearly defined topic. Focus group discussions serve the purpose of qualitative data collection and are mainly used in product and advertising concepts as well as in trend research. Within the framework of the QuestionPro Market Research Online Community, which we have already presented to you above, such focus group discussions can be completely virtually depicted.
The conjoint analysis, short form of CONsidered JOINTly, is a method within market research for determining the influence of individual characteristics of a product or service on the overall benefit. In conjoint analysis, also known as composite measurement or conjoint measurement, different product characteristics are presented to the study participants in various combinations for evaluation, whereby not individual product characteristics are evaluated, but always the totality of the presented characteristics, which ultimately represent the product as a whole.
The TURF analysis (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency Analysis) helps to analyse estimates of media or market potential and to develop optimal communication and placement strategies. TURF was originally developed for the analysis of media campaigns and has been extended to include product, line and distribution analyses.
Maximum Difference Scaling
Maximum Difference Scaling (MaxDiff, best/worst scaling) is a method of preference measurement that enables market researchers to identify the “best” of many alternatives. Here, the respondents are shown item pairs from a defined number of terms / images / things (items), from which they are to select the preferred one.
Example of the evaluation of a Max Diff analysis within the analysis dashboard of the market research platform QuestionPro
With the help of the semantic differential, also known as the impression differential and developed at the end of the 1950s by the US psychologist Charles Egerton Osgood, market researchers determine attitudes or perceptions on certain topics, things or facts. In this process, test persons are presented with a certain term, such as “wind energy”, opposing pairs of adjectives, for example, expensive-cheap, clean-impure, efficiency-inefficient, on a usually 5-level scale with a neutral point. The test persons then have to decide on a proficiency. With this method, the properties of different products can be compared very well.
Card Sorting is an interactive question type in which respondents or survey participants must sort items (terms or images) hierarchically into different areas. Card Sorting can also be easily carried out on mobile devices and is therefore a very popular question type in mobile market research.
Figure 1: Card Sorting on a Smartphone together with evaluation
Figure 2: Presentation of the results of the Card Sorting in the form of bars and raw data.
Product testing, including consumer tests or comparative tests, is a collective term within market research for methods used to measure the characteristics or performance of products. Product tests can be carried out by the manufacturer himself, an independent laboratory, market research or test institutes or even by public authorities. Comparative product tests involve testing and comparing several products and their properties or characteristics under identical test conditions. A product test can be very simple, for example when it comes to consumers testing the benefits or, in the case of web applications, usability. But a product test can also be very complex and, with the help of engineers, machines specially developed for a product test can be subjected to various tests, for example in terms of material durability, wear and tear or safety. Companies carry out product tests for a number of reasons, such as to find out whether the product is popular with consumers, whether it is ready for the market or whether there are legal requirements. Product testing can also be carried out for quality assurance reasons.
Observations or “shop-alongs”
Observations or “shop-alongs” are increasingly used as a research method in qualitative market research. This method allows market researchers to observe consumers from a distance to see how they react to a product or buying experience.
It is a newer method of conducting qualitative market research and means the participation of market researchers in the social or family life of individuals. This helps to get feedback from people when they are in a familiar environment.
Projective techniques are generally used in market research in 1:1 conversation situations by trained interviewers. The aim is to uncover hidden thoughts of the respondents by skilfully leading the conversation or by presenting objects.
van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter (pricing)
The van Westendorp method is used in market research to determine the optimal price for a product or service. In this process, test persons are asked how expensive a product should be at most, so that a purchase is considered. However, it is also asked when a product is perceived as too cheap, so that people would not buy it because they perceive it as “cheap”.
Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter – very popular in market research. Here you can see an evaluation as it is presented within the evaluation module of the market research platform QuestionPro.
Hot-Spot and Heat-Map Image Testing
The QuestionPro market research platform offers a feature that allows you to show respondents a picture with some predefined sections or areas in the picture so that they can rate these specific sections or areas in the picture positively or negatively.
Example of a heat-map evaluation (image testing) within the analysis dashboard of the market research platform QuestionPro
Text analysis: sentiment analysis & semantic text analysis
Text analysis (also known as text mining or content analysis) is a technique that computers use to extract valuable information from human speech or written text in an intelligent and efficient way. Within market research, this method is used to compile and analyse qualitative and unorganised data in a structured form. Sentiment analysis goes one step further and also refers to the use of natural language processing, text analysis, and computational linguistics for the systematic identification, decoding, extraction, quantification of affective states and personality traits from open free text responses, such as reviews, comments in social networks, community forums or evaluation portals. Semantic text analysis based on artificial intelligence can even create psychograms and predict behaviour.
Example of a text analysis (sentiment analysis) within the analysis dashboard of the market research platform QuestionPro
SWOT analysis, acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, is an effective analytical method of market research, usually used to assess a company’s performance in the marketplace and to develop effective business strategies.
Data analysis and reporting
At the end of the market research process, the data obtained is analysed and a report is produced, on the basis of which company managers make decisions. Data analysis within market research is the systematic structuring, evaluation and assessment of collected data according to scientific standards. Due to the complexity of statistical methods and procedures of data analysis, it is not possible to go into detail in this blog article. Therefore, we will limit ourselves to the possibilities of evaluation that are available to you with the market research platform QuestionPro.
Example of a freely configured dashboard within the market research platform QuestionPro
Preparation of data analysis
Before data can be evaluated at all, it must be subjected to a quality check. The platform for market research QuestionPro offers an integrated and automated data quality check for this purpose. Among other things, the system recognises
- if questionnaires were filled in twice
- there is a certain pattern of completion (Patterned Responses), which indicates a lack of seriousness in completing the questionnaire
- if questionnaires were not filled in completely
- One-word answers to open free-text questions
- excessive speed in filling in the questionnaire, which is far from average
Market Research Analysis Dashboard
The market research platform QuestionPro has an integrated analysis dashboard, which clearly and graphically displays the evaluations of the data obtained from market research projects in an appealing way.
This dashboard contains a variety of evaluation and analysis options which can be called up at the touch of a button. Carry out trend analyses, GAP analyses, correlation analyses. Use cross tables, data segmentation, heat map, cluster and text analyses.
Example of a cross tab within the analysis dashboard of the market research platform QuestionPro
Real-time analysis is now “state of the art”, meaning that you can see to the minute how the results of your market research project are developing during data collection. This means that you always have trends and tendencies in view and do not have to wait until the end of a project to see the first results.
With the market research platform QuestionPro, you can decide for yourself what you would like to have evaluated, how and in what graphic form. No matter whether bars, pie charts, lines or radars. You can decide for yourself which type of chart you want to use for your data analysis.
Image analysis, text analysis and word clouds
Text and image analyses are particularly important for qualitative market research, product tests and concept tests. Within the integrated analysis module, QuestionPro offers you a wide range of options for analysing qualitative data, for example in the form of word clouds (tag clouds) or on the basis of AI-based and semantic text analyses, which can also be used to extract opinions, needs, emotions, motivations and personality traits, mail correspondence, comments, free-text answers and forums. Image analyses, such as heat-map image testing and click tracking, are also important analysis tools for quantitative market research.
Example of a text analysis
Drop-out analyses are very important when it comes to finding out why the feedback in your market research projects is rather low and why this is due to a high drop-out rate. Why and where do your survey participants leave the online questionnaire. To find out, you can use the market research platform QuestionPro to access a drop-out analysis!
Gap analysis is a method that allows you to measure the difference between expected performance and actual performance. A “gap” is the difference between the current state and its desired state. QuestionPro includes a GAP analysis tool that allows you to generate gap analyses at the touch of a button.
Correlation analysis in research is a statistical method for measuring the strength of the linear relationship between two variables and for calculating their relationship. Put simply, correlation analysis calculates the degree of change in one variable due to the change in the other. A high correlation indicates a strong relationship between the two variables, while a low correlation means that the variables are weakly related.
Reporting & data export
The market research platform QuestionPro automatically generates reports in many different formats at the push of a button. The report contains the corresponding evaluations for all questions. For example, if you choose to export reports in PPT format, you can comment on the corresponding data and graphics for your presentation. You can export data in CSV, EXCEL, SPSS formats.
Report generation and data export at the push of a button
Agile market research with QuestionPro
What does agile market research mean? An explanatory approach
The term agile is defined as “showing great agility”, “active” and “agile”. So when people talk about “agile market research”, it means that rigid market research processes and workflows are eliminated and made more flexible. Since the methodology of market research is based on scientific principles, these cannot of course be “flexibilised” in themselves. Agile market research therefore tends to mean a faster, more agile and flexible approach to setting up market research projects that is adapted to the wishes of the client or to the client’s own wishes, using modern, innovative technologies. It is therefore about speed, flexibility and automation of processes within market research, whereby automation in particular should be flexible and can now be made flexible.
Agile market research means “efficient and effective”, not “fast and cheap
Of course, speed plays a not insignificant role within agile market research. Agile market research finally breaks up old market research processes, and the development of new technologies and methodologies always includes the idea of making processes faster. And this is often achieved simply because of ever more innovative technologies and also because of the possibility of being able to connect systems with each other and systems and people more easily and quickly and to use resources more effectively.
Example of agile market research
Let us take a simple example: How long did it used to take to conduct a panel study? If you come from the field of market research, then you certainly have an idea about it. In the meantime there are “dedicated lines” to panels, so that a panel study can be carried out ad hoc, in the shortest possible time and with the same quality. The sample selection is carried out conveniently via a panel software. With just a few clicks, the requirements of the panel participants to be selected (age, gender, profession, educational background, marital status, etc.) are defined, the questionnaire for the study is fed into the online panel and the results are available the following day. Artificial intelligence thereby recognises bad responses, i.e. feedback that cannot be used. And with just one click, the evaluation is called up within an analysis dashboard, and the presentation for the management or the client is automatically generated. That is agile market research.
“We used QuestionPro to monitor the market for our mosquito patch MOSKINTO and were amazed how quickly we were able to reach the defined case number of 1000 via the QuestionPro Online Panel. The questionnaire design is simple and the data evaluation very clear. QuestionPro’s customer service is excellent.”
Agile market research and technology
Of course, agile market research is not only about technology but also about processes and of course about the people who manage agile market research projects and processes. But let’s be honest: technology is what makes agile market research processes feasible. Regardless of whether it is qualitative or quantitative market research: Without a user-friendly, fast and efficient software or web platform that allows you to conduct market research projects almost completely automatically, analyse data easily and create reports and documentation automatically, agile market research is definitely not possible.
QuestionPro makes market research agile
The market research platform QuestionPro is one of the technologies that enable agile market research. For almost two decades, the software has been developed as a web-based platform (SaaS) exactly in line with the high demands and wishes of market researchers, for whom the topic of agile market research is at the centre of their thoughts and actions. Automated processes, high user experience, intuitive user interface, artificial intelligence, open interface concept for the connection of third party systems, analyses and reporting “at the push of a button” and an integrated panel management ensure that you can set up market research processes quickly and carry them out efficiently AND effectively. Be it in-house or as a market research provider for your clients.
Which features and functions of QuestionPro enable agile market research?
As already described, agile market research is not exclusively defined by technology, but can be broken down to functions and features. The market research platform QuestionPro offers a variety of functions and features that support agile market research. Here we outline some of these features and functions for you.
Intuitive user interface
QuestionPro is very easy to learn, as the user interface is intuitive, simple and clear and complies with the latest UX standards. Long training periods are eliminated, new users can work productively with QuestionPro in a very short time.
Predefined question sets
QuestionPro contains sets of questions developed explicitly for market research, which do not require any additional programming. You simply select the question sets with a mouse click and add them to your questionnaire with a mouse click. Each question set contains its own evaluations, tailored to the question sets, which can be adapted within the analysis dashboard with just a few mouse clicks, for example weighting, statistical methods or graphs. Thanks to the pre-defined question sets, you can set up market research studies quickly and easily, so that you can respond to enquiries from specialist departments or clients in the shortest possible time!
Copy questions, question blocks and entire surveys
You can use QuestionPro to copy individual questions and insert them into another questionnaire as well as to copy question blocks and entire surveys. This means that you do not just create a new questionnaire without much effort, for example if you want to repeat or re-start a market research project. All specific settings on the question and evaluation level are also completely transferred, such as the item descriptions or the selected graphs and stored statistical models.
Import market research projects from third-party systems
Of course, you cannot just copy questions and surveys from within QuestionPro. QuestionPro offers you the ability to integrate surveys and market research studies from other systems if you want to switch to QuestionPro from another market research platform, such as SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics. This means you do not have to redesign your projects from scratch.
Data Quality Check
We have already explained this feature in more detail above in the section on analysis and evaluation of market research studies. QuestionPro has algorithms that recognise so-called bad responses. This saves you the manual data check, which is of considerable importance for agile market research, because manual data checks can be very time-consuming, especially with large samples!
Automatic report generation
With the QuestionPro market research platform, you can create reports for your market research fully automatically and have them sent to selected recipients by the system according to a schedule. How these reports should look like can be configured beforehand.
Simple layout adaptation to the own CI
QuestionPro allows you to fully customise questionnaires as well as evaluations and reports to your own layout wishes and needs using the integrated CSS editor. The questionnaire preview shows you exactly the layout result for all screens, i.e. desktop, tablet PC and smartphone. So you have complete control over the look and feel.
Definition of processes
You can also initiate workflows and processes with QuestionPro and set triggers, such as what should happen when a certain event occurs, e.g. alerts (warnings) in case of poor survey results or a certain response behaviour of survey participants.
Automatic sending of questionnaires
The market research platform QuestionPro can also be used to send questionnaires, for example via e-mail, fully automatically via a serial mail function and according to a schedule. If questionnaires remain unfilled, you can define whether and when a follow-up mail is to be sent.
Logics and plausibilities
The market research platform QuestionPro offers you the possibility of using sophisticated branching logic, for example for question branching in surveys or even across surveys (survey chaining), without having to program them. You simply select branching routines with the help of a branching editor and thus easily define intelligent logics that make the completion of a questionnaire much easier. Plausibility checks and data pre-filling also make it easier to complete the questionnaire, which ultimately results in more feedback and faster results.
Integrations and extensions for agile market research
QuestionPro has “Ready-to-Use” integrations that allow you to extend the functionality of the market research platform with one click of the mouse, without the need to program cumbersome interfaces.
Agile market research: BMW relies on QuestionPro market research platform
„The flexible and fast-reacting project management meets our requirements for the short-term nature and speed of market research studies to a particular degree. The quality and proactivity of project support and the speed of reporting implementation also meet the highest standards.”
Case Study: Agile market research at BMW
For BMW, QuestionPro is the market research platform for conducting agile market research studies. We have written a case study for you to show you how the company uses QuestionPro technology and services to conduct agile market research. Here you will find detailed information on the BMW market research → case study
Digression: Agile market research for small businesses and start-ups
The previous paragraph referred to agile market research. Agile market research also gives companies with limited financial resources the opportunity to carry out market research. Especially when considering the aspect of do-it-yourself market research. But especially small companies or start-ups often neglect market research because it is often expensive and time-consuming. But is that really the case? Market research is a very important, even necessary undertaking, so that companies can get to know their markets and customers, opportunities and risks and thus grow. But many companies often postpone or even abandon market research activities due to budget constraints and believe that there are more pressing areas in which they should invest than in market research, which is a big mistake.
Market research is often neglected
The number of business start-ups in Germany has fallen sharply. According to statista, there were more than 1.4 million start-ups per year between 2001 and 2003. By 2015, the figure had fallen to just over 760,000, with almost half of all entrepreneurs failing after just six years. The top reasons: Financial difficulties and lack of marketing. And this includes a lack of knowledge about the competition, a lack of customer approach and a lack of product strategy. This makes it all the more important for start-up companies to conduct market research! But who does not know this: Especially at the beginning of a start-up the focus is on actions that directly create value. What is happening around you and whether the target group feels addressed by the new offers and communication measures at all often remains unconsidered.
Three reasons why market research is of enormous importance for start-up companies
Knowledge of the market, competition and target group
Although it is essential for start-ups to know their own target group and the target market, too little research is done on background information in this respect. And a lack of knowledge about the competition makes it difficult to successfully position one’s own products at the park. This also applies to pricing! And anyway for product characteristics and features. Because I can only be successful on the market if I really know what my target group expects from me and how they behave, what the competition offers at what conditions, what my prospective customers and customers’ needs are and how I specifically address them and draw their attention to my products and services.
Feedback from customers and interested parties to improve the range of products and information
Who – if not my customers – can tell me whether I am really right in what I do. Customer surveys are therefore extremely important within market research, right from the start! Feedback on the functions, the quality, the materials used, the price is important information regarding the further development of my products. You should give every customer the opportunity to leave feedback wherever customers encounter your products, services and brands, for example in the context of touchpoint analyses. Ideally, you can even use positive feedback as a real marketing tool. But feedback is not only important after the purchase. You can also obtain important feedback from your prospective customers before making a purchase decision, for example whether your information offering is sufficient and appealing, for example in the form of online intercept surveys.
Increase your turnover through better market knowledge
and use modern survey technologies for agile market research as a self-service
The point at which all your business activities ultimately culminate: turnover! Market research helps you to increase your turnover in real terms! Because if you communicate in a targeted manner and develop your products to fit perfectly, this will inevitably have a positive effect on your profits. And in order to maximise your profit, market research should not be an overly high investment. QuestionPro offers you sophisticated, professional tools for agile market research as a self-service at fair prices!
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