A Comprehensive Guide to Market Research

Avoid making costly mistakes with market research. Learn the data-driven approach to creating a marketing strategy and messaging that's naturally persuasive to your ideal customers.

Chapters

Introduction to Market Research

The term "market research" describes the whole collection of strategies used to gather information about your target market, your industry, and your business: It answers virtually every question you might ask concerning these things. Learn in detail what it entails, what its benefits are, and when to conduct it.  Read more

Conducting a Situation Analysis: The SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a type of situation analysis that asks you to identify your business' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—giving you a broad sense of where you stand, and ultimately, helping you home in on a topic for your market research. Learn how to conduct a powerful SWOT. Read more

Using Your SWOT Analysis to Drive Your Market Research

The term "market research" research describes the whole collection of strategies used to gather information about your target market, your industry, and your business: It answers virtually every question you might ask concerning these things. Learn in detail what it entails, what its benefits are, and when to conduct it. Read more

Conducting Competitor Research 

You know as well as we do how crucial it is to know your competition intimately: How can you make decisions without understanding the broader realm in which your business operates? Learn how to identify both direct and indirect competitors... and where to go to find out as much as you can about how they operate. Read more

Resource List for Secondary Market Research

Secondary market research is already-existing market data compiled by entities such as trade associations, government agencies, and chambers of commerce. It will help you discover things like market saturation, consumer behavior, demographic characteristics, economic conditions, and much more. Know where to look. Read more

Conducting Primary Market Research

Now it's time to drill down into your particular offering, and your particular market segment. Primary market research is a group of methods that let you get information directly from the source: your prospects and customers. Learn the leading methods, how to choose which one is right for you, and how to select the right participants. Read more

Creating a Killer Market Research Survey

We don't have to tell you that consumers have strong opinions. Market research surveys give them a formal channel through which to express them. Learn about available channels for survey distribution, the difference between qualitative and quantitative questions, best practices for surveys, and how to analyze the results. Read more

Using In-Depth Interviews and Focus Groups for Your Market Research

While surveys are primarily useful for quantitative research, interviews and focus groups will get you deep, qualitative insights about your market—the juicy, subjective, emotional "data." Learn the advantages of these two methodologies, when to choose an interview (and when to choose focus group), and how to prepare for them. Read more

Best Practices for Moderating and Analyzing Interviews and Focus Groups

When conducting interviews and focus groups for your market research, you'll be working within a time constraint. How do you make the most of that brief—but crucial—encounter with representatives of your target market? Here are strategies for facilitating the conversation and for analyzing the experience afterward. Read more

Conducting Observational Research for Your Business

Observational research refers to the wide range of methods used to collect information on your market by "watching" consumers act in natural or contrived environments. It measures behavioral data directly and unobtrusively. Learn about the available types of observational research to determine the best method for your business. Read more