Marketing Basics: Market Research

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Small businesses never do enough market research. It’s too expensive and the return on investment is usually not measurable, so it’s one of the areas of business that simply gets ignored.

There are a few basics of market research that can apply to the simplest of things that you’re already doing.

Primary or Secondary Research

The first step of market research is to realise what you need. If you are just looking for trends in your industry, a quick Google search can often provide plenty of insight. Secondary research, for the most part, is the only thing that most small businesses use. What we need to focus on are the methods of gathering and using primary research.

Interviews, Questionnaires, Surveys, Focus Groups, Oh My!

The 4 basic ways of gathering this primary research are through these topics. Focus groups and “targeted sampling” of potential clients can be costly. So, let’s focus on one method of getting the other three in practice in a way you can use.


Write 3 questions that you want answered. What do you like/dislike about _____? What would you change about _____? Figure out 3 questions that would help improve your product, services, or process. Once you get those written down, figure out who would provide the best answers. Then you have to design a “tool.”


A tool is basically the method for collecting information. The best tool is one that is short and provides useful information. If you can get all your information from “yes” or “no” answers, that is the best tool to use. Chances are, you need a bit more than that. The trick is getting the right balance of ease for the reader, and use for the business.

Once you have your tool, you can use plenty of methods to deliver it. In today’s world, Facebook is not a bad idea. Try making a post with the three questions. You might be surprised who responds. 

A better option might be a follow up after each sales call. The best option would be to create a Google Form and send it out to all your customers as well as leads. If you get enough responses, you’ll have all the info you’re looking for a few hours’ work.