Tips for Conducting Consumer Research and What to Avoid When Collecting and Interpreting Consumer Research

Consumer research is essential for most brands’ marketing and product development. Whether to help create a new campaign or conduct market research for future products and technologies, companies need to understand what different groups of people want. Consumer research tips are:

  1. Understand Your Potential Customer: This is important for any research but particularly useful for online research. Although it may be hard to get a representative sample of your target audience when recruiting online, you should ensure that your user profile and recruitment strategy reach the most relevant people who are likely to use your product or service. This way, you can ensure that the feedback received is relevant (and accurately represent the market).
  2. Tailor Your Questions to Your Target Audience: If you want to get valuable insights while conducting the research, it’s important to ask questions that will allow you and your brand/product/service to understand what makes them buy. Although you may think that you know everything there is to know about your potential customers, you will likely come up with valuable ideas and insights by asking different questions in your research.
  3. Get to the Heart of the Problem: For any consumer research, it is important to determine what aspect of the product or service is most important to its potential customers. By identifying this aspect and understanding what people want from their products, brands can then develop new products that meet their needs.
  4. Offer Incentives to Be a Part of The Survey: Although it may be hard to get people to participate in the research, you will have a much greater success rate if you offer incentives to the participants. By offering an incentive, like a discount coupon or a competition entry, you will be able to increase your respondent base and thus make your research more successful. This can also help increase responses as people are more likely to participate in research if they are rewarded for their time with something of value.
  5. Keep It Simple and Clear: When designing any marketing campaign, it is always best to keep things simple and clear. When conducting the research, the questions asked should be easy to answer and clear about what feedback is required for each task.

The following are things companies/brands should avoid when collecting and interpreting consumer research:

  1. Believing consumers’ answer to a question is true because they chose an answer.
  2. Assuming that the diversity of an audience automatically predicts different answers.
  3. Ignoring qualitative research data and not interviewing consumers for more information about their purchasing behavior, attitudes, and opinions to create a deeper understanding of their responses to quantitative research questions and improve the validity of their quantitative findings.
  4. Not questioning whether open-ended questions are yielding feedback that was representative or valuable because respondents were not expecting the interviewers’ next question on the topic at hand but instead, we’re waiting for a response that asked what they felt was most important (i.e., not asking enough probing follow-up questions).
  5. Questioning how the answer to a question is derived because of the potential to influence the consumer and their purchasing behavior negatively.
  6. Assuming that consumers will correctly interpret the meaning of questions, reactions, or emotions on surveys even though there is limited evidence for this in the actual use of surveys.
  7. Not assessing whether a questionnaire has biased responses or too much time to collect answers leads to self-selection effects.
  8. Assuming that all respondents have the same experience because this requires the assumption that each respondent has the same amount of experience and information.

The use of online consumer research has become increasingly popular over recent years. It allows consumers to express their opinions and viewpoints in an independent environment freely. Online consumer research methods provide great opportunities for companies to collect new ideas and implement these into marketing campaigns.

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