Market research – it’s the essential step that every business needs to take to maximise their chance of success. It’s a hugely complex study area, and market research companies are constantly trying to find new ways to get the best results. From online and field surveys to panel interviews and product testing, there are hundreds of ways to gather information about the market place.
Naturally, there is a lot of science behind this research. With billions of dollars invested by businesses into market research, it’s essential that there is some science to back it up. But increasingly, art and creativity is playing a more prominent role.
What is market research?
Market research in itself is a science. At its core, it is about collecting qualitative and quantitative data about customers and the target markets of a particular product or service. The key purpose of market research is to ensure a business or product stays ahead of its competition. The goal once the data is collected is to analyse, interpret and assess what the market wants and needs; it also looks at competition and the size of the need. Using this assessment, businesses can work out how best to market their product. (Small Business Development Corporation, 2014)
Despite the overall purpose of market research being quite simple, there is not just one way to achieve the end result. In the era of the internet, businesses are becoming more competitive than ever before – and at a much faster rate. Market research needs to be more innovative and creative to stay ahead.
Psychology and market research
Many of the world’s largest market research company hire psychologists to develop and analyse market research plans. Qualified consumer psychologists specifically look at the behaviours of shoppers and try to work out why they are making the decisions that they do.
Psychologists are the perfect fit for market research, says psychologist Graham Chant. “Psychology training is extremely useful in market research. In fact, it could be argued that it is one of the few areas that make use of the board range of psychology skills,