The Top 8 Market Research Methods With Examples!

7 min readMay 22, 2024


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Have you ever ever thought about what makes your customer tick? In a world driven by data, knowing your audience using various market research methods is more than important! Think of market research as your secret weapon that helps you gain insights into your customer’s needs, preferences, and behaviors.

With so many market research methods present, choosing the right one can seem confusing. Hence, to help you find your preferred market research technique, we have curated a list of the top methods with real-life examples and key takeaways to help you find your perfect market research method!

The Top 8 Market Research Methods

The following techniques are some of the most commonly used methods by various people worldwide. All of them are very popular and considered to be the most helpful when it comes to market research. So, let’s dive into the top market research methods without further ado!

1. Surveys

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Photo by Celpax on Unsplash

We all have filled out a survey at one point in time. Filling out the various multiple choice questions presented to us by someone or the other. Surveys are considered among the best market research methods as they are a great, affordable way to collect quantitative and qualitative data from a large audience. Surveys have multiple formats, like online, phone, and in-person surveys. Surveys are so effective because they allow the person to feel that they are expressing themself in private!

Real-life Example

Imagine you’re a company developing a new fitness app. You could design an online survey to understand your target audience’s preferred workout styles (HIIT, yoga, strength training?), desired features (personalized workout plans, calorie tracking, progress reports), and willingness to pay for a subscription.

Key Takeaways

Surveys are a great and cost-effective way to gather large amounts of data from a large group of people. Keep your surveys short and sweet to keep them engaging. Avoid long paragraphs.

2. Interviews

An interview is nothing more than surveying an individual at a time and noting down what they have to say. Usually, you ask open-ended questions in interviews, allowing the individual to answer in detail. This will enable you to get in-depth answers and get rich insights with each answer. Interviews usually need more time and resources, but they provide valuable insights, making them a great market research method.

Real-Life Example

Your clothing brand can conduct in-depth qualitative interviews with a group of customers. You can question the select group about their preferences in clothing, such as whether they would choose comfort over style — online shopping or in-store shopping, pain points, and brand loyalty.

Key Takeaways

Interviews are usually longer than surveys but provide even more in-depth data. They can be more expensive and time-consuming as well.

3. Observations

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Photo by Mario Heller on Unsplash

Sometimes, the best way to understand your customer’s behavior is simply by observing what they do firsthand. Observation research is another market research technique that is usually about looking at your customer in their natural habitat. You can generally film them in their natural habitat and understand their patterns. If they are unaware of being filmed, you will see their natural selves!

Real-Life Example

Your grocery store chain can observe the pattern of customers navigating their aisles. Do they run straight to the snacks aisle or browse every section? These observations help you identify areas for layout improvement and product placement optimization.

Key Takeaways

Observation may be a great market research method, but it is unethical if you don’t ask for consent from your customers. This market research method helps you deeply understand a customer’s behavior in real time.

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4. Focus Groups

The next market research method on our list is focus groups. To put a focus group simply means having a group of people with similar characteristics and discussing one common topic. As each participant in the room represents a larger group of people, their responses to your question provide valuable insights into what your customers want! Focus groups are preferred over surveys when it comes to longer periods of interaction with the participants. These discussions also help get rich data into your customer’s perceptions.

Real-Life Example

Your company is developing a new beauty product. You can conduct a focus group consisting of women of a particular age range to get their feedback on the product. It can be about anti-aging serums and bold lipsticks. You can even discuss the packaging: do they prefer a minimalist or eye-catching design?

Key Takeaways

Focus groups provide a platform for rich discussions and diverse perspectives. (encourage active listening and avoid letting one person dominate!).

By encouraging active listening and being a great moderator, focus groups become a platform where you can find rich discussions and various perspectives.

5. Competitive Analysis

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Competitive analysis is known as a highly strategic and specific form of market research technique. It is where you collect and analyze data from your competitors in your niche, as it is critical to know where you stand in the food chain. Competitive analysis starts when you start identifying all the products, profits, marketing strategies, and more done by your rivals. The data that you get from your analysis then helps you understand your rival’s strengths and weaknesses; it can even help you get an idea of how to improve your own business model using this market research strategy.

Real-Life Example

You have a bakery and want to launch cupcakes, so you research popular bakeries in the city. You analyze their flavors, cupcake sizes, and how they are presented. You can then implement the same strategies to improve your already existing business model.

Key Takeaways

Competitive analysis allows you to learn from your competitors’ successes and failures. Don’t just copy — innovate and leverage your unique selling proposition!

6. Field Trials

Field trials are a market research tool wherein you allow users to use a product under normal situations and then get their feedback on the experience. You may gather a group of individuals and hand out your product for them to test in a natural habitat and then get their input, or you can even place your product in public and see how well the public reacts to it. But do remember to follow all the guidelines when trying to field test a product, as there can be massive ethical implications!

Real-Life Example

Your company recently has come up with a new mobile phone model. You may distribute the model to a set of people to try out the phone as part of their daily lives. You can then have a focus group or send out surveys about their experience with the new model, allowing you to receive precious data and information.

Key Takeaways

Field trials and testing can be difficult if you don’t follow all guidelines. But, when done correctly, it will help you understand how your product does in a natural habitat and how the users behave with it!

7. Social Media Listening

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Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

The role of social media in market research has never been as big as it is right now! You need to use social media listening as a market research tool because you can acquire opinions about a wide variety of people worldwide for almost no cost. You can find unfiltered opinions about your products, helping you analyze your services’ strengths, weaknesses, and potential improvement areas, as the data you receive is mostly honest.

Real-Life Example

Your restaurant chain can use social media listening to find out what the general public is talking about your restaurant; you can figure out the mentions of your brand and understand the feedback given by customers.

Key Takeaways

Social media listening is a great market research tool as it is completely free and lets you find real-time insights about what your customers are talking about. One thing to note is that filtering out irrelevant information and sticking to the actionable data is better.

8. A/B Testing

A/B testing, to put it simply, is releasing two different versions of the same product, website, or marketing campaign to understand what resonates the most with your audience and what works better. This allows you to make data-driven decisions for your upcoming strategies and plans.

If you want to showcase your A/B testing results in a really attractive way, then using one of our A/B testing PowerPoint templates is the best way to go along with it. You can easily edit each section of the template according to your needs, and the best part is that our templates are compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides!

Real-Life Example

Your clothing brand can A/B test two different layouts of the website to see which one drives people to buy what you are offering. You can even A/B test different email subject lines to see which one has a higher open rate.

Key Takeaways

A/B testing helps you actually understand what is working in your favor and what is not, helping you focus on improvements. It is an ongoing market research tool you can use every time your audience grows. A/B testing also requires a large sample set to account for any random chance events that can happen.

These were the top 8 marketing research methods that you can use to create strategies, find weaknesses, and even find new business models to apply to your current model.




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