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Types Of Market Research

By: Toby Finden-Crofts


Market research is used regularly by businesses and companies spanning many different sectors. It can provide valuable information about target markets and customers. Financial market research can help to identify new opportunities and enable informed decisions to be made.


Different Types of Market Research

There are several different types of market research. The key purpose of market research is to gather information; however, this can be done in different ways using different approaches and methodologies.


What are the Main Areas of Market Research?

The main areas of market research include:

Primary Research

As the name suggests, primary research relates to gathering information that has not been collected before.

Direct means of collecting data in primary research include:

  • Carrying out interviews – either face to face or via telephone
  • Asking existing and potential customers to carry out online surveys or complete questionnaires
  • Holding focus groups to discuss potential new products or previous customer experiences

Secondary Research

Secondary research relies on data that has already been collected. Some common examples of secondary research include:

  • Census data (collected every 10 years by the government)
  • News reports
  • Academic journals
  • Magazines, newspapers, and online publications

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research can be taken from either primary or secondary sources. The type of information gained from quantitative research will most often be numerical data which is used to identify key patterns or take calculated averages.

With quantitative research, well-organised, structured methods such as surveys and questionnaires are used to ask questions to a set target audience. Many market research services will use quantitative research to collect key facts and figures.

Qualitative Research

Popular ways to carry out qualitative research include:

  • Holding focus groups to for past, present and future customers
  • Interviewing individuals to find out about their experiences
  • Requesting feedback from individuals who have used your products
  • Looking at specific financial case studies

Customer Research

For businesses to succeed it’s important for them to take the time to understand what their customer wants and needs from them.

Customer research will help businesses learn more about their customers – from identifying specific demographics to noting how they search for and use information.

 Product Research

Whereas customer research focuses on the customer and market research looks directly at the market, product research allows businesses to study the product that they may be offering.

When carrying out product research, the following may be considered:

  • Is the product idea viable and will it be useful to the customer?
  • Does the customer want and need this product?
  • What feedback has the product had from those who have already used it?
  • What key issues or pain points have been identified around the product?

Competitor Research

Identifying key competitors is an important part of Market Research. Primary research methods could involve visiting or contacting competitors to gain a better understanding of what they are offering and how it can be improved upon.

This is a popular research method to use for companies and businesses who are launching new products or setting up for the first time. It can help them to measure the viability of a potential product and where to place themselves within the market.

For existing companies, competitor research is widely used across all sectors to help gain insight into the type of products they have, how they market and sell the products, and how satisfied their customers are with the overall experience.


Why Are There Different Types of Market Research?

There are many different types of Market Research available to use, depending on the industry and sector in which you work and the type of information that you want to gather.

Financial markets and services can benefit from tailor made Market Research solutions to help them understand their customers and offer the best possible products.

When it comes to deciding which is the best type of Market Research for your specific needs, always think about your specific circumstances and discuss the requirements that you have in terms of data collection and gaining information. Understanding the different types of market research is the first step in deciding the best steps to take for your specific needs.


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