Market Research Strategy – A Six Step Guide

A six-step guide to developing a market research strategy

All around the globe businesses are looking for the golden key to developing insights for business and brand success. Many businesses are beginning to realise that within this ever fluctuating industry of marketing, one need to continuously stay a step ahead of the curve. In doing so, this will allow businesses to meet their requirements to ensure that the organisation as a whole is sustainable while being able to meet their goals for ROI.

circular graph of the six step research process by W5 Partners

The market research process: A six-step guide

Step 1: Define the Objective & Your Problem

Defining the goals of the task is perhaps one of the most important parts of developing a research process. Typically a research process arises when a key business problem (or opportunity) arises, and it needs to be acted upon. It thus gives management an opportunity to gain insights and information where there was previously a lack of information needed to make a decision comfortably. This will ultimately become the job of a market researcher in order to inform that decision with solid data. An examples of a business opportunity or problem may be “How do we rebrand ourselves in a congested market?” or “What should we be doing differently to gain more sales?”

By remaining focused towards the end goal of your research, you will be able to understand what is needed throughout your research process to reach your goals.

Step 2: Determine Your Research Design

Once you have identified your research objective, it is now time to strategies your research to acquire the essential data. The first phase is to define your research method (conduct surveys, focus group and crowdsourcing). At this point, it is important to remember to pick your sample crowd carefully, by selecting one that will best represent your population or target audience.

Step 3: Design & Prepare Your Research

In this part of the research phase, it is important to identify the design and type of tool you will be using for your research process. Whether you use a survey or focus group as stated in the above step, you will need to plan each accordingly. If a survey is the most fitting tool for you needs, you will have to begin script your questions for your questionnaire. However, if a focus group is your apparatus of choice, preparing questions and materials for the arbitrator at this point will be necessary.

The recommendation would be to do some testing on your methods before you begin to implement it across a broad spectrum. It will give you an advantage point in determining if your metric tools are relevant and if they will work.

Step 4: Collect Your Data

At this point, the researcher should be conducting the actual research process. It includes observing sample groups answering questions, making choices, and collecting and recording the data. All the parts of the information at this point are valuable and will be part of the grand assumptions one will draw.

Step 5: Analyse Your Data

After all your data is collected, you will now need to analyse your data from the various measurement methods you have used. All the raw data now needs to be complied from paper to readable spreadsheets. Once that’s all done begin making summaries with your tools such as (Excel or Minitab) these will help you build graphs and tables that can be used to analyse your data and make it easier for you to find the trends within your data.

Step 6: Visualize Your Data and Communicate Results

This is where you take all your data and compile it into a useful and digestible report presentation. Remember to identify what your initial take-away from this research process was and consider what your objective is.

The final step would be offering recommendations on the end findings as this will leave room for opportunity to expand on solutions to problems and possibilities

That being said, in order to find the hidden opportunities and ways forward, business are ultimately going to have to conduct and design a research study, this will give them a way forward and an opportunity at ensuring sustained success.

For all your research and insight activation management needs CALL W5 Partners to allow us to assist you in growing your business brand.

Contact: 011 325 5855 (JHB) or 021 418 1854 (CT)

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