How To Do Market Research

And Data Analysis the Right Way

Sharing is caring. Share this content with someone you love

How To Do Market Research And Data Analysis The Right Way

You’ve got a great idea for a business but how can you find out if it’s viable? How do you know if there’s a market for your product or service? What are the customer demographics? What are the trends in the industry? Answering these questions requires market research. But how do you research the market? Here are five ways to do market research and data analysis the right way.

Market Research


Introduction to Market Research

You should be in the business of finding out what people want. If you start a business or you’re launching a startup, the product or service should be the number one focus. However, we don’t only need a product or service. We also need a market. A market is the population of consumers in a geographic region, country, or globe who are looking for a product or service. When you’re developing your product or service, your research will be focused on the target market. How you’re going to find your market may depend on how you’re starting a business or how you’re just starting to think about your product or service. In the meantime, if you don’t know what the market is like, you need to start asking yourself questions. What do your competitors have? How do the customers think? This requires a few steps of qualitative research which we will outline below.

Business Need Market Research

Your customer demographics can inform a lot of the research you do. The demographics and attitudes of your ideal customer will help you better predict what their needs are, how to get them, and what kind of profit you’re going to make from them. Some demographics are specific to each industry. For example, research from Smart Insights tells us that people in their early 20s are moving away from using PCs in favor of smartphones, tablets, and PCs. Other demographics are more general. For example, the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey is one of the primary sources of US demographic data. You can also conduct customer research through surveys. SurveyMonkey is a popular service for gathering and analyzing customer responses.

Using a combination of secondary research and in-depth interviews, you need to narrow down what you need to know about your target market to what will give you the most valuable information. This should help you to figure out what kinds of questions you should be asking in your research. For example, if you are researching marketing trends in a specific industry, you should probably focus mostly on the opinions of people within that industry.

The Next Step: Once you have your target market research, it’s time to conduct the actual research. Find out what you can about the habits, interests, inclinations, and opinions of your ideal customer. Ask open-ended questions and pay attention to the details.

Talking to the Right People

It’s hard to believe that 10 years have slipped by since I started my first data analysis job. Back then, there weren’t as many “big data” tools to analyze data, and we had to use some serious number-crunching to make sense of the information we gathered. We had to use a computer, and really, a pretty powerful one. We had to gather data from surveys or even go door to door to find out how our proposed product or service would be received. So why exactly is the process of market research and data analysis so important?

First and foremost, talking to the right people is one of the most effective ways of gathering information. The right people will be determined by your buyer persona. There are many ways to find out if your target audience wants what you’re offering, the most popular way is by asking them. According to Bill Slingerland in “The Paradox of Caring: How to Pursue Your Passion Without Overwhelm Others”, the number one technique for collecting relevant information is to “ask people what they already want.” From this point, you can also identify the types of products that appeal to them. Stephanie Pearl McPhee of the band Daytrotter does a great job of identifying this type of information. She explains that instead of asking people what they want, she instead asks what they already have.

Market Research Surveys

Surveys are an effective and inexpensive way to see how well a company is doing and if there’s a need for their products or services. Surveys are not only efficient, but also the most informative research method. They’re the best way to gain insight into the market and the demographics, so you can decide if there’s a need for your products or services. Ask Your Friends And Family There’s a common saying: “If you can’t ask it, you can’t get it.”

So use the power of social media and ask your friends and family to help you conduct your research. Online surveys provide a simple market research tool that you can post online. Just provide some facts and statistics about your business and the industry.

You can also conduct phone surveys to your target audience to gain valuable insight in follow up questions or open answers that arise.

People are willing to help, so don’t be shy.

Social media

Social media has been a useful research tool since the dawn of the internet, but it’s taken on a whole new meaning in 2016. Social media is arguably the best source of data available today. Social media allows you to track and monitor customer sentiment. All of your research will be based on social media data. Google Trends is a great resource for researching social media sentiment. Use these free tools to see what’s trending online.

Infographics There are thousands of visual tools available on the web today. Infographics are some of the most visually appealing and fun ways to research the market. They also work exceptionally well when you’re conducting in-depth analysis. Are there red flags or other indicators when looking at a graphic?

Working with customer data

While your business may already have a product or service, you may not be using all the customer data available to you. For example, do you have user groups or other customer groups to which you provide your service? Are they people with specific skills and preferences? Do you have data on how much money they spend or how they compare to the average customer, based on their age and gender? Do you know which groups may be interested in your product or service? Do you know their recent purchases? Do you know how they interacted with your company? Do you collect customer feedback and satisfaction? Do you know any competition? Do you know how their business could be improved with your product or service?

Market Research Analysis

By identifying and analyzing market trends, you can better inform your decision making process. Analyzing trends can show you where to invest and how to grow. Is there a big need for your business? Are there new products coming out that may not have been explored yet? Are there emerging trends that you can take advantage of? Study the demographics. All of us have lived our entire lives in one country. We all know what food is available, what movies are released, what sports are popular. We are also very aware of other people’s beliefs, values, lifestyle, background, family situation. But do we really know about everyone around us? We can only really make educated guesses. So, if you want to get ahead in the market, you need to study the demographics of your customers.

Identify the problem

Once you’ve got your great idea, try and identify the problem that you’re trying to solve. What are you offering to customers? Are you offering something that’s new to the market, or is there already a solution that’s being used by a certain number of customers? Are there any competitors offering the same or similar products or services? Knowing how many competitors there are and where they sit in the market is useful when trying to create your ‘USP’, a unique selling point, your value proposition. If there are other businesses providing similar services to your company, you’ll want to provide some differentiation to differentiate your service from your competitors.

Find the stats

The very first thing to do when determining how to do market research and data analysis is to find some good data. There are plenty of places to find the data that you need. One thing you will need is a very large number of clients or prospective clients. Start by figuring out what you’re hoping to accomplish. You’re trying to find out the demographics and preferences of clients you may work with. Or you’re trying to find out what the company is like. Whether you want to know about what products or services they sell or their average customer satisfaction ratings, you’ll need the data. Once you have that market research data, go to online forums. This gives you access to the opinions of people who’ve already used the product or service.


If you have a new product or service it’s easy to get excited and want to immediately take it to market. But you must take several steps to ensure you understand the need for your offering and your unique selling proposition. Outlining your target audience and exploratory research can provide actionable insight. Congratulations, you’re well on your way to becoming a market researcher!

That concludes the Intro to Market Research series. Next time, we’ll be looking at data visualization, and taking a look at data visualization yourself. We will make out way all the way to marketing research and sales. Until then, keep learning and growing!

Other Recent Posts

How to Grow Your Business for Minority Women
5 Reasons Minority Women Should Build a Community
How to identify weak points and setting business goals

Join Our Newsletter