Market research provides required information to identify and analyze the market needs, market size and competition; and out of this data, important information can be stored to prepare a Market research report. These reports are a synopsis of all the facts and figures to be referred for running the business. Market research techniques include both qualitative methods such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, and ethnography, as well as quantitative methods such as customer surveys, and analysis of secondary data. Market research is an organized effort to collect information about target markets and customers. It is one of the most important component of business strategy. The term is often interchanged with marketing research; however, expert practitioners describe them as different - marketing research is specifically concerned about marketing processes, while market research is focuses mainly on markets.

Market research reports can be formed in many ways, although most of the businesses globally use either one or more of the five basic methods of market research - Surveys, Focus Groups, Personal Interviews, Observation and Field Trials. The choice depends on the kind of data required and the amount of money and resources that a business is willing to deploy.

SURVEYS are considered a highly effective method to conduct primary market research. Surveys could be done in a number of forms like questionnaires, survey interviews, survey forms, customer satisfaction cards, etc. One of the most popular example of surveys are the feedback forms given to customers at the end of any given service to them. Samples from surveys produce much reliable real-time results to make final reports. Surveys can be conducted online, through telephonic surveys, in-person or one-to-one interviews or through mails. Surveys make it easier to collect large amount of data at a particular time, thus making it a lot easier and convenient for businesses to analyze and base their administration.

FOCUS GROUPS involve a group of people in a place and asking them insightful questions regarding the business's product or service, its development, their preferences, feedbacks, expectations, etc. Any feasible location could be used to run or conduct such focus groups. In modern times, focus groups are usually conducted through video conferencing. One important aspect for this research method is the selection of members of the focus group. The selection must be on the basis of certain criteria that helps the business organization to get the required information. Focus group is a qualitative method of research and helps businesses to get results within one or two hours.

OBSERVATION could be done either through interaction and communication with the subject or through no interaction or communication with the subject. This is more sort of a personal approach as compared to surveys and questionnaires. Nowadays, observation is also done by videotaping customers in stores or at work and studying their buying patterns or desires. Observation tends to give a more accurate picture of customer's usage habits.

PERSONAL INTERVIEWS usually include one-to-one unstructured and open-ended questions. Although, Interviews provide more subjective data than surveys or observations but their results are not statistically reliable as they do not represent a large enough segment of the population. However, interviews often takes the form of conversations and helps to dig deeper into what the customer actually wants and their answers can then be analyzed to conclude the market research. This qualitative approach doesn't consume much time as well.

FIELD TRIALS involves complex scientific tests where hypothesis, variables, etc. are used out in the field or within control environments. Businesses often experiment by placing a new product at selected outlets to test customers' responses and on these basis, they modify their products by adjusting prices or improve packaging. This is a quantitative research method and is used extensively by new businesses to establish goodwill in the market.

The final and the most important step for the completion of market research is the creation of market research reports. When it comes to the presentation of results; showcasing insights, answers and recommendations are also as important as forming charts and tables on the basis of facts. Adding a critical point of view to the final market research report makes it more objective and accountable.

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