Methods Of Market Research

Wants and needs of the people are unlimited and always change along with the changing world it is very essential for a business to come up with new ideas or products to satisfy such needs to take competitive advantage and to survive in the market for a long time. This report deals with how to conduct market research to introduce a product that will fully satisfy the needs of people.

The purpose of this report is to state the process of product development and market research for introduction of such product among the target markets by implementing proper marketing strategies.

This report also deals with growth in different types of market research strategies and methods during past few decades in Canada as well as throughout the world. Market research methods change as there is a change in technology here this report explains such modern as well as traditional methods of market research.

The report is based on information gathered from the variety of secondary sources. Such source of information include Lambton college Library resource data web sites other Business and market research websites, books, magazines and News papers.

Development of Market Research industry in Canada

The marketing research industry in Canada has grown rapidly during the past twenty years or so, both in the number of users of research and the number of practitioners offering professional marketing research services, and in the type of research being done. The changing characteristics of the Canadian market-place, coupled with a growing appreciation of the cultural diversity of the country and of the fact that Canadian consumers are not exactly like Americans, has contributed in increasing acceptance of marketing research in Canadian business. The market research plays a vital role to develop the product according to the needs of customers which ultimately helps firms to recollect the amount spend on such research results in higher demand for such innovative product. Canadian marketing research have also undergone considerable change in the techniques used, as researchers are now making much greater use of recently-available technology, computer-based simulations, and automated data capture at the check-outs of retail stores. The greatest change possibly that has been in the increased use of qualitative techniques, reflecting marketers’ increased concern for the deeply-held opinions and attitudes of consumers.

Five basic methods of Market research

Facts and information required in order to make a specific decision ends in need for market research. Depending upon the final data to be gathered from research and financial resources at hand to determine which technique to be used for a business, there are many ways to perform market research, and most businesses use one or more of this methods: surveys, focus groups, personal interviews, observation, and field trials to conduct market research after considering the cost and benefits factors of such methods. Marketer decides the qualitative or quantitative methods for market research solely depends on the pros and cons of different contact methods for survey. Below is the table shows pros and cons of different contact methods for survey.

Pros and cons of different contact methods for survey research


Response rate



Nonresponse bias































(figure 1 . The new business road test .,2006,p.262)


Survey is the method of using concise, straight forward questionnaires, that can analyze a sample group who represents your target market. Reliability of results of such surveys depends on the size of sample. Larger the sample size more reliable the result of such surveys.

 In-person surveys are face-to-face or one-on-one interviews. They allow the researcher to present people with samples of products, packaging or advertising and gather immediate feedback. While the response rates In-person surveys can be more than 90 percent. However, they are costly and very time consuming.

 Phone surveys are less expensive than in-person surveys, but costlier than mail. However, encouraging people to participate in phone survey is difficult due to consumer resistance to relentless telemarketing. Telephone survey is a method used to reach large number of respondent in wide geographical areas.

 Mail surveys are inexpensive compare to in-person and phone surveys. Mail survey are the cheaper way to reach a broad audience; however they only generate response rates of 3 percent to 15 percent. Despite the low return, mail surveys are still a cost-effective choice for small businesses.

 Online survey methods are simple and more popular among the Canadian companies from past few years for conducting market research. Surveys done online usually generate unpredictable response rates and unreliable data because researcher do have no control over the pool of respondents. But an online survey is a simple, inexpensive way to collect unreliable evidence and gather customer opinions and preferences.

List of the Canadians companies conduct surveys on behalf of business and provides them with valuable data:

Angus Reid

Ipsos- Reid

Oracle poll research

EKOS research association

The Strategic Counsel

Decima Research

BBM Canada

Figure below mentioned that which of the method for surveys widely used now a days in Canada by different market research companies. Survey2007MethodsConductSurveyResearch in canada.png Figure 2. Market research careers (2007)

From the above figure most of the companies conduct online surveys as online survey method is a simple, inexpensive way to collect primary data and customer opinions and preferences of target groups.

The vast majority of marketers worldwide who conduct market research are expecting their companies’ use of online data providers and online-access panels to increase in the next 12 months. According to The Online Research Barometer, a survey conducted by Greenfield Online and Ciao Surveys.(2007)

“Some 82% of market researchers surveyed in North America and 87% in Europe predict that their use of online respondent providers will increase in the next 12 months. That’s up from 76% and 85%, respectively, from November 2005, when the previous Online Research Barometer was last issued.”(Greenfield Online-Ciao Surveys.2007, August 31)

Focus Group

A focus group consists of about six to ten people who strongly represents the target audience are selected to be monitored in a room which will be fitted with a unidirectional mirror. Under the direction of an experienced coordinator, the subjects will discuss issues about consumers’ needs and demands. The coordinator would observe and evaluate the psychology and behaviour of the test subjects. This will help researcher to understand consumption pattern and hence set the foundation for future development of product or services.


Conducting focus groups is a good way to uncover new information that cannot be obtained through other research methods. Sometime for small business this method of market research can be costlier.

Focus group helped Schick reposition its razors for Canadian women. Shick`s Institution razor was originally positioned as “easy to use,” but that did not resonate with women in the focus groups. Instead they wanted convenience, and Intuition`s one- step lather and shave design could provide that benefit. Similarly, Schick`s message about the four-blade technology of its Quattro for women razor also fell on deaf ears. Women didn`t care about the technology but did care about the smooth, long-lasting shave it could provide. As a result of the focus groups, new ads were developed with new messages: intuition “a one-step solution,” and Quattro “long-lasting smoothness.”

Today, internet has also opened up opportunities to do creative online market testing of products, packaging, advertising, and so on. Coca-cola used online research to test consumer responses to proposed new Fruitopia flavours, and Breyers asked for consumer feedback on proposed new ice cream flavours. Ipsos Canada, a major Canadian research firm, argues that online market testing can be fast and very effective. Using online technology, Ipsos assists their clients by conducting virtual reality testing of product concepts where consumers can view the product online, click on features, and rank preferences. With online panels, companies also have the added advantage have ready-made beta-test samples for new concepts, products, and services.

Above examples clearly states that how different companies are using focus group method to introduce new product or reposition old product in a new way.

Personal interview

 Similar to focus groups, personal interviews include unstructured, open-ended questions. They usually last for about an hour and are typically recorded for future analysis.

The results provided by Focus groups and personal interviews are more subjective data than surveys which are not statistically reliable and usually do not represent a large enough segment of the population. yet, focus groups and interviews yield valuable insights into customer attitudes and are excellent ways to discover issues related to new products or service development.

Telephone Interview

Telephone interviewing is the best method for gathering information quickly; the interviewer is also able to clarify question if respondents do not understand them. The response rate is typically higher than in the case of mailed questionnaires. The main drawback is that the interviews have to be short and not too personal. Telephone interviewing is getting more difficult because of consumers growing antipathy toward telemarketers calling them in their homes and interrupting their lives.

In late 2003, Congress passed legislation allowing the Federal Trade Commission to restrict telemarketing calls to consumers through its Do Not Call? registry. Even though marketing research firms are exempt, many think that the legislation spells the beginning of the end of telephone surveys as a marketing research method.

Personal Interview/Face-to-face interview

Personal interviewing is the most versatile method. The interviewer can ask more questions and record additional observations about the respondent, such as dress and body language. At the same time, personal interviewing is the most expensive method and requires more administrative planning and supervision than the other three. It is also subject to interviewer bias or distortion. Personal interviewing takes two forms. In arranged interviews, respondents are contacted for an appointment, and often a small payment or incentive is offered. Intercept interviews involve

stopping, people at a shopping mall or busy street corner and requesting an interview. Intercept interviews can have the drawback of being non-probability samples, and the interviews must not require too much time.


observation is frequently used to obtain insights into research behavior and related issues, such as packaging effectiveness. One firm used an observer disguised as a shopper, to watch grocery store shoppers approach a product category, to measure how long they spend in the display area, and to see whether they have difficulty finding the product; and whether the package is read, and if so, whether the information seemed hard to find. This kind of direct observation can be highly structured, with a detailed recording form prepared in advance, or very unstructured. When making an unstructured observation, the observer may be sent to mingle with customers in the store and look for activities that suggest service problems. This is a highly subjective task, because the observer must select a few things to note and record in varying amounts of detail. This inevitably will draw subjective inferences from the observed behavior.

Human Behavior method of market research

Many companies question why consumers buy their brands and products and some never do. In the same time other questions like what the consumers buy, how much they spend, where they buy, how often they shop etc. It’s very important to the business to know their consumers’ mind. In order to survive in highly competitive environment, so it’s very important to businesses to find out how to retain their existing customers and invite new customers to their business in order to sustain growth in the market. Business Research or Market Research seems to be one of the most powerful solutions to help the businesses find out the answers they need.

Shoppers Pattern

Field Trials

Market testing is the stage where the product and marketing program are introduced into more authentic customer settings to learn how user, customer and buyer, all react to handling, using and repurchasing the product. It also provides concrete information for estimating the size of the market. A limited pilot test of a product under real conditions, a field trial is undertaken to test the physical or engineering properties of a product in order to identify and iron out any technical shortcomings prior to marketing. Customers may be involved in some trials, for example, in testing a new laundry detergent. Field trials should not be confused with test marketing, which is used to determine the likely market for, and likely consumer response to, a new product or service.

Test marketing is probably the most common form of field experiments. Kraft Canada used test marketing before introducing its microwavable, pre-baked cookie to the Canadian marketplace. And Toronto-based Grocery Gatway, Canada`s first fully integrated Internet grocery retailer, used test marketing before entering the online grocery business. The problem regarding cranberry juice at ocean spray, Researcher wanted to know that Asian consumers would buy cranberry juice when they had never tasted cranberries? Perhaps marketing research might recommend taste in Asia to gauge consumers` responses to the product.


Finally, I conclude that identifying the market opportunities and developing innovative and new product along with appropriate marketing strategies leads the business to new heights and the chances of product success is greater. However, company should always consider the more cost effective method to conduct market research.


The following recommendations, as well as the finding of this study, should be considered when determining the method of market research to place or market the new product in the market.

It is recommended that any company before introducing and product in the market should have to conduct market research to increase the chances of its success.

Market researcher should have to take note of the pros and cons of each method of market research before conducting research as research require huge budget.

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