Market surveys are an important part of market research that measure the feelings and preferences of customers in a given market. Varying greatly in size, design, and purpose, market surveys are one of the main pieces of data that companies and organizations use in determining what products and services to offer and how to market them.
STEPS IN MARKET SURVEY
These steps will teach you the basics of how to make a market survey and offer tips for optimizing your results.
1. Clarify the goal of your market survey. Before starting any planning, be certain what the goal of your market survey is. What do you want to find out? Do you want to try to assess how well your market will accept a new product? Maybe you want to figure out how well your marketing is working or reaching its designated audience. Whatever it is, be sure that you have a clear goal in mind. For example, imagine that you own a company that sells and repairs computer equipment. Your goal with a marketing survey might be to figure out how many students at a local college know about your business and how likely they would be to buy from you for their next computer purchase or repair.
2. Determine and define the nature, extent, and size of your market. Before conducting a survey in a given market, you need to know what market you’re targeting. Choose geographic and demographic parameters, identify customers by types of product, and get
an idea of how many people there are in the market.
- Narrow your market research to a short list of desired data: buying habits, for example, or average income.
- For the computer repair business, this is fairly simple. You would be looking at college students. But, you could potentially try to focus on higher-income or more tech-focused students that could afford to buy more from you.
3. Determine what aspects of the market you want to investigate. This will depend entirely on your marketing goals and there are a large variety of options here. If you have a new product, you may want to figure out how well it is recognized or desired in a given
market. Alternately, you may want to know about the specific buying habits of your market, like when and where and how much they buy. Just be sure to have a clear idea of what you want to find out. Also clarify what type of information you want. Do you want quantitative information to show investors or qualitative information to give you suggestions to improve your business?
You may also wish to figure out specifically what drove your previous customers to buy your product. In this case, be sure to ask recent buyers (within the last month) specific questions about their buying experience and how they heard about your product. You can amplify what these buyers found successful and fix any issues they experienced.[ For the computer repair example, you could focus on how likely your previous customers are to return to you or how likely new customers would be to come to you rather than a competitor.
4. Find out where and when you can reach customers in your market. You might conduct a survey at the mall or on the street, via telephone, online, or through the mail. Your results may change based on the time of day and year. Choose a method and time
that best suits your research. Be sure to keep your target audience in mind, especially with online surveys. Your target market, especially if they are older, may not be accessible through online channels. For example, the computer repair business might decide to interview students in person in a central location on campus or online through a commonly-visited website.
5. Consider online survey platforms. Online survey platforms offer a cost-effective way to organize your survey and survey results. Simply search for these platforms online and compare several that you find to assess which one offers the right tools for your survey.
Just make sure that your choices are reputable survey platforms. You should also consider whether or not your target market is computer-savvy enough for online surveys to be effective.