Einstein once said: “The most important thing is not to stop asking.” But does the count matter? Does every question lead us to the desired learning? The trick is not in asking questions, but knowing how to ask the right questions.
Holistic market research requires that we either possess or learn this ability. This is all the more relevant as companies become increasingly consumer-oriented. We can only achieve a consumer-centric solution if we know what our consumers want, when they want and how they want, and we have to ask them the right questions first.
First, let’s understand what market research is. A new opportunity in a company and the related areas should first be analyzed through market research, as it gives us an idea of the feasibility and feasibility of the decisions to be made. As explained in detail in one of our previous blogs, Market research plays a vital role in identifying business opportunities, deeply understanding our consumers, understanding our competitors and their approach, growing in business, and identifying the right marketing channels for our business.
A very powerful form of market research is primary research, which can best be described as an entirely new form of data that is collected by asking questions to existing and potential consumers of our brand. Depending on our goals, different types of primary research will be conducted – interviews, focus groups, surveys and observations. When it comes to systematically gathering information from large numbers of decision-making people, a survey is very effective.
After a market research survey has been created, rolled out, and our data points set up, the next logical step is to analyze those points and derive actionable insights. This is a tedious process through and through. In fact, the data collection process alone can take months or even years, so it’s all the more important to start on the right note. Note that the survey can be cumbersome and inconclusive if the number and type of questions are inappropriate.
So we’ve set out steps to create a successful market research questionnaire to ask meaningful questions to our audience.
First and foremost, we define our research problem and our target group
An easy way to define our research problem and audience is to answer the following questions first.
What is the aim of this research?
What problem are we trying to solve with this data? What decision will this survey lead to? Where is it implemented?
How will it be useful for consumers, brands and products? What information do I want from this market research questionnaire and why?
What do I hope to understand about my target audience through this research?
What market is this survey aimed at? Which segment fits perfectly and helps in decision-making with reliable insights?
In answering these questions, we need to consider: the size of our audience sample, the channel and medium of our survey, and the detailed characteristics of our audience. Multiple data points, only a handful of which qualify the characteristics, are a waste of resources with no conclusive results.
We can use some online tools to create ours too Consumer personality as explained in detail in one of our previous blogs.
Divide the information to be collected into information areas
After defining our research problem, we write down all the information that needs to be gathered and group it into logical heads, which are our most important areas of information. This list must be complete, as a single missing part can end up leading to an unsolved puzzle and the process is practically impossible to repeat. We also ensure that these key areas do not overlap or contradict each other.
Let’s take an example to better understand this.
For a market research survey conducted to devise a marketing strategy for an existing FMCG product, the product usage information areas could be Buying behavior , Profile, perception and brand health.
Arrange your information areas logically
After the information areas are set up, we order them according to logic to ensure that the survey promotes the friendliness of the respondents. The flow of the market research questionnaire is kept in such a way that the respondent does not get mentally tired in between. Therefore, it is also good practice to keep the core purpose questions of the study right from the start. Some common criteria for deciding on this order are chronology, expected bias, and level of critical thinking.
Some of the common structures that are followed are:
- Presentation of the respondent
- Screening questions
- Behavior of the category
- Brand health and image
- Attitudes / convictions of respondents
- Additional / secondary data
Ask questions now!
Now we can ask questions in the information areas. An effective way to create questions is to further break down the information areas into variables and indicators.
For example, under “Category Behavior” mentioned in the previous head, the variables are “Purchasing Behavior” and “Usage Behavior”. In addition, the indicators under “Usage behavior” are “Frequency”, “Purpose” and “Type”.
Within these headings and sub-headings, the questions fall into two categories – open and closed. If it is important to capture spontaneous answers, or if we cannot put together a complete list of answers as a guide, we use open-ended questions such as “What do you particularly like about product X?” or ‘What are the reasons why product X is not used?’
Closed questions, on the other hand, are easier and faster for a respondent to answer because they have options to choose from. Respondents receive a help list that contains a full list of all possible answers. Here we make sure that the options are mutually exclusive and cannot be interpreted.
We always answer short, simple and clear questions. For example, instead of asking
“Have you used the conditioner at least twice in the past two months?”
We should ask, “Have you used the conditioner two or more times in the past 1 month?”
Likewise, ambiguous questions are avoided as they don’t lead to a thoughtful answer.
Proofing and piloting
Once we have entered our questions in the market research questionnaire, it is imperative that we check them for errors and test them once. We check questions for completeness based on the initial information areas and do a needs test (to see if questions are required that are not required). Finally, we run it informally, to know if the process is working, to check for conflicting answers or questions that are sticking to respondents’ memories, and to make sure the survey length is correct.
Before launching the market research survey online or online, it is important to examine the survey as a whole. Therefore, we make sure that the respondents are given context in the form of reasons. We also set expectations for the participants in terms of length, time required and a progress bar within the survey. This is always a good option.
While these are the steps involved in creating a market research survey, it is a smart thing to follow logic and common sense not only in creating it, but also in performing it. Remember that a true researcher should always remove his coat of beliefs and prejudice before starting any survey, as knowing what others think is more important.
Voila, our survey is ready!
Contact our research experts to learn more about how to develop the right market research strategy for your business!