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How do I conduct market research?

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 | By Patrick Stafford

Many start-ups don’t have the money to hire firms to conduct market research. However, many companies are able to do their own market research by using a few simple methods.


Market research is especially important, given your customers or clients can often change their spending habits extremely quickly. Don’t act on a hunch – find out what people are actually thinking.


A direct email campaign is a great way to conduct research, with email and internet surveys cheaper methods of doing

the same thing. You could add a personal touch by distributing surveys door-to-door, or conduct them over the phone.


All of your questions should be designed to collect information. Scrap any questions that don’t give you any direct feedback or educate you on what you should be doing.


Don’t make a questionnaire too complicated. Ensure questions are easy to understand, and with multiple choices, make sure you give no more than five items to choose between.


Keep your surveys brief. Your customers will likely become disinterested after too many questions, and their answers will become less reliable. Also consider giving incentives or rewards for taking part.