Market Research

Richard O’Callaghan Hook Head Training and Consulting Limited


certain information about your customers, market and competitors Tells you about your potential market, prices, trends, competition, target customer, its preferences, income, habits, accessibility, convenient time and plans This information should be accurate, and reliable to help you make the right business decision

Market Research


type of information do you think would be useful on your market?

Question for Everybody

What kind of business should I do?  What is the demand for my business?  Who are my customers? /Is there a market?  What are the market forces that will affect my business?  Where should I locate my business?  How much profit can I get at different locations and times?

Who are my competitors and what kind of product, price and service they offer?  How I differentiate my business from my competitors?  What types of service do my customer prefer?  What types of advertising attract my customers?  What is the market price and how I can change my price accordingly?

First Step – What do you need to know

 What

are the new trends, product, time, location and service in the market? And how I adapt them?  What are my weaknesses and strengths in my business compare to my competitors?  How I can differentiate my business and make it unique?  Should I change and redirect my advertising campaign according to the recent situations?  How can I change my customers’ spending habits?  How can I expand my business with minimum cost?

An Existing Business


it really matter if you didn’t do any Market Research?




◦ Based on numbers – 56% of 18 year olds drink alcohol at least four times a week - doesn’t tell you why, when, how ◦ Absolute numbers ◦ The Likert Scale

◦ More detail – tells you why, when and how! ◦ What did you think? ◦ How did you feel?

The Nature of Research Data


public library Vocational schools Observation /questions Chambers of commerce Potential consumers/ survey Business competitors


and manufacturers Government agencies Trade associations Business publications & magazines Web

Sources of Information


kind might you find on the Internet to find information for your market research? Do you think there are any issues in using this information? If you do what are they?


Types of Research
Primary and Secondary Research



◦ Use existing research for your own purposes ◦ E.G. CSO Household Survey


◦ You go out and do the research yourself ◦ E.G. Survey on South Street

Research is Conducted in Two Basic Ways

Generally What

are good sources of information for your market? What do you want to know?
◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Macro trends? Competitive activity? Competitive pricing? Commentator’s views?

◦ Why?

you do secondary research first

Secondary Research

 Who

do you think your customers are?  What others do you need views from?  How are you going to approach getting their views?  How many people’s views do you need to get?  What do you want to know from each?
◦ Who/what groups do you need to talk to? ◦ What do you want to know? ◦ What are you going to do?

Primary Research

Secondary Research
Using other peoples work


data is data which has been collected by individuals or agencies for purposes other than those of our particular research study It is possible that much of the information we required has already been collected Secondary data is much cheaper to collect than primary data

Secondary Research

Accounts Internal

Reports and Analysis Stock Analysis Retail data - loyalty cards, till data, etc.

Internal Sources

 Government

Statistics (CSO)  EU - Euro Stat  Trade publications  Commercial Data - Gallup, Mintel, etc.  Household Survey  Magazine surveys  Other firms’ research  Research documents – publications, journals, etc.  Suppliers

External Sources


was not created for us so we are making assumptions regarding it’s applicability Bias There may be error within the research Might be out of date The methods used might be flawed

Problems with Secondary Research

Primary Research
Doing the job yourself



◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

First hand information Expensive to collect, analyse and evaluate Can be highly focussed and relevant Care needs to be taken with the approach and methodology to ensure accuracy ◦ Types of question – closed – limited information gained; open – useful information but difficult to analyse

Market Research

Surveys Experimentation Observation Focus groups In-depth interviews Projective techniques Physiological Measures

Primary Research Methods


you wanted to design a questionnaire in order to conduct market research for your new carpet cleaning business, what 5 quantitative and 5 qualitative questions that you might ask people walking down North Street?


Keep your questions very short, understandable, and clear  Ask direct questions  Ask questions that can be answered easily, open/close-ended  Ask questions that do not have more than one meaning  Make sure your questions do not offend anyone

Make your questions only in your subject matter  Customise your questions to encompass more than one group of people, male/ female  Be honest with the intent of the questionnaire  Give enough time answer  Be courteous and friendly when asking people to participate in your survey  Ask questions in different repeated ways, so you minimise missing data

How to Design a Questionnaire


research to be effective your sample groups must be appropriate Random Samples – equal chance of anyone being picked
◦ May select those not in the target group ◦ Sample sizes need to be large to be representative ◦ Can be very expensive

Sampling - Here comes the Science Bit

 Stratified

or Segment Random Sampling

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

Samples on the basis of a representative segment Still random but more focused May give more relevant information May be more cost effective

 Quota


By segment Not randomly selected Specific number on each segment are interviewed May not be fully representative Cheaper method




focus attention on objectives Aids forecasting, planning and strategic development May help to reduce risk of new product development Communicates image, vision, etc. Globalisation makes market information valuable (HSBC adverts!!)

Advantages of Market Research


only as good as the methodology used Can be inaccurate or unreliable Results may not be what the business wants to hear! May stifle initiative and ‘gut feeling’ Always a problem that we may never know enough to be sure!

Disadvantages of Market Research

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