Marketing research methods are many and far flung, oftentimes seemingly unassociated but overall possessing and underlying connection which is gathering and recording data pertinent to sales, supply and demand, as well as product popularity aimed at a certain demographic. It was during the 1960s that one of the most commonly used research marketing methods were developed.
There are five very common marketing research methods and each are used in varying degrees: there is surveying, personal interviews, observatory research, group-oriented research, and product trials. Surveying is the most common marketing research method and one of the oldest tricks of the trade. Surveying methods are divided into three types: personal surveys which are like one-on-one interviews, telephone surveys which are done via telephony, and online surveys which litter the world wide web. Before email came along mail surveys were also conducted, but this has ceased somewhat, with rare occurrences happening every few years or so. Personal surveys though reliable are often tedious and time- consuming. Due to the general dislike of telephone surveys, even that can be an unreliable source of data despite being an easier alternative to personal surveying.
Group-oriented research, which are alternative marketing research methods generally focus on a target group and is intended to record collective data. It is usually conducted in the form of a conversation between a group which is then closely recorded for pertinent feedback. The data which is gathered during these discussions are used as guidelines in the creation of a general ‘outline’ or public idea of the aforementioned product.
Because of the relatively long amount of time and the effort it takes for some surveyors, personal interviews, while still done, and no longer a popular choice for companies. The government and some private organizations still make use of personal surveys though, albeit in limited numbers.
Of course there is always observation and field trials that involve the very discreet and oftentimes subtle method of observing what consumers buy and what not. Oftentimes, supermarket cameras are employed for just that purpose aside from deterring shoplifters. Observing customer choices allows companies to discern what sells and what doesn’t, and it gives them a first-hand look at what customers want. Field trials also work in the same way by allowing a company to try out if a new product will be hit or not before mass producing and distributing it full-scale.These two marketing research methods, though reliable, are conducted in limited places only.
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