Businesses of all types and sizes undertake extensive research to improve and grow. The long term success of a start up, medium sized business and even established businesses depends on efficient and cost effective research undertaken.
Companies often rely on various market research methods to obtain information from consumers or other audiences. Such research methods can enable a company to gain key information about internal and external factors influencing their market share and profitability.
Based on the information obtained through the different business research methods, companies of all kinds can make essential business decisions such as the following:
- Possibility of the business to survive and succeed in a new geographical region.
- Competitor assessments.
- Selection of the best marketing strategy for new or established products.
Businesses may choose to adopt either one or all of the below research methods to achieve their business goals:
1. Case Studies
The business research method of case study is generally undertaken by those business houses who want a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the customer response about a particular product or service.
Case studies primarily help a business in the following ways:
- Assessment of consumer satisfaction/dissatisfaction.
- Consumer attitudes and opinion about a product or a company.
Conducting surveys is a very common method to gather large amounts of information or data relatively quickly at a reasonable cost. Due to the popularity of this method, a standard survey sample is easily accessible for companies that want to ascertain relevant information.
Companies rely on this method of business research to track actual consumer experiences with respect to a particular product or service. In interviews consumers are asked specific questions which they have to answer at length to help companies get a clear picture of the the level of consumer satisfaction and their individual experiences.
The main advantage of this research methodology is the chance to ask follow up questions about the consumer’s response to individual questions. The drawbacks of interviewing are twofold: 1) a careless interviewer can partially influence interviewee responses and 2) some interview methodologies can be time consuming.
4. Focus Groups
Focus group can be described as an in between research methodology among the various business research methods. The idea behind this method of business research is to obtain an honest suggestion and feedback from the consumers about a specific product or service.
Focus groups aim to provide an interacting sample, as compared to interviews and case studies. The main drawback of this type of research is that there are chances of the moderator “steering” the group’s feedback or focusing (or neglecting) individual participant’s views.