There are different kinds of marketing research methods, and while a lot of them may seem unrelated there is nevertheless an undercurrent which links them all – namely the gathering and recording of data in relation to a certain pre-established target market. 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. There are basically three kinds of surveys: the oldest of the three being one-on-one surveys which are still conducted nowadays albeit rarely, followed by telephone surveys which fell out of favor long ago, and lastly, there is the notoriously annoying online survey. Back in the day, mail surveys were also done until it fell out of use when email replaced snail-mail as the means of written communication. Personal surveys though reliable are often tedious and time- consuming. The alternatives such as telephony surveys and online surveys, while relatively more inexpensive, can at times be unreliable as primary marketing research data sources.
Group-oriented research, which are alternative marketing research methods generally focus on a target group and is intended to record collective data. These are usually started out by people who as a certain question to a group in the hopes that discussion will commence. The elicited feedback is recorded and used along with other data as a baseline for general public opinion on the product discussed.
There are also personal interviews, but these are not exactly very cost-effective so most companies ditch this kind of process. 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. This is where supermarket cameras often come in handy. Observing the trends allow companies to keep or ditch a product run, promote more ads for a specified product, and giving them an overall idea of 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 types of marketing research methods are often conducted in selected areas only.
Our need to always come out at the top has become stronger over the past years, due to this, newer and more innovative marketing research methods are continuously being developed which break new grounds.