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Market Research Tools: It's Types - A Comprehensive Guide

Market Research Tools types
Published on Dec 04, 2023

Today, consumers have a lot of power. With that in mind, businesses are adapting critical marketing strategies and tools to complement the way today's consumers research, shop, and buy.  

But businesses, as well as research teams, should have a deeper understanding of who their buyers are, their specific market, and what influences the purchase behavior of the target audience.    

Introduction to Market Research

Market research enables businesses to collect and analyze data on consumers, products, and rivals. It uses surveys, focus groups, and web research to identify and understand people's beliefs and behaviors. Market research helps firms design goods, determine prices, advertise, and deliver improved customer service.  

By gathering and analyzing customer and competition data, companies can learn about their target market's needs and design successful marketing strategies. However, research cannot be conducted without data. Market research uses survey data and databases to gather market knowledge, which is referred to as primary research. For secondary research, they investigate public records and scholarly works. 

Market research equips them with the necessary insights to meet the buyers where they are. With the digital world becoming louder and demanding more and more attention, businesses are incorporating measures to understand buyers' problems, pain points, and desired solutions. They are crafting their products or services to appeal to them naturally.   

The market research also helps in discovering insight into a wide variety of components that impact the organization's bottom line, including:  

  • Where the target as well as current audience conduct their research  

  • Which of the competitors does the target audience look to for information or purchases  

  • What are the current industry trends 

  • Who makes up the market, and what are the challenges  

  • What influences customer's purchases and conversions  

  • Consumer attitudes related to a particular product or brand  

  • Unaddressed or underserved customer needs 

  • Customer attitudes about pricing for a particular product or service   

Ultimately, market research authorizes businesses to get information from a larger sample size of their target audience, thus eliminating bias and assumptions. As a result, they can make better business decisions from the bigger picture.  

Read more: What Is Market Research: A Complete Guide 

Types of Market Research Tools

Evolution of Market Research Tools  

With the needs, tastes, and pain points of consumers evolving, businesses and the world of marketing are also witnessing the transformation. The industry's go-to approach to marketing research has evolved as a result.  

Traditional marketing approaches such as surveys, one-to-one interviews, and intercept encounters offer fantastic ways for researchers to gain valuable insights from the source; however, they are expensive and time-consuming. And the collected data can quickly drift out of date in today's fast-paced digital world.  

This has led to the emergence of AI in marketing research.  

Integrating AI technology into the mix helps in bringing value and usefulness to the table. AI saves marketing teams a fortune by automating many aspects of the data collection process and managing vast amounts of data sets. Further innovations in natural language processing (NLP) and top-tier machine learning (ML) are also enabling the AI market research tools to gain near-human levels of behavior and intent. 

Enhanced predictive capabilities are another remarkable facet of AI-driven market research. By constantly analyzing vast datasets, AI systems enable businesses to identify emerging market trends and predict shifts with a high degree of accuracy. This predictive capability helps in proactively adapting marketing strategies while staying ahead of the competitors and capitalizing on new opportunities. 

With the AI-driven research landscape continuing to evolve, its predictive prowess is set to play a critical role in transforming the future of marketing research.  

Read more: How to Conduct Market Research for Small Business: Guide 

Types of Market Research Tools  

Let's explore some of the market research tools that businesses typically use: 

  • Data analysis software: Data analysis software is integrated to collect and analyze data from different data sources. Businesses can integrate data analysis software with analytical statistical programs, enabling them to obtain scientific and accurate results from the collected data.  

  • Customer relationship management software (CRM): CRM software helps record customer data, enabling users to contact customers who have previously interacted with the company. This information further helps in providing better service and developing effective marketing campaigns.  

  • Business intelligence tools: Companies employ business intelligence tools to track, monitor, and analyze large volumes of data. They use these tools for business forecasting, decision-making, and strategic planning.  

  • Predictive analytics tools: Predictive analytics tools enable businesses to generate insights and recognize patterns in data sets. These tools use algorithms for data analysis and detecting patterns to develop accurate forecasts. 

  • Competitive intelligence tools: These tools help in tracking competitors' sales, trends, and sales performance. Businesses use competitive intelligence tools to gauge and compare their competition and to help them succeed in their market.  

  • Text analytics tools: Text analytics tools are used to analyze information related to keyword data, sentiment analysis, and language classification. This allows businesses to understand their target market better and improve their sales performance. With text analytics tools, marketers can explore specific phrases, keywords, or customer feedback and improve their marketing content and strategy. 

  • Predictive modeling tools: Predictive modeling tools integrate data to predict future events. These tools use different variables to identify patterns, enabling businesses to forecast their sales and profits. 

Advantages of Market Research Tools 

Many businesses integrate market research tools to achieve their marketing goals. These tools help with decision-making, increase productivity, and enable businesses to compete within their market and achieve the targeted goals. The more research is embedded in the strategic planning of a firm, the better equipped they are to deal with the changing environment. Let's outline some of the main benefits of investing in marketing research:  

Market Research tools

It enables businesses to strengthen their position in the market. Businesses use market research to gain a better perspective from their customers and understand the market trends while ensuring that the firm stays ahead of the competition.  

It minimizes any investment risk. It is a business-critical consideration as spending a small proportion of the investment on researching and testing the product or concept and making sound business decisions. 

It identifies potential threats and opportunities. With primary and secondary research, businesses can use the generated insights to stay ahead of their competitors. Integrating the insights with some qualitative research will further help in highlighting certain opportunities that may otherwise be missed.  

It helps to discover the competitor's strengths and weaknesses. It is important for any market research project to ensure completely unbiased reporting. By using research findings, businesses can adapt and learn from their weaknesses whilst capitalizing on their new-found knowledge from competitor analysis. 

Read more: Market Research: Landscapes & Current Trends  

It facilitates strategic planning and helps in identifying emerging trends. The foundation of every business strategy should be evidence-based. Staying ahead in business is often about being the best or doing something that no one else has thought about. By regularly identifying the pulse of the market, businesses can discover the range of techniques that can be employed to spot and exploit these trends.  

It enables brands to stay ahead of their competitors. By getting the basics right combined with a curiosity and willingness to innovate, businesses can leverage their findings and extract market research insights to stay ahead.  

It helps in focusing on customer demands. There are many significant reasons to keep the customers at the center of every market research. By using online panels, web communities, interviews, and focus groups, market research teams can improve their proposition, customer service, and product offerings. 

How Market Research Tools Work 

A marketing strategy is a brand's overall game plan to reach its targeted audience and turn them into customers. Market research enables businesses to discover the rules of the marketing game by understanding their audience. Moreover, it allows them to understand their opponents by assessing their strengths and weaknesses. 

Market research tools are mechanisms that allow businesses to find their target market and determine the consumers' views about the company's products or services. Market research tools include data analytics, competitor intelligence, social media monitoring, and predictive analytics. Market research tools help in performing integrated research and developing marketing strategies to analyze their competitors and prepare ways to maintain a competitive advantage.  

Using market research tools, businesses can also understand their audience and what products and services they can provide their customers with to serve them better. It provides a more accurate interpretation of the market and helps in making future forecasts. This further enables business to become more successful, enabling the marketing team to make well-informed decisions.   

Read more: AI-Driven Market Research: How Marketers Can Benefit From the Enabling Technology 

Choosing the Right Market Research Tool 

Market research tools assist businesses with analyzing customer behavior and enable marketers and sales representatives to understand the ways users interact with their products, services, or websites.   

  • Define the research objectives.  

Before searching for the right tools and software, it is important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with the marketing research and insights. By defining the specific research objectives and questions along with marketing action plans, marketers can choose options and focus on the software that can help them meet their goals.    

Market Research

  • Evaluate the budget.

Another factor to consider when choosing tools and software is the budget and resources. Depending on the budget and resources, marketers can opt for free or low-cost tools or invest in advanced and comprehensive solutions. They can also outsource some or all of their marketing research and insights activities to external agencies or consultants.   

  • Compare different tools.  

Once marketers have defined their research objectives and evaluated their budget, it is time to start comparing different tools and software that match the set criteria. They can use online reviews, recommendations, and trials to compare different features, data sources, analytics, and user interfaces. They can also look for tools and software that are designed for specific industries or use cases. Some of the tools and software for marketing research and insights include:  

  • SurveyMonkey: For creating and distributing online surveys and collecting feedback from customers.  

  • SEMrush: For conducting keyword research, competitor analysis, and SEO audits.  

  • Google Analytics: To analyze user behavior as well as website traffic.  

  • Tableau: For creating and sharing interactive dashboards and data visualizations

  • Integrate the tools effectively.  

After selecting the tools and software that suit the set requirements, it is time to use them effectively and conduct market research and insights. Marketers need to follow best practices to ensure that reliable and relevant data is collected, analyzed, and interpreted. 

  • Communicate and act on the insights.  

The final step involves integrating the tools and software into marketing research to communicate and act on the insights. Businesses need to share insights with the team, management, or clients and use them to inform their sales and marketing decisions and actions. With the best practices, they can ensure that the communication is right and further act on their insights effectively. 

Read more: Improved Targeting, Sustainability, and Validity: Market Research Trends for 2022  

Implementing Market Research Tools in Your Research Strategy   

Data insights serve as the foundation for successful strategies and models. Having extensive and accurate market research enables businesses to identify and understand their target audience better, fill any gaps in the market research, learn from competitors, and allocate resources in the most profitable ways. Various market research tools help in collecting the required information that offers businesses an advantage in the marketplace.  

Market research tools allow businesses to:  

  • Understand their audience to market better solutions. 

  • Know how the competitors are performing. 

  • Staying abreast with the recent developments. 

  • Understand the economic and social environment and make strategic business decisions.  

In conclusion, market research is critical for businesses seeking valuable insights about their target market, industry, and competitors. Market research can be undertaken in the form of surveys, focus groups, and online research to gather a wide range of data about consumer preferences and behavior. By conducting market research and integrating the insights gained, companies can identify opportunities for growth and innovation while also improving their chances of success. However, it is essential to be aware of the potential challenges in market research to ensure reliability and maximize its value to the business. 

Advantages of Market Research Tools

Market research is a complex process, but businesses can equip themselves with the right tools at every stage and make informed decisions that drive bottom-line results. 

SG Analytics, recognized by the Financial Times as one of APAC's fastest-growing firms, is a prominent insights and analytics company specializing in data-centric research and contextual analytics. Operating globally across the US, UK, Poland, Switzerland, and India, we expertly guide data from inception to transform it into invaluable insights using our knowledge-driven ecosystem, results-focused solutions, and advanced technology platform. Our distinguished clientele, including Fortune 500 giants, attests to our mastery of harnessing data with purpose, merging content and context to overcome business challenges. With our Brand Promise of "Life's Possible," we consistently deliver enduring value, ensuring the utmost client delight.  

A leader in Market research, SG Analytics enables organizations to achieve actionable insights into products, technology, customers, competition, and the marketplace to make insight-driven decisions. Contact us today if you are an enterprise looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.            

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

A. What is Market Research, and Why is it Important?  

Market research implies gathering data to gain insights into target demographics and consumers. Market research is a vital part of a B2B or B2C business strategy. Market research equips businesses with essential information about their competitors and existing products. The results offer insights to succeed in the market. Hence, it is important for organizations to base their business decisions on sound market research and strategies.    

B. How Can Market Research Tools Help Businesses Stay Competitive?  

Market research enables businesses to gain insights into their customer's preferences, behaviors, and needs. Understanding the target audience's motivations and pain points further helps in tailoring the products, services, and marketing efforts to meet the set objectives and expectations.  

C. How Can Businesses Ensure Ethical Conduct in Market Research Practices? 

Market research is an integral part of any marketing strategy. However, it can be challenging to know where to start in the world of ethical market research. Ethical principles enable marketers to conduct research with confidentiality, data protection, and integrity. The most important thing to determine when conducting market research is that all participants should be treated with respect. This implies that everyone who participates in the research must be treated as individuals with their perspectives and views. Also, when conducting market research, it is vital for market researchers to follow ethical practices. 

About SG Analytics       

SG Analytics is an industry-leading global insights and analytics firm providing data-centric research and contextual analytics services to its clients, including Fortune 500 companies, across BFSI, Technology, Media and entertainment, and Healthcare sectors. Established in 2007, SG Analytics is a Great Place to Work® (GPTW) certified company and has a team of over 1100 employees and has presence across the U.S.A, the U.K., Switzerland, Canada, and India.    

Apart from being recognized by reputed firms such as Analytics India Magazine, Everest Group, and ISG, SG Analytics has been recently awarded as the top ESG consultancy of the year 2022 and Idea Awards 2023 by Entrepreneur India in the “Best Use of Data” category.