Market Research 101: Where to Start & How to Interpret Data

Market research is the act of finding information about a target market to determine its needs and wants. Companies conduct market research to produce better products, improve user experience and enhance their marketing strategies to achieve better results.

Working without conducting any market research is detrimental to a company’s success. It means you’re guessing what the consumer wants, which is dangerous for business. The insight availed by gathering data on how consumers interact with your product is the cornerstone of enhancing profitability.

You might be a student entrepreneur looking for ways to improve earnings, and carrying out a consumer study is at the top of your mind. In that case, hiring EssayHub writing essays service to help with schoolwork might be a good idea. It’ll help you focus on your business and keep up with schoolwork.

Here are five key steps to take while conducting market research.

Identify the Problem

Before you begin, you need to identify the challenge your business is facing. Once you have that down, you can identify your objectives. Basically, what goals are you hoping to achieve? Is it identifying a new target audience? A new marketing strategy? Or successfully launching a new product?

Knowing your objectives helps you understand what questions you should be asking. These questions should be influenced by your buyer persona and their challenges. Additionally, the questions should be beneficial to your marketing department.

For instance, if you’re trying to launch an essayhub reviews website, you’ll need to market it where your target audience has a greater chance of seeing it. Your buyer persona might indicate they’re likely to spend more time on social media. In this scenario, your problem would be identifying which social media sites your audience uses the most.

Come Up with a Research Plan

Come Up with a Research Plan

A research plan contains the time frame, budget, sample size, target audience, research method, and who will conduct, record, analyze and report the findings. You’d also need to specify if you will perform a qualitative or quantitative study.

Qualitative studies help researchers understand the motivation behind certain behaviors. Since it relates to language and is open to interpretation, open-ended questions are preferred, i.e., “Why do you use this social media site?”

Quantitative studies help researchers understand the numerical and measurable results obtained from a data set. It is purely numbers-based. Thus, closed-ended questions are usually more suited, i.e., “How often do you use this social media site?”

Once you’ve outlined your plan, you can begin the study.

Data Collection

Data collection normally begins with secondary research. This involves reviewing information that is already publicly available to determine whether it adds value to your study. It’s relatively cheaper than obtaining new data on your own, and it provides more insight into the problem you are trying to solve.

Sources of secondary research may include:

  • Social media
  • Library catalogs
  • Commercial reports
  • Internal sales data
  • Government reports

Once you’ve obtained all you can from secondary research, turn to primary research. This involves carrying out a study by collecting & interpreting data from your target audience. It’s important to use the appropriate scientific method for data collection and analysis to avoid biases or inaccurate data collection. This involves identifying the right audience and sample size, using well-worded surveys or scripts, and accurately capturing data.

Primary research data collection methods include:

  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Observation

Analyze Data & Formulate a Report

The analysis stage involves formulating the collected data into a format that is easy to comprehend. This is done through analytical techniques that seek to find the relation between different variables.

Ideally, this is where you can form concrete conclusions about your consumers and how they interact with your product. Doing this leads to a clear understanding of the data and gives managers insight into what needs to be done to solve the challenges.

Here are a few mistakes to avoid when analyzing your findings:

Avoid confusing correlation with causation. This happens when you connect two similar data trends by assuming they are related.

Avoid ignoring seasonality. This means paying attention to how times of the year, week, or day may influence your data. You’ll get different results depending on whether it’s summer or winter, weekend or weekday, and even morning or afternoon.

Look beyond the numbers. It’s one thing to get an accurate data representation, and it’s another to interpret it within the correct context. Fit the figures into how they relate to your objectives, similar studies, and the broader market.

Act on Information

The final step is the most crucial. Having attained vital information without acting on it would be detrimental, and ultimately, the project would be a waste of time. At this stage, you utilize your findings to influence your marketing decisions.

Let’s say you found out your target audience uses TikTok & Twitter more than any other platform and that they’re more likely to use products recommended by micro-influencers rather than bigger influencers. You’d then formulate an appropriate advertising strategy to market your product/service on these platforms through micro-influencers.


Understanding your consumer’s wants and needs is crucial to selling successful products and services. To do this, market research is needed. It’s the glue that holds a business together. Follow the guide outlined above, and you’ll be well on your way to conducting a successful study.