Is Your Business Doing Effective Market Research?

Components of Meaningful Market Research

Market research is the practice of gathering and analyzing information about consumers, businesses, and the commercial marketplace. Market research is used to create business plans, launch new products or services, refine existing products or services, analyze competitors, and expand into new markets. Businesses use market research to determine how many consumers will purchase a product or service, who those consumers are, and how to advertise to those consumers.

Primary market research is the practice of collecting information from the marketplace through surveys, focus groups, panels, or other methods designed to elicit information. Secondary market research is the practice of compiling research conducted by other sources to apply to an industry or business issue. Both primary research and secondary research can provide very effective insights to help guide business development. In-fact, some market research is a blend of both methods or an integration of data gathered from both methods.

Some important informational components in market research that are helpful in analyzing the consumer population include:

  • Demographics
  • Media
  • Opinions and Attitudes
  • Behavior
  • Geography

Each of these informational components provides great value when conducting an analysis of consumers to help plan a marketing campaign for your business.


Demographics are characteristics of individuals, families, and population groups within particular areas. Gender, age, income, race, ethnicity, education, etc. are all demographics. Just as demographic measures of population groups are vital for the planning of societies, demographics of consumer groups are also vital for the planning of successful businesses and industries. Consumer demographics help business planners understand who consumes particular products and services and help assess the market potential of new products and services.


Informing consumers of your product or service is critical to bringing in customers and driving revenue for your business. Knowing how to reach consumers, therefore, is an important component in the research you should be executing to plan your marketing campaigns.

Advertising supported media such as broadcast television, newspaper, cable TV, radio, internet, etc. can be very effective at getting your business’ message in front of consumers. In fact, that’s what most media is all about. But before you go out and spend your marketing budget on advertising make sure you know which media options are going to be more effective at reaching the type of consumers that will buy from you -- your target customers.

Opinions and Attitudes

Opinion and attitude research helps businesses and their advertising agencies explore the mindset of the consumer. Insight on consumer opinions and attitudes often guide the creative “look” and “feel” of advertisements as well as the marketing message in advertisements.


The primary aim of market research is to help predict consumer behaviors. Market research strives to estimate whether a consumer will shop at a particular store or buy a particular brand, and determine what will motivate a consumer’s purchasing behavior. While demographics, opinions, and media consumption are useful insights that help put consumer behavior in context, the best predictor of behavior is behavior itself. That is to say, understanding a consumer group’s past purchasing behavior is the best way to predict future purchasing behavior


Geographic research is especially important for local businesses. With a limited distribution footprint or trade area and typically a limited marketing budget to match, local businesses need information about where their customers are and where to find more customers. With the need for geographic insight increasing, the market research industry is investing heavily in developing solutions that will deliver effective consumer insights down to the ZIP code, block group, or even household level with targeted direct marketing lists.

Last modified: Friday, October 11, 2019, 4:48 PM