Which of the Following Are Useful for Conducting Market Research
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How to exercise market place inquiry in iv steps: a lean approach to marketing enquiry
David Darmanin, one of Hotjar’s founders, launched ii startups before Hotjar took off—but both companies crashed and burned. Each time, he and his team spent months trying to design an astonishing new product and user experience, merely they failed considering they didn’t have a clear understanding of what the market place demanded.
With Hotjar, they did things differently. Long story short, they conducted market research in the early stages to figure out what their consumersreally wanted, and they made (and go on to brand) abiding improvements based on their research.
In this blog post, you’ll learn how to acquit quick, constructive marketplace research without hiring an bureau—something chosen lean market inquiry. It’s easier than y’all might think, and it can be done at any phase in a product’s lifecycle.
To evidence you lot how it’s washed in the real world, I’ve included a marketplace enquiry case from Smallpdf. Smallpdf is a Swiss visitor that used lean market research to reduce their tool’s error rate by 75% and boost their Net Promoter Score® (NPS) by 1%.
We await at:
What is market research?
Why is marketplace inquiry so valuable?
Advantages of lean market place research
4 common market research methods
How to perform market place research (in a lean fashion)
5 common market inquiry questions
Market research example: how Smallpdf turned their marketplace research study into business concern results (in half dozen steps)
Market enquiry FAQs
What is market place research?
Marketplace research (or marketing research) is any fix of techniques used to assemble information and better empathize a visitor’s target market. Businesses use this information to design better products, improve user experience, and craft a marketing strategy that attracts quality leads and improves conversion rates.
Why is market research so valuable?
Without inquiry, information technology’due south incommunicable to sympathize your users. Certain, you might accept a general idea of who they are and what they need, merely you take to dig deep if you want to win their loyalty.
Here’s why research matters…
Obsessing over your users is the only style to win. If you lot don’t care deeply nearly , y’all’ll lose potential customers to someone who does.
Analytics gives yous the ’what,’ but research gives the ‘why.’
Big data, user analytics, and dashboards tin can tell you
people do at scale, only simply research can tell you what they’re thinking and
they practise what they do. For example, analytics can tell you that customers get out when they reach your pricing page, but only inquiry can explain why.
Research beats assumptions, trends, and so-chosen all-time practices.
Take you lot ever watched your colleagues rally behind a terrible decision? Bad ideas are oft the event of guesswork, emotional reasoning, decease by all-time practices, and defaulting to the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO). By listening to your users and, focusing on their customer experience you’re less likely to become pulled in the wrong direction.
Research keeps y’all from planning in a vacuum.
Your squad might be amazing, but you and your colleagues simply can’t experience your product the way your customers do. Customers might apply your product in a way that surprises you lot, and features that seem obvious to you might confuse them. Over-planning and refusing to test your assumptions is a waste of time, money, and effort because you will likely need to make changes once your untested plan gets put into practice.
Advantages of lean marketplace research
Lean User Experience (UX) design is a model for continuous improvement that relies on quick, efficient inquiry to understand customer needs and test new features.
Lean market research can assist you become more…
: it gets you closer to your customers, faster.
: no demand to hire an expensive marketing firm to become things started.
: quick, powerful insights can place your products on the cut edge.
4 common market research methods
There are lots of dissimilar ways you lot could acquit marketplace research and collect customer data, merely you don’t have to limit yourself to just i enquiry method. Four common types of market research techniques include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and customer observation.
Which method y’all use may vary based on your business type: ecommerce business owners accept different goals from SaaS businesses, so it’due south typically prudent to mix and lucifer these methods based on your particular goals and what you need to know.
1. Surveys: the most commonly used
Surveys are a grade of qualitative research that ask respondents a brusque series of open- or closed-ended questions, which can be delivered as an on-screen questionnaire or via email. When we asked 2,000 Customer Experience (CX) professionals about their company’s approach to research, surveys proved to exist the most commonly used market place enquiry technique.
What makes online surveys so popular?
They’re easy and inexpensive to deport, and you can do a lot of information collection quickly. Plus, the data is pretty straightforward to analyze, even when you have to clarify open up-ended questions whose answers might initially appear difficult to categorize.
We’ve congenital a number of survey templates ready and waiting for you. Catch a template and share with your customers in merely a few clicks.
2. Interviews: the most insightful
Interviews are one-on-one conversations with members of your target market. Zilch beats a face-to-face interview for diving deep (and reading not-verbal cues), but if an in-person meeting isn’t possible, video conferencing is a solid second selection.
Regardless of how you conduct it, whatever blazon of in-depth interview will produce big benefits in understanding your target customers.
What makes interviews then insightful?
By speaking directly with an platonic client, you’ll gain greater empathy for their experience, and you tin can follow insightful threads that can produce enough of ‘Aha!’ moments.
3. Focus groups: the most dangerous
Focus groups join a advisedly selected grouping of people who fit a company’s target marketplace. A trained moderator leads a conversation surrounding the production, user experience, and/or marketing message to proceeds deeper insights.
What makes focus groups so dangerous?
If yous’re new to market research, I wouldn’t recommend starting with focus groups. Doing it right is expensive, and if you cut corners, your inquiry could autumn victim to all kinds of errors. Dominance bias (when a forceful participant influences the grouping) and moderator style bias (when different moderator personalities bring about different results in the same study) are ii of the many ways your focus group information could go skewed.
4. Observation: the most powerful
During a client observation session, someone from the visitor takes notes while they lookout man an ideal user appoint with their product (or a similar product from a competitor).
What makes observation so clever and powerful?
‘Fly-on-the-wall’ observation is a great alternative to focus groups. It’s non simply less expensive, but yous’ll see people interact with your product in a natural setting without influencing each other. The simply downside is that you can’t become inside their heads, and so observation is no replacement for customer surveys and interviews.
How to behave market research (in a lean way)
The post-obit four steps will give you lot a solid understanding of who your users are and what they want from a company like yours.
one. Create simple user personas
A user persona is a semi-fictional character based on psychographic and demographic data from people who use websites and products like to your own.
How to get the data: use on-folio or emailed surveys and interviews to understand your users.
How to do it right: any survey/interview questions you ask, they should answer the following questions nearly the client:
Who are they?
What is their main goal?
What is their primary barrier to achieving this goal?
Pitfalls to avert:
Don’t ask besides many questions!
Keep it to five or less (preferably iii), otherwise, you’ll inundate them, and they’ll stop answering.
Don’t worry too much about typical demographic questions
like age or groundwork. Instead, focus on the function these people play (as it relates to your product) and their goals.
How Smallpdf did it: Smallpdf ran an on-page survey for a week or two and received 1,000 replies, which revealed that many of their users were administrative assistants, students, and teachers. And then they created simple user personas like this 1 for admins:
Who are they?
What is their main goal?
Creating Word documents from a scanned, hard-re-create document or a PDF where the source file was lost.
What is their chief bulwark to achieving it?
Converting a scanned PDF doc to a Discussion file.
2. Comport observational enquiry
Observational research involves taking notes while watching someone use your product (or a similar product).
Overt vs. covert observation
Overt ascertainment involvesrequest customers
if they’ll let you lot watch them
use your production. (Smallpdf did this with administrative assistants.)
Covert observation means studying users ‘in the wild’ without them knowing.
This only works if you sell a type of product that people apply regularly, but it offers the purest observational data because people often behave differently when they know they’re being watched. (Smallpdf did this with academy students.)
Tips to do it right:
Record an entry in your field notes, along with a timestamp, each time an event occurs.
Brand note of their workflow,
capturing the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘for whom’ of each activeness.
Pitfalls to avert:
Don’t tape video or audio, regardless of your method (overt or covert). If they know yous’re recording, it’ll make them nervous. And if they don’t know? It’south just plainly creepy.
Don’t forget to explain
you’d like to observe them (for overt ascertainment).
They’re more than probable to cooperate if y’all tell them you want to improve the product.
How Smallpdf did it: here’s how Smallpdf observed two different user personas.
Kristina Wagner, an Interaction Designer from Smallpdf, went to cafes and libraries at 2 local universities and waited until she saw students doing PDF-related activities. Then she watched and took notes from a distance.
1 thing that struck her was the difference between how students cocky-reported their activities vs. how they behaved (i.e., self-reporting bias). Students, she found, spent hours talking, listening to music, or but staring at a bare screen rather than working. When she did find students who were working, she recorded the task they were performing and the software they were using (if she recognized information technology).
Observing authoritative administration:
Kristina sent emails to admins explaining that she’d similar to detect them at work, and she asked those who agreed to try to batch their PDF piece of work for her observation day. Watching admins work, she learned that they frequently needed to scan documents into PDF-format and then convert those PDFs into Word docs. By observing the challenges admins faced, Smallpdf knew which products to target for improvement.
3. Behave individual interviews
Interviews are 1-on-one conversations with members of your target marketplace. They allow you to dig deep and explore their concerns, which can lead to all sorts of revelations.
Tips to practise it correct:
Human action like a announcer, not a salesperson
. Rather than trying to talk your company upwards, enquire people nigh their lives, their needs, their frustrations, and how a product like yours could aid.
Mind more, talk less.
Inquire ‘why?’ and so you can dig deeper.
Get into the specifics and larn about their past behavior.
Record the conversation
So you don’t accept to take notes and tin focus on the chat. There are plenty of services that will transcribe recorded conversations for a good price.
Pitfalls to avert:
Don’t inquire leading or loaded questions.
A leading question
reveals bias on your part and pushes them in a certain direction (due east.chiliad., “Have y’all taken advantage of the
new features nosotros just released?).
A loaded question
sneaks in an supposition which, if untrue, would make it impossible to answer honestly. For instance, we can’t ask you, “What did you find most useful well-nigh this article?” without asking whether you found the article useful in the first place.
Be cautious when asking opinions about the future (or predictions of time to come behavior).
Studies suggest that people aren’t very good at predicting their future behavior. This is due to several cerebral biases, from the misguided exceptionalism bias (nosotros’re good at guessing what others will do, only we somehow think we’re dissimilar), to the optimism bias (which makes united states of america see things with rose-colored glasses), to the ‘illusion of control’ (which makes us forget the function of randomness in futurity events).
How Smallpdf did it: Kristina explored her teacher user persona by speaking with university professors at a local graduate school. She learned that the schoolhouse was mostly paperless and rarely used PDFs, so for the sake of time, she moved on to the admins.
A chip of a letdown? Sure. But this story highlights an important lesson! Sometimes y’all follow a lead and come up short, so you take to make adjustments on the fly. Lean market research is virtually getting solid, actionable insights chop-chop so you can tweak things and see what works.
iv. Analyze the information (without drowning in it)
The following techniques will aid y’all wrap your caput around the data without losing yourself in it. Remember, the signal of lean market enquiry is to notice quick, actionable insights.
A flow model is a diagram that tracks the period of information inside a organisation. By creating a elementary visual representation of how users interact with your production and each other, you can better appraise their needs.
You’ll notice that admins are at the centre of Smallpdf’s flow model, which represents the flow of PDF-related documents throughout a school. This flow model shows the challenges that admins face as they work to satisfy their own internal and external customers.
An affinity diagram is a way of sorting large amounts of data into groups to better understand the large picture. For case, if you ask your users about their profession, you’ll notice some full general themes beginning to form, even though the individual responses differ. Depending on your needs, you could group them by profession, or more mostly by manufacture.
We wrote a guide about how to analyze open up-ended questions, and it will help y’all sort through large volumes of data to categorize them. You can also do this past hand, clipping upwards interview notes and group them (which is what Kristina does).
Customer journey map
A customer journeying map is a diagram that shows the style a typical prospect becomes a paying customer. Information technology outlines their first interaction with your brand and every pace in the sales cycle, from sensation to repurchase (and hopefully advocacy).
The above customer journey map, created past our team at Hotjar, shows many ways a client might engage with our tool. Your map volition be based on your own data and business organisation model.
📚 Read more → if you lot are new to client journey maps, we wrote this step-by-step guide to creating your first customer journey map in two and i/2 days with free templates you tin can download and kickoff using immediately.
5 mutual market enquiry questions
The following questions will aid you get to know your users on a deeper level when yous interview them. They’re general questions, of course, so don’t be agape to brand them your ain.
1. Who are you and what do you practice?
How you ask this question, and what you want to know, will vary depending on your business model (eastward.g., business-to-business marketing is usually more than focused on someone’south profession than business-to-consumer marketing).
It’southward a groovy question to start with, and information technology’ll help yous empathize whatever is relevant about your user demographics (age, race, gender, profession, didactics, etc.), but information technology’s not the be-all-end-all of market place enquiry. The meatier and more than specific questions come up subsequently.
2. What does your mean solar day look like?
This question helps you understand their mean solar day-to-24-hour interval life and the challenges they face. It will help y’all gain empathy for them, and y’all may stumble across something relevant to their buying habits.
3. Exercise you ever purchase [product/service type]?
This is a ‘yep or no’ question. A ‘yes’ will lead yous to the adjacent question.
4. What problem were you lot trying to solve or what goal were you trying to attain?
This question strikes to the cadre of what they’re trying to accomplish and why they might be willing to pay for your solution.
5. Take me back to the twenty-four hour period when you first decided you lot needed to solve this kind of problem or achieve this goal.
This is the golden question, and information technology comes from Adele Revella, CEO of Buyer Persona Institute. It helps you get in the heads of your users and effigy out what they were thinking the day they decided to spend coin to solve a problem.
If you take your time with this question, digging deeper where it makes sense, y’all should be able to answer all the relevant data you need to understand their perspective.
What do you want to embrace with this question? Here’s a checklist…
✔ Where did they go to find a solution?
✔ How long did it take to make the conclusion and buy?
✔ Whom did they consult to make the decision?
✔ What culling(s) did they consider?
✔ What persuaded them to buy?
✔ What, if anything, near stopped them from ownership?
Important: call up to enquire ‘why!’ ‘Why’ is the magic give-and-take that will get them to dive deeper into their experience and offer meaningful insights rather than short replies.
Bonus question: is there anything else you’d like to tell me?
This question isn’t but a prissy way to wrap it up—it might just requite them the opportunity they need to tell you something y’all really need to know.
That’south why Sarah Doody, author ofUX Notebook, adds it to the stop of her written surveys.
Market research case: how Smallpdf turned their market inquiry study into business results (in 6 steps)
Smallpdf used lean market place enquiry to dig below the surface, sympathize their clients, and build a better product and user feel. Here’due south a summary of the steps they took.
Step ane: Smallpdf used on-page surveys to gather data
They ran a survey asking key questions to decide who their users were and what problems they were trying to solve with Smallpdf. The team stopped when they received 1,000 replies.
Step 2: they created elementary user personas based on their survey data
Smallpdf found that many of their users were authoritative assistants, students, and teachers, then they designed a programme to study these users.
Step three: they performed observational inquiry on students and admins
Kristina Wager, from Smallpdf, did…
Covert ascertainment of students
: watching them work in university libraries and cafeterias.
Overt observation of administrative assistants: contacting them first to ask if she could watch them work, then spending time watching them perform PDF tasks.
In both cases, she made note of the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘for whom’ of each action, which would after go into her flow model.
Note: Kristina also spent some fourth dimension interviewing professors at a local graduate school, which would take become its step had it proved successful. Unfortunately, the university had gone paperless.
Step 4: Smallpdf analyzed their information
Kristina used the post-obit research tools to wrap her head around the information and explore the next steps.
Period model: Smallpdf mapped out a menstruum model to understand the challenges admins face every bit they work to satisfy their own internal and external customers.
Affinity diagram: they grouped data points into broad categories in a visual diagram to see how common certain trends were in their data.
Customer journey map: they mapped out a typical customer journeying to better understand how users interacted with their product.
Step 5: they implemented changes
Based on what Smallpdf learned about the challenges that 1 fundamental segment (admins) confront when trying to convert PDFs into Word files, they improved their ‘PDF to Discussion’ conversion tool.
I won’t go into the details here because it involves a lot of technical jargon, but they made the entire process simpler and more straightforward for users. Plus, they fabricated it so that the arrangement recognized it when you drop a PDF file into their ‘Discussion to PDF’ converter instead of the ‘PDF to Word’ converter, so users wouldn’t take to redo the job when they made that fault. In other words: uncomplicated market segmentation for admins showed a business need that had to be accounted for, and now customers are happier overall.
Step 6: Smallpdf tested the results
Co-ordinate to the Lean UX model, product and UX changes aren’t retained unless they accomplish results.
Smallpdf’south changes produced:
A 75% reduction in error rate for the ‘PDF to Word’ converter
A one% increase in NPS
Greater conviction in the squad’due south marketing efforts
Market Research FAQs
Accept y’all washed your own lean market research? Annotate below and tell us how it went—what you learned, what changes you fabricated, and how your users responded.
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Which of the Following Are Useful for Conducting Market Research