Posted on June 19, 2013 · Posted in General

Market research isn’t always easy to collect, especially for smaller, less established businesses. There are several ways to approach it. You might consider sending out online or paper surveys, but these often end up being very long, and it is very likely that lots of people will quit halfway through, meaning the response rate is low. People often hang up at the mention of telephone surveys. Depending on your industry, one of the best ways to collect market research is in person.

One way you could do it is to invite people along to an event and to invite them to offer their opinions on a range of products or concepts. However, this means getting someone to record or transcribe the event to make sure all of the opinions are correctly recorded, and some people may choose not to speak up if they are shy or feel overshadowed by other louder members of the group.

That is why you could use an audience response system. These work by giving each attendee a handheld response remote, and presenting questions about the products or ideas on a screen. Each audience member then presses the button corresponding to their response, which is then sent to a receiver where all of the responses are collated and transformed into a graphic which will show up on screen immediately.

The good thing about this system is that everyone gets a chance to have their say, meaning you get more accurate results rather than simply the views of those who shout the loudest. Essentially, your research will be more meaningful as you will have a better distribution of opinions, so you can use this to help you work on your concepts and products taking into account the views of many more people.

It also means that the results are all stored instantly so you can refer to them at a later date. The fact that the system automatically renders the raw data into graphs means you have a great visual representation of the research, so everything is clear and you can cut out a large chunk of the analysis process. As everyone sees the results immediately, it means that any interesting or surprising patterns in the group’s responses can be discussed there and then so you can encourage people to elaborate if anything needs clarification.. Ultimately, this means you get data you can really work with to aid your future projects.

Casey Warner is a market research professional who enjoys utilising new technologies to increase participation and engagement in marketing projects.