What is Market Research?

Market research is collecting data about your target audience and consumers to either gauge the future success of a new product or improve upon an existing product. Market research can answer so many questions about the state of your company.

Primary vs. Secondary Research

There are two main overarching types of research. Primary research and secondary research. All other forms fall under these two main research methods.

Primary Research

Primary research refers to the gathering of first-hand information about your target market. Some examples include online surveys, interviews, observations, focus groups, and ethnographic research. Primary market research tends to fall into one of two subgroups: exploratory or specific research.

Exploratory Research

This kind of primary market research is focused around potential bumps in the road that would be best tackled as a team. Think of this as the first step when it comes to research. Before focusing on a specific subset of research, organize a list of potential problems. This can often be done through open-ended interviews or small group surveys. Check out the easy-to-use survey tool in Sav's web builder.

Specific Primary Research

Specific research typically comes after exploratory research. This is when your team focuses on issues and opportunities that have already been flagged as a top priority after exploratory research. In specific research, the business can take a more precise subsection of their consumer audience and ask questions aimed at solving a specific problem.man in front of 3 screens displaying various graphs and charts.

Secondary Research

Secondary research, also known as desk research, involves compiling all the data and public records you have at your disposal. This is when you’d study trend reports, market statistics, industry content, and preexisting sales data. Secondary research is essential when it comes to analyzing your competitors. There are three subcategories that fall into secondary research; public sources, commercial sources, and internal sources. 

Public Sources

Public sources are the most accessible of the three source types. They’re typically free to view. The most common types of public sources are government statistics from organizations like the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Commercial Sources

Commercial sources typically come in the form of market reports compiled by a research agency. These typically cost money to read and download, making them less accessible than public sources. Check out this list of the top 50 U.S. market research companies.

Internal Sources

This is the market data your organization already has. Your company’s individual stats when it comes to average revenue per sale, customer retention rates, and account health data are imperative when it comes to identifying flaws and opportunities for your business. It’s your company after all, who knows better than you?three people amongst a bunch of graphs and charts on a blue and white background.

Types of Market Research

Now that we've covered the overarching market research categories, let's dive into the various types of market research you might conduct. 


Interviews are a great opportunity for face-to-face interaction with your audience. Ask open-ended questions and use your interviewee's answers to shape your buyer personas. By creating this buyer profile around your flesh and blood customer you are able to shape your entire marketing strategy around the needs and wants of your ideal customer.

Observation-Based Research

Observation-based research is similar to blind product testing. Stand back and watch the ways your consumers go about using your product or service, what works well in regards to user experience, what roadblocks do they hit. Once you can visualize the struggles your users encounter, it’s easier to prioritize fixes and improvements. 

Buyer Persona Research

Buyer persona research gives you insight into the identity of your target audience, what their values are, why they want your product or service, and what they need from your company.

Market Segmentation Research

Market segmentation is where you divide your target audience into different segments based on certain defining characteristics. By breaking your users into subcategories you can more effectively meet their needs, understand their obstacles, and prioritize their goals. 

Pricing Research

Pricing research revolves around the pricing of similar goods or services and what your consumers are willing to pay. Pricing research plays an integral role in developing a pricing strategy for your product or service. 

Competitive Analysis

No one knows what your users want better than your competition. Competitive analyses provide insight into what's doing well, what your target audience is already going for, which of your competitors are leading the pack, and ways to separate yourself from the competition.

Customer Satisfaction Research

The best insight into what your users want often comes from their own mouths. Customer satisfaction research provides a glimpse into your consumer's mind. What can you do to keep them coming back?green background with a finger placing a single gold star in a ratings bar.

How to Get Started

Now that we covered almost every form of market research, where do you start? What truly goes into conducting market research?

What’s Your Buyer Persona?

Understanding your potential customers and what their pain points are, makes it easier to create content and products directly aimed at them. Follow the steps below to create your own buyer persona

  • Name: Develop different names associated with your different personas so it's easy to differentiate between them

  • Work:
    • Field of work

    • Company size

    • Job description and details about their role

    • Responsibilities and superiors

  • Demographic Information:
    • Age: How old are your average users? 

    • Gender: Does your business cater to a particular gender demographic?

    • Salary: How much spending money does your typical customer have?

    • Location: what geographical perks or setbacks do your consumers typically face?

    • Education:

      Does your reading comprehension level match the average highest form of education displayed by your typical buyer?
    • Family: Is your audience made up of single young adults or do your consumers have dependents?

    • Hobbies: How do they like to spend their free time?

    • Interests: What do they like to do? Where do they get their news? 

  • Goals and Challenges:
    • What are your consumer's life goals?

    • What roadblocks are standing in their way?

    • How can you help?

  • Values and Fears:
    • What are your users' core values?

    • How can you bring their values through your product?

Brown background with a face outline encompassed with different people.Don't know where to start when it comes to creating your Buyer Persona? Check out Hubspot's free buyer persona generator.

Who’s the Competition?

You can learn a lot about a market by getting to know your competition. Determine your biggest competitors and dissect every part of their market strategy.

When it comes to your competitors there are two major groups that you categorize them between: Industry competitors and content competitors.

Industry Competitors

Industry competitors are competitors whose products or services overlap with yours. When identifying what businesses are within your industry start general, like education, construction, entertainment, food service, etc.

Content Competitors

When it comes to content competitors when in doubt, Google it. Search engine results are very telling. Take the general category that you determined above and narrow it down into a couple of subcategories. Take a bakery for example, the general category would be food services and then broken into subcategories like event catering, bakery, cakes, etc.

Top Market Research Tools of 2022

Check out these amazing free resources for streamlining your market research.

How Can Sav Help?

Keep an eye on your internal market data and SEO with the tracking analytics available in Sav’s web builder.

Mckenzie Barkdull-Pugmire

Mckenzie Barkdull-Pugmire