How to Conduct Market Research for your Business Idea

This short tutorial will help you cut right to the core of finding your best customers;

the ones that not only want your services,
but can pay you, right now

You see, the purpose of this marketing research guide is not to make decisions for you. The purpose is to help you reduce the risk when you make a decision.

For example, by following these research you reduce the risk of introducing new products and/or services to your market.

You’ll do this by evaluating consumer behaviors of similar products and services BEFORE a full-scale and costly roll-out of your business plan.

Second, this marketing research guide will also help you investigate the effectiveness of your marketing strategies after they have been executed by examining the customer perception and behavior.

This is where the term, “Test small, roll out big” came from. By testing small, you drastically reduce your risk and can easily make adjustments.

By using the tools and resources in this short course and the second part of this market research tutorial, you will uncover new opportunities to provide additional products and service to your customer base, as well as find areas where you may be lacking -- and therefore improve.

This tutorial is different than all the others on market research because not only will you get a powerful set of tools that you can apply immediately and gain the most valuable feedback from your most important asset; your customers and future customers, you will also gain free email support from Your Strategic Marketing Partner, as you need.

What are the 4 types of market research?

These four activities are very exciting. Not because the market research activities are so exciting, but knowing how simple these tasks are, is energizing. These 4 steps remove all the ‘magic, smoke and mirrors’ out of the idea of “doing market research”.

Market research is simply not that hard, but it does require focus, attention and organization.


There are four key market research activities that any small business owner, marketing director, or entrepreneur can do.

These four activities will be the core of our plans and strategies that we use:

  1. Search an archive
  2. Ask customer’s some questions
  3. Observe what customers do
  4. Arrange for customers to respond to structured stimuli (like a survey).

That's it!

These are the main activities in identifying new markets and product opportunities.

This tutorial will expand on the main activities and then develop some simple materials for you to use and implement.

How do small businesses do market research?

Market research refers to a set of information-gathering activities focused on the customer. The job of market research is to examine the market that is associated with a good or service to determine how the audience will receive it. A variety of tasks are required to complete the process.

To be successful, you will analyze information gained from key data points to help with the decision making process.

But this is just the start for any business. The initial market research is just the beginning.  The best firms not only use the market research principles found in this tutorial to get started, but they use these principles as a central theme to their organization, literally on a day to day basis.

Your job is to stay close to the wants and needs of the customer. This helps the most successful organizations thrive in both good and bad economic times.

How to do market research for a business plan

The most important part of your market research plan is simply starting with these two questions:

  1. Why do I want to do market research?
  2. What do I want to know?

Once the specific question(s) are agreed upon, a plan can be developed. A plan will spell out the basic research to be collected and techniques to be used. There are three important issues that influence the research, they are:

  1. Is primary or secondary research needed?
  2. Is qualitative or quantitative research needed?
  3. Will you do your own research or do you need a research specialist to do it for you?

The majority of this tutorial will help you better understand item #1 and #2 so that you can do your own research, in order to help you get started.

Let's now discuss the difference between qualitative and quantitative market research.

Difference between qualitative and quantitative research 

Given the purpose of the research, there are two basic approaches;

  1. Qualitative -- Discovery to gain new ideas, which is under the qualitative category, and
  2. Quantitative  -- Confirmation of these ideas to carve out the important nitty gritty's, under the quantitative category.

Qualitative research usually involves face to face interviews with respondents designed to give feedback about how they think and feel about a topic; a name, a brand, a product, package or an advertisement. The two most common types of qualitative research are focus groups and interviews.

Quantitative  research involves systematic processes to gain and analyze numerical data. The four most common types of quantitative research are observational, surveys, experiments, and mathematical modeling.

Qualitative research is commonly used for:

  • Identifying a problem or opportunity
  • Getting insights into motivations, attitudinal and personality factors that influence marketplace behaviors
  • Gaining preliminary information about the effectiveness of a marketing strategy
  • Developing new products and services, or repositioning a current product or service

Quantitative research is commonly used for:

  • Validating or answering a business problem
  • Testing theories and models to explain marketplace behaviors between two or more marketplace behaviors
  • Testing the effectiveness of strategies on marketplace behaviors
  • Segmenting and/or comparing differences in markets

Our next tutorial, “7 secret strategies to do market research for your business idea” we will lay out the details with marketing research examples and research tools so you know exactly how to identify hungry customers who want your product right now-- for your winning business idea!

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner in Arizona. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not your typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants who tell you there is a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” Your Strategic Marketing Partner knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message.  For more information about Sam, please visit



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