Asking your customers what they think is key to improving business performance. Market research in the form of customer feedback can provide insight into product features, customer service, and more.
You may have a great product test planned and ready to go, but without the right people to participate in the research, your project is at a standstill. Don’t let your project become bottlenecked by a lack of participation – use creative solutions to find the right number and type of market research participants.
Here are 5 ways to expand your participant pool with the right kinds of consumers:
You can form a group, council, or consumer panel and then narrow it down to highly-focused groups specific to your research topics. Frequently ask for referrals and keep a list of potential leads. Many market research firms have dedicated research panels to pull from, taking care of the leg work for you. Professional firms have tried and true methods for finding high-quality pools of market research participants, providing you with the people you need in an efficient manner.
If they have given permission for you to keep their personal information, you can recruit past market research participants to be a part of any new studies your business performs. People who have a history of participating or testing your products tend to be eager and willing to offer feedback, making this a great option.
On the flipside, it takes time to amass an adequately sized group of market research participants. If you need results more quickly, it might make sense to partner with a professional firm that can find, screen, and maintain contact with people for you.
You can send surveys directly to your company email list or invite subscribers to participate in-person for more in-depth research. Another method is to intercept users on your website after they visit your site, make a purchase, or contact customer support.
Even with easy access to your email or subscriber lists, it’s best to have a professional design your surveys in order to get accurate and useful data. Poorly-designed surveys often produce irrelevant data that can do more harm than good. Be sure you have a process for analyzing the data as well. Data without analysis and a plan of action is meaningless, which is why many companies choose to outsource research to professionals.
Asking for reviews, opinions and survey participation via Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms serve as basic market research. Or, you could partner with influencers or bloggers. Ask them to post links and direct followers to offer feedback or participate in trials for you.
There are limitations to using social media, though: 1. You risk turning off your fans by asking too much or too often. 2. Just as with web surveys, the quality of your data depends on the survey design. A poorly designed survey won’t help and could hurt. Additionally, social media can open your survey up to fraudulent responses from bots or click-farms. A professional can assist you with programming and online platforms designed to block and/or identify poor quality responses for elimination. It’s up to your business to find the right balance for monitoring public perception of your brand via social media.
While outside voices are important, your employees and/or their family members can be key contributors to your market research efforts. Employees are often eager to share their thoughts. Those who have frequent interaction with customers may also have valuable insight to provide. In order to avoid bias and elicit honest responses, consider using a third-party research firm to gather feedback from employees.
If your current pool of market research participants is too small, irrelevant, or growing stale, it’s time to seek new recruiting methods. A professional market research firm can save you time and money by finding high-quality, relevant research participants for you.
Learn how a customized research project can give you deeper business insights.
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