Knowing what your customers think, what your potential customers might want and how you are doing is crucial. And to crack this conundrum, you need market research.
In this day and age you don’t even have to spend that much money to do it properly – start ups have access to a load of tools and services online to help collect data and even to offer some analysis for free (for the most basic offering) or for a reasonably small amount of money.
Here is our pick of the best – but there are many, many of them so shop around…
It is an online survey tool that allows you to create surveys for free for your own audience or, for a fee they will help reach out to target potential customers from their own data. Its basic offering is free, but enhanced plans run from a few pence up to about £60 a month.
It also offers the ability for those being surveyed to add extra insight.
Google Consumer Surveys
With Google Consumer Surveys, you choose your target audience, type your question and watch the results roll in within hours. Get complete results in days; not weeks. It’s easy, affordable and better yet — it’s accurate.
Survey anyplace tries to make things more fun, creating mobile, interactive quizzes and surveys that work really well with Google surveys and SurveyMonkey, above. Users can sign up for free for an unlimited amount of time and really get a good feel of what the tool can do before they decide to subscribe.
World-wide association for market research professionals. ESOMAR has 6000 personal members and 1500 organizational members across 100 countries. There is a list of companies browsable by country, methods used and industry specialisation.
Market Research Society
The UK professional body for market researchers with over 8000 members. The Web site has general information on market research and links to publications such as their Directory of Market Research Providers and Support Services in UK & Ireland . There is also a free searchable directory – the Research Buyers Guide at www.rbg.org.uk
The Viewing Facilities Associations UK
The UK Viewing Facilities Association is a trade association representing companies which have viewing studios and services available for hire to other market researchers, (as opposed to studios which are tied to particular research companies).
It sets high standards for membership such as requiring members to meet certain levels of customer satisfaction, to be members of the MRS and work to the MRS code of conduct.
They must also have completed fire risk and health and safety assessments. The site contains a directory of members and is searchable by location.
Qualtrics claims to make sophisticated research simple, offering research tools that let you gain market insights, evaluate your brand, and allowing for pretty rapid data generation and analysis.
The Intellex Dynamic Research Manager is an online portal for market research projects that allows research agencies or departments to share information with their clients in a new, innovative and efficient way.
The Research Manager is a central delivery channel for research projects and offers users the option to view interactive, topline reports, to analyze the underlying data through an intuitive drag-and-drop cross tabulation interface or to download any type of background documentation relevant to the project.