Chris Mendez in For Managers

5 ways to conduct market research

As a digital producer, I would say that 35% of my job consists of marketing research and studying the market. Yup, true story, figuring out what people want is hard work and even harder when you're trying to make a product, service, or experience for an audience that isn't you. Thankfully, it's not impossible and remarkably, there are a suite of tools you can use to actually create a process and eliminate intuition or "gut instinct". For me, it all stars with these 5 initial ways to conduct research:

  1. Survey: Ask them directly in person or via snail mail, phone, e-mail or mobile phone.

  2. Focus group: Ask them via a proxy moderator. This help eliminate any bias and gives you flexibilty to conduct the research in other markets (NY, SF, Chicago, Miami) without having to "know the market".

  3. Ethnographic study: Watch and learn.

  4. Case study: Learn what others have done

  5. Field test: Learn by putting your product, service, or idea out there into the world and getting actual market feedback.

Other Resources

  • USC Master of Communication Management - If you have the technical chops to make a website or app but aren't sure what people want, or want to learn how to consistently deliver products to different types of people (age, gender, location, ethnicity, class), I highly suggest a degree in Communication Management.