Much like all other subsections of research, business research methods incorporate a lot of standard approaches. Which method, and why, is often important as the data and analysis itself. After all, methodology itself directs data acquisition and therefore data analysis.
Size, intent, and overall goals are very important considerations. Some study methods are far more cumbersome than others, while others are more simple. Each has its place within Market Research, however, depending on the study’s scenario and intent. Further, researchers should always make sure the method is feasible. A massive, one-time survey hardly fits within the typical business’s budget.
Excellent for creating central targets and follow through in other studies, individual interviews enable researchers to learn about opinion, perspective, and overall identity. Each is very important when addressing product designs and other elements.
Interviews take place in just about any scenario, and often use stimulus and verbal questions to gather input. One old solution to keeping the interviewee’s attention was isolated environments. However, these are quite expensive and often unfeasible for businesses initiating a study on the national or international level. Luckily, platforms like Discuss.io update these traditional methods to enable interviews wherever a webcam is available.
Case studies are important element for most products and content campaigns. These require a decent amount of attention, as well a manner to validate findings. Control groups are among the most common, but there are plenty of other ways to find participants. Diversity is always a major limitation for traditional case studies, if not due to cost then availability. Discuss.io enables businesses of all sizes to find the samples they need, from where they need. 20+ million participants ensure all enterprises can find the input, and group, that applies to their services or products.
Excellent for quantitative research, surveys enable researchers to grasp large-scale sentiments. Size, style, and intent can range quite the amount, as well the analysis. What remains consistent, however, is the emphasis on finding consensus. Surveys can happen in real time or online, what matters is the origin of the target group. Relevance is a concern for all researchers using surveys, which typically depends on the survey’s questions.
Focus groups are an interesting amalgam of interviews and surveys. A qualitative method unto itself, focus groups are also excellent for hybrid studies. Using the later particularly allows the application of quantitative methods. Discuss.io enables the approach, as the platform streamlines all assosiated logistics and scheduling while significantly decreasing the cost. While finding consensus is important, focus groups also provide room for individual assessment. Individual participants offer plenty of insight, so researchers can always consider personal responses over the focus group’s consensus.
Verbalized answers are well and good. However, participants may provide inaccurate answers. Observation is one the most straightforward methods to test such input. Typically organized around real-time or recorded instances, observation typically entails watching a customer interact or react to a product or service. Critical in almost all primary research, other methods like interviews and focus groups make excellent follow-ups/additions.
Field trials takes the observation method and put it in the field, usually a store or online shop. Gauging customer reaction can happen in real-time or, for closer review, via archival footage. There are plenty of ways to measure reaction, including surveys, biometrics, and POV footage. Also like observation, qualitative assessments are also great followups to these studies.
Zach Simmons is the Founder and president of Discuss.io. Zach has 20 years of experience building software. Prior to founding Discuss.io, he was the Technical Product Manager for Amazon Web Services (S3) where he ran the team that built the infrastructure that now powers a significant percentage of the modern Internet. Zach holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
An entrepreneurial leader, Zach is passionate about building disruptive and agile SaaS based market research startups as an alternative to traditional market research. Seeing a need for change within the Industry, Zach launched Discuss.io, bringing Market Research to the digital age.