What is a Market Survey?

What is a Market Survey?
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  • 0:03 Market Surveys
  • 0:43 The Basics
  • 2:54 Types of Surveys
  • 5:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Michelle Reichartz

Michelle has lead multiple training initiatives and has a master's degree in Business Administration.

In this lesson, you'll learn the definition of a market survey, how it is used in everyday business, and how to create and deliver one for your own business.

Market Surveys

Anyone who runs a business knows that it's important to get to know your customer. What do they want out of a product? Which price entices them the most? Is there a particular feature they look for or did something else brings them in? These are all important questions to ask before launching a product.

Let's say you start your own brewery. How do you know what type of beer your audience is looking for? Are you wanting to sell to bars, grocery stores, or maybe start your own brew room? Even though beer brewing is a business growing in popularity, you will want to help your venture be a successful one by doing some market research.

The Basics

One way of ensuring that you know your customer is by using an option known as a market survey. Market surveys are a way to get to know your consumer audience by providing insights into their needs and desires. They can be as specific as investigating features for a product or as general as asking people about their day-to-day needs. Some specific types of surveys focus on the value of a brand, the needs of the customer, and the customer's satisfaction of a product. Surveys may also investigate the quality or effectiveness of advertising for a good or service. The market survey process includes gathering market data, analysis of the results, and uncovering insights from them on how to proceed.

A successful business owner will go through a process that includes surveying customers in order to improve their product and increase sales. Let's say you are a business owner and you sell ProductA. You measure your success by how ProductA is selling. Is it selling as you expected, better, or worse? Next, you survey your customers about what they like and what they don't like about ProductA. Armed with that new customer insight, you improve your product, launch the improved product, and the loop starts again. The market survey is a vital piece of this business loop, specifically where you gain insight from your customer in order to improve your product and hopefully your profit.

Market surveys can be completed by using marketing research companies, but using these firms can be costly. You pay for their experience and expertise in getting to know the customer's needs on a foundational level. However, you can do it yourself.

By doing the survey internally, you can get closer to your customers and find out their wants and needs. As a business owner, you may even find insights that a marketing firm may not catch as they are not involved in the day-to-day business. In our brewery example, as a small business owner you may likely decide to go the 'do it yourself' route so you can save your finances for more important expenses such as yeast, bottles, and other supplies to make beer. By doing this, you may also get to know your customer base on a more personal level.

Types of Surveys

1. Telephone Interviews

Telephone interviews are a quick way to obtain information directly from a customer without waiting to meet them in person. You can either call the customer directly or leave a survey number on the receipts from your establishment. It is a best practice to have a script ready to allow the surveys to go as smoothly as possible while allowing the customer the ability to elaborate on their answers. The questions need to be short, clear, and easy to understand.

For our brewery example this would work best by using scaled questions, with answers being given from 1 to 5 (1 being the worst, 5 being the best). The questions could involve satisfaction with certain types of beers or the current selection of products on the market.

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