Research Methods

What is market research?

It is gathering and analyzing information about people – their attitudes, perceptions and their behaviour.  Some of the other names for research are: opinion surveys, polls, censuses, etc.

Research is either statistical/quantitative or indepth/qualitative.  The information can consist of statistics, for instance, the percent of the population that uses a product, recycles their food waste – their age, gender, education, occupation, life stage, etc.  While indepth (qualitative) research provides insights into how people feel, what motivates them to act, what influences them…

Companies with products or services use research to understand buyer preferences, product viability, competitive brands and key variables (make or break factors).  It is used to identify opportunities – unmet gaps in product/service performance, design, pricing, etc.  Also market research can identify threats – brand image, performance, pricing etc.   And research is the basis of cost effective planning and tracking performance. 

Market research is key in planning effective advertising, marketing and promotional strategies and in measuring outcomes.  The same tools are used to study consumers and businesses (B2B). 

…Social Marketing

The same research tools used to study consumer purchasing behaviour are also used to study people’s behaviour for social ‘good’ or non commercial purposes.  Social marketing is used by governments, non-profit and organizations engaged in the social economy to encourage ‘good’ actions, such as recycling or conserving energy or eating more healthy food.  And it applies to reducing harm or negative actions such as drunk driving, smoking or littering. 

Mass market product and service advertisers contend that their advertising “follows the parade, it never leads” – thanks to Terry O’Reilly for this quote, from CBC’s radio series, The Age of Persuasion.  Social marketing on the other hand is usually aimed at changing or reinforcing ‘good’ behaviour.  There are no doubts about the intent of social or public good marketing. 

Informa delivers “critical intelligence” to clients about how they – and their product category – are perceived by significant audiences. Current attitudes, perceptions and behaviour of these target groups can influence the success of new products and services, or the acceptance of proposed programs, polices or initiatives.

For full scope projects, client receive a full report, highlighting key findings as well as indepth analysis and strategic recommendations. Presentation formats include copies of reports, video excerpts, electronic files and Power Point presentations.

Among the classic research methodologies we use…

  • Made to measure in-depth research, focus groups, personal interviews,
  • Quantitative research online, telephone, mail and face-to-face surveys
  • Secondary source research.
  • Strategic planning and visioning applying research learning and maximizing the overall benefits.
  • Training/train the trainers and skill transfer.