Market research tools
- Think with Google Research Tools
- Statistics Office
- Make my persona
- Claritas MyBestSegment
- Type shape
- Upwave Instant Insights
- Pew Research Center
- Qualtrics market research panels
We are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to buying behavior. We know the location of our favorite products in store and trust them to work year after year. According to McKinsey, nearly 3 in 4 Americans stay with the same brand – and 8 in 10 stay with the same retailer.
People don’t like change. Getting someone to switch to an unfamiliar brand is a struggle, especially in times of crisis.
When a customer wants to launch a new product, enter another market, or open a new store, the odds are stacked against them. It is common knowledge that most product launches are doomed – and that’s because they fail.
In part, we can blame a lack of research for why there are so many unsuccessful product launches and poorly designed new features. Founders and brand managers “know” that it will be successful – they run on their instincts, not the facts. (It was this instinct that led Clairol to bring out Touch of Yogurt Shampoo, which some people thought was an option for breakfast foods.)
Finding out if a product will succeed beyond initial curiosity is only good business. With market research, you determine whether there is a possibility of how you position the product or service or what opinions the consumers will have after the market launch.
If you are aware of the high cost of failure and need to gather facts and opinions to predict whether your new product, role, or location will be successful, invest in market research with these tools and resources first.
Recommended Resource: Market Research Kit
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Helpful tools and resources for market research
1. Think with Google Research Tools
Would you like information about the likelihood of your product being successful? Think with Google’s marketing research tools that offer interesting insights into whether someone is looking for your product (Google Trends), which markets to launch (Market Finder), and which retail categories are rising over the months and seasons (rising retail categories ).
If you want to market your product on YouTube, you can use the Find My Audience tool to research what your potential viewers are interested in and what to discuss on your brand’s YouTube channel.
Pricing: Free of charge
2. Census Office
The Census Bureau provides a free resource for finding US census data. You can filter by age, income, year and location. You can also use some of the shortcuts to access visualizations of the data and view potential target markets across the country.
One of the best ways to use this tool is to find the NAICS code for your company, then access the Spreadsheet tool, click Filters on the sidebar, and search for your industry. Easily find out where your target industry is most popular – or where the market is oversaturated. Another helpful tool is the Census Bureau’s Business and Economy data, which you can also use to create pre-made tables, depending on the industry.
Pricing: Free of charge
3. Make my persona
Make My Persona is a proprietary tool that allows you to create a buyer personality for your potential new product. Determining who could benefit from your product is key to marketing it effectively. In this tool, you pick a name for the person, choose their age, identify their career traits, and identify their challenges so that you can pinpoint both demographic and psychographic information.
This tool is best for B2B product launches as it prompts you to document your buyer personality’s career goals and role-specific challenges. As such, your product would ideally solve a problem for them in the workplace or help their company meet sales goals.
Pricing: Free of charge
Tableau is a business intelligence suite of products that allows you to “connect to virtually any data source”. However, the data is not presented in illegible tables. Rather, Tableau helps you visualize this data in such a way that you can gain insights, target external stakeholders, and communicate the feasibility of your product to potential investors.
You can visualize data from corn production in tropical climates to office supplies sales in North America. The Tableau tools allow you to look at potential marketplaces and supplier regions in as much detail or in general as you want.
Pricing: $ 12 / user / month (Tableau Viewer); $ 35 / user / month (Tableau Explorer); $ 70 / user / month (Tableau Creator)
Statista is a data visualization website that takes data from reputable reports on the internet and makes it easy and digestible for researchers, marketers, and product developers like you.
It helps you find even the most specific data related to your industry. Are you planning to introduce a new video game and want to know how many hours people spend playing video games? There is a table for this.
One nice aspect of using Statista is that the same chart updates over the years. For example, let’s say you want to point out the value of the beauty market in your proposal. If your investor accesses the same chart in a year, they will see updated numbers as Statista always finds the latest research to update their visualizations. (Note that Statista does not carry out any original research.)
Pricing: Free; $ 39 / month (billed annually); $ 1,950 (one-time 30-day access)
6. Claritas MyBestSegment
Claritas MyBestSegment provides product researchers with tools to help them understand an area’s demographic information and the lifestyles of the area’s residents. By finding out what part of the population is doing – without having to interview them – you can find out which areas are most receptive to a campaign or launch, which competitors are nearby and which lifestyle trends have or have changed are in ascending order.
A snapshot of an audience segment gives you basic information about household income, lifestyle characteristics, employment level, and education level. If you want more specific data on these topics, you need to contact the Claritas sales team to become a customer.
Pricing: Free; Prices available upon request
SurveyMonkey is a powerful tool for creating in-depth market research surveys that help you better understand your market and consumer preferences.
This tool allows you to create targeted, over-specific surveys that you can use to collect responses that are specific to your product. While using a data source can give you a high-level view of your target audience and market, SurveyMonkey can help you get more detailed insights from real consumers.
SurveyMonkey offers dedicated market research solutions and services, including a global survey panel, survey translation service for international research, and a report dashboard option that makes it easy for you to analyze the results.
Pricing: Free, $ 32 / month (Advantage Annual), $ 99 / month (Premier Annual), $ 99 / month (Standard Monthly); $ 25 / user / month (Team Advantage, 3 or more users), $ 75 / user / month (Team Premier, 3 or more users), Enterprise (contact for pricing)
8. Enter form
As with SurveyMonkey, Typeform lets you conduct research surveys to get direct responses from your target customers. It’s an easy-to-use form builder optimized for mobile devices that is great for market research.
The distinguishing factor of Typeform is that the viewer is shown one form field at a time. A more talkative, casual approach is recommended in their templates (like the market research survey template). This makes it more suitable for product launches aimed at a younger population group. When reaching out to C-suite executives in established companies, consider a more formal option like SurveyMonkey or keep your tone more formal with your questions.
You can create a variety of question types including multiple choice questions, short questions, and rating scale questions. Other functions include the ability to retrieve answers from previous questions and to create logical jumps.
In a survey, you want to collect both demographic and psychographic information about your customers in order to understand their buying behavior and the problems they encounter. The goal is to find out if your product is the solution to any of these problems – and if you should add more features or rethink your product positioning strategy before getting started.
Pricing: Free; $ 35 / month (Essentials); $ 50 / month (Professional); $ 70 / month (Premium)
9. Upwave Instant Insights
Upwave Instant Insights is a consumer research tool that is part of the Upwave branded marketing platform. While it is not advertised as a survey creation tool, you can launch market research surveys specifically to gain insights into consumers.
With Instant Insights, you can address target groups in Upwave’s partner ecosystem and visualize the data for easy scanning by key stakeholders and investors. One benefit of using this platform is that Upwave distributes your survey to real people – not just people who do surveys for the money, which could skew the results.
To create a survey, log into the Upwave platform, click your name in the top right corner, then click “My Surveys” where you can create as many surveys as you want. The “Basic” option has a limit of 6 questions, while the “Advanced” option allows you to include an unlimited number of questions.
Pricing: $ 2 / student (basic); $ 3 / study participant (extended); $ 4 / study participant (advanced)
Loop11 is a user experience testing platform that enables you to test the usability of your website, examine user intent, test the information architecture of your website, and examine how the user experience changes based on the device used.
This tool is useful for market research as you can find out if your target customers will find your website easy to navigate. You can also identify errors that are preventing conversions.
Loop11 tests your site by having users perform tasks. Then they ask a quick question about how easy or difficult the task was to complete. Your product may be phenomenal, but if consumers can’t buy it through your website, you won’t launch it successfully.
You can use the participants from Loop11 or bring your own.
Pricing: $ 63 / month (Rapid Insights), $ 239 / month (Pro), $ 399 / month (Enterprise)
As with Loop11, Userlytics lets you test the usability of your website, mobile app and website prototype. You can target different devices, define a buyer personality, and disqualify attendees based on review questions.
Testing is based on tasks that your test takers perform. You then answer a simple question about the difficulty of the task. You can structure the question in a number of ways. You can leave it open, provide multiple choices, or request a review. Other formats you can use are SUS (System Usability Scale) questions, NPS (Net Promoter Score) questions, and SEQ (Single Ease Questions).
Userlytics does both a webcam and a screen capture. You can compare users’ responses to their reactions on video to understand how they feel when they interact with your assets.
Pricing: $ 49 / participant (Quick & Easy); $ 69 / participant (annual company); Special prices on request
Sometimes you need a no-frills test to get a consumer pulse. With Temper, you can create a question, get a snippet of code, and place it on your website. The smiley face, the “meh” face and the frown make it easy for viewers to make a quick judgment.
A great way to use this tool is to add the widget on a blog post announcing the launch of your new product. This is a great way to determine the general sentiment about the product prior to launch. You can also add it to a product page, email, or landing page.
When you insert the widget, you can change the question to one that is tailored to your offerings.
Pricing: $ 12 / month (Hobby), $ 49 / month (Pro), $ 89 / month (Business), $ 199 / month (White Label)
NielsenIQ is a retail and consumer intelligence consultant who will work with you to develop customer insights, identify the best distribution channels for your product, and create a range of products tailored to the needs of your target customers.
This service helps you see your product launch from all angles and provides forecast data that predicts how your sales will develop at launch. NielsenIQ can also conduct Consumer Insights surveys on its list of panelists and partners.
Since NielsenIQ works like a consultant rather than self-service software, it’s a better option for established companies with a larger launch budget.
Pricing: Prices available on request
Ubersuggest is a simple tool for keyword and content research. You can enter a phrase and create a list of suggested keywords. You can also view the best performing articles and pages for an initial look at the type of content that applies to the keywords.
This tool is useful for market research as you can see who your top competitors are, how often your product is searched, and if there is enough space in the market for the type of product you are bringing to market. You can also find out the questions your target audience is asking about the product. Any of these questions can be turned into a blog post that will educate your audience, increase your brand authority, and drive conversions.
Alternatives to Ubersuggest are Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMRush.
Pricing: Free; $ 29 / month (individual); $ 49 / month (business); $ 99 / month (Business / Agency)
15. Pew Research Center
From economic conditions to political attitudes to social media usage, the Pew Research Center website has a ton of free research that can help you better understand your target market. Best of all, the website has interactive articles that you can use to filter and search the data for more detailed insights.
Topics are US politics, digital media, social trends, religion, science and technology.
Pricing: Free of charge
BrandMentions is a social media monitoring platform that helps you understand what your prospects are raving about online. Search for a keyword and BrandMentions will show you recent social posts that contain that keyword and the context in which it was used. After subscribing to the platform, you can also get sentiment analysis for the keyword.
You also get other metrics like “reach” (how many people see the keyword per day), “performance” (how many people are viewing the keyword per day), and “mentions by day of the week” (when people mention the keyword).
You can use this tool for market research by finding out when people are looking for your product on social media websites. Once you start announcing the new product, the insights from this tool will help you publish information about the launch at exactly the right time. Also, it can help you find out how people are generally feeling about the type of product you are bringing to market. That way, you can better refine the tone of your campaigns.
Pricing: $ 99 / month (growing business); $ 299 / month (business); $ 499 / month (Business / Agency)
17. Qualtrics Research Panels
Qualtrics is committed to using an online sample service to find respondents for your market research surveys. After you have identified your target group, Qualtrics gives you access to a representative sample. You can either use the survey software you choose or use Qualtrics’ built-in platform for insights and feedback.
Pricing: Prices available on request
Conduct market research for a successful product launch
Conducting market research is essential to successfully launch a product. The tools we have shared will help you figure out who is looking for your product, why it is needed, and how to better market it at launch to ensure it is successful.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and has been updated for completeness.