Types of market research
1. Primary market research
Primary market research is research that you conduct yourself, rather than information that you 􀃦nd already published.
Primary market research is information that you gather by talking directly with your potential customers.
Here are a few ways to gather primary market research:
Hold focus groups
A focus group (https://www.score.org/resource/how-run-focus-group-assess-your-business-idea) requires you to gather a
small group of people together for a discussion with an assigned leader.
Survey your customers
Distribute these both to existing customers and potential customers. Sending out a survey using tools like SurveyMonkey
(https://www.surveymonkey.com/) is a great way to collect this type of information from current or potential customers of
your business. You can even run tiny surveys right on your website with services like Qualaroo (https://qualaroo.com/). Make
sure to ask speci􀃦c questions—but try not to lead people toward the answer you want to hear. Be as objective as you can.
Assess your competition
Look at your competition’s solutions, technologies, and what niche they occupy. Completing a competitive matrix
(https://articles.bplans.com/develop-competitive-matrix-plan-pitch/) can help you understand how you stack up against
One-on-one interviews
Find potential customers and talk with them about their problems and your solutions to those problems. Ideally, conduct
these in-depth interviews in your customer’s workplace, or wherever they will be when they might consider shopping for
your solution.
2. Secondary market research
Market research may also come from secondary sources. This is information others have already acquired and published
about customers in your industry.
Access to this secondary market research data may be yours for the asking, and cost you only an email, letter, or phone call.
Much of it is entirely free and easily available online2.