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Home Market Research

Consumer Research: Examples, Process and Scope

consumer research

What is Consumer Research?

Consumer research is a part of market research in which inclination, motivation and purchase behavior of the targeted customers are identified. Consumer research helps businesses or organizations understand customer psychology and create detailed purchasing behavior profiles.

It uses research techniques to provide systematic information about what customers need. Using this information brands can make changes in their products and services, making them more customer-centric thereby increasing customer satisfaction. This will in turn help to boost business.

LEARN ABOUT: Market research vs marketing research

An organization that has an in-depth understanding about the customer decision-making process, is most likely to design a product, put a certain price tag to it, establish distribution centers and promote a product based on consumer research insights such that it produces increased consumer interest and purchases.

For example, A consumer electronics company wants to understand, thought process of a consumer when purchasing an electronic device, which can help a company to launch new products, manage the supply of the stock, etc. Carrying out a Consumer electronics survey can be useful to understand the market demand, understand the flaws in their product and also find out research problems in the various processes that influence the purchase of their goods. A consumer electronics survey can be helpful to gather information about the shopping experiences of consumers when purchasing electronics. which can enable a company to make well-informed and wise decisions regarding their products and services.

LEARN ABOUT:  Test Market Demand

Consumer Research Objectives

When a brand is developing a new product, consumer research is conducted to understand what consumers want or need in a product, what attributes are missing and what are they looking for? An efficient survey software really makes it easy for organizations to conduct efficient research.

Consumer research is conducted to improve brand equity. A brand needs to know what consumers think when buying a product or service offered by a brand. Every good business idea needs efficient consumer research for it to be successful. Consumer insights are essential to determine brand positioning among consumers.

Consumer research is conducted to boost sales. The objective of consumer research is to look into various territories of consumer psychology and understand their buying pattern, what kind of packaging they like and other similar attributes that help brands to sell their products and services better.

LEARN ABOUT: Brand health

Consumer Research Model

According to a study conducted, till a decade ago, researchers thought differently about the consumer psychology, where little or no emphasis was put on emotions, mood or the situation that could influence a customer’s buying decision.

Many believed marketing was applied economics. Consumers always took decisions based on statistics and math and evaluated goods and services rationally and then selected items from those brands that gave them the highest customer satisfaction at the lowest cost.

However, this is no longer the situation. Consumers are very well aware of brands and their competitors. A loyal customer is the one who would not only return to repeatedly purchase from a brand but also, recommend his/her family and friends to buy from the same brand even if the prices are slightly higher but provides an exceptional customer service for products purchased or services offered.

Here is where the Net Promoter Score (NPS) helps brands identify brand loyalty and customer satisfaction with their consumers. Net Promoter Score consumer survey uses a single question that is sent to customers to identify their brand loyalty and level of customer satisfaction. Response to this question is measured on a scale between 0-10 and based on this consumers can be identified as:

Detractors: Who have given a score between 0-6.

Passives: Who have given a score between 7-8.

Promoters: Who have given a score between 9-10.

Consumer market research is based on two types of research method:

1. Qualitative Consumer Research

Qualitative research  is descriptive in nature, It’s a method that uses open-ended questions , to gain meaningful insights from respondents and heavily relies on the following market research methods:

Focus Groups: Focus groups as the name suggests is a small group of highly validated subject experts who come together to analyze a product or service. Focus group comprises of 6-10 respondents. A moderator is assigned to the focus group, who helps facilitate discussions among the members to draw meaningful insights

One-to-one Interview: This is a more conversational method, where the researcher asks open-ended questions to collect data from the respondents. This method heavily depends on the expertise of the researcher. How much the researcher is able to probe with relevant questions to get maximum insights. This is a time-consuming method and can take more than one attempt to gain the desired insights.

LEARN ABOUT: Qualitative Interview

Content/ Text Analysis: Text analysis is a qualitative research method where researchers analyze social life by decoding words and images from the documents available. Researchers analyze the context in which the images are used and draw conclusions from them. Social media is an example of text analysis. In the last decade or so, inferences are drawn based on consumer behavior on social media.

Learn More: How to conduct Qualitative Research  

2.Quantitative Consumer Research

In the age of technology and information, meaningful data is more precious than platinum. Billion dollar companies have risen and fallen on how well they have been able to collect and analyze data, to draw validated insights.

Quantitative research is all about numbers and statistics. An evolved consumer who purchases regularly can vouch for how customer-centric businesses have become today. It’s all about customer satisfaction , to gain loyal customers. With just one questions companies are able to collect data, that has the power to make or break a company. Net Promoter Score question , “On a scale from 0-10 how likely are you to recommend our brand to your family or friends?”

How organic word-of-mouth is influencing consumer behavior and how they need to spend less on advertising and invest their time and resources to make sure they provide exceptional customer service.

LEARN ABOUT: Behavioral Targeting

Online surveys , questionnaires , and polls are the preferred data collection tools. Data that is obtained from consumers is then statistically, mathematically and numerically evaluated to understand consumer preference.

Learn more: How to carry out Quantitative Research

Consumer Research Process

consumer research process

The process of consumer research started as an extension of the process of market research . As the findings of market research is used to improve the decision-making capacity of an organization or business, similar is with consumer research.

LEARN ABOUT:  Market research industry

The consumer research process can be broken down into the following steps:

  • Develop research objectives: The first step to the consumer research process is to clearly define the research objective, the purpose of research, why is the research being conducted, to understand what? A clear statement of purpose can help emphasize the purpose.
  • Collect Secondary data: Collect secondary data first, it helps in understanding if research has been conducted earlier and if there are any pieces of evidence related to the subject matter that can be used by an organization to make informed decisions regarding consumers.
  • Primary Research: In primary research organizations or businesses collect their own data or employ a third party to collect data on their behalf. This research makes use of various data collection methods ( qualitative and quantitative ) that helps researchers collect data first hand.

LEARN ABOUT: Best Data Collection Tools

  • Collect and analyze data: Data is collected and analyzed and inference is drawn to understand consumer behavior and purchase pattern.
  • Prepare report: Finally, a report is prepared for all the findings by analyzing data collected so that organizations are able to make informed decisions and think of all probabilities related to consumer behavior. By putting the study into practice, organizations can become customer-centric and manufacture products or render services that will help them achieve excellent customer satisfaction.

LEARN ABOUT: market research trends

After Consumer Research Process

Once you have been able to successfully carry out the consumer research process , investigate and break paradigms. What consumers need should be a part of market research design and should be carried out regularly. Consumer research provides more in-depth information about the needs, wants, expectations and behavior analytics of clients.  

By identifying this information successfully, strategies that are used to attract consumers can be made better and businesses can make a profit by knowing what consumers want exactly. It is also important to understand and know thoroughly the buying behavior of consumers to know their attitude towards brands and products.

The identification of consumer needs, as well as their preferences, allows a business to adapt to new business and develop a detailed marketing plan that will surely work. The following pointers can help. Completing this process will help you:

  • Attract more customers  
  • Set the best price for your products  
  • Create the right marketing message  
  • Increase the quantity that satisfies the demand of its clients  
  • Increase the frequency of visits to their clients  
  • Increase your sales  
  • Reduce costs  
  • Refine your approach to the customer service process .

LEARN ABOUT: Behavioral Research

Consumer Research Methods

Consumers are the reason for a business to run and flourish. Gathering enough information about consumers is never going to hurt any business, in fact, it will only add up to the information a business would need to associate with its consumers and manufacture products that will help their business refine and grow.

Following are consumer research methods that ensure you are in tandem with the consumers and understand their needs:

The studies of customer satisfaction

One can determine the degree of satisfaction of consumers in relation to the quality of products through:

  • Informal methods such as conversations with staff about products and services according to the dashboards.   
  • Past and present questionnaires/ surveys that consumers might have filled that identify their needs.   

T he investigation of the consumer decision process

It is very interesting to know the consumer’s needs, what motivates them to buy, and how is the decision-making process carried out, though:

  • Deploying relevant surveys and receiving responses from a target intended audience .

Proof of concept

Businesses can test how well accepted their marketing ideas are by:

  • The use of surveys to find out if current or potential consumer see your products as a rational and useful benefit.  
  • Conducting personal interviews or focus group sessions with clients to understand how they respond to marketing ideas.

Knowing your market position

You can find out how your current and potential consumers see your products, and how they compare it with your competitors by:

  • Sales figures talk louder than any other aspect, once you get to know the comparison in the sales figures it is easy to understand your market position within the market segment.
  • Attitudes of consumers while making a purchase also helps in understanding the market hold.      

Branding tests and user experience

You can determine how your customers feel with their brands and product names by:

  • The use of focus groups and surveys designed to assess emotional responses to your products and brands.  
  • The participation of researchers to study the performance of their brand in the market through existing and available brand measurement research.   

Price changes

You can investigate how your customers accept or not the price changes by using formulas that measure the revenue – multiplying the number of items you sold, by the price of each item. These tests allow you to calculate if your total income increases or decreases after making the price changes by:

  • Calculation of changes in the quantities of products demanded by their customers, together with changes in the price of the product.   
  • Measure the impact of the price on the demand of the product according to the needs of the client.   

Social media monitoring

Another way to measure feedback and your customer service is by controlling your commitment to social media and feedback. Social networks (especially Facebook) are becoming a common element of the commercialization of many businesses and are increasingly used by their customers to provide information on customer needs, service experiences, share and file customer complaints . It can also be used to run surveys and test concepts. If handled well, it can be one of the most powerful research tools of the client management . I also recommend reading: How to conduct market research through social networks.

Customer Research Questions

Asking the right question is the most important part of conducting research. Moreover, if it’s consumer research, questions should be asked in a manner to gather maximum insights from consumers. Here are some consumer research questions for your next research:

  • Who in your household takes purchasing decisions?
  • Where do you go looking for ______________ (product)?
  • How long does it take you to make a buying decision?
  • How far are you willing to travel to buy ___________(product)?
  • What features do you look for when you purchase ____________ (product)?
  • What motivates you to buy_____________ (product)?

See more consumer research survey questions:

Customer satisfaction surveys

Voice of customer surveys

Product surveys

Service evaluation surveys

Mortgage Survey Questions

Importance of Consumer Research

Launching a product or offering new services can be quite an exciting time for a brand. However, there are a lot of aspects that need to be taken into consideration while a band has something new to offer to consumers.

LEARN ABOUT: User Experience Research

Here is where consumer research plays a pivotal role. The importance of consumer research cannot be emphasized more. Following points summarizes the importance of consumer research:

  • To understand market readiness: However good a product or service may be, consumers have to be ready to accept it. Creating a product requires investments which in return expect ROI from product or service purchases. However, if a market is mature enough to accept this utility, it has a low chance of succeeding by tapping into market potential . Therefore, before launching a product or service, organizations need to conduct consumer research, to understand if people are ready to spend on the utility it provides.
  • Identify target consumers: By conducting consumer research, brands and organizations can understand their target market based on geographic segmentation and know who exactly is interested in buying their products. According to the data or feedback received from the consumer, research brands can even customize their marketing and branding approach to better appeal to the specific consumer segment.

LEARN ABOUT: Marketing Insight

  • Product/Service updates through feedback: Conducting consumer research, provides valuable feedback from consumers about the attributes and features of products and services. This feedback enables organizations to understand consumer perception and provide a more suitable solution based on actual market needs which helps them tweak their offering to perfection.

Explore more: 300 + FREE survey templates to use for your research

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Market Research: A How-To Guide and Template

Discover the different types of market research, how to conduct your own market research, and use a free template to help you along the way.

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MARKET RESEARCH KIT

5 Research and Planning Templates + a Free Guide on How to Use Them in Your Market Research

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Updated: 02/21/24

Published: 02/21/24

Today's consumers have a lot of power. As a business, you must have a deep understanding of who your buyers are and what influences their purchase decisions.

Enter: Market Research.

→ Download Now: Market Research Templates [Free Kit]

Whether you're new to market research or not, I created this guide to help you conduct a thorough study of your market, target audience, competition, and more. Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

What is market research?

Primary vs. secondary research, types of market research, how to do market research, market research report template, market research examples.

Market research is the process of gathering information about your target market and customers to verify the success of a new product, help your team iterate on an existing product, or understand brand perception to ensure your team is effectively communicating your company's value effectively.

Market research can answer various questions about the state of an industry. But if you ask me, it's hardly a crystal ball that marketers can rely on for insights on their customers.

Market researchers investigate several areas of the market, and it can take weeks or even months to paint an accurate picture of the business landscape.

However, researching just one of those areas can make you more intuitive to who your buyers are and how to deliver value that no other business is offering them right now.

How? Consider these two things:

  • Your competitors also have experienced individuals in the industry and a customer base. It‘s very possible that your immediate resources are, in many ways, equal to those of your competition’s immediate resources. Seeking a larger sample size for answers can provide a better edge.
  • Your customers don't represent the attitudes of an entire market. They represent the attitudes of the part of the market that is already drawn to your brand.

The market research services market is growing rapidly, which signifies a strong interest in market research as we enter 2024. The market is expected to grow from roughly $75 billion in 2021 to $90.79 billion in 2025 .

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Why do market research?

Market research allows you to meet your buyer where they are.

As our world becomes louder and demands more of our attention, this proves invaluable.

By understanding your buyer's problems, pain points, and desired solutions, you can aptly craft your product or service to naturally appeal to them.

Market research also provides insight into the following:

  • Where your target audience and current customers conduct their product or service research
  • Which of your competitors your target audience looks to for information, options, or purchases
  • What's trending in your industry and in the eyes of your buyer
  • Who makes up your market and what their challenges are
  • What influences purchases and conversions among your target audience
  • Consumer attitudes about a particular topic, pain, product, or brand
  • Whether there‘s demand for the business initiatives you’re investing in
  • Unaddressed or underserved customer needs that can be flipped into selling opportunity
  • Attitudes about pricing for a particular product or service

Ultimately, market research allows you to get information from a larger sample size of your target audience, eliminating bias and assumptions so that you can get to the heart of consumer attitudes.

As a result, you can make better business decisions.

To give you an idea of how extensive market research can get , consider that it can either be qualitative or quantitative in nature — depending on the studies you conduct and what you're trying to learn about your industry.

Qualitative research is concerned with public opinion, and explores how the market feels about the products currently available in that market.

Quantitative research is concerned with data, and looks for relevant trends in the information that's gathered from public records.

That said, there are two main types of market research that your business can conduct to collect actionable information on your products: primary research and secondary research.

Primary Research

Primary research is the pursuit of first-hand information about your market and the customers within your market.

It's useful when segmenting your market and establishing your buyer personas.

Primary market research tends to fall into one of two buckets:

  • Exploratory Primary Research: This kind of primary market research normally takes place as a first step — before any specific research has been performed — and may involve open-ended interviews or surveys with small numbers of people.
  • Specific Primary Research: This type of research often follows exploratory research. In specific research, you take a smaller or more precise segment of your audience and ask questions aimed at solving a suspected problem.

Secondary Research

Secondary research is all the data and public records you have at your disposal to draw conclusions from (e.g. trend reports, market statistics, industry content, and sales data you already have on your business).

Secondary research is particularly useful for analyzing your competitors . The main buckets your secondary market research will fall into include:

  • Public Sources: These sources are your first and most-accessible layer of material when conducting secondary market research. They're often free to find and review — like government statistics (e.g., from the U.S. Census Bureau ).
  • Commercial Sources: These sources often come in the form of pay-to-access market reports, consisting of industry insight compiled by a research agency like Pew , Gartner , or Forrester .
  • Internal Sources: This is the market data your organization already has like average revenue per sale, customer retention rates, and other historical data that can help you draw conclusions on buyer needs.
  • Focus Groups
  • Product/ Service Use Research
  • Observation-Based Research
  • Buyer Persona Research
  • Market Segmentation Research
  • Pricing Research
  • Competitive Analysis Research
  • Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Research
  • Brand Awareness Research
  • Campaign Research

1. Interviews

Interviews allow for face-to-face discussions so you can allow for a natural flow of conversation. Your interviewees can answer questions about themselves to help you design your buyer personas and shape your entire marketing strategy.

2. Focus Groups

Focus groups provide you with a handful of carefully-selected people that can test out your product and provide feedback. This type of market research can give you ideas for product differentiation.

3. Product/Service Use Research

Product or service use research offers insight into how and why your audience uses your product or service. This type of market research also gives you an idea of the product or service's usability for your target audience.

4. Observation-Based Research

Observation-based research allows you to sit back and watch the ways in which your target audience members go about using your product or service, what works well in terms of UX , and which aspects of it could be improved.

5. Buyer Persona Research

Buyer persona research gives you a realistic look at who makes up your target audience, what their challenges are, why they want your product or service, and what they need from your business or brand.

6. Market Segmentation Research

Market segmentation research allows you to categorize your target audience into different groups (or segments) based on specific and defining characteristics. This way, you can determine effective ways to meet their needs.

7. Pricing Research

Pricing research helps you define your pricing strategy . It gives you an idea of what similar products or services in your market sell for and what your target audience is willing to pay.

8. Competitive Analysis

Competitive analyses give you a deep understanding of the competition in your market and industry. You can learn about what's doing well in your industry and how you can separate yourself from the competition .

9. Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Research

Customer satisfaction and loyalty research gives you a look into how you can get current customers to return for more business and what will motivate them to do so (e.g., loyalty programs , rewards, remarkable customer service).

10. Brand Awareness Research

Brand awareness research tells you what your target audience knows about and recognizes from your brand. It tells you about the associations people make when they think about your business.

11. Campaign Research

Campaign research entails looking into your past campaigns and analyzing their success among your target audience and current customers. The goal is to use these learnings to inform future campaigns.

  • Define your buyer persona.
  • Identify a persona group to engage.
  • Prepare research questions for your market research participants.
  • List your primary competitors.
  • Summarize your findings.

1. Define your buyer persona.

You have to understand who your customers are and how customers in your industry make buying decisions.

This is where your buyer personas come in handy. Buyer personas — sometimes referred to as marketing personas — are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers.

Use a free tool to create a buyer persona that your entire company can use to market, sell, and serve better.

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Consumer research guide: best process and examples

What is consumer research, when is customer research useful 3 examples, how to conduct consumer research: the best process, the benefits of consumer research, tips and best practices for conducting customer research, final thoughts on customer & consumer research.

Consumer research is all about genuine curiosity. You’re not trying confirm your hopes and assumptions, or find insights that match your product or service. You’re going in with an open mind, ready to learn about how your target customers feel, think, and behave—and then shaping your actions around that.

The goal of consumer research can be finding fresh angles for your next marketing campaign or pinpointing specific features your products need. Essentially, whatever steps your business plans to take next, consumer research helps you make sure your actions are grounded in real, actionable insights about consumer behavior.

There are two main paths to take in consumer research—qualitative and quantitative. Mixing both gives you the clearest picture of what your audience needs and wants. In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of consumer research, covering the when, what, why, and how.

Conducting consumer market research the right way will help you to get to know your present and future customers on a deeper level. It’s a step beyond creating buyer personas—you’ll be engaging with real people to understand their thoughts, needs, and feedback.

This kind of market research will give you valuable insights that can guide your decisions on product development, marketing strategies, and beyond. By focusing on what your target market truly wants and how people behave, you can tailor your offerings to better meet their expectations, give customer satisfaction a big boost and turn customers or users into loyal fans.

Conducting consumer research is worthwhile in countless scenarios. Here are three real-life examples where consumer research plays a great role in the success of different brands:

  • Bloom & Wild wanted to rethink the Valentine’s Day cliché of red roses, so they turned to consumer research. Consumer research studies revealed that a significant majority of people preferred thoughtful gifts to traditional ones, leading Bloom & Wild to launch a “No Red Roses” campaign. The result? A surge in sales, buzz, and brand recognition, proving the power of aligning with consumer sentiments.
  • StudentUniverse is a travel booking platform for students that used consumer research to tap into the minds of young travelers. The findings allowed them to tailor marketing efforts and underscore their authority on student travel needs and preferences, which ended up boosting brand credibility and engagement.
  • The stroller company Bugaboo used consumer research to fine-tune the propositions for three new models. Through direct feedback from parents and expectant parents, Bugaboo could distinctively position each stroller, catering to specific consumer needs and lifestyles, and enhancing their product development process.

Can’t get enough? Here are more consumer insights examples.

consumer research report example

See more consumer research examples

Check out this breakdown of how some awesome brands saw big wins from their consumer research.

If these examples make you want to get started with your own market research, then these tips will help you collect data that can blossom into impactful decisions.

Set customer research goals in line with your business KPIs

The consumer research process isn’t about seeking out data to back up what you already believe (although it can be super helpful for that too!). It’s about exploring your target market with open mind, but it does help to be guided by a purpose.

Reflect on your company’s pressing needs or pinpoint which KPI is screaming for insights. Then, reverse-engineer your consumer research to address these areas directly and find what types of consumer profiling your research needs. This way you end up with insights that are more than just interesting—they directly impact and improve your business.

  • Identify your focus areas: What’s really keeping you up at night? Is it customer loyalty, acquisition costs, or something else? Which area of your business could benefit most from a deeper understanding of your customers?
  • KPI alignment: Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most to your brand. Decide this early on to shape your research with precision.
  • Design backwards: with your goals as your North Star, craft your research. Every question, every method, should be chosen for its direct line to lighting up those KPIs.

Choose a consumer research method

When you have your goals in mind, it’s time to start thinking of the right way to reach them. There are obvious research methods, like interviews and focus groups, but especially when combining quantitative data and qualitative research, surveys can be extremely valuable.

Here’s a list of methods to work into your research plan

  • Surveys are versatile, allowing you to mix quantitative questions for those easy-to-measure insights with open-ended questions that dive deeper. They’re especially great when you’re looking to balance scale with depth, and numbers with nuances.
  • Interviews are your go-to when you need to explain certain consumer behaviors, decisions, or feelings. They are also great for exploring new areas or when you’re looking for detailed feedback on specific aspects of your product or service.
  • Focus groups help you get real reactions to concepts or campaigns and can provide a wealth of qualitative data. The group dynamic can also spark new ideas or discussions that wouldn’t come up in one-on-one sessions or written research interactions.

And don’t forget about secondary methods. These can be incredibly useful to get an unprompted view of what people think about your brand:

  • Review mining: Sometimes, unsolicited feedback is more than welcome. Digging into online reviews offers you an unfiltered view into what people really think about your products or those of your competitors.
  • Social listening: Keeping an ear to the ground on social media can help you catch real-time consumer sentiments, emerging trends, or issues that need addressing.

Select the right consumer segment to research

The quality of your data depends on talking to the right audience, not just how many people you speak to. Surveys come in handy here because they let you connect with a large group of people all at once, while also giving you the flexibility to slice the data by different customer segments.

Here’s what to keep in mind when picking your audience:

  • Relevance to your goals: Make sure the people you’re surveying are the ones who can provide insights relevant to your objectives.
  • Diversity of views: Include a range of demographics or user types to get a full picture.
  • Behavior and usage: Consider how different segments interact with your category or product for more tailored insights.

Conduct consumer research for primary and secondary data

When conducting consumer research, it’s smart to blend both primary and secondary data to get a complete picture. Secondary research gives you an overview of what’s already known. By tapping into existing studies, market reports, and industry insights, you can inform your research direction. This can save you time and resources by identifying gaps your primary research needs to fill, and what is already known.

Primary research, on the other hand, is your first-hand exploration. You’ll be directly engaging with your audience through surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather fresh, specific insights relevant to your brand and objectives. Primary consumer research methods allow you to get fresh insights into consumer opinions, behaviors, and preferences that are directly applicable to your products or services.

Here’s a rundown of effective market research methods for both:

  • Surveys: Quick and efficient, reaching a wide audience to gather fresh insights.
  • Interviews: Deep-dive conversations for nuanced understanding.
  • Focus groups: Group dynamics can reveal new insights through discussion.
  • Industry reports: Broad trends and benchmarks.
  • Competitor analysis: See where you stand in the market.
  • Social listening: Understand public sentiment and topics of conversation.

By starting with secondary research to set the stage, you ensure that your primary research is well-targeted, making your findings both relevant and actionable.

Analyze the data to identify patterns and trends

When you’ve collected both quantitative and qualitative data, the next step is to start connecting the dots. Look for recurring themes or surprising insights that might emerge from the data.

If you’re dealing with a lot of data, a market research platform like Attest can be a lifesaver. It’s designed to help you navigate through both numerical data and in-depth qualitative feedback efficiently. With the right tool, you can highlight the patterns that are most relevant to your business goals.

For those diving deep into qualitative data, sentiment analysis tools are handy for teasing out common attitudes or emotions among your respondents.

Whatever consumer research methods you use, the goal is to compile a report that doesn’t just present data but interprets it in a way that’s actionable and directly tied to your strategic objectives. Looking for patterns and trends is crucial, but so is understanding why those patterns exist and how they can inform your next moves.

consumer research report example

6 simple ways to test consumer preferences

We run through 6 ways to test consumer preferences online and get answers to your burning questions in next to no time.

Communicate findings to your stakeholders

When it’s time to share your consumer research findings with stakeholders, here’s how you make sure your presentation resonates and drives action:

  • Highlight real voices : Instead of relying solely on numbers and averages, bring in quotes or examples from respondents to paint a vivid picture of your target customer. This approach adds a human element to your data, making the insights more relatable and impactful.
  • Verify your findings : Before presenting, take a critical look at your data. Consider different interpretations and prepare to address potential questions from stakeholders. This shows you’ve thoroughly vetted the information and aren’t just presenting surface-level insights.
  • Focus on action : Don’t stop at what the data says; discuss what it means for your business. Suggest concrete steps that could be taken based on the research, outlining potential impacts.
  • Explain your methodology : Give a brief overview of how the research was conducted and the measures you took to ensure data quality. This builds trust in the research process and the findings.

Using visuals like charts, graphs, and even video clips can make complex data more accessible. Also, consider distributing a summary report as a follow-up for those who may want to dive deeper into the data on their own time.

Action your findings

Putting your consumer research into action is what really makes a difference. Create a plan based on your findings, ensuring each department receives insights relevant to their area. Encourage teams to brainstorm and develop innovative solutions inspired by this data. Remember, insights are only as valuable as the actions they inspire.

Understand where more insights are needed

Keep in mind that consumer preferences evolve. Continually plan for follow-up research so your future marketing decisions are based on the latest, most relevant insights. This ongoing approach keeps your strategies fresh and aligned with consumer trends.

1. Drive better results with data-driven decisions

Understanding your customers’ preferences and behaviors allows you to make informed decisions that improve product development, fine-tune marketing strategies, and sharpen your brand’s edge. That way, every decision contributes to your bottom line.

2. Win and maintain market share

Regular consumer research helps you stay in the loop on emerging trends, so you can adapt quickly and keep your competitors in the rearview mirror.

3. Launch more original and impactful marketing

Dive deep into the psyche of your target audience to craft marketing messages that resonate on a personal level. Consumer research uncovers the emotional and psychological triggers that lead to more engaging and memorable campaigns.

4. Develop products that have fans, not just users

Create products that people love having and using. By understanding the nuances of consumer needs and preferences, you can innovate in ways that turn casual customers into loyal advocates.

Our research experts have crafted a bunch of super useful guides and tips on how to run great market research—check out the Consumer Research Academy .

Here are some quick tips to get you started:

  • Start with why: Before diving in, clarify why you’re conducting research. Knowing your goal shapes the entire process and ensures relevancy.
  • Ask with intent: Formulate consumer behavior survey questions that are to the point, clear and serve a purpose.
  • Listen more, lead less: Let your participants do the talking. The more open you are to their feedback, the richer the insights you’ll gather.
  • Segment wisely: Tailor your research to specific segments of your audience for more targeted insights.
  • Keep it conversational: Whether in surveys or interviews, a conversational tone can elicit more genuine responses.
  • Visualize your data: Charts and infographics can make complex data more accessible and engaging for your team.
  • Act on feedback: Insights are only as valuable as the actions they inspire. Implement findings to continuously improve your offerings.
  • Research on repeat: Consumer trends evolve. Regular research keeps you aligned with your audience’s changing needs and preferences.

By understanding your customers deeply, making creative and strategic decisions becomes easier than ever. Explore how market research tools can streamline your efforts and unlock new insights at Attest .

Check out this breakdown of how some awesome brands saw big wins from their consumer insights.

consumer research report example

VP Customer Success 

Sam joined Attest in 2019 and leads the Customer Research Team. Sam and her team support brands through their market research journey, helping them carry out effective research and uncover insights to unlock new areas for growth.

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consumer research report example

Charts that Speak: Market Research Report Examples Explored

A Market Research Report Example serves as a pivotal tool for businesses aiming to understand market dynamics and make informed decisions.

market research report example

A fast-growing fashion retailer, XYZ Inc., desires to enter the US market. They are curious whether the US market will accept their product line. They opt to compile a market research report to find out.

They use surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other data sources to compile the report’s qualitative and quantitative data. The report is then analyzed to get an understanding of the US market.

XYZ Inc. determines after evaluating the data that the US market is ready for its product line. This information enables them to join the US market successfully.

A market research report is a crucial resource for your business. You can tweak your strategies for greater success from the insights it offers.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what a market research report is and why it’s important. We will also use a market research report example to learn how to present it.

Table of Contents:

What is a market research report, how to collect market research data, types of market research reports with examples, top 3 market research report examples.

  • Presenting Market Research Results
  • Importance of Marketing Research Report

A market research report documents the results of a market research project. It contains useful data and analysis about a given market. You can use it in guiding strategic marketing and new product development.

You can also use market research reports for a variety of purposes, such as determining needs and preferences as well as spotting market opportunities.

Typically, Market Research Report Examples encompass details such as:

  • Target audience characteristics.
  • Market size.
  • Market potential.
  • Competition analysis.

A crucial step in creating a market research report is data collection. Surveys, focus groups, interviews, and observational studies are some of the methods you can use.

When collecting market research information, it is advisable to utilize data from a representative sample of the target market. The accuracy of insights into the market is greatly enhanced through the use of this representative sampling, making Market Research Report Examples more valuable.

Here are some common types of market research reports:

1. Topline Market Research Report

Market Research Report Examples streamline the processes of data analysis and research interpretation, providing businesses with a simplified understanding. Topline market research reports provide a comprehensive summary of the research findings. They present the crucial insights and data points from the study.

This report contains market size, demographic details, consumer habits, and competitor analysis.

It simplifies the data analysis and research interpretation processes for businesses.

Business decisions, such as product development and marketing strategy, rely on the insights provided by these reports.

In addition, they help with communication with investors and other stakeholders.

2. Full Market Research Report

A full market research report investigates the current market landscape, trends, and opportunities. Furthermore, it highlights promising future developments and key growth areas.

It also offers information on major participants in the sector.

The report might also include information about government regulations and distribution methods.

Ultimately, a full market research report provides a thorough market analysis. Therefore it is a valuable resource for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge.

3. Product Detail Market Research Report

This is an exhaustive analysis of a product or service’s potential in the market. Features, benefits, target audience, competitors, and pricing are all spelled out here.

This report helps with understanding the market’s state and the possibilities for expansion. In addition, it shows how your business can differentiate itself from rivals.

You can also use it to measure the success of a product and adjust where necessary.

Presenting marketing research data can be a daunting task. Luckily, ChartExpo exists to aid in the creation of appealing and understandable data visualizations.

You can communicate marketing research findings effectively with charts and graphs. They simplify the presentation of complex data.

Here are a few examples of Market Research reports you can use to present your marketing results.

Market Research Report Example # 1: Customer Feedback Report

Customer Feedback Report is one of the best examples of Market Research Report. You can easily create this report using a CSAT Score Bar Chart.

A CSAT Score Bar Chart is a special graph plotting the CSAT scores against the number of records. It works well for presenting market research data. Viewers can digest crucial information like customer satisfaction rates in a snap.

The chart has two axes, one displaying the CSAT score for each metric. The other axis shows the corresponding number of customers or respondents.

CSAT Score Bar Chart enables you to compare customer feedback on various metrics. For instance, you can compare feedback on delivery and feedback on customer service. Finding out where you’re succeeding and where you’re falling short of customers’ expectations is a huge benefit.

Here is a marketing research example visualized in a CSAT Score Bar Chart.

csat score bar in market research report example

Market Research Report Example # 2: Customer Satisfaction Report

Customer Satisfaction Report is one of the best examples of Market Research Report. You can easily create this report using a Customer Satisfaction Chart.

The Customer Satisfaction Chart is one of the most valuable marketing tools. It presents market research data in an understandable format. Therefore, it is helpful when developing an effective marketing strategy.

The Customer Satisfaction Chart is a versatile tool for presenting market research data. For instance, you can see how various products or services compare in client satisfaction. Thus you can find the most sought-after products or services by consumers.

You can also use it to monitor satisfaction levels over time. This can reveal any shifts in how satisfied customers are with your business.

The graphic also allows you to assess how satisfied certain groups of customers are. As a result, it helps identify the most important subsets of customers to focus on in your marketing.

Below is a market research report example presented in a Customer Satisfaction Chart.

customer satisfaction chart in market research report example

Market Research Report Example # 3: Product Analysis Report

Product Analysis Report is one of the best examples of Market Research Report. You can easily create this report using a Likert Scale Chart.

The Likert Scale Chart is an effective tool for presenting market research data. Researchers use it to study how people think and act. It displays how strongly respondents agree or disagree with a statement or question.

Options lie on a scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” The scale aids in eliminating ambiguity in the responses and easing interpretation.

In addition to its simplicity, the Likert Scale Chart is also easy to read. Furthermore, you can alter it to meet the specific requirements of the study. For instance, you can alter the number of points to allow for more nuanced responses. Or else you can change the labels to match the survey’s language.

Enjoy the visualization below of a marketing research report example in a Likert Scale Chart.

likert scale chart in market research report example

Presenting Market Research Report with Example

Using ChartExpo, you can effectively display your marketing research data. You can quickly create stunning charts and graphs. Therefore, you can communicate your data with ease to your audience.

It has a variety of visualizations you can create to make your data outstanding and interesting.

You can modify the charts in ChartExpo to meet your specific needs in several ways. With its intuitive design controls, you can customize your data presentation to convey the right message.

How to Install ChartExpo in Excel?

  • Open your Excel application.
  • Open the worksheet and click on the “ Insert ” menu.
  • You’ll see the “ My Apps ”.
  • In office Add-ins window, click on “ Store ” and search for ChartExpo on my Apps Store.
  • Click on “ Add ” button to install ChartExpo in your Excel.

ChartExpo charts and graphs are available both in Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. Please use the following CTA’s to install the tool of your choice and create beautiful visualizations in a few clicks in your favorite tool.

consumer research report example

Market Research Report Example with Data:

Let’s use the marketing report example below to learn how to create one in Excel.

Suppose you need feedback from your customers to improve your products. You create a questionnaire with a scale of 1 to 5 and conduct a survey.

  • 1 = Strongly Disagree
  • 2 = Disagree
  • 3 = Neutral
  • 5 = Strongly Agree

Let’s say you get the data tabulated below.

Product is reliable 1 162
Product is reliable 2 178
Product is reliable 3 411
Product is reliable 4 887
Product is reliable 5 906
Product is easy to use 1 50
Product is easy to use 2 138
Product is easy to use 3 186
Product is easy to use 4 176
Product is easy to use 5 500
Product delivery was fast 1 330
Product delivery was fast 2 160
Product delivery was fast 3 200
Product delivery was fast 4 238
Product delivery was fast 5 286
  • To get started with ChartExpo, install ChartExpo in Excel .
  • Now Click on My Apps from the INSERT menu.

insert chartexpo in excel

  • Choose ChartExpo from My Apps , then click Insert.

open chartexpo in excel

  • Once ChartExpo is loaded. Click on “ Likert Scale Chart ” from the list of charts.

search likert scale chart in excel

  • Click “ Create Chart From Selection ” button after selecting the data from the sheet, as shown.

create market research report example in excel

  • The Likert Scale Chart will look like as follows.

edit market research report example in excel

  • If you want to have the title of chart, click on Edit Chart , as shown in the above image.
  • To change the title of the chart, click on the pencil icon that is available very next to Chart Header .
  • It will open the properties dialog. Under the Text section, you can add a heading in Line 1 and enable the Show Give the appropriate title of your chart and click on Apply button.
  • For saving changes click on Save Changes . This will persist the changes.

save market research report example in excel

  • The final chart will look as follows.

market research report example in excel

  • 71% of respondents were content with the product’s reliability, while 13% expressed dissatisfaction.
  • 59% said they found the product easy to use, and 22% had difficulty.
  • 66% were satisfied with the speed of delivery, while 16% disagreed.
  • Altogether, 65% of respondents said they were pleased with the product.

consumer research report example

Why Do You Need Market Research Reports?

Market Research Reports play a crucial role in strategic decision-making and business planning. Here are various reasons that underscore their importance:

Gain Insights into the Industry

You can get comprehensive insights into the market, including its trends and challenges. This is essential for a business that wants to maximize its potential. You can use this data to study your rivals’ strategies and find market gaps. Consequently, you learn how your goods and services might better serve your clients’ demands.

A Holistic View of the Market

A marketing research report will give you a comprehensive understanding of the market. This covers its present situation, difficulties, and opportunities.

Understanding your current and potential customers’ motives, actions, and preferences will help you improve your services.

Decision-Making

Marketing research reports inform wise and data-driven marketing decisions. This boosts your chances of succeeding. You can also use it to determine the best marketing strategies to use.

Enhancing Credibility and Reputation

This report will give you the information you need to build a credible brand image. It will allow you to highlight your strengths, distinctive selling propositions, and appealing qualities.

Consequently, you can develop a brand identity that resonates with your target market.

Strategic Planning

You can gain knowledge about the future of your sector via a marketing research report. You can use this information to inform your judgments and stay abreast of the times. It can also aid in your preparation for potential challenges and developments in the market.

What is a market research report?

A market research report presents an in-depth examination of a selected market. It highlights the state of the market, opportunities, trends, or challenges currently available. It also sheds light on customers’ likes and dislikes and how they might change.

What’s included in a market research report?

Typically, it has an in-depth analysis of the target market. It dissects market segmentation, price strategy, and promotional approaches. Also, it includes elements that help you make informed decisions on your offerings and promotional strategies.

How can I use market research reports in decision-making?

It contains detailed assessments of the state of the market and its prospects. Market research reports are a valuable resource due to their wealth of information. You can identify opportunities and make better strategy and management decisions from their insights.

How can Excel help in the analysis of market research data?

Excel is capable of quickly analyzing massive volumes of data. This enables for in-depth analysis of trends and patterns. It offers a variety of functions and visual representations for examining this data.

Can you provide a sample Market Research Report example for a specific industry?

This question seeks to obtain a practical illustration, allowing users to understand how a market research report is structured and presented in a real-world context.

How can a Market Research Report example benefit my business decision-making process?

This question delves into the practical advantages of utilizing market research report examples, emphasizing the impact on informed decision-making and strategic planning within a business context.

Market Research Report Examples offer a comprehensive overview of the entire industry, enabling businesses to make well-informed marketing and strategic decisions. Conducting market research is an essential part of any business. It helps cultivate a stronger reputation and boosts brand loyalty among its customers.

You can get a bird’s-eye view of the entire industry with a market research report. You can use this information to make informed marketing and business choices. As a result, it aids in enhancing credibility.

You can get the advantage you need over the competition with the help of market research reports. You can use the data to fine-tune your campaigns and zero in on expansion opportunities.

But how do you create a marketing research report?

You use Excel and ChartExpo to create appealing visualizations for your market research data. As we have shown with the marketing report example above.

You can create an insightful report and present it to your stakeholders in a few clicks

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What is a Marketing Research Report and How to Write It?

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Peter Caputa

To see what Databox can do for you, including how it helps you track and visualize your performance data in real-time, check out our home page. Click here .

There is nothing more embarrassing for a marketer than to hear a client say “…this doesn’t quite address the business questions that we need to answer.” And unfortunately, this is a rather common occurrence in market research reporting that most marketers would care to admit.

So, why do most market research reports fail to meet client expectations? Well, in most cases, because there is more emphasis on methodology and analytic techniques used to craft the report rather than relying on data visualization, creative story-telling, and outlining actionable direction/steps.

Now, our next big question is, how do you avoid your client’s dreaded deer-in-the-headlights reaction when presenting such a report? This blog post will answer this and much more, as we go through the following:

What Is a Market Research Report?

Why is market research important, differences between primary and secondary market research, types of market research, market research reports advantages and disadvantages, how to do market research, how to prepare a market research report: 5 steps, marketing research report templates, marketing research reports best practices, bring your market research reports a step further with databox.

marketing_overview_hubspot_ga_dashboard_databox

The purpose of creating a market research report is to make calculated decisions about business ideas. Market research is done to evaluate the feasibility of a new product or service, through research conducted with potential consumers. The information obtained from conducting market research is then documented in a formal report that should contain the following details:

  • The characteristics of your ideal customers
  • You customers buying habits
  • The value your product or service can bring to those customers
  • A list of your top competitors

Every business aims to provide the best possible product or service at the lowest cost possible. Simply said, market research is important because it helps you understand your customers and determine whether the product or service that you are about to launch is worth the effort.

Here is an example of a customer complaint that may result in more detailed market research:

Suppose you sell widgets, and you want your widget business to succeed over the long term. Over the years, you have developed many different ways of making widgets. But a couple of years ago, a customer complained that your widgets were made of a cheap kind of foam that fell apart after six months. You didn’t think at the time that this was a major problem, but now you know it.

The customer is someone you really want to keep. So, you decide to research this complaint. You set up a focus group of people who use widgets and ask them what they think about the specific problem. After the conducted survey you’ll get a better picture of customer opinions, so you can either decide to make the changes regarding widget design or just let it go.

PRO TIP: How Well Are Your Marketing KPIs Performing?

Like most marketers and marketing managers, you want to know how well your efforts are translating into results each month. How much traffic and new contact conversions do you get? How many new contacts do you get from organic sessions? How are your email campaigns performing? How well are your landing pages converting? You might have to scramble to put all of this together in a single report, but now you can have it all at your fingertips in a single Databox dashboard.

Our Marketing Overview Dashboard includes data from Google Analytics 4 and HubSpot Marketing with key performance metrics like:

  • Sessions . The number of sessions can tell you how many times people are returning to your website. Obviously, the higher the better.
  • New Contacts from Sessions . How well is your campaign driving new contacts and customers?
  • Marketing Performance KPIs . Tracking the number of MQLs, SQLs, New Contacts and similar will help you identify how your marketing efforts contribute to sales.
  • Email Performance . Measure the success of your email campaigns from HubSpot. Keep an eye on your most important email marketing metrics such as number of sent emails, number of opened emails, open rate, email click-through rate, and more.
  • Blog Posts and Landing Pages . How many people have viewed your blog recently? How well are your landing pages performing?

Now you can benefit from the experience of our Google Analytics and HubSpot Marketing experts, who have put together a plug-and-play Databox template that contains all the essential metrics for monitoring your leads. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in marketing reports, and best of all, it’s free!

marketing_overview_hubspot_ga_dashboard_preview

You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.

To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Get the template 

Step 2: Connect your HubSpot and Google Analytics 4 accounts with Databox. 

Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.

Marketing research requires both primary and secondary market research. But what does that mean and what are the main differences?

Primary market research takes in information directly from customers, usually as participants in surveys. Usually, it is consisted of:

  • Exploratory Primary Research – This type of research helps to identify possible problem areas, and it’s not focused on discovering specific information about customers. As with any research, exploratory primary research should be conducted carefully. Researchers need to craft an interviewing or surveying plan, and gather enough respondents to ensure reasonable levels of statistical reliability.
  • Specific Primary Research – This type of research is one of the best ways to approach a problem because it relies on existing customer data. Specific research provides a deeper, more thorough understanding of the problem and its potential solutions. The greatest advantage of specific research is that it lets you explore a very specific question, and focus on a specific problem or an opportunity.

Secondary market research collects information from other sources such as databases, trend reports, market or government statistics, industry content, etc. We can divide secondary market research into 3 categories:

  • Public market data – Public sources range from academic journals and government reports to tax returns and court documents. These sources aren’t always easy to find. Many are available only in print in libraries and archives. You have to look beyond search engines like Google to find public source documents.
  • Commercial data – Those are typically created by specialized agencies like Pew, Gartner or Forrester. the research agencies are quite expensive, but they provide a lot of useful information.
  • Internal data – Your organization’s databases are gold mines for market research. In the best cases, your salespeople can tell you what they think about customers. Your salespeople are your direct sources of information about the market. Don’t underestimate your internal data.

In general, primary research is more reliable than secondary research, because researchers have to interview people directly. But primary research is expensive and time-consuming. Secondary research can be quicker and less expensive.

There are plenty of ways to conduct marketing research reports. Mostly, the type of research done will depend on your goals. Here are some types of market research often conducted by marketers.

Focus Groups

Product/service use research, observation-based research, buyer persona research, market segmentation research, pricing research, competitive analysis research, customer satisfaction and loyalty research, brand awareness research, campaign research.

An interview is an interactive process of asking and answering questions and observing your respondent’s responses. Interviews are one of the most commonly used tools in market research . An interview allows an organization to observe, in detail, how its consumers interact with its products and services. It also allows an organization to address specific questions.

A focus group is a group of people who get together to discuss a particular topic. A moderator leads the discussion and takes notes. The main benefit of focus groups is that they are quick and easy to conduct. You can gather a group of carefully-selected people, give them a product to try out, and get their feedback within a few hours/days.

Product or service use research helps you obtain useful information about your product or service such as:

  • What your current customers do with the product/service
  • Which features of the product/service are particularly important to your customers
  • What they dislike about the product/service
  • What they would change about the product/service

Observation-based research helps you to observe your target audience interacting with your product or service. You will see the interactions and which aspects work well and which could be improved. The main point is to directly experience the feedback from your target audience’s point of view.

Personas are an essential sales tool. By knowing your buyers’ pain points and the challenges they face, you can create better content, target messaging, and campaigns for them. Buyer persona research is based on market research, and it’s built around data that describes your customers’ demographics, behaviors, motivations, and concerns. Sales reporting software can significantly help you develop buyer personas when you gain insights after you collected all information.

Market segmentation research is carried out to better understand existing and potential market segments. The objective is to determine how to target different market segments and how they differ from each other. The three most important steps in writing a market segmentation research report are:

  • Defining the problem
  • Determining the solution [and]
  • Defining the market

Related : 9 Customer Segmentation Tips to Personalize Ecommerce Marketing and Drive More Sales

A price that is too high, or too low, can kill a business. And without good market research, you don’t really know what is a good price for your product. Pricing research helps you define your pricing strategy.

In a competitive analysis, you define your “competition” as any other entity that competes with you in your market, whether you’re selling a widget or a piece of real estate. With competitive analysis research, you can find out things like:

  • Who your competitors are
  • What they’ve done in the past
  • What’s working well for them
  • Their weaknesses
  • How they’re positioned in the market
  • How they market themselves
  • What they’re doing that you’re not

Related : How to Do an SEO Competitive Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide

In today’s marketplace, companies are increasingly focused on customer loyalty. What your customers want is your product, but, more importantly, they want it delivered with a service that exceeds their expectations. Successful companies listen to their customers and respond accordingly. That’s why customer satisfaction and loyalty research is a critical component of that basic equation.

Related : 11 Tactics for Effectively Measuring Your Customer Service ROI

Who you are, what you stand for, what you offer, what you believe in, and what your audience thinks of you is all wrapped up in brand. Brand awareness research tells what your target audience knows about your brand and what’s their experience like.

A campaign research report is a detailed account of how your marketing campaign performed. It includes all the elements that went into creating the campaign: planning, implementation, and measurement.

Here are some of the top advantages and disadvantages of doing market research and crafting market research reports.

  • Identify business opportunities – A market research report can be used to analyze potential markets and new products. It can give information about customer needs, preferences, and attitudes. Also, it compare products and services.
  • A clear understanding of your customers – A market report gives company’s marketing department an in-depth picture about customers’ needs and wants. This knowledge can be used to improve products, prices, and advertising.
  • Mitigates risks – 30% of small businesses fail within the first two years. Why is this so? The answer is that entrepreneurs are risk takers. However, there are risks that could be avoided. A good marketing research will help you identify those risks and allow you to mitigate them.
  • Clear data-driven insights – Market research encompasses a wide range of activities, from determining market size and segment to forecasting demand, and from identifying competitors to monitoring pricing. All of these are quantified and measurable which means that gives you a clear path for building unique decisions based on numbers.

Disadvantages

  • It’s not cheap – Although market research can be done for as little as $500, large markets like the United States can run into millions of dollars. If a research is done for a specific product, the budget may be even much higher. The budget also depends on the quality of the research. The more expensive it is, the more time the research will take.
  • Some insights could be false – For example, if you are conducting a survey, data may be inadequate or inaccurate because respondents can, well, simply be dishonest and lie.

Here are the essential steps you need to take when doing market research:

Define your buyer persona

Identify a persona group to engage, prepare research questions for your market research participants, list your primary competitors, summarize your findings.

The job of a marketing persona is to describe your ideal customer and to tell you what they want, what motivates them, what frustrates them, and what limits them. Finding out these things means you have a better chance of designing your products, services, marketing messages, and brand around real customers. There is no one right way to create a buyer persona, though.

For example, if you’re in an industry focused on education, you could include things like:

  • Educational level
  • Education background

It’s recommended that you create 3-5 buyer personas for your products, based on your ideal customer.

This should be a representative sample of your target customers so you can better understand their behavior. You want to find people who fit both your target personas and who represent the broader demographic of your market. People who recently made a purchase or purposefully decided not to make one are a good sample to start with.

The questions you use determine the quality of your results. Of course, the quality of your results also depends on the quality of your participants.

Don’t ask questions that imply a yes or no answer. Instead, use open questions. For example, if you are researching customers about yogurt products, you could ask them: „ What have you heard about yogurt ?” or “ What do you think of yogurt ?“.

Avoid questions that use numbers, such as “ How many times a week do you eat yogurt ?”

Avoid questions that suggest a set of mutually exclusive answers, such as “ Do you like yogurt for breakfast, lunch, or dinner ?”

Avoid questions that imply a scale, such as “ Do you like chocolate-flavored yogurt ?”

Market researchers sometimes call one company the top competitor, another middle competitor, and the third one small competitor. However you classify them, you want to identify at least three companies in each category. Now, for each business on your list, list its key characteristics. For example, if your business sells running shoes, a key characteristic might be the product’s quality.

Next, make a list of your small business’s competitive advantages. These include the unique qualities or features of your business that make it the best choice of customers for the products or services it offers. Make a list of these competitive advantages and list them next to the key characteristics you listed for your business.

You have just finished writing your marketing research report. Everything is out there quantified or qualified. You just have to sum it up and focus on the most important details that are going to make a big impact on your decisions. Clear summary leads to a winning strategy!

Related : How to Prepare a Complete Marketing Report: The KPIs, Analysis, & Action Plan You Need

Here’s how to prepare a market research report in 5 simple steps:

Step 1: Cluster the data

Step 2: prepare an outline, step 3: mention the research methods, step 4: include visuals with narrative explanations, step 5: conclude the report with recommendations.

Your first step is to cluster all the available information into a manageable set. Clustering is the process of grouping information together in a way that emphasizes commonalities and minimizes differences. So, in market research, this will help to organize all the information you have about a product, service, or target market and identify your focus areas.

A marketing research report should be written so that other people can understand it:

  • Include background information at the beginning to explain who your audience is and what problem you are trying to solve for them.
  • In the body of the report, include a description of the methodology – Explain to the reader how your research was done, what was involved, and why you selected the methodology you used.
  • Also in the body of the report, include the results of your market research. These may be quantitative or qualitative, but either way they should answer the questions you posed at the beginning.
  • Include the executive summary – A summary of the entire report.

The market research methodology section includes details on the type of research, sample size, any limitations of the studies, research design, sample selection, data collection procedures, and statistical analyses used.

Visuals are an essential part of the presentation. Even the best-written text can be difficult to understand. Charts and graphs are easier to understand than text alone, and they help the reader see how the numbers fit the bigger picture.

But visuals are not the whole story. They are only one part of the presentation. Visuals are a cue for the reader. The narrative gives the story, not just the numbers.

Recommendations tend to follow logically from conclusions and are a response to a certain problem. The recommendation should always be relevant to the research rationale, that is, the recommendation should be based on the results of the research reported in the body of the report.

Now, let’s take a look at some dashboard reporting templates you could use to enhance your market research:

  • Semrush (Position Tracking) Report

Brand Awareness Report

Sales pipeline performance report, customer success overview report, stripe (mrr & churn) report, semrush (position tracking) report template.

This free SEMRush dashboard template will help you monitor how your website’s search visibility on search engines evolves on a monthly basis. This dashboard contains all of the information you need to make changes and improve the ranking results of your business in Google Search.

Semrush (Position Tracking) Report Template

This Brand Awareness Report will help you to get a sense of your brand awareness performance in Google Analytics, Google Organic Search, and Facebook. Use this dashboard to track brand awareness the same way you track other marketing campaigns.

Brand Awareness Report

Are your sales and marketing funnel healthy and growing? How is your sales and marketing funnel performing? What are the key conversion rates between your lifecycle stages? With a pipeline performance dashboard , you’ll get all of the answers quickly.

Sales Pipeline Performance Report

This Customer Success Overview Dashboard allows you to analyze how your customer service team’s responsiveness impacts your business. Use this dashboard to assess the correlation between your customer service performance and churn rate. 

Customer Success Overview Report Template

This Stripe dashboard tracks your churn rate and MRR growth in real-time and shows you which customers (and how many of them) you have at any given point in time. All you have to do to get started is to connect your Stripe account.

Stripe (MRR & Churn) Report Template

As we said earlier, there are no strict rules when it comes to writing marketing research reports. On the other hand, you must find your focus if you want to write a report that will make a difference. Here are some best practices you should keep in mind when writing a research report.

  • Objectives – The objective of a market research report is to define the problems, identify key issues, and suggest recommendations for further research. If you answer them successfully, you’re on the right way.
  • Don’t worry about the format – Be creative. The report could be in a form of a PowerPoint presentation, Excel sheet, interactive dashboard or even a video. Use the format that best fits your audience, but make sure to make it easy to read.
  • Include an executive summary, scorecard , or a dashboard – This is really important because time is money, and most people don’t have time to waste. So, how to put everything important in a short role? Address all of the objectives and put them in a graphic dashboard or scorecard. Also, you can write an executive summary template (heart of the report) that can be easily updated and read by managers or CEOs.
  • Use storytelling –  A good story always makes a great point because it’s so memorable. Your research report results can double the effect with a catchy story.
  • Keep it short – It’s not a secret that we are reading so little in the digital era. Use a lot of white space and bullet points. Too much text on a page means less focus for the reader.
  • Be organized – Maintain the order of information. It’s important for the reader to navigate through the report easily. If they want to find some details or specific information it would be great to divide all sections with appropriate references.
  • Methodological information – Methodological details could be boring. Include only the most important details that the reader needs to know to understand the big picture.
  • Use images (or other visualizations) whenever you can – A good picture speaks for 1.000 words! If you can communicate the point visually, don’t hesitate to do it. It would be a lot easier for those who don’t like a lot of text to understand your results. But don’t push them where you can’t.
  • Create readable graphs – The crown of marketing research reports is a comprehensive graph. Make sure to design precise and attractive graphs that will power up and round your story.
  • Use the Appendix  – You can include all secondary information such as methodological details and other miscellaneous data in the Appendix at the end of the report.

Market research reports are all about presenting your data in an easy-to-understand way and making calculated decisions about business ideas. But this is something easier said than done.

When busy stakeholders and executives grab a report, they need something that will give them an idea of the results – the big picture that addresses company wide-business goals.

Can a PowerPoint presentation or a PDF report meet those expectations? Most likely not. But a dashboard can.

Keep in mind that even with the best market analysis in the world, your market research report won’t be actionable if you don’t present the data efficiently and in a way that everyone understands what the next steps are. Databox is your key ally in the matter.

Databox dashboards are designed to help you present your market research data with clarity – from identifying what is influencing your business, and understanding where your brand is situated in the market, to gauging the temperature of your niche or industry before a new product/service launch.

Present your research results with efficient, interactive dashboards now by signing up for a free trial .

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What Is a Consumer Survey? [+ Types & Sample Questions]

by Emily Taylor

Posted at: 6/10/2024 12:30 PM

Consumer survey concept

Consumer surveys are a great way to tap into the general market of consumers in order to find out more information about your business.

From a simple customer survey to something like concept testing, companies have much they can learn from consumers and their feedback.

Consumer surveys are not just one simple type of survey however.

The truth is, this a broad term that can refer to testing a variety of topics such as:

  • Unaided awareness
  • Aided awareness
  • Purchase history

In this blog post, our market research company will dive into the details of this methodology. We will review the definition, process, sample questions, and a case study for consumer research surveys.

If you are looking to conduct a consumer survey with a market research company, Drive Research is ready to help. Contact our team by emailing [email protected] or fill out the form, here .

What Exactly Is a Consumer Survey?

A consumer research survey refers to a study that gathers feedback and information from the desired audience. 

An essential piece to consumer research surveys is defining the goals and objectives of the study.

Before discussing the survey audience, price, or methodology , a research team needs to know the survey goals and how the results will be used.

In addition to defining the goals and objectives, specifying the desired audience plays a crucial role in consumer research surveys.

Ultimately, the goals and objectives steer the direction of choosing a general or more targeted survey audience.

What Are Consumer Surveys Used For?

Surveying broader audiences 

For some studies, the audience is broad. For example, the target survey audience could be defined as consumers who are 18 or older and live anywhere in the U.S. 

Typically, quotas are set up to ensure the surveyed audience mimics the population demographics gathered from the U.S. Census . 

Some advantages to choosing a broader audience are that it’s typically less expensive and gets you an accurate baseline measure of KPIs (like awareness and perception) from general consumers. 

Surveying specific audiences 

For other studies, the audience is more specific. For example, the target survey audience could be consumers aged 25 to 36, who share or primarily make household decisions, eat plant-based, and exercise 3 times or more per week. 

Again, quotas can be set up to ensure other demographics mixes (like gender and age) are met. 

The benefit of choosing a more specific audience is that the audience is likely more knowledgeable about the survey topic and likely mimics a target customer.

Learn more about the importance of sampling in market research .

Concept Testing For Products and Services

These surveys can be used to do concept testing where companies look for feedback on a new product or service. Getting data on new ideas before launching to market is always a great idea.

Making these key business decisions backed by data is one of the things we preach at Drive Research.

Having a launch fail can be costly both in terms of time and money. A consumer survey can help save businesses a ton while also helping them tweak their launch to create a project with more potential than before.

Brand Research

For more broader audiences, brand research is one of the best ways to utilize consumer surveys. Surveys can be used for all types of brand research including brand health, brand equity, brand tracking , and more.

These are all helpful to find potential issues for a brand, see the level of customer engagement, and even improve upon products.

All of the information can always be helpful in changing a brand’s strategy, marketing, or messaging in order to improve perception.

The Process of Conducting Consumer Surveys

When consumer research surveys for our clients , Drive Research follows these 5 steps!

Step #1: Discover Your Goals

During this step the goals and objectives of the research are defined, the process is outlined, and the project details are fine-tuned. This is the most important step, since your goals will determine how successful the project can be. By using your goals, it’s possible to formulate the best project for business success.

Step #2: Finding Your Audience

Finding your audience is the next crucial step in a consumer survey. Since they can be used for both specific and broad audiences, there is a lot of potential. 

Typically, your audience will align with your survey goals. If your goal is to get feedback on a product, you’ll likely be looking for a more general audience. However, if you’re wanting employee feedback, that’s a lot more of a specific audience.

As long as you have access to the audience, you’ll be able to target them without worry. At Drive Research, we have access to thousands of audiences and know how to target them specifically.

Step #3: Survey design and testing

Here is when the consumer survey is drafted and fine-tuned. Writing questions for your audience is a big deal and should not be rushed. It also can be a great idea to leave this step to market research pros.

You’ll want to write questions that aren’t leading, have no bias, are short and sweet, and keep your respondents engaged.

After that you’ll need to design the survey. Different surveys require different designs. Some use complex logic while others only use simple programming. Once the survey is finalized, it is programmed into survey software and tested.

Step #4: Fieldwork

When the consumer research survey is ready to launch, the team begins fieldwork. This is where our data cleaning process shines. We make sure we maintain high quality data that can be used reliably.

The research team will keep an eye to make sure questions are being understood as intended and the survey audience sampling plan is on track.

Step #5: Analysis and reporting

Once fieldwork is completed, analysis and reporting begin. We always aim to give some of the highest level insights for the project. With expert insights, using the information for business decisions becomes much easier.

Depending on the type of report, a topline summary can be completed within 24 hours while a comprehensive market research report takes roughly 2 weeks to complete.

Learn more about the difference between a topline and a comprehensive market research report.

Example Consumer Survey Questions

As a market research company, Drive Research understands the science behind survey writing.

No really, it is a science ! It is important each question is written with the objective in mind.

Think to yourself, what type of information am I hoping to learn from asking this question? What will you do with the data?

A third-party consumer research company can help execute a survey from beginning to end. This includes writing professional, unique, and unbiased survey questions.

To help get you started, here are a few example questions for a consumer research survey.

Q1: Which of the following best applies to you? Select one.

  • I am the primary decision-maker for [insert industry/topic] in my household.
  • I share decision-making responsibility for [insert industry/topic] in my household.
  • I do not make decisions for [insert industry/topic] in my household. [Disqualify]

Q2: When thinking about [example industry], what brand comes to mind first? Enter your response below.

open text box

Q3: Which of the following [example industry] retailers are you aware of? Select all that apply.

  • Other (Please specify)

Q4 [Show brands aware of]: Which of the following [example industry] retailers would you be willing to purchase from in the future? Select one. 

Q5 [Show brands aware of]: What is your perception of the following [example industry] retailers? Select one for each.

consumer research survey question

Q6: Explain why your perception of Example 1 is [insert selection]? Enter your response below.

Consumer Survey Case Study

Objectives of the Consumer Survey

Drive Research was hired to conduct a consumer omnibus survey . The market research focused on identifying those who made or shared business decision-making and whether fear had played a role in starting something new.

The results of the omnibus survey helped fuel the next steps in operations, marketing, and strategy.

Consumer Survey Questions

The first question asked respondents to identify whether they were a business decision-maker, shared business decision-making responsibility, or not a business decision-maker. 

The second question set asked respondents to rank their level of fear about starting something new (i.e., a new hobby, a new job/career) in the past three months and 2020 overall.

F or this question set, respondents used a scale of 1 to 5, where “1” was not at all fearful, and “5” was very fearful.

Consumer Survey Results

The survey took less than one minute to complete and included two questions. The survey received 1,000 responses.

Quotas were created to ensure respondent demographic information mimicked U.S. Census demographics. 

With a probabilistic sample, a total of 1,000 responses at the 95% confidence level offers a 3.1% margin of error .

If the survey were conducted with another random pool of 1,000 consumers, results would yield within +3.1% or -3.1% of the stated totals in the reports. 

In addition to the PDF and raw data file attached, an online report link was included. The online report link is interactive.

Here’s an example online report!

Example Headlines Created from a Consumer Survey

Oftentimes, the results of a consumer or PR survey are used to create an eye-catching headline.

Here are a few example headlines:

  • In the past three months, [insert survey result] business decision-makers in the U.S. had some level of fear about starting something new (i.e., a new hobby, a new job/career), while [insert survey result] were very fearful.
  • In 2020, [insert survey result] business decision-makers in the U.S. had some level of fear about starting something new (i.e., a new hobby, a new job/career), while [insert survey result] were very fearful.
  • In 2020, [insert survey result] of business decision-makers in the U.S. were very fearful about starting something new. Furthermore, [insert survey result] of business decision-makers in the U.S. were very fearful about starting something new in the past three months

Contact Drive Research to Conduct a Consumer Survey

Drive Research is a consumer market research company. Our experts work with a variety of organizations across the country to deliver insights, action items, and ROI on their survey efforts.

Are you interested in learning more about our market research services ? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

  • Message us on our website
  • Email us at  [email protected]
  • Call us at  888-725-DATA
  • Text us at 315-303-2040

emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As Director of Operations, Emily does more than wrangle data. Her work includes executing company OKRs, company-wide project management, training/onboarding, team culture initiatives, and more!

Learn more about Emily,  here .

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Categories: Online Surveys Consumer Behavior

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Exploring consumer research: strategies for informed marketing

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Director, Growth & Strategy

If you want to understand what makes your target audience tick, consumer research is a must. But how do you go about gathering insights about consumer behaviour, preferences, and values? In this article, we discuss just that, exploring strategies and best practices for effectively collecting and interpreting consumer data in a digital landscape.

What is consumer research?

Consumer research, also known as market research, is the process of aggregating information about consumers and their behaviours. The insights gleaned from this process allow you to better understand consumer preferences, needs, and expectations. As a result, your brand can make data-driven decisions about everything from product development to marketing strategies.

The exact means of conducting consumer research vary from company to company. However, this research is typically conducted through methods like surveys, focus groups, and data analytics. These tools garner various types of information, including:

Demographic data

Demographic data encompasses information such as age, gender, income, education level, marital status, and location. Demographics help your brand identify its target audience and develop products and services that appeal to that respective group of individuals.

Psychographic data

Psychographic data refers to any information about consumers’ attitudes, values, interests, and lifestyle. This helps companies understand the emotional and psychological aspects that affect purchasing decisions.

Attitudinal data

Similarly, market researchers may attempt to collect information about consumers’ perceptions of and attitudes towards specific products, brands, or industries. A cleaning product brand may, for instance, measure consumers’ loyalty to a competing brand.

Behavioural data

Behavioural data refers to consumer actions, such as purchase history, product usage, and shopping habits. The more you know about how consumers have acted in the past, the more accurately you can predict future behaviour.

Purchase intent data

Purchase intent data allows you to understand consumers’ purchase intentions and the factors affecting whether or not they buy a product or service. This information is key to product development as well as marketing.

Product and service feedback

Collecting feedback from consumers about their experiences with products or services—from complaints to overall satisfaction—can drive product improvements. This type of information can also enhance customer service.

Consumer research methods

To yield meaningful insights, your brand must adopt a systematic approach to consumer research. It should begin with a clear definition of research objectives, including what specific questions need to be answered and what outcomes are desired. From there, you should determine the most appropriate research tool.

A consumer research survey  is a structured data collection method that gathers information from a sample of respondents. This information may be related to the respondents’ behaviours, opinions, attitudes, or preferences. Surveys may be conducted online, via telephone, or in-person.

  • Efficiency: A well-designed survey can collect a large volume of data quickly, making this tool a cost-effective choice.
  • Standardisation: Surveys offer consistency in question structure and response options, reducing potential bias and ensuring that all respondents receive the same set of questions.
  • Quantifiable data: Surveys generate quantitative data, allowing market researchers to garner insights through statistical analysis. Even open-ended survey questions can be quantified using text analysis tools.

Collect online survey data more efficiently and effectively with Kantar

When you partner with Kantar to conduct consumer research, you benefit from our agile data collection approach. This includes longitudinal studies with bespoke methodologies, quick-turn tests, and other ad hoc projects. We also provide clients with easy-to-use dashboards for in-house analytics and insights.

Focus groups

A focus group is a qualitative research method  in which a small group of selected participants engage in a structured, facilitated discussion about a specific product, service, brand, or other related topic. The goal of a focus group is to gather deeper, more nuanced insights regarding consumer attitudes and perceptions.

  • Richer data: Focus groups allow for a deeper understanding of participants’ thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This helps market researchers understand the “why” behind consumer behaviours.
  • Real-time clarification: When survey takers are completing an online questionnaire, they may provide misleading information if they don’t quite understand a question. But in a real-life scenario, moderators can provide clarification.
  • Group dynamics: Interaction among participants can generate additional insights that might not emerge in one-on-one interviews or surveys. This group setting also allows market researchers to obtain more information faster compared to interviewing individuals one by one.

Syndicated research

Syndicated research refers to data that is aggregated by market research companies, consulting firms, or other organisations. This data is then sold to multiple clients or subscribers who are interested in understanding the dynamics of a specific industry.

  • Cost-effectiveness: Purchasing syndicated research can be cheaper than generating first-party data. This makes consumer research available to companies with limited marketing resources.
  • Efficiency: Conducting extensive consumer research studies can take time. But with syndicated research, market researchers can access the information they need when they need it.
  • Benchmarking: Brands can use syndicated research to benchmark their performance against industry standards and competitors.

Purchase behaviour

At Kantar, we believe the best way to understand consumer behaviour  is to witness it firsthand. That is why we aggregate high-quality consumer data through tracking the buying behaviour of 750,000 consenting consumers. This allows our clients to understand the values and beliefs of real shoppers.

  • Deeper insights: By analysing consumer purchase behaviour, companies can identify trends, preferences, and patterns and distil meaningful insights that inform everything from marketing campaigns to product development.
  • Competitive advantage: Understanding consumer behaviour can provide a competitive advantage, allowing brands to stay ahead of market trends and pivot in the face of shifting consumer preferences.
  • Market segmentation: Tracking purchase behaviour helps companies segment consumers based on preferences, frequency of purchases, and spending habits. In return, brands can tailor messaging in ways that appeal to each respective market segment.

Ensuring your consumer research data is high quality

In today’s competitive marketplace, consumer research data collected from real people who are who they say they are is essential. Without it, your data may not match reality and you risk making misinformed business decisions. In return, you may waste resources and even risk damaging brand reputation.

At Kantar, we understand the value of data quality . We meticulously follow best practices and set the industry standard for fraud-secured, quality data collection. When you partner with us for your custom research, or use our syndicated research, you can rest easy knowing that our survey respondent panels are:

Fraud-secured

Unfortunately, survey fraud can taint entire datasets. The good news is that Kantar has developed an advanced anti-fraud solution called Qubed . Using cutting-edge machine learning and artificial intelligence, this state-of-the-art software detects fraudulent activities where humans or other standard measures cannot.

Diverse and representative

Through the Kantar Profiles Audience Network , we connect you with more than 170 million global panellists and 2 billion data points around habits, characteristics, and behaviours. This ensures that the resulting data is diverse and representative of your target audience.

Highly-engaged respondents

Survey fatigue can have grave consequences, from incomplete responses to survey dropout. Fortunately, our proprietary survey programming tools are best-in-class. They're designed and tested to deliver the engaged answers from respondents on any device. In addition, our experts in survey design can help you craft questionnaires that evoke thoughtful responses and authentic insights.

Learn more about how Kantar can increase the accuracy and reliability of your consumer research data

Consumer research can be a helpful tool for understanding the preferences, values, and behaviours of your target audience. However, only high-quality consumer research data can help your organisation make well-informed decisions that truly satisfy consumer wants and needs. Learn more about the survey fraud the industry is seeing today and how Kantar can boost the quality of your consumer data quality in the State of Online Research Panels . 

Want more like this?

Read: 11 survey design best practices to increase effectiveness  

Read: How do you create a questionnaire for consumer insights?  

Read: 3 ways to improve the quality of your research data  

Watch: Everything you need to know about collecting high quality data

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14 Market Research Examples

Curiosity.

At the heart of every successful marketing campaign is a curious marketer who learned how to better serve a customer.

In this industry, we scratch that curiosity itch with market research.

To help give you ideas to learn about your customer, in this article we bring you examples from Consumer Reports, Intel, Visa USA, Hallmark, Levi Strauss, John Deere, LeapFrog, Spiceworks Ziff Davis and more.

14 Market Research Examples

This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter .

Example #1: National bank’s A/B testing

You can learn what customers want by conducting experiments on real-life customer decisions using A/B testing. When you ensure your tests do not have any validity threats, the information you garner can offer very reliable insights into customer behavior.

Here’s an example from Flint McGlaughlin, CEO of MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute, and the creator of its  online marketing course .

A national bank was working with MECLABS to discover how to increase the number of sign-ups for new checking accounts.

Customers who were interested in checking accounts could click on an “Open in Minutes” link on the bank’s homepage.

Creative Sample #1: Anonymized bank homepage

Creative Sample #1: Anonymized bank homepage

After clicking on the homepage link, visitors were taken to a four-question checking account selector tool.

Creative Sample #2: Original checking account landing page — account recommendation selector tool

Creative Sample #2: Original checking account landing page — account recommendation selector tool

After filling out the selector tool, visitors were taken to a results page that included a suggested package (“Best Choice”) along with a secondary option (“Second Choice”). The results page had several calls to action (CTAs). Website visitors were able to select an account and begin pre-registration (“Open Now”) or find out more information about the account (“Learn More”), go back and change their answers (“Go back and change answers”), or manually browse other checking options (“Other Checking Options”).

Creative Sample #3: Original checking account landing page — account recommendation selector tool results page

Creative Sample #3: Original checking account landing page — account recommendation selector tool results page

After going through the experience, the MECLABS team hypothesized that the selector tool wasn’t really delivering on the expectation the customer had after clicking on the “Open in Minutes” CTA. They created two treatments (new versions) and tested them against the control experience.

In the first treatment, the checking selector tool was removed, and instead, customers were directly presented with three account options in tabs from which customers could select.

Creative Sample #4: Checking account landing page Treatment #1

Creative Sample #4: Checking account landing page Treatment #1

The second treatment’s landing page focused on a single product and had only one CTA. The call-to-action was similar to the CTA customers clicked on the homepage to get to this page — “Open Now.”

Creative Sample #5: Checking account landing page Treatment #2

Creative Sample #5: Checking account landing page Treatment #2

Both treatments increased account applications compared to the control landing page experience, with Treatment #2 generating 65% more applicants at a 98% level of confidence.

Creative Sample #6: Results of bank experiment that used A/B testing

Creative Sample #6: Results of bank experiment that used A/B testing

You’ll note the Level of Confidence in the results. With any research tactic or tool you use to learn about customers, you have to consider whether the information you’re getting really represents most customers, or if you’re just seeing outliers or random chance.

With a high Level of Confidence like this, it is more likely the results actually represent a true difference between the control and treatment landing pages and that the results aren’t just a random event.

The other factor to consider is — testing in and of itself will not produce results. You have to use testing as research to actually learn about the customer and then make changes to better serve the customer.

In the video How to Discover Exactly What the Customer Wants to See on the Next Click: 3 critical skills every marketer must master , McGlaughlin discussed this national bank experiment and explained how to use prioritization, identification and deduction to discover what your customers want.

This example was originally published in Marketing Research: 5 examples of discovering what customers want .

Example #2: Consumer Reports’ market intelligence research from third-party sources

The first example covers A/B testing. But keep in mind, ill-informed A/B testing isn’t market research, it’s just hoping for insights from random guesses.

In other words, A/B testing in a vacuum does not provide valuable information about customers. What you are testing is crucial, and then A/B testing is a means to help better understand whether insights you have about the customer are either validated or refuted by actual customer behavior. So it’s important to start with some research into potential customers and competitors to inform your A/B tests.

For example, when MECLABS and MarketingExperiments (sister publisher to MarketingSherpa) worked with Consumer Reports on a public, crowdsourced A/B test, we provided a market intelligence report to our audience to help inform their test suggestions.

Every successful marketing test should confirm or deny an assumption about the customer. You need enough knowledge about the customer to create marketing messages you think will be effective.

For this public experiment to help marketers improve their split testing abilities, we had a real customer to work with — donors to Consumer Reports.

To help our audience better understand the customer, the MECLABS Marketing Intelligence team created the 26-page ConsumerReports Market Intelligence Research document (which you can see for yourself at that link).

This example was originally published in Calling All Writers and Marketers: Write the most effective copy for this Consumer Reports email and win a MarketingSherpa Summit package and Consumer Reports Value Proposition Test: What you can learn from a 29% drop in clickthrough .

Example #3: Virtual event company’s conversation

What if you don’t have the budget for A/B testing? Or any of the other tactics in this article?

Well, if you’re like most people you likely have some relationships with other human beings. A significant other, friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, customers, a nemesis (“Newman!”). While conducting market research by talking to these people has several validity threats, it at least helps you get out of your own head and identify some of your blind spots.

WebBabyShower.com’s lead magnet is a PDF download of a baby shower thank you card ‘swipe file’ plus some extras. “Women want to print it out and have it where they are writing cards, not have a laptop open constantly,” said Kurt Perschke, owner, WebBabyShower.com.

That is not a throwaway quote from Perschke. That is a brilliant insight, so I want to make sure we don’t overlook it. By better understanding customer behavior, you can better serve customers and increase results.

However, you are not your customer. So you must bridge the gap between you and them.

Often you hear marketers or business leaders review an ad or discuss a marketing campaign and say, “Well, I would never read that entire ad” or “I would not be interested in that promotion.” To which I say … who cares? Who cares what you would do? If you are not in the ideal customer set, sorry to dent your ego, but you really don’t matter. Only the customer does.

Perschke is one step ahead of many marketers and business leaders because he readily understands this. “Owning a business whose customers are 95% women has been a great education for me,” he said.

So I had to ask him, how did he get this insight into his customers’ behavior? Frankly, it didn’t take complex market research. He was just aware of this disconnect he had with the customer, and he was alert for ways to bridge the gap. “To be honest, I first saw that with my wife. Then we asked a few customers, and they confirmed it’s what they did also. Writing notes by hand is viewed as a ‘non-digital’ activity and reading from a laptop kinda spoils the mood apparently,” he said.

Back to WebBabyShower. “We've seen a [more than] 100% increase in email signups using this method, which was both inexpensive and evergreen,” Perschke said.

This example was originally published in Digital Marketing: Six specific examples of incentives that worked .

Example #4: Spiceworks Ziff Davis’ research-informed content marketing

Marketing research isn’t just to inform products and advertising messages. Market research can also give your brand a leg up in another highly competitive space – content marketing.

Don’t just jump in and create content expecting it to be successful just because it’s “free.” Conducting research beforehand can help you understand what your potential audience already receives and where they might need help but are currently being served.

When Spiceworks Ziff Davis (SWZD) published its annual State of IT report, it invested months in conducting primary market research, analyzing year-over-year trends, and finally producing the actual report.

“Before getting into the nuts and bolts of writing an asset, look at market shifts and gaps that complement your business and marketing objectives. Then, you can begin to plan, research, write, review and finalize an asset,” said Priscilla Meisel, Content Marketing Director, SWZD.

This example was originally published in Marketing Writing: 3 simple tips that can help any marketer improve results (even if you’re not a copywriter) .

Example #5: Business travel company’s guerilla research

There are many established, expensive tactics you can use to better understand customers.

But if you don’t have the budget for those tactics, and don’t know any potential customers, you might want to brainstorm creative ways you can get valuable information from the right customer target set.

Here’s an example from a former client of Mitch McCasland, Founding Partner and Director, Brand Inquiry Partners. The company sold a product related to frequent business flyers and was interested in finding out information on people who travel for a living. They needed consumer feedback right away.

“I suggested that they go out to the airport with a bunch of 20-dollar bills and wait outside a gate for passengers to come off their flight,” McCasland said. When people came off the flight, they were politely asked if they would answer a few questions in exchange for the incentive (the $20). By targeting the first people off the flight they had a high likelihood of reaching the first-class passengers.

This example was originally published in Guerrilla Market Research Expert Mitch McCasland Tells How You Can Conduct Quick (and Cheap) Research .

Example #6: Intel’s market research database

When conducting market research, it is crucial to organize your data in a way that allows you to easily and quickly report on it. This is especially important for qualitative studies where you are trying to do more than just quantify the data, but need to manage it so it is easier to analyze.

Anne McClard, Senior Researcher, Doxus worked with Shauna Pettit-Brown of Intel on a research project to understand the needs of mobile application developers throughout the world.

Intel needed to be able to analyze the data from several different angles, including segment and geography, a daunting task complicated by the number of interviews, interviewers, and world languages.

“The interviews were about an hour long, and pretty substantial,” McClard says. So, she needed to build a database to organize the transcripts in a way that made sense.

Different types of data are useful for different departments within a company; once your database is organized you can sort it by various threads.

The Intel study had three different internal sponsors. "When it came to doing the analysis, we ended up creating multiple versions of the presentation targeted to individual audiences," Pettit-Brown says.

The organized database enabled her to go back into the data set to answer questions specific to the interests of the three different groups.

This example was originally published in 4 Steps to Building a Qualitative Market Research Database That Works Better .

Example #7: National security survey’s priming

When conducting market research surveys, the way you word your questions can affect customers’ response. Even the way you word previous questions can put customers in a certain mindset that will skew their answers.

For example, when people were asked if they thought the U.S. government should spend money on an anti-missile shield, the results appeared fairly conclusive. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed thought the country should and only six percent were unsure, according to Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls .

But when pollsters added the option, "...or are you unsure?" the level of uncertainty leaped from six percent to 33 percent. When they asked whether respondents would be upset if the government took the opposite course of action from their selection, 59 percent either didn’t have an opinion or didn’t mind if the government did something differently.

This is an example of how the way you word questions can change a survey’s results. You want survey answers to reflect customer’s actual sentiments that are as free of your company’s previously held biases as possible.

This example was originally published in Are Surveys Misleading? 7 Questions for Better Market Research .

Example #8: Visa USA’s approach to getting an accurate answer

As mentioned in the previous example, the way you ask customers questions can skew their responses with your own biases.

However, the way you ask questions to potential customers can also illuminate your understanding of them. Which is why companies field surveys to begin with.

“One thing you learn over time is how to structure questions so you have a greater likelihood of getting an accurate answer. For example, when we want to find out if people are paying off their bills, we'll ask them to think about the card they use most often. We then ask what the balance was on their last bill after they paid it,” said Michael Marx, VP Research Services, Visa USA.

This example was originally published in Tips from Visa USA's Market Research Expert Michael Marx .

Example #9: Hallmark’s private members-only community

Online communities are a way to interact with and learn from customers. Hallmark created a private members-only community called Idea Exchange (an idea you could replicate with a Facebook or LinkedIn Group).

The community helped the greeting cards company learn the customer’s language.

“Communities…let consumers describe issues in their own terms,” explained Tom Brailsford, Manager of Advancing Capabilities, Hallmark Cards. “Lots of times companies use jargon internally.”

At Hallmark they used to talk internally about “channels” of distribution. But consumers talk about stores, not channels. It is much clearer to ask consumers about the stores they shop in than what channels they shop.

For example, Brailsford clarified, “We say we want to nurture, inspire, and lift one’s spirits. We use those terms, and the communities have defined those terms for us. So we have learned how those things play out in their lives. It gives us a much richer vocabulary to talk about these things.”

This example was originally published in Third Year Results from Hallmark's Online Market Research Experiment .

Example #10: L'Oréal’s social media listening

If you don’t want the long-term responsibility that comes with creating an online community, you can use social media listening to understand how customers talking about your products and industry in their own language.

In 2019, L'Oréal felt the need to upgrade one of its top makeup products – L'Oréal Paris Alliance Perfect foundation. Both the formula and the product communication were outdated – multiple ingredients had emerged on the market along with competitive products made from those ingredients.

These new ingredients and products were overwhelming consumers. After implementing new formulas, the competitor brands would advertise their ingredients as the best on the market, providing almost magical results.

So the team at L'Oréal decided to research their consumers’ expectations instead of simply crafting a new formula on their own. The idea was to understand not only which active ingredients are credible among the audience, but also which particular words they use while speaking about foundations in general.

The marketing team decided to combine two research methods: social media listening and traditional questionnaires.

“For the most part, we conduct social media listening research when we need to find out what our customers say about our brand/product/topic and which words they use to do it. We do conduct traditional research as well and ask questions directly. These surveys are different because we provide a variety of readymade answers that respondents choose from. Thus, we limit them in terms of statements and their wording,” says Marina Tarandiuk, marketing research specialist, L'Oréal Ukraine.

“The key value of social media listening (SML) for us is the opportunity to collect people’s opinions that are as ‘natural’ as possible. When someone leaves a review online, they are in a comfortable environment, they use their ‘own’ language to express themselves, there is no interviewer standing next to them and potentially causing shame for their answer. The analytics of ‘natural’ and honest opinions of our customers enables us to implement the results in our communication and use the same language as them,” Tarandiuk said.

The team worked with a social media listening tool vendor to identify the most popular, in-demand ingredients discussed online and detect the most commonly used words and phrases to create a “consumer glossary.”

Questionnaires had to confirm all the hypotheses and insights found while monitoring social media. This part was performed in-house with the dedicated team. They created custom questionnaires aiming to narrow down all the data to a maximum of three variants that could become the base for the whole product line.

“One of our recent studies had a goal to find out which words our clients used to describe positive and negative qualities of [the] foundation. Due to a change in [the] product’s formula, we also decided to change its communication. Based on the opinions of our customers, we can consolidate the existing positive ideas that our clients have about the product,” Tarandiuk said.

To find the related mentions, the team monitored not only the products made by L'Oréal but also the overall category. “The search query contained both brand names and general words like foundation, texture, smell, skin, pores, etc. The problem was that this approach ended up collecting thousands of mentions, not all of which were relevant to the topic,” said Elena Teselko, content marketing manager, YouScan (L'Oréal’s social media listening tool).

So the team used artificial intelligence-based tagging that divided mentions according to the category, features, or product type.

This approach helped the team discover that customers valued such foundation features as not clogging pores, a light texture, and not spreading. Meanwhile, the most discussed and appreciated cosmetics component was hyaluronic acid.

These exact phrases, found with the help of social media monitoring, were later used for marketing communication.

Creative Sample #7: Marketing communicating for personal care company with messaging based on discoveries from market research

Creative Sample #7: Marketing communicating for personal care company with messaging based on discoveries from market research

“Doing research and detecting audience’s interests BEFORE starting a campaign is an approach that dramatically lowers any risks and increases chances that the campaign would be appreciated by customers,” Teselko said.

This example was originally published in B2C Branding: 3 quick case studies of enhancing the brand with a better customer experience .

Example #11: Levi’s ethnographic research

In a focus group or survey, you are asking customers to explain something they may not even truly understand. Could be why they bought a product. Or what they think of your competitor.

Ethnographic research is a type of anthropology in which you go into customers’ homes or places of business and observe their actual behavior, behavior they may not understand well enough to explain to you.

While cost prohibitive to many brands, and simply unfeasible for others, it can elicit new insights into your customers.

Michael Perman, Senior Director Cultural Insights, Levi Strauss & Co. uses both quantitative and qualitative research on a broad spectrum, but when it comes to gathering consumer insight, he focuses on in-depth ethnographic research provided by partners who specialize in getting deep into the “nooks and crannies of consumer life in America and around the world.” For example, his team spends time in consumers’ homes and in their closets. They shop with consumers, looking for the reality of a consumer’s life and identifying themes that will enable designers and merchandisers to better understand and anticipate consumer needs.

Perman then puts together multi-sensory presentations that illustrate the findings of research. For example, “we might recreate a teenager’s bedroom and show what a teenage girl might have on her dresser.”

This example was originally published in How to Get Your Company to Pay Attention to Market Research Results: Tips from Levi Strauss .

Example #12: eBags’ ethnographic research

Ethnographic research isn’t confined to a physical goods brand like Levi’s. Digital brands can engage in this form of anthropology as well.

While usability testing in a lab is useful, it does miss some of the real-world environmental factors that play a part in the success of a website. Usability testing alone didn’t create a clear enough picture for Gregory Casey, User Experience Designer and Architect, eBags.

“After we had designed our mobile and tablet experience, I wanted to run some contextual user research, which basically meant seeing how people used it in the wild, seeing how people are using it in their homes. So that’s exactly what I did,” Gregory said.

He found consumers willing to open their home to him and be tested in their normal environment. This meant factors like the television, phone calls and other family members played a part in how they experienced the eBags mobile site.

“During these interview sessions, a lot of times we were interrupted by, say, a child coming over and the mother having to do something for the kid … The experience isn’t sovereign. It’s not something where they just sit down, work through a particular user flow and complete their interaction,” Gregory said.

By watching users work through the site as they would in their everyday life, Gregory got to see what parts of the site they actually use.

This example was originally published in Mobile Marketing: 4 takeaways on how to improve your mobile shopping experience beyond just responsive design .

Example #13: John Deere’s shift from product-centric market research to consumer-centric research

One of the major benefits of market research is to overcome company blind spots. However, if you start with your blind spots – i.e., a product focus – you will blunt the effectiveness of your market research.

In the past, “they’d say, Here’s the product, find out how people feel about it,” explained David van Nostrand, Manager, John Deere's Global Market Research. “A lot of companies do that.” Instead, they should be saying, “Let's start with the customers: what do they want, what do they need?”

The solution? A new in-house program called “Category Experts” brings the product-group employees over as full team members working on specific research projects with van Nostrand’s team.

These staffers handle items that don’t require a research background: scheduling, meetings, logistics, communication and vendor management. The actual task they handle is less important than the fact that they serve as human cross-pollinators, bringing consumer-centric sensibility back to their product- focused groups.

For example, if van Nostrand’s team is doing research about a vehicle, they bring in staffers from the Vehicles product groups. “The information about vehicle consumers needs to be out there in the vehicle marketing groups, not locked in here in the heads of the researchers.”

This example was originally published in How John Deere Increased Mass Consumer Market Share by Revamping its Market Research Tactics .

Example #14: LeapFrog’s market research involvement throughout product development (not just at the beginning and the end)

Market research is sometimes thought of as a practice that can either inform the development of a product, or research consumer attitudes about developed products. But what about the middle?

Once the creative people begin working on product designs, the LeapFrog research department stays involved.

They have a lab onsite where they bring moms and kids from the San Francisco Bay area to test preliminary versions of the products. “We do a lot of hands-on, informal qualitative work with kids,” said Craig Spitzer, VP Marketing Research, LeapFrog. “Can they do what they need to do to work the product? Do they go from step A to B to C, or do they go from A to C to B?”

When designing the LeapPad Learning System, for example, the prototype went through the lab “a dozen times or so,” he says.

A key challenge for the research department is keeping and building the list of thousands of families who have agreed to be on call for testing. “We've done everything from recruiting on the Internet to putting out fliers in local schools, working through employees whose kids are in schools, and milking every connection we have,” Spitzer says.

Kids who test products at the lab are compensated with a free, existing product rather than a promise of the getting the product they're testing when it is released in the future.

This example was originally published in How LeapFrog Uses Marketing Research to Launch New Products .

Related resources

The Marketer’s Blind Spot: 3 ways to overcome the marketer’s greatest obstacle to effective messaging

Get Your Free Test Discovery Tool to Help Log all the Results and Discoveries from Your Company’s Marketing Tests

Marketing Research: 5 examples of discovering what customers want

Online Marketing Tests: How do you know you’re really learning anything?

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  • Guide to consumer research

An Introductory Guide to Consumer Research And How to Conduct One

Consumer research is used across industries in order to gain key insights into consumer behavior and needs. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of consumer research, namely what it is and how to do it. 

What Is Consumer Research? 

Consumer research is research undertaken to gain an idea of customers' preferences, attitudes, motivations, and buying behaviors. This information can enable you to categorize customers into groups or segments, and tailor marketing efforts (or other aspects of the business, such as product development) to those who are most likely to spend their money on your product or service. 

Research can take many different forms - such as surveys, questionnaires, and interviews. All of which enable you to gain answers to questions that your business is struggling to find through other means. 

For example, most businesses have some kind of customer service department. Through consumer research, you can find out what methods of customer service are most preferred by your customers and invest more in these methods resulting in greater customer satisfaction.   

Consumer research enables you to group customers into customer segments. A customer segment is simply a collection of individuals with similar consumer data - possibly in terms of the personal demographics such as age, gender, or location, or it could be that their spending habits, AOV , and preferences are similar. 

These customer segments can be targeted in different ways, enabling you to maximize revenue from each individual.

2 Types of Consumer Research

There are two basic types of research, both of which apply to consumer research. 

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research produces quantifiable data. This means that it can be considered directly in numbers and percentages and, as a result, is usually easier to analyze. 

For example, perhaps you want to evaluate your quality assurance strategies . In order to gain quantitative data for this, you might ask yes/no questions or ask customers to rank statements on a scale from 1 to 10, such as “I frequently come across bugs in X software”. 10 would indicate all the time, and 1 would be never. The responses can then be added together to create a percentage. 

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is often more in-depth, and questions enable responders to explore their answers in full detail. In 2021, 67% of researchers agreed that online or virtual qualitative research is helpful to consumer research. Qualitative research enables a much deeper understanding of the customer experience and opinion but is harder to analyze. 

consumer research report example

For example, returning to our example of experiencing bugs in software, a qualitative researcher may approach this question as follows: 

Q: How often do you experience bugs when using our software? Explain in detail when and where this occurs. 

A: I only experience bugs when using the accounting tool of the application. Whenever I try to export a report of my accounts, the app glitches and deletes my data. 

This answer provides specific examples to the researcher and would make solving the problem much simpler. This is reflected in how business practices and software development intersect, as business needs are shaping new technology, a response that is driven through research. 

However, if you are dealing with hundreds of responses, getting through them all can be challenging. 

3 Benefits of Consumer Research 

1. provides valuable market insight.

Consumer research provides insights that you cannot get from analytics alone, as it gives you insight into the thoughts and feelings of the consumers. These insights are extremely valuable, as if you know how to use customer analytics , you can apply these skills to implementing the data gathered from your consumer research. 

2. Improve Marketing and Business Decisions 

Once you have gained these insights, consumer research can actually be used to inform your marketing and business decisions and can even help the creation of brand marketing reports . For example, your research could suggest that your business lacks organization across its teams. This could lead to your business investing in WFM tools and ultimately revolutionizing its reputation. 

3. Assists in Determining Market Position

Another benefit of consumer research is that it can provide insights into where your business sits within the market. You can find out whether you are preferred to your competition or vice versa, and why. It helps your business define its market position and make adjustments to improve this or solidify its brand identity. 

5 Methods of Consumer Research 

There are many different methods of conducting customer research. In this section, we will go through some of the key options available. 

Interviews are a great way to conduct consumer research. The nature of spoken conversation often enables previously unconsidered ideas to come up naturally and opens up opportunities for discussions that reveal deeper insights. Furthermore, if you have access to software offering a free video call online , these interviews no longer need to be done in person. 

  • Focus Groups

Interviews can be conducted in focus groups where a select group of individuals discuss and offer their opinions on a matter together. These individuals might be from the same customer sectors or may represent different perspectives. How you choose to structure these is up to you. 

  • One-on-one Interviews

Alternatively, you may prefer to approach these with one-on-one interviews. This form of interview can often lead to a more in-depth conversation but, for logical reasons, are less time-efficient and can miss out on the group dynamic spurring new ideas. 

Surveys are a written alternative to interviews and do not require a researcher to be present at the time of research. They can also be sent to a much larger group of respondents (meaning a more detailed set of data) and can be a combination of quantitative and qualitative responses. 

Analytics is nothing new to anyone working in marketing, and it can be an excellent tool for conducting consumer research. Analytics will provide quantitative insights into consumer behavior, such as conversion rates and average sale values, and can contribute to consumer research. 

Review Mining

Review mining can be a great way to gain consumer insights, and it doesn’t involve actively pursuing new research. 

Previous reviews can often provide a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research through written descriptions and “star” system reviews. However, this method limits you to what is already available, and these reviews may not specifically target areas you are keen to research. 

Secondary Research

Secondary research refers to looking at previously created research in your industry. Lots of this can be accessed online, and even if this isn’t the method you primarily choose to use, it can be a great starting point to guide your own research. 

5 Steps to Conduct Consumer Research

1. set smart research goals and objectives.

SMART goals should be set before any business pursuit. Standing for specific, measurable, agreed, realistic, and time-bounded, these goals can help guide your research and avoid going off topic.

2. Determine the Research Methodology and Audience

As previously mentioned, there are several different methods of conducting consumer research. Choosing from the list above (and you are not limited to only one method), you should cover both quantitative and qualitative data for the best insight. 

Develop a Buyer Persona

Develop a buyer persona in order to determine who your audience will be for the research. Buyer personas can be seen somewhat like “characters” in a story. They have certain wants, motivations, and behavior patterns. They make up your customer segments and who the research will target. 

3. Conduct Research and Compile Data Findings

Put the research into action: send out surveys, schedule interviews, review your google analytics. Put all your findings into a spreadsheet, and begin to group responses logically. With qualitative data, it may be useful to identify “themes” in responses and categorize them according to these. 

Once data is compiled, it is recommended to present it in a visually effective report , including charts or graphs depending on the content. 

4. Analyze and Interpret Data Results

consumer research report example

Take your data and consider what the information is telling you. Are you seeing frequent negative responses in one area? Do customers feel like you are overpricing your service? Interpret the data and come to conclusions as to what your business may need to do. 

5. Take Action in Response to the Findings

Put your findings into action! If you are seeing consistent weaknesses in one area, this is a great time to bring the team together and brainstorm ideas to work around this and improve your business. When you implement changes that benefit the customers, you will see results coming back around to you in the form of increased engagement. 

Key Takeaway

Consumer research is a brilliant way to ensure the success of any business. Enabling you to see how your customers view your company and gain key insights into how your business can improve. Provided your research has clear goals and gathers in-depth data, there is no reason your research shouldn’t be a raging success! 

consumer research report example

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad , an AI-powered cloud communication platform that fosters better team collaboration and boosts lead generation strategies . She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn .

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Ideas, Information & Inspiration

Customer Research: Types, Examples & Best Practices

  • What Consumer Research is
  • Importance of Consumer Research
  • Benefits of Conducting Consumer Research
  • Types of Consumer Research
  • Tips for Conducting Consumer Research

Stats going up on a person’s mobile phone

Big businesses spend a lot of time and money on consumer research. You can, too, but as a small business owner, it can be hard to know where to start. Some research firms run gigantic surveys with tens of thousands of participants, but that’s astronomically expensive and not realistic for an entrepreneur just starting out. What’s more, some of the terms used in this field can be confusing and complex. But, as Marcus says, “If you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know your business.” In this article, we’ll help you understand how to conduct consumer research, why it’s important, and give you examples of how it’s done. This will help your company market itself better, become more profitable, and build customer loyalty.

Here’s What Consumer Research Really Means

At its core, Consumer Research means finding out what your customers want and need from your company and its products. It’s also finding out what they believe, and it looks at how they act when they’re purchasing. The end goal is to take this information, look at all of the other data gathered, and then use it to tweak your business to better fit your clients’ needs. Marcus’s saying “People. Process. Product” is exemplified here. Listening to customers and building a process around that information will lead to a better product.

People’s ideas connecting like puzzle pieces

Here’s Why Consumer Research Is Important

Who doesn’t appreciate it when their opinions are valued? Your customers express their values, attitudes, and enthusiasm through their pocketbooks. From a management perspective, acting on customer research information will help find oversights and missteps, leading to customer retention. This is why Marcus stresses that the first step to success for entrepreneurs like you is to know your numbers.

In a big business, even a tiny improvement in sales or marketing can have a considerable impact. That’s why most corporations pay a lot of attention to their consumer research data. For example, Verizon became the first wireless company to let their customers keep their phone numbers after switching carriers in 2003. (Richtel, 2003). Initially, the company opposed that move, citing that it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. They came to this decision after listening to customer complaints, and they gained $3.8 billion in revenue that year. (Verizon, 2004). As Marcus says, “You don’t have to be a genius to run a successful small business, but you better be smart enough to be willing to learn.”

Man pulling people into computer with giant magnet

Here’s How Consumer Research Can Help Your Business

It puts you in tune with your customers.

Consumer research does many things. It can make your advertisements more engaging. It can help you find new customers you may have overlooked. It can even hint toward industry trends before they’re widely known. But the most important thing it does is help you connect with your customers. Customers, for the most part, tell you what they want . All you have to do is ask the right questions.

It helps develop new products and services.

Marcus says, “If you don’t evolve, you will die.” New products and services require innovation, and consumer research data fuels innovation. In 2008, The LEGO Group, maker of children’s toys LEGO, found that only 10% of their user base was female. The company decided to remedy that situation and sent researchers out to do a four-year study of what girls wanted out of their toys. In 2012, LEGO Friends hit the shelves, and the company has grown 15% annually since its launch. (Lafrance, May 25).

Woman holding ups stack of iphones as new models are released

It helps fine-tune your existing products and services.

Your customers can tell you where they would like to see improvements. Sometimes, though, consumers don’t know what they want. That’s why breakthrough innovations and product maintenance are different animals. Cell phone users didn’t ask Apple for the iPhone. The average customer likely didn’t know iPhone technology was possible, but Steve Jobs knew it would revolutionize the industry. Apple does listen to its customers regarding app updates, requests for higher-resolution cameras, and other features. Using the right information at the correct times can lead to product innovations and improvements.

The Different Kinds of Consumer Research

Primary Consumer Research

When you or someone from your company interacts directly with your customers, asking them questions or having them fill out a survey, that’s primary consumer research.

Man standing on top of tall filing cabinets with customer research ata inside

You can hire a firm to do primary research for you so long as it only targets your customers.

  • Primary consumer research is a simple method to gain data. It can be less expensive than other options because you don’t have to hire an outside company to help. You attain focused, specific details about your company and its offerings, but it offers little information about industry trends.
  • Online forms, mailers, phone surveys, and focus groups are all examples of primary consumer research.

Secondary Consumer Research

  • Hiring an outside company to compile and consolidate customer data information for you is called secondary consumer research.

Team putting pieces of a customer research report together

It’s cost-effective because you don’t have to conduct any research yourself. It tends to focus less on your specific customers than industry and market trends on the whole. You can compare your company to others, which will give you a better idea of where you are excelling and where you need help.

  • Secondary consumer research measures customer attitudes and preferences better than primary research partly because it pulls from a larger group of participants. It’s not as good at focusing on your specific products because it tends to ask general questions that result in general ideas about your industry.

Because most outside research companies use data gathered nationwide, it presents a better picture of how your company will fare across the country instead of just in your town or city.

Woman pointing out increase in data due to customer research

  • Examples of secondary consumer research companies include Nielsen, IQVIA, Kantar, Gartner, IPSOS, and Dynata. Some of the specific data these companies compile includes purchasing trends, demographics, and market confidence.

Qualitative Consumer Research

  • The part of the word qualitative you should focus on is qual, as in quality. It focuses on how people feel about your products, and it asks them to focus on their quality.

It can also focus on how they perceive the quality of your customer service. Or the quality of your products’ perception. Qualitative consumer research is used in combination with primary or secondary research, and it delivers a specific kind of information.

Machine removing broken lightbulb from conveyor belt

  • Qualitative consumer research is how you get information that relates to your brand. It uses words such as like, enjoys, love, prefer, dislike, and better. Asking a customer why they prefer product A compared to product B is an example. It’s not about how many people like it; it’s about how your customers feel.
  • Qualitative consumer research is useful for areas that don’t lend themselves to more rigorous research methods. This is particularly useful for sensitive questions that people may not want to answer because it doesn’t put people into a yes-or-no situation.

It asks them to explain their answers. Questions like, “What is it you enjoy about product X,” and “What inspired you to purchase service Y?” are examples of qualitative consumer research.

Man using calculator to analyze customer research to move up

Quantitative Consumer Research

  • The other way you can perform your primary or secondary research is with quantitative consumer research. Focus on the quant portion of the word quantitative, like quantity. This form of research is all about the numbers. It can provide you with statistics based on shopping habits by gender, the exact amount of time e-retail shoppers spend on your website, or how many people are familiar with your store.
  • Quantitative consumer research is useful for business owners who need mathematical answers to specific questions.

If your customers are overwhelmingly male, you can find out the exact percentage of male shoppers. However, you won’t be able to tell why you have so many male customers through quantitative research. You would need qualitative research to answer that.

  • Examples of quantitative consumer research methods include surveys and questionnaires, and polls.

List of the different types of customer research

3 Consumer Research Tips For Entrepreneurs

Add surveys to your website, review cards to your check-out lines, and send e-mail questionnaires.

You can gauge satisfaction and see demographic splits just by asking your customers to tell you about themselves. You may have to incentivize customers to participate, but think of the value you gain by having usable data. Be sure to ask a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions to get the best responses.

Twitter icon

Look for information in unusual places.

Websites like Quora, Twitter, and Reddit have users asking questions. By combing over questions on those sites, you can harvest important information. Plus, everything is indexed and organized for you. If you run a bicycle shop, there are countless threads, groups, and subreddits dedicated to bicycle enthusiasts. Those users are potential customers, and their inspirations, questions, and suggestions are valuable. As a bonus, this form of research only requires your time.

Be sure to make a plan.

Gathering a ton of information is only helpful if you know what you’re looking for.

Before hiring a consultant or launching your own customer research scheme, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What are you hoping to accomplish through this research?
  • Who are you targeting?
  • Will you be able to measure growth if the data you collect leads you to make changes?
  • How is the information you collect going to lead you?
  • Are you willing to change your products if necessary?

List of three consumer research tips

The Right Questions For The Right Customers At The Right Time

Market research is just as crucial for small businesses as huge corporations. You never know when a slight increase in your customer base or launching a new product will boost your company into the stratosphere. Through consumer research, you’ll have a better idea of where to start those processes. If you give enough thought to asking the right questions, then you’ll get the answers you’re looking for. As Marcus says, “At the end of the day, the numbers don’t lie.” Gather the right data, and your business will be all the better for it.

  • Is it time for your business to conduct consumer research?
  • Which consumer research type best fits your business?

Photo of Marcus Lemonis

Doheny, Julia. (n.d.). Using Market Research For Product Development. https://www.b2binternational.com/publications/product-development-research/#_ftn1

Lafrance, Adrienne. (2016, May 25). How to Play Like a Girl. https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/05/legos/484115/

Richtel, Matt. (2003, Jun. 25). TECHNOLOGY; In a Reversal, Verizon Backs Rule to Keep Cell Numbers. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/25/business/technology-in-a-reversal-verizon-backs-rule-to-keep-cell-numbers.html

Verizon Communications. (2004). Verizon Communications 2004 Annual Report. https://www.annualreports.com/HostedData/AnnualReportArchive/v/NYSE_VZ_2004.pdf

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Consumer Behavior Research

Exploring the Depths of Consumer Insights for Strategic Business Growth

In an era where understanding consumer behavior is more than a competitive edge, it’s a survival imperative, NielsenIQ (NIQ) and GfK emerge as pivotal allies. This expertise is essential for businesses in B2C commerce, retail, and beyond, aiming to navigate the complex consumer landscape for informed, strategic decision-making.

Definition and Importance of Consumer Behavior Research

Consumer behavior research is the study of how individuals make decisions to spend their resources on consumption-related items. It involves understanding the what, why, when, and how of consumer purchases. This field is crucial for businesses as it sheds light on consumer preferences, buying patterns, and decision-making processes. By understanding these aspects, companies can tailor their products and marketing strategies effectively, ensuring alignment with consumer needs and market trends, ultimately leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Overview of the Impact of Consumer Behavior Research on Marketing Strategies

The insights from consumer behavior research are instrumental in shaping targeted marketing strategies. By understanding consumer motivations and behaviors, businesses can create more relevant and engaging marketing messages, leading to improved customer engagement and retention. This research helps in segmenting the market, identifying potential customers, and understanding the factors that drive consumer decisions. It also aids in predicting future trends, enabling companies to stay ahead of the curve. Effective use of consumer behavior research can lead to the development of products and services that meet the evolving needs of consumers, thereby enhancing brand loyalty and market share.

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Understanding Consumer Behavior

These diverse influences combine to form unique consumer profiles, which businesses must understand to effectively target their marketing efforts..

Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior is influenced by a complex interplay of psychological, social, cultural, and personal factors. Psychological factors include perceptions, attitudes, and motivation, which guide consumers’ emotional and cognitive responses. Social factors encompass family, friends, and societal norms that shape buying habits through peer influence and social trends. Cultural factors involve the broader societal beliefs, values, and customs that dictate consumer behavior in a particular region. Personal factors such as age, occupation, lifestyle, and economic status also significantly impact consumer choices. These diverse influences combine to form unique consumer profiles, which businesses must understand to effectively target their marketing efforts.

The Role of Consumer Behavior in Decision Making

Consumer behavior plays a critical role in the decision-making process. It involves understanding how consumers decide upon their needs and wants, choose among products and brands, and determine their purchase methods. This knowledge is vital for businesses to design and position their offerings in a way that resonates with the target audience. Understanding consumer behavior helps in predicting how consumers will respond to marketing messages and product features, enabling businesses to tailor their strategies to meet consumer needs effectively. It also assists in identifying opportunities for new product development and market expansion.

Consumer Behavior Theories and Models

Consumer behavior theories and models provide frameworks for understanding and predicting consumer actions. The Stimulus-Response Model, for instance, illustrates how marketing stimuli and environmental factors influence consumer responses. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs explains consumer motivation in terms of fulfilling basic to complex needs. The Theory of Reasoned Action and the Theory of Planned Behavior focus on the relationship between attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. The Consumer Decision Model outlines the cognitive process involving need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior. These models help businesses in developing strategies that align with consumer psychology and behavioral patterns. They also assist in segmenting the market and targeting consumers with personalized marketing approaches, enhancing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and product offerings.

Research Methods in Consumer Behavior Research

Customer analytics is vital for businesses across various sectors, including FMCG, sales, and e-commerce. It enables companies to create personalized experiences, improve customer engagement, and boost retention, ultimately leading to increased revenue. By understanding consumer behavior through data analysis, businesses can make informed decisions that resonate with their target audience.

Quantitative Research Methods

Quantitative research methods in consumer behavior research involve structured techniques like surveys and questionnaires to collect numerical data. These methods are useful for gauging consumer attitudes, preferences, and behaviors across larger populations. Statistical analysis of this data helps in identifying trends, testing hypotheses, and making generalizations about consumer behavior. Quantitative research is valuable for businesses as it provides measurable and comparable insights that can guide strategic decision-making. It helps in understanding the magnitude of consumer responses to various marketing stimuli and in assessing the potential market size for new products or services.

Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative research methods in consumer behavior focus on understanding the deeper motivations, thoughts, and feelings of consumers. Techniques like in-depth interviews, focus groups, and observational studies provide rich, detailed insights that are not typically captured through quantitative methods. This approach is crucial for exploring the underlying reasons behind consumer choices, preferences, and attitudes. Qualitative research helps businesses in gaining a deeper understanding of consumer experiences, emotions, and perceptions, which can be invaluable in developing more effective marketing strategies, product designs, and customer service approaches. It allows companies to explore new ideas and concepts with consumers, gaining insights that can lead to innovation and differentiation in the market.

Experimental Research in Consumer Behavior

Experimental research in consumer behavior involves manipulating one or more variables to observe the effect on another variable, typically consumer behavior or attitudes. This method is used to establish cause-and-effect relationships, providing insights into how changes in product features, pricing, or marketing strategies might influence consumer behavior. Controlled experiments, often conducted in laboratory settings or as field experiments, allow researchers to isolate the effects of specific variables. This type of research is particularly valuable for testing new products, pricing strategies, and marketing messages before full-scale implementation. It helps businesses in making informed decisions based on empirical evidence, reducing the risks associated with new initiatives.

Factors Affecting Consumer Behavior

Psychological factors.

Psychological factors play a significant role in shaping consumer behavior. These include individual motivations, perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs. Motivation drives consumers to fulfill their needs and desires, influencing their buying decisions. Perception, how consumers interpret information, can significantly impact their choices, as it shapes their understanding of products and brands. Attitudes and beliefs, formed through experiences and social influences, guide consumer preferences and loyalty. Understanding these psychological factors is crucial for businesses as they influence how consumers view and interact with products and services. By aligning marketing strategies with consumer psychology, businesses can more effectively influence purchasing decisions and build stronger customer relationships.

Social Factors

Social factors significantly influence consumer behavior, encompassing the impact of society, family, and peer groups. Family members and friends can influence buying decisions through recommendations or shared experiences. Social groups, including social networks and communities, also play a role in shaping consumer preferences and behaviors. The influence of social media has become particularly significant, as it not only connects consumers but also serves as a platform for sharing opinions and experiences about products and services. Understanding these social dynamics is important for businesses as they can leverage social influences through targeted marketing strategies, influencer partnerships, and social media campaigns. Recognizing the power of social factors can help businesses in building brand awareness and loyalty among consumer groups.

Cultural Factors

Cultural factors are deeply ingrained elements that influence consumer behavior, including values, beliefs, customs, and traditions. These factors vary across different regions and societies, affecting how consumers perceive and interact with products and services. Cultural influences can determine consumer preferences, buying habits, and brand perceptions. For instance, color symbolism, dietary preferences, and language can all vary significantly between cultures, impacting marketing strategies and product development. Businesses must understand and respect these cultural nuances to effectively cater to diverse consumer markets. Adapting products and marketing messages to align with cultural values and norms can significantly enhance a brand’s appeal and acceptance in different markets.

Personal Factors

Personal factors, including age, gender, occupation, lifestyle, and economic status, also significantly influence consumer behavior. These factors determine individual needs, preferences, and purchasing power. For example, younger consumers may prioritize trendy and innovative products, while older consumers might value functionality and durability. Lifestyle choices, such as health consciousness or environmental awareness, can also drive consumer preferences and choices. Economic factors, such as income and economic conditions, influence consumers’ ability to purchase and their sensitivity to price changes. Understanding these personal factors is crucial for businesses to segment their market effectively and tailor their products and marketing strategies to meet the specific needs of different consumer groups.

Consumer Purchase Decision Making

Stages of the consumer purchase decision-making process.

The consumer purchase decision-making process typically involves several key stages: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.

In the problem recognition stage, consumers identify a need or desire.

During the information search, they seek out information about products or services that can fulfill their need. In the evaluation stage, consumers compare different options based on attributes such as price, quality, and brand reputation.

The purchase decision involves choosing a product and making the purchase. Finally, in the post-purchase stage, consumers evaluate their satisfaction with the purchase, which can influence future buying decisions and brand loyalty.

Understanding these stages is essential for businesses to effectively influence consumers at each step, from raising awareness to ensuring post-purchase satisfaction.

Influences on Consumer Purchase Decisions

Consumer purchase decisions are influenced by a multitude of factors, including product attributes, brand reputation, marketing messages, social influences, and personal preferences. Product features such as quality, price, and usability are key determinants of consumer choices. Brand reputation, built over time through consistent quality and marketing efforts, also significantly impacts purchase decisions. Marketing messages and advertising play a crucial role in shaping consumer perceptions and driving demand. Social influences, including recommendations from family and friends, as well as online reviews and influencer endorsements, can sway consumer decisions. Personal factors such as individual needs, preferences, and financial constraints also play a critical role. Businesses must consider these diverse influences when developing products and crafting marketing strategies to effectively appeal to their target audience.

Impulse Buying Behavior

Impulse buying behavior refers to unplanned purchases made by consumers, often driven by emotional factors rather than rational decision-making. This type of behavior is typically triggered by external stimuli such as attractive product displays, promotional offers, or persuasive sales tactics. Emotional responses, such as excitement or the desire for instant gratification, also play a significant role in impulse buying. Retailers often leverage this behavior by strategically placing impulse items near checkout areas or using limited-time offers to create a sense of urgency. Understanding the triggers of impulse buying can help businesses in designing marketing strategies and store layouts that encourage such purchases, potentially increasing sales and customer engagement.

Online Shopping and Consumer Behavior

Impact of online shopping on consumer behavior.

The rise of online shopping has significantly impacted consumer behavior, offering convenience, a wider selection of products, and often competitive pricing. Online shopping has changed the way consumers research products, compare prices, and make purchasing decisions. The ease of access to a vast array of products and the ability to shop at any time have increased the frequency and diversity of purchases. Online reviews and ratings have also become important factors in the decision-making process, as consumers increasingly rely on the opinions of others. Additionally, the personalized shopping experiences offered by many online retailers, through targeted recommendations and tailored marketing messages, have further influenced consumer buying habits. Understanding these shifts in consumer behavior is crucial for businesses to adapt their strategies for the digital marketplace, ensuring they meet the evolving needs and expectations of online shoppers.

Factors Influencing Online Buying Behavior

Several factors influence online buying behavior, including website usability, product variety, pricing, customer reviews, and the overall shopping experience. A user-friendly website with easy navigation and a seamless checkout process is crucial for attracting and retaining online shoppers. A diverse product range and competitive pricing are also key factors in attracting consumers. Customer reviews and ratings significantly impact purchase decisions, as they provide social proof and reduce perceived risk. The overall shopping experience, including customer service, delivery options, and return policies, also plays a vital role in influencing online buying behavior. Security and privacy concerns are additional considerations, as consumers are increasingly aware of data protection and online fraud. Businesses must address these factors to create a compelling online shopping experience that meets consumer expectations and drives online sales.

Comparison of Online and Offline Consumer Behavior

Online and offline consumer behaviors exhibit distinct differences, influenced by the unique aspects of each shopping environment. Online shopping offers convenience, a broader selection, and often more competitive pricing, leading to different purchasing patterns compared to offline shopping. Consumers tend to spend more time researching and comparing products online, while offline shopping is often driven by immediate needs and sensory experiences. The tactile experience and instant gratification of offline shopping are not replicable online, but the online environment offers personalized recommendations and a wealth of product information. Offline shopping also provides opportunities for personal interaction and immediate problem resolution, which can enhance customer satisfaction. Understanding these differences is crucial for businesses to tailor their strategies for each channel, ensuring a cohesive and complementary shopping experience that meets the needs and preferences of consumers in both online and offline environments.

Consumer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Importance of customer satisfaction in consumer behavior research.

Customer satisfaction is a critical component of consumer behavior research, as it directly impacts repeat purchases and brand loyalty. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat buyers, recommend the brand to others, and provide positive reviews. Customer satisfaction is influenced by various factors, including product quality, customer service, and overall shopping experience. Understanding and measuring customer satisfaction helps businesses identify areas for improvement, enhance customer experiences, and build long-term relationships with consumers. High levels of customer satisfaction lead to increased customer loyalty, which is essential for business growth and sustainability.

Factors Influencing Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is influenced by a range of factors, including product quality, price, service quality, brand image, and customer expectations. Product quality is a primary determinant of satisfaction, as consumers expect products to perform as advertised. Price also plays a role, as consumers evaluate the value they receive relative to the cost. Service quality, encompassing customer service interactions and the overall shopping experience, significantly impacts satisfaction levels. A positive, helpful, and efficient service experience can enhance satisfaction, while negative experiences can lead to dissatisfaction. Brand image, shaped by marketing communications and past experiences, influences consumer expectations and perceptions. Meeting or exceeding these expectations is key to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction. Additionally, personal factors such as individual needs, preferences, and past experiences also influence satisfaction. Businesses must consider these diverse factors to effectively meet consumer needs and enhance satisfaction levels.

Relationship Between Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

The relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty is strong and direct. Satisfied customers are more likely to develop a sense of loyalty to a brand, leading to repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Loyalty is not just about repeat buying; it also involves an emotional connection and a preference for the brand over competitors. Satisfied customers are also more likely to be forgiving of minor issues and are less sensitive to price changes. Conversely, dissatisfied customers are more likely to switch to competitors and share negative experiences with others. Building customer loyalty requires consistently meeting or exceeding customer expectations, providing high-quality products and services, and maintaining positive customer relationships. Loyal customers are valuable assets to businesses, as they tend to have a higher lifetime value, lower acquisition costs, and can become brand advocates, promoting the brand through their networks.

Consumer Research and Marketing Strategies

Utilizing consumer research to develop effective marketing programs.

Consumer research is a vital tool for developing effective marketing programs. By understanding consumer needs, preferences, and behaviors, businesses can create targeted marketing strategies that resonate with their audience. Consumer research helps in identifying market segments, understanding consumer pain points, and uncovering opportunities for product development or enhancement. It also provides insights into the most effective channels and messages for reaching the target audience. Utilizing consumer research in marketing program development ensures that strategies are data-driven and customer-centric, increasing the likelihood of success. It enables businesses to tailor their marketing efforts to the specific needs and preferences of different consumer segments, improving engagement and response rates. Additionally, ongoing consumer research allows businesses to adapt their marketing strategies in response to changing consumer trends and market conditions, ensuring continued relevance and effectiveness.

Targeting Specific Consumer Segments Based on Research Findings

Targeting specific consumer segments based on research findings is a key strategy for effective marketing. Consumer research provides detailed insights into different consumer groups, including their demographics, psychographics, behaviors, and preferences. By analyzing this data, businesses can identify distinct segments within their target market, each with unique needs and characteristics. Targeting these segments with tailored marketing messages and product offerings increases the relevance and appeal of the brand to each group. For example, a segment characterized by health-conscious consumers would respond more positively to marketing messages emphasizing the health benefits of a product. Segment-specific targeting allows businesses to allocate marketing resources more efficiently, focusing on the most promising segments with the highest potential for conversion and loyalty. It also enhances the customer experience by providing consumers with products and marketing messages that are more closely aligned with their individual needs and preferences.

Adapting Marketing Strategies to Consumer Behavior Trends

Adapting marketing strategies to consumer behavior trends is essential for businesses to stay relevant and competitive. Consumer behavior is constantly evolving, influenced by factors such as technological advancements, cultural shifts, and economic changes. By staying attuned to these trends, businesses can anticipate changes in consumer needs and preferences, and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. This may involve adopting new marketing channels, such as social media or influencer marketing, to reach consumers where they are most active. It could also mean developing new products or services that align with emerging consumer trends, such as sustainability or personalization. Adapting marketing strategies to consumer behavior trends requires a proactive approach, with ongoing research and analysis to identify emerging patterns. Businesses that successfully adapt to these trends can capture new market opportunities, enhance customer engagement, and maintain a competitive edge.

Case Studies in Consumer Behavior Research

Analysis of real-life examples and their implications.

Real-life case studies in consumer behavior research provide valuable insights into the practical application of theoretical concepts and the effectiveness of different marketing strategies. For example, a case study in the automotive industry might analyze how consumer preferences for eco-friendly vehicles have influenced car manufacturers’ product development and marketing strategies. In the retail sector, a case study could examine the impact of online shopping on brick-and-mortar stores and how these businesses have adapted to the digital era. These case studies offer concrete examples of how businesses have successfully navigated changes in consumer behavior, providing lessons and strategies that can be applied in other contexts. They also highlight the importance of consumer research in identifying market trends, understanding consumer needs, and developing effective marketing strategies. By analyzing real-life examples, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of consumer behavior, learn from the successes and challenges of others, and apply these insights to their own strategies.

Examination of Successful Marketing Campaigns Based on Consumer Behavior Research

Examining successful marketing campaigns that are based on consumer behavior research can provide valuable insights into effective marketing practices. These case studies demonstrate how a deep understanding of consumer needs, preferences, and behaviors can be leveraged to create impactful marketing campaigns. For instance, a campaign that effectively uses consumer data to personalize messages and offers can result in higher engagement and conversion rates. Another example might be a campaign that taps into current consumer trends, such as sustainability or wellness, to resonate with the target audience. Analyzing these successful campaigns can reveal key strategies and tactics that businesses can adopt, such as the use of specific channels, messaging techniques, or promotional offers. These case studies also highlight the importance of data-driven decision-making in marketing, showing how consumer research can inform and guide successful marketing initiatives.

Motivating Consumers and New Product Adoption

Strategies to motivate consumers to adopt new products.

Motivating consumers to adopt new products is a critical challenge for businesses. Effective strategies for encouraging new product adoption include leveraging social proof, offering free trials or samples, and creating educational content. Social proof, such as customer testimonials or influencer endorsements, can reduce perceived risk and increase consumer confidence in trying a new product. Free trials or samples allow consumers to experience the product firsthand, reducing barriers to adoption. Educational content, such as how-to guides or product demonstrations, can help consumers understand the value and benefits of the new product. Additionally, businesses can use targeted marketing campaigns to reach early adopters and innovators who are more likely to try new products and spread the word to others. Creating a sense of urgency or exclusivity around the new product, through limited-time offers or exclusive access, can also motivate consumers to adopt the product more quickly.

Innovations in Consumer Behavior Research for New Product Development

Innovations in consumer behavior research are playing a crucial role in new product development. Advanced analytics and data mining techniques allow businesses to analyze large datasets and uncover deep insights into consumer needs and preferences. Social listening tools enable companies to monitor social media and online conversations, gaining real-time insights into consumer opinions and trends. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are being used to test consumer reactions to new products in simulated environments, providing valuable feedback before market launch. Behavioral economics principles, such as understanding cognitive biases and decision-making processes, are also being applied to better predict consumer responses to new products. These innovations in consumer behavior research provide businesses with more accurate and comprehensive data, enabling them to develop products that are closely aligned with consumer needs and preferences, increasing the likelihood of market success.

Social Media and Consumer Behavior

Influence of social media on consumer behavior.

Social media has a profound influence on consumer behavior, shaping how consumers discover, research, and share information about products and services. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter serve as important channels for brand communication and engagement. Consumers use social media to seek recommendations, read reviews, and gather opinions from their networks, which significantly influences their purchasing decisions. Brands leverage social media for targeted advertising, influencer partnerships, and content marketing, creating opportunities for direct interaction and engagement with consumers. Social media also facilitates the spread of trends and viral content, quickly influencing consumer preferences and behaviors. The interactive and dynamic nature of social media means that consumer opinions and trends can rapidly change, requiring businesses to be agile and responsive in their social media strategies. Understanding the influence of social media on consumer behavior is essential for businesses to effectively engage with their audience and influence purchasing decisions.

Role of Social Media in Shaping Consumer Perceptions and Purchase Decisions

Recap of the importance of consumer behavior research.

Consumer behavior research is essential for businesses seeking to understand and effectively respond to the evolving needs and preferences of their target audience. It provides valuable insights into why consumers make certain choices, what influences their purchasing decisions, and how they interact with brands. This research is crucial for developing effective marketing strategies, creating products that meet consumer needs, and enhancing the overall customer experience. By staying informed about consumer behavior trends and applying these insights, businesses can improve customer engagement, increase brand loyalty, and drive growth. In today’s competitive marketplace, a deep understanding of consumer behavior is a key differentiator, enabling businesses to create more personalized, relevant, and impactful marketing initiatives.

Future Directions and Emerging Trends in Consumer Behavior Research

The future of consumer behavior research is marked by rapid advancements in technology and data analytics, leading to more sophisticated and nuanced understanding of consumer preferences and behaviors. Emerging trends include the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to analyze consumer data, providing deeper and more predictive insights. The integration of biometric data, such as eye tracking and facial recognition, offers new ways to understand consumer responses to marketing stimuli. The growing importance of sustainability and ethical considerations is also influencing consumer behavior, leading to increased demand for eco-friendly and socially responsible products. Additionally, the rise of the experience economy is shifting focus from product features to customer experiences, requiring businesses to create more immersive and engaging customer interactions. Staying abreast of these trends and continuously innovating in consumer behavior research will be crucial for businesses to remain relevant and competitive in the changing market landscape.

How NIQ and GfK Can Help

In the complex world of consumer behavior, NIQ and GfK offer the expertise and tools necessary to navigate this landscape effectively. With comprehensive solutions like:

  • NielsenIQ’s Homescan : Track, diagnose, and analyze consumer behavior from more than 250,000 households across 25 countries.
  • Consumer analytics : Go deeper and create more clarity around shopper behavior with custom surveys and segmentation.
  • Consumption moments : Reveal the true motivations behind customer consumption behavior and usage to guide product innovation and marketing strategy .
  • gfknewron marke t : Create the right opportunities with gfknewron market
  • gfknewron predict : Plan your future using the world’s most comprehensive sales tracking data for Tech & Durables.
  • gfknewron Consumer : Understand your consumers’ behavior to redefine your success

By leveraging these tools, businesses can gain a competitive edge, adapting to market changes and consumer trends with agility and precision.

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  • Product management
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A complete guide to customer research — with templates

What makes your product great? What problems does it solve? People will look to you — the product manager — as the expert on these questions. But you know that the answers are not based solely on your own opinions and experience. The most important input often comes from somewhere else: customers.

Understanding customers is integral to developing a lovable product . As a product manager, you will want to explore everything from your users' demographics to their inner motivations and struggles. This process of sussing out their needs and challenges is called customer research.

Conducting customer research is complex and dynamic work, where your curiosity is a tremendous asset. To plan, gather, and analyze feedback, product managers use a wide variety of methods — qualitative, quantitative, and a mix of both. You can take a highly sophisticated approach to this, but many times effective customer research entails talking to customers and using simple tools or templates to analyze their feedback.

In this guide, you will learn the fundamentals of conducting primary research so you can better understand the folks you are trying to help. You can try seven customer research templates to help you experiment with different methods and save time in the research process.

Engage a community and analyze feedback in Aha! Ideas. Start a free trial .

With Aha! Ideas , you can host live empathy sessions with your customers to learn more about their need and preferences.

Why should you do customer research?

Customer research is an essential component of product strategy — alongside competitor analysis , market research, and overall business needs. The insights you glean from meeting and surveying customers help to shape your strategic initiatives , ensuring that your team is poised to deliver what people really want from your product.

A key reason to perform customer research is to gain new perspectives on your product. Your customers may tell you things you never realized — hidden problems, unique ways of completing tasks, and even alternate use cases. What you believe matters most about your product may not even be on your customers' radar.

Let's say your product has a reporting feature with low usage . Your team decides to give the reporting interface a major upgrade. You spend the time and resources to build these updates — only to scratch your head when there is no uptick in usage. What went wrong?

If you breezed past talking to your customers, it is possible that the interface was not the factor keeping them from engaging. Maybe they prefer to use a separate reporting tool — in which case, an integration capability would have been a much more valuable feature to build.

Customer research helps you avoid spending time solving proble ms that do not exist — and highlights the ones that are real and deserving of your attention. This way, you know where to focus your efforts for the best chance of making your customers happy and meeting business goals.

How much customer feedback is the right amount?

The short answer? It depends. Your specific goals, the scope of your research, and the stage of your product's development all play a role. Here are some things to keep in mind when determining the right amount of customer feedback to collect:

Understand your goals Are you looking to validate a new product idea or improve an existing product? Do you need to better understand customer pain points or gather usability insights? These answers will shape your product development goals and dictate the depth and breadth of feedback required.

Define your sample size Consider the size of your target audience and customer base. In some cases, a smaller sample size can provide valuable insights, especially if you are conducting in-depth qualitative research . For quantitative research, a larger sample size might be necessary to ensure statistical relevancy.

Ensure diversity of perspective Aim for variety in your feedback pool. Different demographic groups, usage patterns, and customer segments can provide a more comprehensive understanding of customer needs and preferences.

Include a mix of feedback channels Analyzing feedback from different channels can provide unique perspectives and insights. Experiment with a variety of feedback methods and channels — such as releasing surveys, conducting interviews , and reviewing your social media and customer support interactions.

Consider resource constraints Think about the time, budget, and staff you have available for collecting and analyzing feedback. Balance the scope of your research with what you can realistically manage.

Remember, customer feedback is often collected in iterations. Start with a small group of users for early insights, then expand your feedback pool as you make improvements. Each iteration helps you refine your product and strategy.

And while quantity matters, the quality of feedback is crucial. Sometimes a few detailed, insightful responses can be more valuable than a large number of superficial ones.

Primary vs. secondary customer research

Product managers will use both primary and secondary customer research to gather information. Briefly, the difference is:

Primary customer research refers to gathering your own data and feedback firsthand via interviews, focus groups, surveys, and other methods.

Secondary customer research refers to findings gleaned from external sources like analyst reports and third-party surveys.

Both types can be valuable, but when it comes to your goals as a product manager, primary research is superior. While secondary research will help you understand demographics and broader trends, primary research allows you to drill down into the details of your specific product and target audience.

Your customers' own experiences are invaluable and one of the surest signals to creating a lovable product. For this guide, we will focus on the fundamentals of conducting primary research.

How do product managers gather customer feedback?

How do product managers come up with new ideas for a product?

How to conduct customer research

On a basic level, customer research entails reaching out to current or potential customers and gathering feedback from them via direct conversations or more indirect methods (like online surveys). Advanced tools such as product analytics and idea management software can certainly augment your approach — but are not necessary to get started.

Follow these steps to conduct your own primary customer research:

1. Define your objective Outline your research goals and determine what it is you really want to learn. For example, your objective could be to learn broadly about your customers' business goals or gain a deeper understanding of their experience with a specific feature set.

2. Decide which customers to contact Your objectives will help you decide who to speak with — especially if your product caters to a diverse group of customers. Think about current and potential customers and form a list of people to reach out to.

3. Prepare If you are leading an interview or focus group, meet with your product teammates to prepare your questions. Keep in mind you may need to coordinate with other team members who want to sit in on discussions. If you are conducting a survey, build it — then decide how and when to distribute it.

4. Start your research Conduct your interviews or hit "send" on your survey When talking directly with customers, remember to listen more than you speak. Ask meaningful follow-up questions to encourage deeper thinking and discussion.

5. Analyze, summarize, and share your findings Look for trends in the feedback you received. What did customers agree on? What were the most popular ideas or recurring pain points? Find common threads and share the findings with your team. Together, you can discuss and prioritize the customer ideas that support your overall goals — and promote those ideas to your product roadmap .

6. Repeat Customer research is an ongoing part of product management. You will need to collect feedback from many customers to make informed product decisions. And with every new product launch or major release, you may need to start fresh with a new objective and customer set.

Because it is ongoing, it helps to keep all of your customer research organized. You want to be clear on how your findings will inform the features you develop. For example, the Research tab in Aha! helps you collect whiteboards, interview notes, and ideas right on feature cards.

Editor's note: Although the video below still shows core functionality within Aha! software, some of the interface might be out of date. View our knowledge base for the most updated insights into Aha! software.

Related: 35+ customer questions for product innovation

Get started with customer research templates

Customer research templates offer a simple way to start discovering who your audience really is and what matters to them. Using templates helps you add much-needed structure to your customer research process. Below, you will find an assortment of templates to try — from planning to interviews, surveys, and summarizing your findings.

Aha! software customer interview template

Customer research planning template, customer interview notes template.

Customer survey template

Customer feedback poll template

Customer focus group discussion template, customer research presentation template.

This customer interview template is a great one to start with. It is a guided template with helpful prompts and instructions in each section. This makes it simple to plan your conversations with customers so you can get the most out of each interview. It is available in Aha! software — which gives you a central place to document and organize your findings.

Customer interview large

Start using this template now

This planning template helps you define your objectives, identify which customers to talk to, and prepare for your research session. It includes sections for customer profiles (personas, segments, and companies) to add context to your research group.

Customer research planning template / Image

An interview template will keep your notes organized during conversations with customers. It will also help you guide the flow of the interview and note any takeaways or action items to proceed with after the session ends. Feel free to customize the discussion questions to match your objective.

Customer interview notes template / Image

Customer research survey template

Customer surveys allow you to gather insights from more people in less time — with the added benefit of built-in reporting via online survey tools. This template will help you learn how to design an effective customer research survey and plan the demographic, use case, and customer satisfaction questions that you want to ask. It includes a blend of question types for both fixed and open-ended responses.

Customer Research Survey Template / Image

Polls offer a simple way to incorporate a quantitative component into your qualitative research. For example, you can quickly gauge the group's opinion on an idea by inserting a poll in an online focus group or empathy session . This template will help you jot down ideas for future polls.

Customer feedback poll template / Image

Similar to the customer interview template, this focus group template will help you structure your session. It emphasizes a well-planned agenda over note-taking — encouraging you to be present in the discussion when you are facilitating a focus group. You can always record the focus group session to revisit later and take detailed notes.

Customer focus group discussion template / Imagae

After you have conducted your research, showcase your findings. Sharing results with your team makes customer research even more impactful — customer opinions matter at every level of the business and every stage of the product development process . This template will help you convey your top takeaways in a presentation.

Customer research presentation template / Image

Customer research has long been a core tenet of product management — and will continue to be. Templates like these will help you streamline your research process so you can focus on interacting with your audience and distilling insights from what they share.

When you are ready for a more comprehensive solution beyond simple templates, give idea management software like Aha! Ideas a try. With Aha! Ideas, you can crowdsource feedback via ideas portals, engage your community with empathy sessions, and analyze trends at the individual, organization, and segment levels. This helps you prioritize customer feedback with ease and promote the ideas that support your business goals directly to your product roadmap. (Note that you can use Aha! Ideas as a standalone tool, but many of its features are also available on Aha! Roadmaps . This makes it a great choice for teams seeking an all-encompassing product development solution.)

Discover exactly what your customers want. Start a free Aha! Ideas trial today.

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6 Real Market Research Report Examples To Inspire You

May 14, 2024

ViB Editorial Team

Topics we'll cover

If you’re looking for market research report examples, you’re in the right place. Even in B2B tech, it’s no secret market research is a key component to businesses seeking long-term viability and brand success. From better understanding consumer segments to creating powerful research-backed content, and even developing future-proof product roadmaps, market research is the cornerstone of strategic decision-making.

In fact, 89% of marketers surveyed by Hubspot reported that leveraging the market research they performed had a positive quantitative impact on their business.

But, creating a piece of valuable research for your tech company can feel… a little hard to imagine.

What are the best market research topics for my B2B tech industry? What is the larger story to tell to subtly reinforce my company’s positioning?

What questions should I ask? Who should I ask? What about… how long should a research report be? How do I present my findings?  You probably have a million questions. And I’d love to answer them all by showing you some of the best market research report examples that we’ve gathered along the way.

B2B organizations must have a solid awareness of their industry space and the current market trends to stay relevant in an ever-competitive digital landscape.

Market research report examples to get inspo from

As a leading market research vendor in the B2B tech space, we’ve helped a ton of B2B tech marketers like you with:

  • Full-service third-party market research projects
  • Respondent recruiting, data collection, and data analysis
  • Creation of market research reports in each client’s brand
  • Generating demand using research-backed content

Sounds similar to your goals?

Whether you’re here for some inspo, or want to evaluate our work, let’s dig into some market research report examples we could all learn a thing or two from.👇

1 - Snyk: Infrastructure as code security

Snyk is a developer security platform that enables application and cloud developers to secure their whole application.

They recently conducted the Infrastructure as Code Security Insights report to provide insights on the state of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) deployment and the challenges faced by developers in securing their code, infrastructure configuration, and containers. 

Cover page of Snyk - market research report example

The goal of the report? To help organizations understand the benefits of automated security testing for IaC definitions, the roadblocks to the widespread use of IaC, and how organizations differ in their approaches to using IaC. 

With that, we helped Snyk form a story around IaC and recruited hundreds of IT professionals across industries and company sizes. 

That gave us a clear, comprehensive understanding of the need for organizations to prioritize IaC security and implement best practices to ensure the reliability and security of their infrastructure. 

Some findings that helped position them as a valuable player in their industry include👇

  • 63% of companies are just beginning to explore IaC technology, while only 7% have implemented IaC to the best of current industry capabilities.
  • 71% of companies would prefer to standardize on a common toolset/workflow across all IaC configuration types and formats.
  • A lack of standardized workflow and practices was the leading reason respondents chose to remediate a security issue manually.
  • 61% of respondents pointed to speed-related issues as a reason for remediating a security issue manually.

💡 Tip: Incorporate your branding

What I also love about Snyk’s report is its strong branding, alongside objective results obtained through an independent survey through our team at ViB. 

That’s major because typically, most marketing teams have one or the other. 

  • Strong branding through a survey conducted in-house that’s potentially perceived as biased
  • Or an independent survey conducted by an external research vendor, but without any individual branding because of limitations in ownership and usage.

Inner pages of Snyk - market research report

If you ask me, having the best of both worlds helps Snyk reinforce its brand leadership and credibility at the same time. Win-win!

🚀 See how Snyk designed their branded report here.

Moving on, let’s take a look at some other great market research report examples.

2 - Illumio: Security segmentation report

Illumio is a cybersecurity company that specializes in providing solutions for micro-segmentation and security.

The first platform for breach containment, Illumio recently published a report, The State of Security Segmentation, which dives into the ways organizations can protect against the lateral movement that leads to breaches.

Cover page of Illumio - market research report example

The goal of the report? To get a better understanding of how companies segment today and what difficulties they face.

Likewise, with the help of ViB Research , Illumio surveyed over 300+ IT professionals in their specialized cybersecurity industry. They were then able to highlight the critical role of segmentation in enhancing network security, and the shift away from traditional firewalls in favor of more agile and cost-effective solutions. 

Some of the biggest takeaways for tech professionals from Illumio’s report are:

  • More than half of the respondents do not have and are not planning segmentation in the next six months.
  • Two-thirds of respondents think the firewall is an over-the-hill gold digger when it comes to segmentation.
  • Today’s IT norm is hybrid: on-prem data centers and multiple clouds.
  • Security incidents are inevitable.

💡Tip: Repurpose your report into derivative content

In this market research report example , what Illumio did brilliantly was repurposing.

Illumio repurposed a single market report into a range of thought leadership content and used it across demand generation channels.

“Once the survey was launched, it took about 4-6 weeks when we had the results in our hands, where we were able to just run with it and build Illumio's first State of Security Segmentation report, and enough snackable content to repurpose in social, email, content syndication , and other demand generation channels. I definitely highly recommend this service.” Jaye Liang, Senior Marketing Manager at Illumio

For example, using insights from the report they created with ViB, Illumio developed the whitepaper — Decoupling Security from the Network: The Evolution of Segmentation .

The lesson here: while a single research report feels like a big investment, it can function as a launch pad for repurposing value-added content that’s easily shareable across all segments of your target audience.

Get an exclusive look into the State of Segmentation Report and a copy of Illumio’s topical whitepaper, Decoupling Security from the Network: The Evolution of Segmentation, which builds on their market research report.

🚀 Download their sample report and whitepaper today.

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3 - split: feature management and experimentation.

Split is “a feature delivery platform that pairs speed and reliability of feature flags with data to measure the impact of every feature.” 

This year, Split conducted its Feature Management & Experimentation Impact Report which examined the challenges and areas for improvement in these practices, as well as the adoption and impact of feature releases on business and user experience.

Cover page of Split - market research report example

This report was based on a survey of over 300 software professionals who came from a variety of backgrounds (engineering, development, product management, etc.). 

Some highlights from the survey are below 👇

  • 92% of respondents either agree or completely agree that software feature management is critical to developing and releasing successful digital experiences.
  • 50% feel that easily pinpointing unexpected issues during a feature rollout is an important priority.
  • 60% felt that their top area for improvement involved software feature release quality and reliability.
  • 14% have implemented a feature experiment platform; 39% are investigating, 29% plan to implement.

Organizations that roll out software features on demand often show lower levels of involvement in feature management and experimentation compared to their more deliberate counterparts.

The data does show strong moves toward adopting feature management and experimentation . It’s clear that the industry is moving in this direction, and now is the right time to take action if you want to stay competitive with digital industry leaders.

💡 Tip: Actively promote your research report

Similar to how Illumio created a range of repurposed content, Split is taking an active step toward promoting its market research report. 

Spot this feature of the research report live on Split’s home page for example.

Split home page with market research report

By commissioning ViB to do their research, Split was able to use and promote the content on any channel without any need for further licensing fees or permissions .

Often, research vendors have a pretty strict list of recirculation restrictions, or an additional price tag of a few grand just to reuse and reshare the published materials.

🚀 Check out Split’s report here.

4 - Siemplify: Remote security operations

Siemplify recently acquired by Google, is an intuitive workbench that enables security teams to both manage risk and reduce the cost of addressing threats.

Launched in early 2021, Siemplify conducted a Remote Security Operations study that looked at how COVID-19 and the need to work from home affected the ability of SecOps professionals to do their security work.

Cover page of Siemplify - market research report example

The report delves into key findings on the threat impact, people impact, and the path forward.

It was based on a survey of hundreds of IT professionals in leadership positions. Respondents also worked at organizations with over 1,000 employees on average. 

Let’s take a look at some of their most notable findings👇

  • 51% of respondents said investigating suspicious activities became more difficult due to balancing security and corporate demand.
  • 47% of respondents said collaboration and communication suffered naturally, making everyday tasks more challenging.
  •  Roughly one-third of respondents reported seeing an increase in network intrusions, malware, ransomware, and vulnerabilities.

Incidents of phishing have increased for 57% of respondents, topping the list.

💡 Tip: Be the first to capture an emerging trend

With Siemplify, the key takeaway was their smart choice of topic.

This report was conducted immediately after the lockdown and released shortly after. 

Inner pages of Siemplify - market research report

Within a year of the onset of the pandemic, they leveraged an ongoing and developing issue, tailored it to their industry. They were able to launch original data about a hot topic , standing out against the content their competitors were pushing.

And then by working with ViB, they were able to push for a specific story (some vendors will only commission research for a predetermined list of topics that they’ve set). 

Within weeks , we collaboratively produced a completed report, allowing the company to quickly respond to an emerging trend.

👉 See how Siemplify angled their report here

Now, let’s move on to the rest of our B2B market research report examples .

5 - Softchoice: Cloud Enabled AI

Softchoice is a software-focused IT solutions provider that equips organizations to be efficient, agile, and innovative. 

consumer research report example

The Cloud Enabled AI report explores the potential of AI and ML (machine learning) in the cloud, revealing opportunities and barriers to their implementation. 

Some of the most impactful takeaways are 👇

  • Despite understanding that analytics, AI, and ML will have a transformative impact on industries in the coming five years, many organizations are falling behind in integrating them.
  • 46% of respondents believe that a multi-cloud approach is very important, with 14% considering it extremely important.
  • The most common barriers to leveraging the full benefits of analytics, AI, and ML are a lack of in-house expertise (38%) and difficulty implementing AI and ML solutions (22%).

💡 Tip: How to recruit targeted respondent from niche industries

This report was based on a survey of over 200 IT professionals across 18 different industries.

What was great about Softchoice’s report example is their specificity in targeting.

Together with ViB’s help in respondent recruiting, Softchoice was able to connect with IT professionals in:

  • Business intelligence
  • Data analytics
  • Product development
  • Cloud architecture and operations

Inner page of Softchoice - market research report

Their ability to reach these specific profiles? The ViB Community , a network of millions of precisely segmented IT professionals. 

By reaching out to our expansive community, ViB is able to find hundreds of targeted respondents to be the backbone of each client’s research, even if it’s a niche topic.

🚀 See how Softchoice explores the the impact AI and ML on the cloud . Let’s now proceed to the last of our market research report examples. 

6 - Palo Alto Networks: SOAR

Palo Alto Networks is a multi-national cybersecurity company aimed at offering next-gen firewall solutions.

Their SOAR (security orchestration, automation, and response) report examined incident response and the use of SOAR technology.

Cover page of Palo Alto - market research report example

This report focused on the challenges, tools used, and desired capabilities of security professionals whose incident response functions were mostly in-house. 

Some of their most notable findings👇

  • SOAR tools are becoming increasingly popular across the incident response lifecycle, with a healthy and growing percentage of common tools used for every lifecycle stage.
  • Respondents desired a common platform for cross-team investigation and automated remote execution of actions across security tools.
  • Over 80% of respondents either performed incident response in-house or augmented an in-house team with consultants. 
  • Respondents identified an ‘evidence board’ and ‘attack reconstruction’ as abilities they needed but currently lacked. 

Conducted by ViB, the survey methodology incorporated extensive quality control systems at three levels: targeting, in-survey behavior, and post-survey analysis. Over 500 respondents participated across security job functions and industries.

What’s even better, was Palo Alto’s ability to leverage their report to generate demand and improve sales pipeline .

💡 Tip: Use your research for lead generation

The client first built a full library of over 10 content assets, all stemming from the market research report, through a range of lead generation campaigns and industry events, the team was then able to attract new prospects and boost conversions

For example, Palo Alto presented their findings in C-level events, along with multiple media interviews.

The best part was their results . 

Content campaigns built on the ViB research and the resulting materials generated a whopping $3M in pipeline and led to $2M closed/won revenue for the company — all attributed to this report and the corresponding assets created.

🔎 See more about the report here , or read their story here .

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What can we take away from these market research report examples.

Now, each of these reports used real-time consumer feedback, giving the company a slew of notable takeaways and data that could easily be repurposed across channels. 

The differentiating factor? 

Each worked with a B2B market research company that had the tools, resources, and expertise to effectively and comprehensively perform the research needed to get the information desired.

I’m talking about ViB Research , the custom B2B market research service powering these 6 incredible market research report examples we just saw.

See how Robert and others easily build libraries of differentiated content from a single research report .

Discover everything you need to know about ViB Research, including how it works and its success stories through our comprehensive video walkthrough.

There’s no denying the sheer magnitude of information available in each of these reports– and this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

With the use of consumer data and resources to repurpose value-add content , your business and bottom line will make worries about strategic decision-making and business growth a thing of the past.

Getting started with ViB Research

Whether you’re looking to generate competitive intelligence reports, thought leadership strategy, or consumer behavior reports, ViB has the resources, expertise, and proven track record to accelerate your pipeline and drive business growth.

Want more info about how our research process works? Download our ViB Research datasheet , or chat with a team member today!

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Consumer Research: Definition, Methods and Benefits (+ Templates)

Nemanja Jovancic

Sep 02 2020

No comments

Launching a new product? Considering whether you should offer new services or tweak the current ones? Such moments can be challenging both for established brands and those just trying to break into the market.

Whenever you have something new to offer to your customers, there are numerous factors to be taken into account if you want to make well-informed decisions that would increase the chances of a successful launch, instead of stumbling in the dark and hoping for the best.

This is where consumer research kicks in.

What is consumer research?

Consumer research is the aspect of market research that focuses on identifying the motivation, preferences, and purchase behavior of (potential) consumers.

Companies rely on consumer research to analyze and better understand consumer psychology so as to improve their products or services, making them more customer-oriented, and ultimately increasing customer satisfaction and the number of sales.

Having a deep understanding of consumer decision-making and purchase behavior allows brands to build products that will find their market fit more easily, put the optimal price tag onto them, and establish the right distribution and promotion channels.

Let’s say a beauty industry company wants to launch a new skincare product. In order to de-risk their production and product placement, they could launch a skincare quiz to find out what it is that their consumers actually need:

Skin Score quiz

And then they could do additional market research to find out more about their ideal customer’s demographics and purchase habits. Conducting this kind of consumer research is expected to facilitate a successful launch for the new product and ensure that there’s actual demand for such a product on the market.

Before we dig any deeper into consumer research, here’s a survey template you could easily use to do your own market research.

Consumer research survey template

Just here for an easy way to conduct your own consumer research? No worries, we’ve got you covered – grab this market research template and learn more about your consumers right now.

If you would like to learn more about how and why you should conduct the research using the template above, keep on reading.

Why you should conduct consumer research

Often, people do research just because they’ve been told to do so. But if you’re looking to better understand your consumers and their needs, you need to know why you should be conducting consumer research in the first place. Even though there are plenty of benefits, here are the top three I’d like to point out:

Understand market readiness

No matter how good you think your products or services are, there’s a fair chance you’re not completely objective nor representative of your ideal target consumer.

When launching a new product, there’s a lot of investments going around and, naturally, you’d expect adequate ROI. However, if there’s not enough market potential, your investment might fail. This is where consumer research kicks in.

Identify target consumers

Another important benefit of conducting consumer research is the ability to identify and analyze your target customers. In other words, this allows you to determine who might be interested in buying your products or using your services.

Consumer research

For example, you can use a demographic survey  to obtain various information on your customers such as age, gender, geographic location, employment, marital status, and more. Or you can rely on different types of market segmentation  to reach your ideal customer. This would allow you to customize your marketing efforts to better appeal to particular customer sets.

Get feedback on existing products or services

Finally, consumer research can help you obtain valuable feedback on your current business offer. Such feedback can help you update or improve your current products based on the valuable information from the actual consumers.

Getting feedback is important because it helps brands and businesses better understand the consumers’ standing point and come up with an improved product that would help address the challenges they’ve been having and fully meet the actual market needs and requirements.

Main consumer research methods

There are two main types of consumer research – quantitative and qualitative . Both types rely on different research techniques that we’ll explore in more detail down below.

Quantitative consumer research

By 2025, the global data pool is expected to rise up to 175 zettabytes . That’s why meaningful data has become more valuable than ever and the way companies collect data  can either make or break their business success.

Quantitative research is a data collection method that revolves around numbers and stats. It’s an essential part of consumer research that can provide businesses with measurable data on their customers. Such data can be mathematically and statistically analyzed in order to gain more insight into consumer behavior.

The most effective and most popular techniques for obtaining quantitative data are different types of online questionnaires such as surveys and polls.

Surveys and polls

Nowadays, the easiest way to obtain consumer data is through online surveys, questionnaires, and polls. Thanks to highly-advanced and intuitive survey tools , it’s now easier than ever to create your own data collectors, either from scratch or using professionally written templates.

All the LeadQuizzes users, for example, gain free access to 78 professionally written and beautifully designed survey, quiz, and form templates. This includes market and consumer research survey templates such as the ones shown in the image below:

survey templates LQ

To access the LeadQuizzes templates, just log in to your account (or sign up for a free trial  if you don’t have an account yet) and select your preferred template from the selection of pre-made templates . You can use the templates as they are or easily customize them to meet your specific needs.

One of the easiest ways to obtain quantitative customer data is by using an NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey . This customer research technique allows you to easily evaluate the satisfaction of your current users and express it through numbers for easy analysis. With just one single question – “How likely are you to refer our business?” – you can easily measure consumer satisfaction and loyalty.

To preview (or use) an NPS survey template, just click on the image below:

NPS consumer research survey

Qualitative consumer research

Unlike quantitative research, which relies on numbers, qualitative consumer research is descriptive in nature. To obtain qualitative data, you need to be using open-ended questions with no predefined answer options. While this means that you can still be using online surveys to obtain qualitative data as well, there are a few more options to choose from.

Focus Groups

A focus group is a small group of people who are experts on a particular subject matter and whose job is to analyze a particular aspect of consumer research – e.g. a new update, feature, product, and so on.

Ideally, focus groups contain somewhere between 3-10 people, including an obligatory moderator. Depending on the research topic and goal, the members of a focus group should be brought together around certain common denominators.

For example, if you’re doing research on the use of birth control pills, all the members of your focus group need to be sexually active females. The remaining parameters like age, education, employment, and so on, may or may not be relevant here.

1-to-1 interviews

In most cases, this is a conversational method that presupposes an interviewer and an interviewee. During this type of consumer research, the researcher (the interviewer) asks questions (that are equivalent to the open-ended survey questions) related to products and services.

There are two main limitations to this method. Firstly, it’s very time consuming and might become overwhelming if you have to interview an excessively large number of consumers. And secondly, it very much relies on the researcher’s expertise and ability to extract the relevant information from interviewees.

Social media monitoring

This type of consumer research could also be described as content or text analysis but, in recent years, it primarily refers to the analysis of consumer behavior on social media. Here, the researchers analyze consumers’ social life by decoding their social media posts and interactions to draw inferences related to their consumer behavior and habits.

After the research

Above, we’ve introduced you to consumer research – what it is, why you need to conduct it, and what are some of the best ways to do so. Once you’ve managed to conduct your research, gather the necessary data, analyze it, and come to certain conclusions, you should have a better insight into the exact needs and pain points of your customers.

This will allow you to adapt your business, update, tweak or completely revamp your products and services, and develop a better marketing plan that would allow you to attract more consumers, determine the optimal price, increase the number of sales, and reduce costs.

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  • Library of Congress
  • Research Guides

Doing Consumer Research: A Resource Guide

Introduction.

  • Generations
  • Books and Journals
  • Government Data Sources
  • Subscription Sources
  • Internet Sources
  • Primary Market Research
  • Using the Library of Congress

Business Reference : Ask a Librarian

Have a question? Need assistance? Use our online form to ask a librarian for help.

Author: Natalie Burclaff, Business Reference Specialist, Science, Technology & Business Division

Note: Based on an earlier guide titled Market Segmentation January 2005 by Ellen Terrell, Business Reference Specialist, Science, Technology & Business Division

Created: February 1, 2020

Last Updated: February 23, 2024

Owl above door to center reading room on fifth floor. Library of Congress John Adams Building, Washington, D.C.

Get connected to the Library’s large and diverse collections related to science, technology, and business through our Inside Adams Blog. This blog also features upcoming events and collection displays, classes and orientations, new research guides, and more.

consumer research report example

Consumer research is done with the intention of understanding the needs or behaviors of a particular group in order to define who to best market a product or service to, also known as identifying a target market.

Customer segments can be grouped by different variables, such as demographic, geographic, psychographic (values and lifestyle), or behavioral. This guide specifically focuses on resources useful for the business to consumer (B2C) industry, where individuals are the end users of a product or service. While this guide does not cover every resource, it does highlight commonly used sources and publishers of population and consumer data.

“There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market.” - Philip Kotler, "Father of Modern Marketing" 1

Consumer attitudes, values, habits, and preferences are often collected via interviews, surveys, and focus groups. Businesses also collect data about their customers and sales in order to make decisions about pricing, inventory, and advertising. As technology becomes more ubiquitous, the amount, speed and type of data collected by businesses and third parties has increased. This flood of information, also known as big data, is tracked, analyzed and used for business intelligence. However, there are major concerns from consumers' rights and privacy rights groups as to what information is collected, how it is obtained, what is done with the information, such as if it is shared with other organizations, and how transparent the data collection is to the consumer.

To find statistics on a specific topic or consumer group:

  • Brainstorm who might collect the information, such as government agencies, trade organizations, academic researchers, or market research firms
  • Consider broader variables or broader markets, especially in search terms (for example "gender" instead of "women")
  • Recognize that while some data is free to access, others may require a one-time or subscription fee. The Library subscribes to many resources, which are available on-site; for other sources, check with your local public or university library. Look for freely available press releases, articles or abstracts that will summarize findings from a market research report.
  • Search books and journal articles, which include statistics in the introduction to a topic or original research on consumer behavior; track any citations for further leads on data sources.

You may be interested in extremely niche information that is not collected or published by an existing source. In that case, you would need to conduct your own market research; resources on conducting primary market research or identifying firms that specialize in primary market research are included in this guide.

About the Business Section

Part of the Science & Business Reading Room  at the Library of Congress, the Business Section is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of business and economics. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of business assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of business and economics materials.

  • Philip Kotler, interview, The Events & Awards Managers of Asia and Hamlin-Iturralde Corporation, 1999. As cited in QFinance: The Ultimate Resource (Bloomberg, 2014). Back to text
  • Next: Market Segments >>
  • Last Updated: Jul 3, 2024 11:51 AM
  • URL: https://guides.loc.gov/consumer-research

The past, present, and future of consumer research

  • Published: 13 June 2020
  • Volume 31 , pages 137–149, ( 2020 )

Cite this article

consumer research report example

  • Maayan S. Malter   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0383-7925 1 ,
  • Morris B. Holbrook 1 ,
  • Barbara E. Kahn 2 ,
  • Jeffrey R. Parker 3 &
  • Donald R. Lehmann 1  

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In this article, we document the evolution of research trends (concepts, methods, and aims) within the field of consumer behavior, from the time of its early development to the present day, as a multidisciplinary area of research within marketing. We describe current changes in retailing and real-world consumption and offer suggestions on how to use observations of consumption phenomena to generate new and interesting consumer behavior research questions. Consumption continues to change with technological advancements and shifts in consumers’ values and goals. We cannot know the exact shape of things to come, but we polled a sample of leading scholars and summarize their predictions on where the field may be headed in the next twenty years.

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1 Introduction

Beginning in the late 1950s, business schools shifted from descriptive and practitioner-focused studies to more theoretically driven and academically rigorous research (Dahl et al. 1959 ). As the field expanded from an applied form of economics to embrace theories and methodologies from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and statistics, there was an increased emphasis on understanding the thoughts, desires, and experiences of individual consumers. For academic marketing, this meant that research not only focused on the decisions and strategies of marketing managers but also on the decisions and thought processes on the other side of the market—customers.

Since then, the academic study of consumer behavior has evolved and incorporated concepts and methods, not only from marketing at large but also from related social science disciplines, and from the ever-changing landscape of real-world consumption behavior. Its position as an area of study within a larger discipline that comprises researchers from diverse theoretical backgrounds and methodological training has stirred debates over its identity. One article describes consumer behavior as a multidisciplinary subdiscipline of marketing “characterized by the study of people operating in a consumer role involving acquisition, consumption, and disposition of marketplace products, services, and experiences” (MacInnis and Folkes 2009 , p. 900).

This article reviews the evolution of the field of consumer behavior over the past half century, describes its current status, and predicts how it may evolve over the next twenty years. Our review is by no means a comprehensive history of the field (see Schumann et al. 2008 ; Rapp and Hill 2015 ; Wang et al. 2015 ; Wilkie and Moore 2003 , to name a few) but rather focuses on a few key thematic developments. Though we observe many major shifts during this period, certain questions and debates have persisted: Does consumer behavior research need to be relevant to marketing managers or is there intrinsic value from studying the consumer as a project pursued for its own sake? What counts as consumption: only consumption from traditional marketplace transactions or also consumption in a broader sense of non-marketplace interactions? Which are the most appropriate theoretical traditions and methodological tools for addressing questions in consumer behavior research?

2 A brief history of consumer research over the past sixty years—1960 to 2020

In 1969, the Association for Consumer Research was founded and a yearly conference to share marketing research specifically from the consumer’s perspective was instituted. This event marked the culmination of the growing interest in the topic by formalizing it as an area of research within marketing (consumer psychology had become a formalized branch of psychology within the APA in 1960). So, what was consumer behavior before 1969? Scanning current consumer-behavior doctoral seminar syllabi reveals few works predating 1969, with most of those coming from psychology and economics, namely Herbert Simon’s A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice (1955), Abraham Maslow’s A Theory of Human Motivation (1943), and Ernest Dichter’s Handbook of Consumer Motivations (1964). In short, research that illuminated and informed our understanding of consumer behavior prior to 1969 rarely focused on marketing-specific topics, much less consumers or consumption (Dichter’s handbook being a notable exception). Yet, these works were crucial to the rise of consumer behavior research because, in the decades after 1969, there was a shift within academic marketing to thinking about research from a behavioral or decision science perspective (Wilkie and Moore 2003 ). The following section details some ways in which this shift occurred. We draw on a framework proposed by the philosopher Larry Laudan ( 1986 ), who distinguished among three inter-related aspects of scientific inquiry—namely, concepts (the relevant ideas, theories, hypotheses, and constructs); methods (the techniques employed to test and validate these concepts); and aims (the purposes or goals that motivate the investigation).

2.1 Key concepts in the late - 1960s

During the late-1960s, we tended to view the buyer as a computer-like machine for processing information according to various formal rules that embody economic rationality to form a preference for one or another option in order to arrive at a purchase decision. This view tended to manifest itself in a couple of conspicuous ways. The first was a model of buyer behavior introduced by John Howard in 1963 in the second edition of his marketing textbook and quickly adopted by virtually every theorist working in our field—including, Howard and Sheth (of course), Engel-Kollat-&-Blackwell, Franco Nicosia, Alan Andreasen, Jim Bettman, and Joel Cohen. Howard’s great innovation—which he based on a scheme that he had found in the work of Plato (namely, the linkages among Cognition, Affect, and Conation)—took the form of a boxes-and-arrows formulation heavily influenced by the approach to organizational behavior theory that Howard (University of Pittsburgh) had picked up from Herbert Simon (Carnegie Melon University). The model represented a chain of events

where I = inputs of information (from advertising, word-of-mouth, brand features, etc.); C = cognitions (beliefs or perceptions about a brand); A = Affect (liking or preference for the brand); B = behavior (purchase of the brand); and S = satisfaction (post-purchase evaluation of the brand that feeds back onto earlier stages of the sequence, according to a learning model in which reinforced behavior tends to be repeated). This formulation lay at the heart of Howard’s work, which he updated, elaborated on, and streamlined over the remainder of his career. Importantly, it informed virtually every buyer-behavior model that blossomed forth during the last half of the twentieth century.

To represent the link between cognitions and affect, buyer-behavior researchers used various forms of the multi-attribute attitude model (MAAM), originally proposed by psychologists such as Fishbein and Rosenberg as part of what Fishbein and Ajzen ( 1975 ) called the theory of reasoned action. Under MAAM, cognitions (beliefs about brand attributes) are weighted by their importance and summed to create an explanation or prediction of affect (liking for a brand or preference for one brand versus another), which in turn determines behavior (choice of a brand or intention to purchase a brand). This took the work of economist Kelvin Lancaster (with whom Howard interacted), which assumed attitude was based on objective attributes, and extended it to include subjective ones (Lancaster 1966 ; Ratchford 1975 ). Overall, the set of concepts that prevailed in the late-1960s assumed the buyer exhibited economic rationality and acted as a computer-like information-processing machine when making purchase decisions.

2.2 Favored methods in the late-1960s

The methods favored during the late-1960s tended to be almost exclusively neo-positivistic in nature. That is, buyer-behavior research adopted the kinds of methodological rigor that we associate with the physical sciences and the hypothetico-deductive approaches advocated by the neo-positivistic philosophers of science.

Thus, the accepted approaches tended to be either experimental or survey based. For example, numerous laboratory studies tested variations of the MAAM and focused on questions about how to measure beliefs, how to weight the beliefs, how to combine the weighted beliefs, and so forth (e.g., Beckwith and Lehmann 1973 ). Here again, these assumed a rational economic decision-maker who processed information something like a computer.

Seeking rigor, buyer-behavior studies tended to be quantitative in their analyses, employing multivariate statistics, structural equation models, multidimensional scaling, conjoint analysis, and other mathematically sophisticated techniques. For example, various attempts to test the ICABS formulation developed simultaneous (now called structural) equation models such as those deployed by Farley and Ring ( 1970 , 1974 ) to test the Howard and Sheth ( 1969 ) model and by Beckwith and Lehmann ( 1973 ) to measure halo effects.

2.3 Aims in the late-1960s

During this time period, buyer-behavior research was still considered a subdivision of marketing research, the purpose of which was to provide insights useful to marketing managers in making strategic decisions. Essentially, every paper concluded with a section on “Implications for Marketing Managers.” Authors who failed to conform to this expectation could generally count on having their work rejected by leading journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research ( JMR ) and the Journal of Marketing ( JM ).

2.4 Summary—the three R’s in the late-1960s

Starting in the late-1960s to the early-1980s, virtually every buyer-behavior researcher followed the traditional approach to concepts, methods, and aims, now encapsulated under what we might call the three R’s —namely, rationality , rigor , and relevance . However, as we transitioned into the 1980s and beyond, that changed as some (though by no means all) consumer researchers began to expand their approaches and to evolve different perspectives.

2.5 Concepts after 1980

In some circles, the traditional emphasis on the buyer’s rationality—that is, a view of the buyer as a rational-economic, decision-oriented, information-processing, computer-like machine for making choices—began to evolve in at least two primary ways.

First, behavioral economics (originally studied in marketing under the label Behavioral Decision Theory)—developed in psychology by Kahneman and Tversky, in economics by Thaler, and applied in marketing by a number of forward-thinking theorists (e.g., Eric Johnson, Jim Bettman, John Payne, Itamar Simonson, Jay Russo, Joel Huber, and more recently, Dan Ariely)—challenged the rationality of consumers as decision-makers. It was shown that numerous commonly used decision heuristics depart from rational choice and are exceptions to the traditional assumptions of economic rationality. This trend shed light on understanding consumer financial decision-making (Prelec and Loewenstein 1998 ; Gourville 1998 ; Lynch Jr 2011 ) and how to develop “nudges” to help consumers make better decisions for their personal finances (summarized in Johnson et al. 2012 ).

Second, the emerging experiential view (anticipated by Alderson, Levy, and others; developed by Holbrook and Hirschman, and embellished by Schmitt, Pine, and Gilmore, and countless followers) regarded consumers as flesh-and-blood human beings (rather than as information-processing computer-like machines), focused on hedonic aspects of consumption, and expanded the concepts embodied by ICABS (Table 1 ).

2.6 Methods after 1980

The two burgeoning areas of research—behavioral economics and experiential theories—differed in their methodological approaches. The former relied on controlled randomized experiments with a focus on decision strategies and behavioral outcomes. For example, experiments tested the process by which consumers evaluate options using information display boards and “Mouselab” matrices of aspects and attributes (Payne et al. 1988 ). This school of thought also focused on behavioral dependent measures, such as choice (Huber et al. 1982 ; Simonson 1989 ; Iyengar and Lepper 2000 ).

The latter was influenced by post-positivistic philosophers of science—such as Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, and Richard Rorty—and approaches expanded to include various qualitative techniques (interpretive, ethnographic, humanistic, and even introspective methods) not previously prominent in the field of consumer research. These included:

Interpretive approaches —such as those drawing on semiotics and hermeneutics—in an effort to gain a richer understanding of the symbolic meanings involved in consumption experiences;

Ethnographic approaches — borrowed from cultural anthropology—such as those illustrated by the influential Consumer Behavior Odyssey (Belk et al. 1989 ) and its discoveries about phenomena related to sacred aspects of consumption or the deep meanings of collections and other possessions;

Humanistic approaches —such as those borrowed from cultural studies or from literary criticism and more recently gathered together under the general heading of consumer culture theory ( CCT );

Introspective or autoethnographic approaches —such as those associated with a method called subjective personal introspection ( SPI ) that various consumer researchers like Sidney Levy and Steve Gould have pursued to gain insights based on their own private lives.

These qualitative approaches tended not to appear in the more traditional journals such as the Journal of Marketing , Journal of Marketing Research , or Marketing Science . However, newer journals such as Consumption, Markets, & Culture and Marketing Theory began to publish papers that drew on the various interpretive, ethnographic, humanistic, or introspective methods.

2.7 Aims after 1980

In 1974, consumer research finally got its own journal with the launch of the Journal of Consumer Research ( JCR ). The early editors of JCR —especially Bob Ferber, Hal Kassarjian, and Jim Bettman—held a rather divergent attitude about the importance or even the desirability of managerial relevance as a key goal of consumer studies. Under their influence, some researchers began to believe that consumer behavior is a phenomenon worthy of study in its own right—purely for the purpose of understanding it better. The journal incorporated articles from an array of methodologies: quantitative (both secondary data analysis and experimental techniques) and qualitative. The “right” balance between theoretical insight and substantive relevance—which are not in inherent conflict—is a matter of debate to this day and will likely continue to be debated well into the future.

2.8 Summary—the three I’s after 1980

In sum, beginning in the early-1980s, consumer research branched out. Much of the work in consumer studies remained within the earlier tradition of the three R’s—that is, rationality (an information-processing decision-oriented buyer), rigor (neo-positivistic experimental designs and quantitative techniques), and relevance (usefulness to marketing managers). Nonetheless, many studies embraced enlarged views of the three major aspects that might be called the three I’s —that is, irrationality (broadened perspectives that incorporate illogical, heuristic, experiential, or hedonic aspects of consumption), interpretation (various qualitative or “postmodern” approaches), and intrinsic motivation (the joy of pursuing a managerially irrelevant consumer study purely for the sake of satisfying one’s own curiosity, without concern for whether it does or does not help a marketing practitioner make a bigger profit).

3 The present—the consumer behavior field today

3.1 present concepts.

In recent years, technological changes have significantly influenced the nature of consumption as the customer journey has transitioned to include more interaction on digital platforms that complements interaction in physical stores. This shift poses a major conceptual challenge in understanding if and how these technological changes affect consumption. Does the medium through which consumption occurs fundamentally alter the psychological and social processes identified in earlier research? In addition, this shift allows us to collect more data at different stages of the customer journey, which further allows us to analyze behavior in ways that were not previously available.

Revisiting the ICABS framework, many of the previous concepts are still present, but we are now addressing them through a lens of technological change (Table 2 )

. In recent years, a number of concepts (e.g., identity, beliefs/lay theories, affect as information, self-control, time, psychological ownership, search for meaning and happiness, social belonging, creativity, and status) have emerged as integral factors that influence and are influenced by consumption. To better understand these concepts, a number of influential theories from social psychology have been adopted into consumer behavior research. Self-construal (Markus and Kitayama 1991 ), regulatory focus (Higgins 1998 ), construal level (Trope and Liberman 2010 ), and goal systems (Kruglanski et al. 2002 ) all provide social-cognition frameworks through which consumer behavior researchers study the psychological processes behind consumer behavior. This “adoption” of social psychological theories into consumer behavior is a symbiotic relationship that further enhances the theories. Tory Higgins happily stated that he learned more about his own theories from the work of marketing academics (he cited Angela Lee and Michel Pham) in further testing and extending them.

3.2 Present Methods

Not only have technological advancements changed the nature of consumption but they have also significantly influenced the methods used in consumer research by adding both new sources of data and improved analytical tools (Ding et al. 2020 ). Researchers continue to use traditional methods from psychology in empirical research (scale development, laboratory experiments, quantitative analyses, etc.) and interpretive approaches in qualitative research. Additionally, online experiments using participants from panels such as Amazon Mechanical Turk and Prolific have become commonplace in the last decade. While they raise concerns about the quality of the data and about the external validity of the results, these online experiments have greatly increased the speed and decreased the cost of collecting data, so researchers continue to use them, albeit with some caution. Reminiscent of the discussion in the 1970s and 1980s about the use of student subjects, the projectability of the online responses and of an increasingly conditioned “professional” group of online respondents (MTurkers) is a major concern.

Technology has also changed research methodology. Currently, there is a large increase in the use of secondary data thanks to the availability of Big Data about online and offline behavior. Methods in computer science have advanced our ability to analyze large corpuses of unstructured data (text, voice, visual images) in an efficient and rigorous way and, thus, to tap into a wealth of nuanced thoughts, feelings, and behaviors heretofore only accessible to qualitative researchers through laboriously conducted content analyses. There are also new neuro-marketing techniques like eye-tracking, fMRI’s, body arousal measures (e.g., heart rate, sweat), and emotion detectors that allow us to measure automatic responses. Lastly, there has been an increase in large-scale field experiments that can be run in online B2C marketplaces.

3.3 Present Aims

Along with a focus on real-world observations and data, there is a renewed emphasis on managerial relevance. Countless conference addresses and editorials in JCR , JCP , and other journals have emphasized the importance of making consumer research useful outside of academia—that is, to help companies, policy makers, and consumers. For instance, understanding how the “new” consumer interacts over time with other consumers and companies in the current marketplace is a key area for future research. As global and social concerns become more salient in all aspects of life, issues of long-term sustainability, social equality, and ethical business practices have also become more central research topics. Fortunately, despite this emphasis on relevance, theoretical contributions and novel ideas are still highly valued. An appropriate balance of theory and practice has become the holy grail of consumer research.

The effects of the current trends in real-world consumption will increase in magnitude with time as more consumers are digitally native. Therefore, a better understanding of current consumer behavior can give us insights and help predict how it will continue to evolve in the years to come.

4 The future—the consumer behavior field in 2040

The other papers use 2030 as a target year but we asked our survey respondents to make predictions for 2040 and thus we have a different future target year.

Niels Bohr once said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” Indeed, it would be a fool’s errand for a single person to hazard a guess about the state of the consumer behavior field twenty years from now. Therefore, predictions from 34 active consumer researchers were collected to address this task. Here, we briefly summarize those predictions.

4.1 Future Concepts

While few respondents proffered guesses regarding specific concepts that would be of interest twenty years from now, many suggested broad topics and trends they expected to see in the field. Expectations for topics could largely be grouped into three main areas. Many suspected that we will be examining essentially the same core topics, perhaps at a finer-grained level, from different perspectives or in ways that we currently cannot utilize due to methodological limitations (more on methods below). A second contingent predicted that much research would center on the impending crises the world faces today, most mentioning environmental and social issues (the COVID-19 pandemic had not yet begun when these predictions were collected and, unsurprisingly, was not anticipated by any of our respondents). The last group, citing the widely expected profound impact of AI on consumers’ lives, argued that AI and other technology-related topics will be dominant subjects in consumer research circa 2040.

While the topic of technology is likely to be focal in the field, our current expectations for the impact of technology on consumers’ lives are narrower than it should be. Rather than merely offering innumerable conveniences and experiences, it seems likely that technology will begin to be integrated into consumers’ thoughts, identities, and personal relationships—probably sooner than we collectively expect. The integration of machines into humans’ bodies and lives will present the field with an expanding list of research questions that do not exist today. For example, how will the concepts of the self, identity, privacy, and goal pursuit change when web-connected technology seamlessly integrates with human consciousness and cognition? Major questions will also need to be answered regarding philosophy of mind, ethics, and social inequality. We suspect that the impact of technology on consumers and consumer research will be far broader than most consumer-behavior researchers anticipate.

As for broader trends within consumer research, there were two camps: (1) those who expect (or hope) that dominant theories (both current and yet to be developed) will become more integrated and comprehensive and (2) those who expect theoretical contributions to become smaller and smaller, to the point of becoming trivial. Both groups felt that current researchers are filling smaller cracks than before, but disagreed on how this would ultimately be resolved.

4.2 Future Methods

As was the case with concepts, respondents’ expectations regarding consumer-research methodologies in 2030 can also be divided into three broad baskets. Unsurprisingly, many indicated that we would be using many technologies not currently available or in wide use. Perhaps more surprising was that most cited the use of technology such as AI, machine-learning algorithms, and robots in designing—as opposed to executing or analyzing—experiments. (Some did point to the use of technologies such as virtual reality in the actual execution of experiments.) The second camp indicated that a focus on reliable and replicable results (discussed further below) will encourage a greater tendency for pre-registering studies, more use of “Big Data,” and a demand for more studies per paper (versus more papers per topic, which some believe is a more fruitful direction). Finally, the third lot indicated that “real data” would be in high demand, thereby necessitating the use of incentive-compatible, consequential dependent variables and a greater prevalence of field studies in consumer research.

As a result, young scholars would benefit from developing a “toolkit” of methodologies for collecting and analyzing the abundant new data of interest to the field. This includes (but is not limited to) a deep understanding of designing and implementing field studies (Gerber and Green 2012 ), data analysis software (R, Python, etc.), text mining and analysis (Humphreys and Wang 2018 ), and analytical tools for other unstructured forms of data such as image and sound. The replication crisis in experimental research means that future scholars will also need to take a more critical approach to validity (internal, external, construct), statistical power, and significance in their work.

4.3 Future Aims

While there was an air of existential concern about the future of the field, most agreed that the trend will be toward increasing the relevance and reliability of consumer research. Specifically, echoing calls from journals and thought leaders, the respondents felt that papers will need to offer more actionable implications for consumers, managers, or policy makers. However, few thought that this increased focus would come at the expense of theoretical insights, suggesting a more demanding overall standard for consumer research in 2040. Likewise, most felt that methodological transparency, open access to data and materials, and study pre-registration will become the norm as the field seeks to allay concerns about the reliability and meaningfulness of its research findings.

4.4 Summary - Future research questions and directions

Despite some well-justified pessimism, the future of consumer research is as bright as ever. As we revised this paper amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear that many aspects of marketplace behavior, consumption, and life in general will change as a result of this unprecedented global crisis. Given this, and the radical technological, social, and environmental changes that loom on the horizon, consumer researchers will have a treasure trove of topics to tackle in the next ten years, many of which will carry profound substantive importance. While research approaches will evolve, the core goals will remain consistent—namely, to generate theoretically insightful, empirically supported, and substantively impactful research (Table 3 ).

5 Conclusion

At any given moment in time, the focal concepts, methods, and aims of consumer-behavior scholarship reflect both the prior development of the field and trends in the larger scientific community. However, despite shifting trends, the core of the field has remained constant—namely, to understand the motivations, thought processes, and experiences of individuals as they consume goods, services, information, and other offerings, and to use these insights to develop interventions to improve both marketing strategy for firms and consumer welfare for individuals and groups. Amidst the excitement of new technologies, social trends, and consumption experiences, it is important to look back and remind ourselves of the insights the field has already generated. Effectively integrating these past findings with new observations and fresh research will help the field advance our understanding of consumer behavior.

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Malter, M.S., Holbrook, M.B., Kahn, B.E. et al. The past, present, and future of consumer research. Mark Lett 31 , 137–149 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11002-020-09526-8

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  • 33 Consumer Survey Questions + Free Templates & Examples

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It is hard to build a successful business without satisfied consumers, which is why it is important to frequently administer consumer satisfaction surveys . A consumer survey is a crucial means of collecting direct feedback from clients with regards to how well your product meets their needs and expectations. 

Information gathered via consumer surveys helps organizations to identify product gaps and map out strategies for product improvement. While customer surveys can be administered physically through face-to-face interviews and suggestion boxes , it is easier and more convenient to conduct this via online customer survey forms. 

What is a Consumer Survey?

A consumer survey is a data-collection tool used by organizations to collect real-time information from consumers about their experiences with new and already existing products. Also called a customer survey, it is an important source of information for businesses because it serves as a pathway into the minds of your clients.  

A good customer survey includes objective questions that seek specific insights into consumer behaviors and expectations. Data gathered from consumer surveys are usually analyzed and translated into action plans to boost the product’s performance in the market and help the organization create a more consumer-centric product.  

Importance of Consumer Surveys  

Consumer surveys play vital roles in business and organizational processes. Apart from providing insights into consumer behaviors and preferences, data gathered via consumer surveys is an important indicator of an organization’s overall market performance. Other reasons you should prioritize consumer surveys as a business include:

  • A consumer survey helps an organization to learn more about its client base and target markets.
  • Organizations depend on consumer surveys to predict market behaviors and create consumer-centered products and services.
  • Data gathered via consumer surveys helps organizations to create the right customer experience at multiple brand touchpoints.
  • Consumer surveys play a crucial role in brand differentiation.
  • It also helps organizations to measure customer satisfaction and create excellent customer service for clients.
  • Information obtained plays a crucial role in boosting the customer retention ratio of your business. When you improve your product in line with the needs of your consumers, they are more likely to patronize you repeatedly.

Types of Consumer Survey  

  • Product Evaluation Survey

A product evaluation survey is used to gather consumers’ feedback on different aspects and features of a product. It is an important tool in product trials and testing as it helps organizations to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their product.

A product evaluation survey typically contains questions that bother on different aspects of a product plus the overall user experience. The data gathered via this tool helps businesses to improve on new and existing products for the benefit of the consumers. 

  • Customer Satisfaction Survey

A customer satisfaction survey is a tool used by organizations to find out how well their product or service meets the needs of the consumers. It serves as a means through which consumers can communicate how they feel about the organization, brand image, and service delivery.

A customer satisfaction survey serves as a link between the organization and its clients. If you want happy customers who would be willing to refer you, you must prioritize their needs by understanding how they feel about your organization. 

  • Customer Experience Survey

A customer experience survey allows consumers to evaluate their experience with your organization across different brand touchpoints. It is a vital means of understanding your consumers’ perception of your brand throughout their customer journey while gathering data for more-informed business decisions.

Good customer experience often translates to a positive brand outlook as with other benefits for your business. Also, tracking your customer experience helps you stay ahead of the competition while translating to repeated patronage for your product or service. 

  • Market Research Survey

A market research survey is carried out by organizations before the launch of a new product or service. It is a method of gathering useful information about market preferences, expectations, and consumer behaviors as part of the feasibility study for a product.

Market research survey helps organizations to gain critical insights from target markets about consumer needs and their inclinations toward purchasing a particular product. With this data, companies can make better market decisions and mitigate many of the risks that come with running a business. 

  • Demographic Survey

A demographics survey helps organizations to better understand their customers. It is made up of specific questions whose answers allow organizations to gain better insight into the target audience in terms of who they are and what they want.

Data gathered via a demographic survey would help you to create the right buyer persona for your product or service. Demographic surveys can be carried out as part of market research and it plays a vital role in market segmentation for organizations. 

33 Top Consumer Survey Question Examples

Demographic survey questions.

These questions help you to understand and categorize your target market. They also play a major role in market segmentation. Demographic survey questions provide unique insights into the characteristics of your consumers and they often inform effective marketing strategies. 

Here are 11 sample demographic questions you can include in your consumer survey: 

1. What is your monthly income range?  

This question would give you a fair idea of your consumers’ spending power which would help you decide on the right price mechanism for your product. 

2. How much do you spend on shopping every month? 

This is a more precise question that provides insight into the spending power of your consumers and target market in line with your specific industry. 

3. Where do you prefer to shop? 

This question would help you decide on available channels for your product and it also plays a major role in product improvement. For instance, if your consumers prefer to shop online, you can work on providing an offline solution for your business. 

4. What gender do you identify as? 

This data plays a vital role in market segmentation and also informs specific marketing strategies for your product.  

5. What is your current employment status?

  • Full-time employment
  • Part-time employment
  • Self-employed

Information gathered via this question is useful to organizations in multiple ways. Primarily, businesses rely on this information to create more consumer-centric products that serve the specific needs of the target audience. 

6. How often do you purchase gadgets?

You can tailor this question to your specific product. The essence of questions structured in this manner is to provide some sort of insight into your consumers’ purchasing habits and behaviors.

7. How old are you? 

  • 50 and above

This question is important for market segmentation and it also informs product marketing strategies for organizations. 

8. What is your highest level of education?

Apart from playing a vital role in market segmentation, knowing the highest level of education of your consumers helps you to refocus your product on meeting their needs, and providing value. 

9. Where are you located? 

This question helps you to map out the geographical concentration of your consumers. It provides insights that you can use to refocus your product to cater to the needs of your consumers.

10. What is your household income?

Provide consumers with options in the form of income ranges which they choose from. This question gives you an idea of the spending power of your consumers and helps you decide on product pricing. 

11. What is your household size? 

This question helps you to gather data bothering on the size of your target market. 

Product Survey Questions

These questions allow consumers to provide feedback on your product and identify any areas needing improvement. Here are 11 product questions you can include in your consumer survey: 

1. How long have you used this product?

This question would help you measure your customer retention rate. Repeated patronage often indicates that your product provides some sort of value for consumers.

2. What do you like about this product?

This question provides insights into the specific value your product offers for the consumers.

3. What specific needs does our product meet for you?

This question provides insights into why consumers use your product.

4. What 3 product features stand out for you?

Data gathered via the responses to this question is extremely useful for product reviews. It helps you to identify the most important product features for consumers.

5. How can we improve this product for you?

This question helps you to create a customer-centric product and is extremely useful for product reviews.

6. What feature would you like to be added to this product?

This question plays a major role in product improvement. It is important to always feel the pulse of the consumers by allowing them to suggest new product features.

7. How easy is it to use this product?

This question allows consumers to highlight the challenges they face with your product; primarily in terms of its features.

8. Are you satisfied with the product pricing?

This question provides insights into the affordability of your product from the consumers’ points of view. 

9. Why did you choose our product?

This question provides insight into the unique selling point of your product for the consumers.

10. How would you rate our product?

For this question, you can ask consumers to also state the reasons for their ratings. This provides a better context for market research.

11. Would you recommend this product to a friend or colleague?

If consumers are willing to recommend your product, it means that they trust your brand and see some kind of value in your product.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

These are questions that allow consumers to rate how satisfied they are with your overall service delivery and customer experience. Here are 11 sample questions to include in your consumer survey: 

1. Do you enjoy using this product?

This question gives you a fair idea of your consumers’ overall brand perception. 

2. How helpful was our customer support team in resolving this issue?

Data gathered via responses to this question helps you to identify any customer support areas needing improvement.

3. How would you rate your customer experience?

Tracking customer experience is important for every organization. Great customer experience often translates to a boost in sales and other market benefits.

4. How happy are you with our service delivery?  

This is another important question as happy customers are typically loyal customers. 

5. Did you encounter any issues when using the product?  

This information would help you identify any gray areas in your product and overall service delivery. 

6. How would you describe our product?

Data from responses to this question helps organizations to identify the unique selling point of their product. 

7. Do you find our self-help services useful?

This question can be open-ended or close-ended. It helps you gather feedback on new or improved product features. 

8. How likely are you to purchase our product again?

This question provides useful insight; especially in terms of the rate of repeated purchase. 

9. Would you recommend our product/service to a friend, family member, or colleague?

Responses to this question would reveal how well consumers identify with your brand image and/or product. 

10. How can we serve you better?

This is a feedback question for product improvement.

11. What challenges have you encountered with this process?

This question helps you to identify and solve the specific needs of your consumers in line with product improvement. 

Top Consumer Survey Templates  

Find out how well your product meets the needs of your consumers with this customer satisfaction survey. You can use any of the multiple sharing options to share this survey with your consumers.

  • Product Evaluation Form

Allow customers to provide feedback on your product with this product evaluation form. You can include questions bothering on different features of the product.

  • Brand Awareness Survey

Do you want to find out how popular your product and brand are in the market? Use this brand awareness form to know if consumers can identify your brand logo and respond to specific questions about your brand.

  • Brand Personality Survey

This brand personality survey would provide insights into the perceptions of your consumers; that is, what they think about your brand or business.

  • Market Survey

Use this market survey to gather insights from prospective consumers on their preferences. You can share it via any of the multiple sharing options in the form builder.

  • Product Pricing Survey

Find out what consumers think about your product pricing with this product pricing survey. You can modify this template to suit your organization’s needs.

  • User Experience Research Survey

Use this form to gather data on how satisfied consumers are with the overall user experience for your product.

  • Hotel Feedback Form

Use this form to collect feedback from guests about your hotel facility and overall service delivery. You can use this information to improve your hotel services.

  • Online Feedback Form

The Formplus online feedback form can be used to gather consumers’ opinions on your product and overall business processes.

  •   Customer Complaint Form

Use this customer complaint form to collect information from consumers with regards to any challenges faced as they make use of your product or service. You can modify it in the form builder to suit your organization’s needs.

How to Create a Consumer Survey Questionnaire with Formplus 

Formplus makes it easy for you to create and administer different consumer surveys. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about it: 

  • Sign in to your Formplus account to access the easy-to-use form builder. If you do not have a Formplus account, you can create one here.

consumer research report example

  • On your dashboard, click the “create new form” option.
  • Add preferred fields into your form by dragging and dropping them from the sidebar. You can also modify each field to meet your specific needs.
  • In the form customization section, you can modify the outlook of your form by changing its font, background, and add your organization’s logo.

consumer research report example

  • Copy your form link and share it with your consumers to find out what they think about your product and organization.

consumer research report example

Consumer surveys are easily one of the most important tools for organizations as they seek to retain their customers and expand their market share. To get the best data from your consumer survey, be sure to avoid leading questions and other types of questions with inherent biases. 

With a tool like Formplus, it is easy for you to create and administer your consumer survey. Formplus makes data collection seamless and it also has a form analytics feature that presents insights into your data gathering process without any hassles . 

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A study found toxic metals in popular tampon brands. Here's what experts advise

Rachel Treisman

Tampon study

Diagonal rows of tampons against a pink background.

Researchers found 16 different kinds of metals in the tampons they examined, including heavy metals like lead and arsenic. Getty Images hide caption

Researchers have found toxic metals — including arsenic and lead — in over a dozen popular brands of tampons, raising questions about a menstrual hygiene product used by millions of Americans.

Their study, published last week in the scientific journal Environment International , adds to a growing body of research about chemicals found in tampons but is believed to be the first to specifically measure metals.

The negative health effects of heavy metals are well-documented and wide-ranging, including damaging the cardiovascular, nervous and endocrine systems; damaging the liver, kidneys and brain; increasing the risk of dementia and cancer and harming maternal health and fetal development.

“Despite this large potential for public health concern, very little research has been done to measure chemicals in tampons,” lead author Jenni Shearston, a postdoctoral scholar at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, said in a statement .

Shearston led a team of scientists from Columbia University and Michigan State University in examining 30 tampons from across 14 brands and 18 product lines, which they did not name in the study.

Thinx settled a lawsuit over chemicals in its period underwear. Here's what to know

Thinx settled a lawsuit over chemicals in its period underwear. Here's what to know

The sampling includes products of various absorbencies, listed as “top sellers” by a major online retailer and purchased both online and at stores in New York City, London and Athens between September 2022 and March 2023.

Researchers detected “measurable concentrations” of all 16 metals they were looking for in the tampons, as well as “elevated mean concentrations” of toxic metals including lead, arsenic and cadmium.

The study says there are several ways metals could get into tampons. Raw materials like cotton and rayon could be contaminated by water, air or soil during production, while metals may in some cases be added intentionally in the manufacturing process either for odor control, pigment or as an antibacterial agent.

The exact amount of metals varied among the tampons, based on which region they were purchased from, whether they were made of organic or non-organic material and on store- versus name-brands, according to the study.

“Lead concentrations were higher in non-organic tampons while arsenic was higher in organic tampons,” it added. “No category had consistently lower concentrations of all or most metals.”

Researchers say the study marks an important first step in confirming the presence of toxic metals in tampons, which are used by an estimated 52% to 86% of menstruating people in the U.S.

But it doesn’t give them enough information to definitively link the metals to negative health effects.

They say more studies are needed to determine to what extent such metals might “leach out of tampons” and into peoples’ bodies. They’re calling not only for more research, but also for stronger regulations.

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The fda misses its own deadline to propose a ban on formaldehyde from hair products.

“I really hope that manufacturers are required to test their products for metals, especially for toxic metals,” Shearston said. “It would be exciting to see the public call for this, or to ask for better labeling on tampons and other menstrual products.”

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies tampons as medical devices and regulates their safety. However, there is no requirement to test tampons for chemical contaminants, and the FDA only recommends that tampons not contain pesticide residue or dioxin.

FDA spokesperson Amanda Hils told NPR that “all studies have limitations,” pointing to the outstanding questions about whether metals are released from tampons and into the bloodstream. Nevertheless, she said the agency is reviewing the research.

“We plan to evaluate the study closely, and take any action warranted to safeguard the health of consumers who use these products,” Hils added.

NPR has reached out to the industry Center for Baby and Adult Hygiene Products (BAHP) and its U.K. counterpart, the Absorbent Hygiene Product Manufacturers Association, for comment.

The BAHP defended the safety of its member companies’ menstrual products in a 2022 statement , acknowledging news coverage on the presence of chemicals and saying “if present, these are not intentionally added by the manufacturers.”

“Some of these impurities are present in the environment or naturally present at much higher levels in common fruits and vegetables or even made by the human body,” it said, adding that its members use “rigorous criteria for quality and hygiene.”

The bigger question: How harmful are these metals?

Several experts told NPR that they were not surprised by the researchers’ findings, since other studies over the years have detected potentially harmful chemicals in tampons and other menstrual products, including period underwear .

Catherine Roberts, a health and science journalist at Consumer Reports who has written about tampons, says it’s more surprising that the question wasn’t investigated sooner.

“It’s in the most sensitive part of people's bodies. It's so close to us,” she says. “We use so many [tampons] over a lifetime. It's just wild to me that this is so both so little researched and so little regulated.”

Students are pushing for free menstrual products on college campuses

Students are pushing for free menstrual products on college campuses

People who menstruate may use more than 7,400 tampons over the course of their reproductive years, the study authors calculated, with each tampon staying in the vagina for several hours at a time.

Dr. Nathaniel DeNicola, an OB-GYN who served as the environmental health expert for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says the more pressing question is not whether there are chemicals in tampons, but “when does it convert to a dangerous amount?”

Some of the metals found in the tampons — including copper, calcium, iron and zinc — are not only considered safe, but recommended for patients by many doctors, he notes. They would not be damaging in low amounts, but a cumulative amount could have a lasting effect on a person’s endocrine functions.

Trace amounts of arsenic, for example, are sometimes found in food and not considered to be toxic, but high amounts could be fatal. In contrast, as the study notes, “there is no safe exposure level” to lead.

It’s not clear from the study whether people are getting harmful amounts of each metal from tampons, DeNicola says.

“When you start to look at the kind of chemicals that are found in our human system, the reality is that in modern life, we're kind of swimming in them,” he adds. “And it's not to say that it's nothing we should worry about. I mean, I don't think most people hear that and think, ‘Oh, good, I've got more plastic in me.’ But we do have to recognize that small amounts of these chemicals are ubiquitous.”

What to do if you’re worried

To Roberts, one of the main takeaways from the study is that the “organic label was clearly not a guarantee that these products would not have heavy metals.” So what are concerned shoppers supposed to do?

Ideally, she says, regulators would mandate heavy-metal testing for tampons to take some of the pressure off consumers.

'Clean' Beauty Products Are A Marketing Triumph

'Clean' Beauty Products Are A Marketing Triumph

Until then, she says, there are some measures that tampon users can take to try to reduce their exposure to chemicals in general.

Those include choosing products that don’t contain plastic (including polyester and polypropylene) and avoiding those with fragrances and colorants.

“Something that people who look at this tend to say is that you want to look for period product labels that have fewer and simpler ingredients,” Roberts adds.

DeNicola recommends relying on a combination of “third-party testing and some personal due diligence.” He says there are apps shoppers can use to scan product barcodes and see what chemicals they contain, which could be useful for personal care and feminine hygiene products.

In some cases, people might want to consider alternatives to tampons, such as pads or menstrual cups. The reusable cups have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially given their lower environmental impact compared to tampons.

Other countries have better sunscreens. Here's why we can't get them in the U.S.

Shots - Health News

Other countries have better sunscreens. here's why we can't get them in the u.s..

Some of the downsides of tampons were evident well before this study.

DeNicola notes that plastic from tampons is one of the biggest sources of waste worldwide (and that some brands are more eco-friendly than others). Roberts points out that even if they didn’t contain chemicals, tampons would still pose a risk of toxic shock syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening illness (wearers can reduce their risk by changing their tampons frequently).

But DeNicola stresses that this study doesn’t have him running to tell his patients not to use tampons at all.

“I don’t think we’ve established that risk yet,” he says. “I think it’s more of a reality check for the consumers and the public at large, that most products that you’re using do not go through rigorous testing for safety, and most products do have chemicals in there somewhere.”

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  23. A study found toxic metals in tampons. Here's what to know : NPR

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