15 Best market research tools in 2024

Last updated

3 April 2024

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Whether you're launching a new product or service, looking to increase customer engagement, or boosting brand loyalty, it’s always necessary to turn to data and insights to understand what’s going on. This research can give a picture of current and potential customers in the marketplace and help validate an action you want to take to increase sales.

Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work to find some of the best research tools to use in 2023. Let’s explore!

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  • What are market research tools?

Market research tools are designed to simplify the process of gathering, storing, and understanding data and information.

They can help a team to clearly identify a market for their product or service, as well as gain key feedback from current and potential customers.

A broad range of market research tools is useful at various stages of the research process. Some tools help speed up the process of gathering data. Others are helpful once you’ve collected data, as they allow you to easily view and manage information and then draw valuable insights.

Ultimately, market research tools can help make the research process easier and more straightforward.

  • Why are market research tools important for business?

The right market research tools in a business can streamline the research phases while helping to ensure a new product or service succeeds. 

There are a range of ways market research tools can help businesses. These include: 

Reducing manual processes . Manual research tasks can be highly time-consuming for teams. Tools can reduce the time it takes to complete research tasks, helping move projects forwards.

Increased accuracy . With large amounts of data, it’s easy for people to make mistakes. The wrong insights, after all, can prove highly damaging for a business. However, the right tool can improve the accuracy of data collected, ensuring that you base your decision-making on facts.

Removes bias . When teams rely too heavily on assumptions, they miss the chance to discover what users are really thinking and feeling. By relying more on market research tools, you reduce bias from team members and gain clarity on what the research is showing.

Faster data collection . Collecting data can take a long time and involve multiple team members. With the use of tools, there’s the chance to automate many tasks, making the process much faster and simpler.

Better accessibility . Outsourcing market research to independent firms can be time-consuming and costly. However, a business might not have the resources to conduct, collate, and draw meaningful insights from research. Market research tools better enable businesses to conduct research without person power—making the process accessible even to a small business.

  • Types of market research tools

Market research tools are becoming increasingly common. Choosing the right tool(s) will depend largely on your needs, goals, and overall business strategy.

Before deciding, it’s helpful to consider the different types of tools and how they might help your research.

The most common types of research tools include:

Customer relationship management (CRM) software

CRM tools record key customer data to help build a picture of customer engagement and loyalty. This is very useful as a deep understanding of your customers is essential when releasing new products, services, and features.

Survey tools

Surveys are one of the most common research techniques, as they help a business team deeply understand what customers want and need. Survey tools can hasten the process of gathering data, increase the chances of completion, and improve accuracy.

Data analysis software

Data tools can help you efficiently collect and store data. They’re also helpful for analyzing that data and quickly gaining valuable insights from a vast range of sources.

Social media monitoring

Social tools help businesses to draw insights about social campaigns and statistics to drive interest online. They can also analyze trends and allows teams to understand their current and potential customers better.

Competitive intelligence tools

Competitor tools help a team to understand what their competitors are doing. By analyzing competitors' profits, sales, trends, and customers, you gain a better chance to understand market needs and wants, giving you the opportunity to offer something new and innovative.

Business intelligence tools

To help businesses plan more accurately, business intelligence tools help with forecasting, goal setting, and business strategies. 

  • The best market research platforms and tools for accurate analysis

Below are some of the best market research tools in 2023.

Accurate market and consumer data should drive business decisions—not assumptions made by teams.

That’s where Statista can help. Statista is an online platform focused on consumer and market data. With access to data from 150+ countries and regions, their market insights help stakeholders to forecast growth, revenue, sales, and more. 

You can also find trending statistics, current popular topics, and expert research, which can all build a deep understanding of your market. 

Statista offers their starter plan at $39 per month, though they do have a free introduction plan to allow users to get to know the platform first. 


Surveys are an important market research tool. They give your customers, or potential customers, a chance to make their voices heard. Those insights are ones a business can act upon to make improvements and release better products or services. 

SurveyMonkey enables business teams to quickly create and send surveys, quizzes, and polls through email, web links, or embedded forms. From there, they can receive responses from key people, gain insights, and take action on feedback. 

The platform has hundreds of templates to choose from, meaning that you don’t have to build a survey from scratch or need any design nous to get started. 

SurveyMonkey also offers a free option, which caps surveys at ten questions. This is an attractive option for small businesses and teams wanting to start conducting surveys. 

Google Trends

Curious about what people are or aren’t interested in at the moment? Jumping on trends and creating things that are wanted now is one important way to secure market share. 

Google Trends is a tool that anyone from a journalist to a business founder or UX Specialist can benefit from. It visualizes what search terms people are using on the internet, almost in real time.

The tool has featured insights, a search engine option to see what’s currently popular, and the chance to dive deeper into data. You can also compare one topic to another to see the interest over time—with information dating back to 2004. 

Regardless of what you’re developing, Google Trends is a tool every team releasing new products can benefit from. Even better, it’s a free tool, making it accessible to all. 

Marketing revenue engine SpyFu helps businesses to understand and take the guesswork out of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. 

Through competitor analysis, rank tracking, and keyword research, SpyFu helps companies create content with better SEO. And with a Google Ads analyzer, ad templates, and competitor analysis, they can also boost success with marketed ads. 

SpyFu also has competitor software that allows customers to see ranks, ads, backlinks, and keywords to better understand the competition. To help stakeholders to track and improve success, they also provide detailed reporting tools. 

Basic plans for SpyFu start at $16 per month with options to upgrade for greater access. 

Designed with public relations professionals and content marketers in mind, BuzzSumo enables users to see what’s in the news, find trends, track company mentions, and gain ideas for new content. 

The tool helps people to discover popular content, uncover top stories from competitors, and see what their customers are interested in. It also allows stakeholders to quickly react to negative mentions, competitors' comments, or industry announcements. 

With a huge library of data and content, BuzzSumo is a powerful tool popular with creatives and marketers alike. 

The tool does come at a price, with a single-user plan costing ​​$119 per month. 

Think With Google

Think With Google provides key data and insight to help businesses understand shifts in beliefs, behaviors, and needs in geographic regions. 

These consumer insights and market trends can provide interesting perspectives for the forecasting and planning of marketing strategies.  

Using Think With Google can boost business ideas, drive business decisions, and help marketers succeed in a competitive marketplace. And similar to Google Trends, Think With Google is a free tool. 

Completing a survey isn’t always a fun or desirable activity for a busy potential or current customer. Surveys take time to fill out, and many customers would prefer to get on with their day. 

With that in mind, Typeform created people-friendly surveys, forms, and quizzes that are enjoyable to complete. 

With dedicated designs that aren’t only aesthetically pleasing but simple to use, stakeholders can create something unique and appealing for consumers without the need for design work. 

Typeform also has a video feature to allow more in-depth questions—something that can be very useful for some projects. 

A basic plan with Typeform starts at $25 per month. 

Semrush helps companies improve their SEO, PPC, competitor research, and content marketing. 

It does this by offering SEO audits, actionable tips, traffic analysis, and a keyword research tool to drive successful marketing. It’s also a social media scheduling tool with post analysis to boost successful social marketing. 

When it comes to competitor research, Semrush also provides competitor analysis through tracking and assessing other websites, visibility on competitor promotion strategies, and access to keyword and backlink gaps, which you can use to grow market share. 

Semrush’s base plans start at $119.95 per month. 

US Census Bureau

When developing new products and services, you want to get as much information about your target market as possible. What better way than looking at the Census Bureau data? 

The Census data gives accurate and detailed information about the American public and economy, which is critical to understanding the potential market for a product or service. This sort of data gives you the ‘big picture’ of your customer base and is often the backbone or initial supporting data for your market research project. Participation in the US Census is mandatory, ensuring that you have access to a huge dataset of accurate information. 

It does have some limitations. Given the Census is only taken every ten years, the information can become outdated quickly. Also, it may not be specific or detailed enough to relate to your particular project. 

But given it’s free for all to access, it’s a great starting point for general research. 

Competitor analysis is an essential part of any successful market research journey. Similarweb allows users to analyze any website or app to understand how competitors are positioning themselves in the market by measuring their digital traffic. 

Insights include total visits, global rank, country rank, pages per visit, and bounce rate. Within the platform, you can also easily find similarly ranked sites to compare and contrast to your own. 

Importantly, Similarweb provides traffic and engagement analysis with demographic information, other visited websites, and audience interests. This provides a vast amount of information to accurately compare your website and app with competitors, giving you a much clearer picture of what your customers are interested in and where you stand in the marketplace.

Similarweb offers plenty of free tools and business quotes for those interested in paid plans. 

Business intelligence tool, Tableau, is designed to help companies gain helpful insights from data. Those insights can drive business decisions, generate accurate planning, and improve forecasting. 

A visual analytics platform, the tool is useful for data management, visual storytelling, and collaboration between team members. 

With a dedicated dashboard, providing a range of key analytics, discovering how your business is performing (and where it could do better) is straightforward. They also offer end-to-end data for a complete picture. 

Individual plans with Tableau start at $70 per month. 

Facebook Audience Insights

For some businesses, Facebook advertising drives campaigns, boosts sales, and grows customer engagement. 

Facebook Audience Insights help business owners discover more than just what their competitors are doing. The tool provides aggregated information to show data from those who are already connected to the business and another set to provide information about those generally on Facebook. This key information can drive awareness of new customers and increase the chances of boosting interest and growing a customer base.

Specifically, Facebook Audience Insights provides demographic information, key interests, and lifestyle data to build a picture of your current and potential customers. Even better, the tool is free to use. 

Question and answer platform, Quora, isn’t technically a research tool. Because it holds an incredible amount of information, it can help content marketers and product developers uncover key topics of interest. 

This platform is also free for everyone to use. 


When wanting to increase brand loyalty and engagement—not only do you need an accurate tool to track that data—you also need to understand who’s talking about your business and where. 

BrandMentions does just that. The tool helps businesses manage their brand reputation, acquire new customers, and retain current ones, all while engaging with customers and key influencers.

With BrandMentions, it’s simpler to accurately measure the success of campaigns, track social media mentions and performance, measure brand performance, and monitor hashtags.

Plans with BrandMentions start at $99 per month.

The list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Dovetail. Dovetail ensures that you can store customer research, feedback, and insights in one streamlined place—all to empower your team with accurate decision-making.

Regardless of whether the user data came through a survey, a focus group, usability testing, or product feedback, Dovetail also enables you to analyze your market research data and generate insights that can help you understand your customer and competition.

The platform also has templates for anything from analyzing competitors to gaining feedback or running an employee engagement survey. Dovetail can help you complete research that’ll have a real impact.

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15 Top Market Research Tools & Software (2024)

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In this guide we'll cover the best 15 free and paid market research tools in 2024. 

We'll also cover their key features, pricing and specific use cases that each tool is best used for. 

1. Statista

Statista is primarily a statistics portal that also offers customized market research reports. 


To quickly find relevant reports, just type in a keyword (like "beverages"), and Statista will show you a list of these reports.

This information makes it easy to gauge an industry's market cap, trend direction, consumer behavior, and other critical signals to help you decide whether to invest in that market.

Statista's data comes from three primary sources:

  • 49% comes from original research (it employs over 100 data analysts)
  • 16% comes from publicly accessible data sources
  • 35% from unique data partnerships like market research institutions
How to Use it For Market Research to learn more about an industry. for more detailed trend information and even create custom research.
Who is it For? researching markets for expansion. looking for new market trends and analyzing competitor growth and consumer demand trends.
Pros and purchase individual reports that are relevant to your use case. . Most data platform pricing starts at over $1,000, but Statista has cheaper plans.
Cons as most of the statistics (particularly the free ones) are based on public data.
Free Plan? Yes – They offer many statistics for free.

Statista offers accounts for small businesses that start at $39 per month and personal accounts with more forecasts and industry reports starting at $490 per month.

2. Exploding Topics

Knowing about a trend before it takes off is the holy grail of market research.

However, most trend analysis is highly subjective and based on someone's best guess about what my take off in the future. So we built  Exploding Topics to help identify trends based on big data. 

The flagship feature is our Trends Database, which contains over 750,000 trending topics across 30 industries like fashion, finance, tech, marketing, pets, beauty, and more.


You'll also see a graph of each keyword's historical search volume growth trend, which you can use to gauge a topic's popularity and stability.

And notably, you can see our projected forecast of the trend's growth over the next year:


How does Exploding Topics find trending topics?

We realize you're probably making important decisions based on our trend data, so data quality is a top priority for us. With that, here's an overview of how we identify and qualify trends:


In addition to the Trends Database, Exploding Topics has a handful of other helpful tools to help you conduct market research more efficiently. Here are a few of those features:

  • Trend Search : While the Trends Database is great for discovering new trends, Trends Search is great if you already know about a trend and just want to see the data behind it. This feature is similar to Google Trends. 
  • Meta Trends : To help you find the products and brands riding a wave, we created the Meta Trends feature.
  • Trending Startups : If you're focused on identifying trending startups, you can use this feature to sort by category and quickly find the fastest growing startups.
  • Trending Products : Similar to the trending startups feature, this shows you a list of physical products seeing rapid growth. 
How to Use it For Market Research (products, brands, and industry keywords) in seconds. in seconds by viewing its historical Google Search volume trend. by reading Weekly Reports.
Who is it For? researching new markets and looking for trending startups. monitoring new industry trends to maintain a competitive edge.
Pros – AI and ML scans the internet to find under-the-radar topics. Then, a human checks topics for business relevancy (specifically, removing fads). – Find trends in seconds by filtering the Trends Database rather than reading endless industry publications, scanning social media, and attending events. – View thousands of trends for free in the basic Trends Database or upgrade for access to premium trend ideas.
Cons – Instead, it’s designed to surface trends with long-term growth potential. – Exploding Topics is more affordable than most enterprise tools as it doesn’t employ a team of consultants.
Free Plan? Yes – There is a free version of the Trends Database.

Exploding Topics has three pricing tiers at $39, $99, and $249 per month (all billed annually). All pricing tiers give users full access to all premium trends, Meta Trends, and the ability to view trending products. 

3. Market Finder

Market Finder is Google's free tool that makes it easy to discover international markets ideal for expansion. So rather than uncovering specific trends, it's best to identify new geographies and demographics with the potential for future growth.


It has two main tools:

  • Dive into new markets : This walks you through a quick quiz that identifies your industry and other specifications about your company. Then, it shows you which countries would be ideal for expansion based on data from Google Ads, search volume, and household income.
  • Test export readiness : Enter your website URL, and it analyzes your business's readiness for expansion by various categories like marketing performance (international traffic, ecommerce capabilities, etc.), operational abilities (payment fit, localization capabilities, etc.), and competitive position (like category demand).

If you have Google Analytics set up, it can pull data directly from the Google Analytics dashboard for a more accurate report.

How to Use it For Market Research based on data from Google Ads, search volume, and household income. based on marketing performance, operational abilities, and competitive position.
Who is it For? researching new geographical markets. looking for new market expansion opportunities.
Pros you might want to explore in more detail – The entire tool is free.
Cons – Certain metrics (like household income for an entire country) aren't very insightful. receive more valuable information.
Free Plan? Yes – It’s entirely free.

It's completely free.

4. Census Business Builder – Best For Brick and Mortar Location Research

The Census Business Builder is an excellent tool for retailers researching geographic markets. You can search by zip code, town, or state and see specific metrics like population, average household income, and education level.


It also has more advanced filters that can provide more detailed valuable insights depending on the business you're launching.

For example, if you're launching a fast casual restaurant, you can use the "Consumer Spending" filter and see how much people spend on alcoholic beverages and dining out in that selected area.

This can help you identify the best locations to open a new location.

How to Use it For Market Research (education, spending on particular products, etc.) for specific geographic locations.
Who is it For? researching new geographic markets for expansion. researching the best geographic areas to allocate capital.
Pros like average spending on clothing or dining out for a particular zip code. as it’s collected by the Census Bureau.
Cons , so it’s really limited to brick and mortar market research. .
Free Plan? Yes – It’s entirely free

It’s entirely free.

5. Grand View Research

Grand View Research is a research and consulting company that also offers market reports across a variety of industries.


Most of their market research reports provide statistics like market size, compounding annual growth rate, market breakdown by sectors, and competitive analysis.

Their paid offering allows you to segment the data to find more specific metrics (i.e., only data for the Japanese pet market).

In addition to the free reports, Grand View Research also offers custom research services, and you can talk to one of their analysts for more personalized assistance.

How to Use it For Market Research like market size, CAGR, top competitors in the space, and the fastest-growing sectors.
Who is it For? looking for new markets to launch a business. analyzing the market landscape for new trends and opportunities. researching market growth trends and opportunities.
Pros and offer general metrics that can help you gauge a market’s growth potential. if you need more specific data covering most industries from pets and beauty to AI and cryptocurrency.
Cons . to $10,500. .
Free Plan? Yes – Some of the market reports are available for free.

They offer plenty of marketing reports for free, though access to premium research reports site-wide starts at $10,500.

SpyFu is an SEO (search engine optimization) tool that allows you to do basic tasks like keyword research and backlink analysis. However, it really shines as a competitive analytics tool that makes it easy to discover the marketing strategies that other top players in a particular market are using.

Just type in any URL, and you'll be able to find SEO metrics like total traffic, search term rankings, and backlink analysis. It also shows some PPC metrics like Google Ads they're running, paid keywords, and ad history.


This makes it possible to estimate how much search traffic exists in that market.

How to Use it For Market Research . . to see how difficult it will be to beat the top competitors.
Who is it For? that want more competitive intelligence data to better allocate marketing spend. analyzing the competitive landscape (i.e., spot up-and-coming competitors, understand who owns the most digital real estate, etc.). researching a company’s marketing growth trends.
Pros . .
Cons if you already have an SEO tool, so check if you can access the metrics you need before purchasing. .
Free Plan? Yes – It offers a free plan.

Spyfu has three different pricing tiers at $16, $36, and $149 per month (billed annually). The main difference between each pricing tier is the number of searches, data exports, and domain overview PDFs.

7. Crunchbase

Crunchbase is a database of startups that makes it easy for users to find data like money raised to date and information on key players in the company (investors, founders etc.).


It also has many other metrics like acquisition status and employee headcount, but its primary focus is on funding data.

To use the database, just type in a niche (e.g., "AI") and filter by other relevant information like total amount raised, location, and more.

From there, Crunchbase will give you a list of companies that meet the defined criteria.

How to Use it For Market Research (or companies across a specific market) using financial and hiring data. by seeing which companies have raised what and from who. for any companies or important metrics.
Who is it For? exploring new markets who want to see funding and financial data of the industry leaders. that want to either find promising companies in a particular market to invest in or explore the general growth of an up-and-coming market. that want to track the investments of other competing firms that want to keep tabs on competitor growth.
Pros (likely more than 100 different filters) with everything from employee headcount to last funding date/amount. , so the information is usually fairly accurate.
Cons for smaller companies.
Free Plan? Yes – You can see about five companies for free for each search.

The their Pro plan starts at $49 per month.

Awario is a social mention and brand tracking tool that also doubles as a market research tool.


Specifically, the tool allows you to track various keywords across social media platforms, like brand names, product keywords, industry influencers, and more. For example, if you're considering building or investing in a mobile app for sleep tracking, you can easily track brand names like Oura Ring or keywords like "sleep tracker."

This makes it easy to see key industry conversations to better understand your ideal buyer persona and identify potential gaps in the market.

Awario also tracks sentiment analysis to see how people feel about various competitors in the space.

How to Use it For Market Research to learn why they use the product/service, their general pain points, and what they look for in that product/service offering. to learn specific pain points with each competitor in the space. to follow or reach out to for collaborations. to receive relevant reports for the keywords you care about most.
Who is it For? who want to keep tabs on the target market’s general pain points and needs. that want to use customer data to make a better product or service.
Pros what they want and how they’re underserved. in the space to learn more about the market. (this isn’t common in all social listening tools).
Cons if you’re not very savvy with the Boolean feature (especially if the keyword is fairly generic). within the data.
Free Plan? No

Awario has three pricing tiers at $24, $74, and $249 per month (billed annually). The difference between each pricing tier is mainly the number of topics, new mentions, and stored mentions that you’re monitoring.

G2 is one of the most popular software review websites. Which makes it a great tool to quickly find qualitative and quantitative customer data on virtually any software market.


First, you can view reviewer details, like title, industry, business size, and region, which is useful for accurately identifying the market's target demographic. You can also filter reviews by any of those categories.

The G2 review structure is also quite helpful as it consists of the following questions:

  • What do you like best about (product)?
  • What do you dislike about (product)?
  • What problems is (product) solving and how is that benefiting you?

This customer experience data is a goldmine for investors and startup founders as it makes it easy to quickly identify gaps in the market and understand key pain points customers are trying to solve.

G2 also provides a list of competitors for each product so that you can easily find other related companies to research.

Finally, G2 makes an effort to ensure that the customer feedback is legitimate by allowing users to verify themselves and even marking incentivized reviews.

How to Use it For Market Research what they like and dislike about the product and the company’s service so that you can build a better product/service. by using the filters to see the customers’ title, business size, industry, and region. in the side bar and conduct one-on-one comparisons to accurately identify the top competitors in the market
Who is it For? who want to identify gaps in a market to create a better product/service. that want access to unbiased reviews to assess a potential investment opportunity.
Pros (with specific questions on what customers like, dislike, and use cases) make it a goldmine for market research. (such as a business partner) to improve data quality.
Cons as it’s easy for companies to encourage only happy customers to write reviews. so previous complaints and feature requests may now be irrelevant. , so consumer businesses will need to find an alternative review website (Amazon reviews might be a good option).
Free Plan? Yes – You can browse reviews for free.

G2 is free for users to browse reviews, though it does offer other paid plans for marketers and investors.

10. Prisync

If you're launching a new ecommerce product, Prisync is an excellent tool for competitor price tracking, as it identifies price changes in real-time.


In fact, it can dynamically adjust your store's prices according to the rules you set and the competitive data it gathers.

While Prisync is usually best for ecommerce stores that have already launched, you can also use its competitive analysis features to track pricing trends for top players in any market.

For example, in addition to tracking real-time price fluctuations, Prisync also has a price history tracking feature that provides insight into how prices are trending over time, which helps you identify volatility in the market.

How to Use it For Market Research If you notice prices continue to drop, that might be a sign that the market is declining. by tracking which competitor products are out of stock most frequently. by identifying how many competitors are cheaper than you and how many are more expensive than you.
Who is it For? that want to stay up-to-date with the latest pricing trends.
Pros and is one of the top rated solutions on G2. . is a feature unique to their platform, which is valuable for analyzing a market.
Cons . . So if you’re just doing preliminary market research it might be a bit overpriced.
Free Plan? No

It has three pricing tiers at $99, $199, and $399 per month. Pricing tiers are differentiated by the number of products it tracks (up to 100, 1,000, and 5,000 products at each pricing tier) and it locks premium features behind different pricing tiers, like dynamic pricing, daily email notifications, price history, and API access.

11. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey makes is designed to help you create user-friendly online surveys. You can choose from multiple different survey templates (NPS, product testing, customer satisfaction, etc.) and question types (multiple choice, matrix, open-ended, rating scale, image, etc.).


If you don't have an audience, you can use Surveymonkey's audience panel tool, which runs your survey to a specific demographic for you.

Just specify your target market (i.e., mons with a household income of at least $50,000), and SurveyMonkey takes care of the rest.

If you're interested in learning more about how SurveyMonkey ensures you receive high-quality responses, here's a resource on their approach to quality control .

How to Use it For Market Research to learn more about a market. from your target demographic by using its Audience panel feature. with the Product Concept Analysis feature to compare which ones perform best with your ideal audience.
Who is it For? that want to gather data from their ideal target markets.
Pros which is a great way to get responses if you don’t have an audience. that’s easy to navigate and beginner-friendly.
Cons (e.g., "college graduates," "smartphone owners," etc.). than some of the competing survey form tools.
Free Plan? Yes

The survey tool starts at $39 per month, but pricing for the Audience Panel starts at $1 per response, and requires a minimum of 200 responses. So you can expect pricing to start at $200 per survey.

12. Respondent

Having a live conversation with your ideal target audience is one of the best ways to learn about a market and the audience's needs.


The problem is that it can be difficult to find people to interview and then get them to agree to talk to you.

Respondent solves this problem.

It allows you to submit a request detailing who you want to talk to (e.g., title, company size, industry, etc.), and then it finds people for you.

So if you want to talk to CFOs at healthcare companies, Respondent can help connect you with those people.

If you don't want to get on a call and prefer to just survey an audience, Respondent can run your survey to a specified audience.

How to Use it For Market Research so that you can get on a call and learn more about the market, customer pain points, and more. for your ideal target market.
Who is it For? trying to find product-market fit. that want to learn more about the target market of a particular market before making an investment. interested in expanding into a new market.
Pros so that you can just get on the customer research call. from a list of applicants that applied to your submission. , so you can create as many requests as you want free of charge.
Cons , especially as you target higher executives.
Free Plan? No

You choose the incentive that you want to pay respondents, so pricing varies depending on the price you set. Then, Respondent charges 50% of the incentive fee as their service fee.

Attest is another audience survey tool.


Like Respondent, Attest provides an audience for you to survey. All you need to do is provide demographic information about who you're targeting, and the questions you want to ask.

Attest can assemble audiences from a pool of over 125 million consumers around the world.

The company then uses a mix of AI scanning and human oversight to review the data collected by your attest survey. This is to improve the reliability and consistency of your data.

Attest won't turn your data into insights, though—once you get your results, you'll have to use other tools to help with the analysis.

How to Use it For Market Research that match your target audience
Who is it For? but don't have access to a group of website visitors, subscribers, or customers yet about a website or app before launch
Pros —Attest takes care of that that align with the groups you're interested in reaching to improve the reliability of your data
Cons so you'll need to draw your own conclusions , as Attest only takes care of finding an audience and issuing the survey
Free Plan? No

Attest offers three plans based on usage—but they don't publish their prices online. You'll need to get in touch with the company and request a quote.

14. Qualaroo

Qualaroo is an audience survey tool.


The platform makes it easy to set up questionnaires that appear on your website at different intervals during a visitor's journey.

Companies can use Qualaroo to gather more information about things like:

  • Visitor needs and motivations
  • App or website user decisions
  • Purchase decisions
  • Products for sale

You can target specific website visitors based on time of day, location, and more. This makes it possible to research specific groups of visitors—useful for building or verifying audience personas.

You can also use Qualaroo to collect focus group feedback about website and app prototypes before you launch them.

How to Use it For Market Research or prototype to find out what visitors feel about the experience or content of your target audience based on their location, visit frequency, and more
Who is it For? to build out customer surveys, plan marketing campaigns, and more
Pros from real customers and leads that are interested in your app or website using Qualaroo's Nudge™ feature
Cons in order to gather enough responses to support many market research activities to survey, unlike Respondent or Attest
Free Plan? Yes

Qualaroo's free plan allows users to collect up to 50 survey responses a month for free. If you want higher usage limits, you'll need to subscribe to a paid plan.

The company's business tier plan costs $39.99 per month (or $19.99 per month when billed annually) per 100 responses.

You'll be billed extra for any month in which you go over 100 responses; the total cost depends on volume.

15. ChatGPT

ChatGPT is an AI chat assistant that can help you plan for and analyze market research efforts.


There are several ways that ChatGPT is useful during the market research process, including:

  • Reviewing information about your target audience and creating survey questions
  • Processing and analyzing data collected from tools like Attest or SurveyMonkey
  • Analyzing, summarizing, and answering questions about data-heavy PDF reports
  • Creating customer persona documents

If you have a ChatGPT Plus plan, you can even train your own GPT to produce the analysis or content that you need. It's possible to save and reuse these GPTs, so they can speed up your workflow.

How to Use it For Market Research based on different audience segments and reports based on your research collected from another tool or source and documents for quick reference or revie
Who is it For? in their market research efforts, such as writing questions, building audiences, and analyzing data
Pros and can help with a number of marketing research projects that allow you to easily share any custom GPTs you make with your colleagues
Cons and results between ChatGPT and other platforms with AI chatbots, so you may need to still review everything yourself
Free Plan? Yes

It's free to use ChatGPT, though you may run into some feature limitations. You'll also have to use a slightly older version of the GPT AI, which can lead to more errors.

To customize your experience and get more tools for document analysis, you'll need a ChatGPT Plus plan starting at $20 per month.

This wraps up our list of some of the best tools for conducting market research in 2024.

If you're in the market research space, you may want to check out our report on the biggest trends in market research happening right now. 

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26 Tools & Resources for Conducting Market Research

Jami Oetting

Published: April 30, 2024

Conducting market research pulls details together to help you choose new products or services to launch. They also help identify your audiences and best marketing strategies so you are ready to act without the guesswork.

market research tools: displayed on top of laptop

Businesses use market research software to minimize risk and make more data-driven choices.

I own a small business, and by gathering facts and opinions, I can better predict whether new products or features — and for more prominent companies, even locations — will succeed before investing.

Here are 25 of the best tools for conducting market research, including a few recommendations directly from HubSpot market researchers and bloggers who use them.

→ Download Now: Market Research Templates [Free Kit]

Helpful Market Research Tools & Resources

1. similarweb.


Image Source

Similarweb is probably the highest quality, most well-known, and most convenient way to get and compare traffic information about any website you land on — short of having an expert analyst whispering in your ear, which could get awkward. Their free suite of products — including the Chrome extension — is worth exploring and gives you useful, high-level information. The deep insights come from taking advantage of their database of real-world information on global website performance gathered over time, which they’ve already been building for over 10 years. They have their finger on the pulse of online business worldwide, from sales to sites to stocks.

Microsoft, Amazon, and even Google use Similarweb and the insights they provide on other enterprise-level operations down to small businesses. If you want to know how your company stacks up and then initiate a robust research and marketing campaign, these are serious tools that can help you grow.

What I like: One of their add-ons is called App Intelligence, and it can benchmark your growth and track your progress against millions of apps — for both iOS and Android — and provide daily insights on app rankings, engagement, retention, and more.

Pricing : Starter plans cost $125 per month paid annually; professional plans cost $333 per month billed annually; team and enterprise plans have custom pricing.


For Max Iskiev , market research analyst at HubSpot, one research tool stands out from the rest: Glimpse.

He told me, “Glimpse is my favorite research tool. It’s quick and easy to use, allowing me to design and launch short surveys for real-time insights on trending topics.”

Writers for the HubSpot Marketing Blog have also used Glimpse to run short, 100-person surveys for articles (case in point: Are Sales Reps Rushing Back to the Office? ).

Not only is Glimpse valuable for doing quick pulse-checks on the latest trends, but it also leverages the power of AI for even deeper insights.

“Glimpse really shines when it comes to open-ended questions, using natural language processing and AI to analyze emotion and sentiment, saving time, and offering invaluable insights,” Iskiev shared.

Best for: Those who can invest in AI tools for their businesses but don’t need a decade’s deep dive like users of Similarweb might.

Pricing : Starter Plan - Free; Professional - $500/month; Advanced - $1,000/month; Enterprise - custom pricing.

3. BuzzSumo


BuzzSumo offers several highly useful tools that work best as a content research tool for mid-size businesses and up. If you need many ideas for a whole lot of content, BuzzSumo is likely a good fit for your company.

Their monitoring tools can alert you to new content that relates to your keywords of choice.

This is smart for writers, content strategists, and those who manage writers and content strategists to stay on top of trends in what consumers want to know more about within your industry — so you’re right there to provide it.

BuzzSumo also gives you access to reporting tools that stream various sources of information to your dashboard, making it easy to keep up with developments and build visual assets to communicate about them.

You can find major influencers — worldwide — through BuzzSumo that fit your brand to sponsor and collaborate with.

Unfortunately, BuzzSumo doesn’t integrate well with Instagram, so you’ll want to focus on influencers that use other social channels unless you’re willing to do IG work on the side.

What I like: Their Chrome extension is a nice addition to their offerings for companies that work with freelancers and remote workers to take the work on the move.

Pricing: Free 30-day trials are available. Content creation plans cost $199 per month; PR and comms plans cost $299 per month; suite plans cost $499 per month; and Enterprise plans cost $999 per month.

4. Answer the Public


Answer the Public is a sister product to UberSuggest, both being brainchildren of Neil Patel.

Answer: the Public watches what people are searching for and lets you keep track of how things change over time. By studying the changes, you can be at the front of trends — positive or negative — so you can respond to the changes quickly.

It’s billed as an excellent tool for public relations professionals to give them a heads-up on how their company is faring in the public eye.

If you fall on the wrong side of public sentiment, you can be right on top of salvaging the situation and making improvements to regain trust.

If you’re doing something right and see gains in positive engagement, you know to keep up what you’re doing and may even want to expand upon it.

Great examples of what organizations have done with information like this include Wendy’s ongoing roasts and savage clapbacks on social media.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s hilarious insistence on not bringing mountain lions in the house also nabbed engagement by the truckloads (of corgis).

What I like: I like that Masterclass videos are available. They make sure to include lots of opportunities to learn how to best use their products and get maximum value from the suite.

Pricing : Individual plans cost $9 per month; pro plans cost $99 per month; expert plans cost $199 per month. Lifetime Pricing is available. Individual lifetime plans cost $99, pro lifetime plans cost $199; and expert lifetime plans cost $1,990.

5. GrowthBar SEO

growth bar

GrowthBar SEO is all-in for AI. If your leadership wants a slice of the AI action at work in the company’s market research, this might be the tool to reach for.

It uses ChatGPT-4, and the peer-to-peer review site G2 ranked it the #1 AI writing tool for SEO in 2022 and 2023.

What sets it apart is that the AI writing assistant doesn’t just compile and give word to information it finds online.

It offers selections of relevant keywords, titles, headings, industry standard word counts, and link suggestions that you can choose from as you move through the outline.

They also include tools for keyword research, keyword ranking, and information about your keyword competitors. And because Google search is incorporated into the suite, you can do most, if not all, of your writing work on one screen.

Pro tip: As with all AI content, you’ll need a writer to bring the content to life by fact-checking information, adding unique or inside perspectives, meaningful quotes, and many other values that make the content rich to read.

GrowthBar SEO knows this, and you can source freelance writers there as well!

Pricing : A seven-day free trial is available. Standard plans cost $36 per month; pro plans cost $74.25 per month; and agency plans cost $149.25 per month.

6. Statista


Statista is a data visualization website that takes data from reputable reports across the web and makes them easy and digestible for researchers, marketers, and product creators just like you.

“Statista is like my market research sidekick, giving me all the data I need without the endless search. No more digging through the haystack. With Statista, I can spot trends and make informed decisions with ease," Icee Griffin , market researcher at HubSpot, told me.

One neat aspect of using Statista is that the same chart is updated as the years pass. Say that you want to allude to the value of the beauty market in your proposal.

If your investor accesses that same graph a year from now, it will reflect updated numbers. Statista finds the most recent research to update their visualizations.

Pro tip: Statista doesn’t carry out original research, but does have around 100 analysts who seek out gaps in their resources to provide ever more useful, trending data.

Pricing : Basic plans are free. Starter plans cost $199 per month, billed annually. Professional plans cost $959 per month, billed annually.

7. Think With Google Research Tools


Wish you had information on your product’s likelihood of success?

Think With Google’s marketing research tools offer interesting insights on whether anyone is looking for your product ( Google Trends ), which markets to launch to ( Market Finder ), and what retail categories rise as the months and seasons pass ( Rising Retail Categories ).

If you’d like to market your product through YouTube, the Find My Audience tool allows you to investigate what your potential viewers are interested in and what you should discuss on your brand’s YouTube channel.

What I like: Free and incredibly useful in my experience, small and newer businesses really benefit from having tools like this to conduct market research and get their growth rolling.

Pricing : Free

8. Census Bureau

explore census data

The Census Bureau offers a free resource for searching U.S. census data.

You can filter by age, income, year, and location. You can also use some of its shortcuts to access visualizations of the data, allowing you to see potential target markets across the country.

If you’re considering a highly competitive product or service, you can easily find out where your target industry is most popular — or where the market has been oversaturated.

Another helpful tool is the Census Bureau Business and Economy data , where you can also target premade tables depending on your industry.

Pro tip: The text information on each screen can be overwhelming, so here’s a shortcut for you. One of the best ways to use this tool is by finding the NAICS code for your business.

Then, access the " Tables “ tool, click ”Filter" on the sidebar, and search for your industry.

9. Make My Persona

explore my persona

HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool allows you to create a buyer persona for your potential new product. In this tool, you pick a name for the persona, choose their age, identify their career characteristics, and identify their challenges.

This allows you to pinpoint both demographic and psychographic information.

Creating a buyer persona is an early step in the marketing process but an important one to avoid scope creep.

If you’re unsure about details like these and how to use market research tools for your business, let me recommend Hubspot’s Market Research Kit .

It’s completely free and helps you build a strong foundation for data-driven decision-making in your future marketing strategies.

Best for: Make My Persona is best suited to B2B product launches because you’ll be prompted to document your buyer persona’s career objectives and role-specific challenges.

Ideally, your product would solve a problem for them in the workplace or help their company achieve revenue goals.

10. Tableau


Tableau is a business intelligence suite of products that allows you to “connect to virtually any data source.” But the data isn’t presented in unreadable tables.

Rather, Tableau helps you visualize this data in a way that helps you glean insights, appeal to external stakeholders, and communicate the feasibility of your product to potential investors.

You can visualize data on anything from corn production in tropical climate zones to office product sales in North America. With Tableau’s tools, you can take as granular or as general a look you’d like into potential marketplaces and supplier regions.

What I like: Visual information for humans and pure data for the machines all in one. Tableau integrates well with spreadsheets and databases so that you can export Tableau data to Excel , back up records in Amazon Redshift, and more.

Pricing : Tableau Viewer plans cost $14 per user each month when billed annually. Tableau Explorer plans cost $42 per user each month when billed annually. Tableau Creator plans cost $75 per user each month when billed annually.

11. Mentionlytics


Mentionlytics is a web and social media monitoring tool that allows businesses to discover people's thoughts about their brands, campaigns, products, or services.  Users can create and customize reports and get data-driven insights that will help them make informed decisions. They can also filter results by language, location, and social media channel to personalize results.  Analyzing sentiment and emotion lets you easily understand what will work for your brand and industry and what you should avoid.  The Share of Voice report allows you to benchmark against your direct competitors and industry. You can also identify trends and discover influencers in your niche and area to boost your next steps.

Best for: Mentionlytics is great for competitor analysis and crisis detection. Their Social Intelligence Advisor (SIA) turns large volumes of data into understandable knowledge to offer custom advice on crisis detection and brand growth.

Pricing: A 14-day free trial is available for most plans. Basic plans cost $69 per month; Essential plans cost $139 per month; Advanced plans cost $249 per month; Pro plans cost $399 per month; Agency plans cost $599 per month; Enterprise plans cost $950 per month. Annual billing options offer discounts.

12. Paperform


A market research survey is an effective way to better understand your target audience and their needs by asking them directly.

This step is integral to understanding your dream customers’ problems, so you want to ensure the process is as interactive as possible and gathers objective, accurate responses.

With its free-text interface, Paperform is as simple as writing a Word document. You can make your survey stand out by customizing colors, fonts, layouts, and themes to create your unique look and feel.

There are 27+ question field types, such as ranking, matrix, or scale fields. Use several to create visually engaging surveys that collect more information and see higher completion stats.

If you’re unsure where to start, you can use one of their expertly-made questionnaires or market research survey templates to get you started.

Best for: In my experience, Paperform is able to efficiently incorporate multiple customer personas. It uses conditional logic to show or hide questions or whole sections of content to create fully personalized paths.

These interactive forms lower drop-off rates and boost customer interaction.

Pricing: Essentials plans cost $29 per month. Pro plans cost $59 per month. Business plans cost $199 per month. For enterprise pricing, contact Paperform’s sales team.


GWI is an on-demand consumer research platform that makes audience research a breeze. Powered by the world’s largest study on the online consumer base, GWI provides insights into the lives of over 2.8 billion consumers across 50+ markets.

With 250k+ profiling points, you can find your unique customers and learn everything you need to know about who they are, what’s on their minds, and what they’re up to.

One user-friendly platform makes it quick and easy to become an expert on your audience and capture the answers you need to succeed.

Pro tip: GWI even has features to compare markets and create customized and shareable charts in seconds, helping you distribute critical information as quickly as you find it.

Pricing : Explore Interactive Demo for free; Flexible and custom pricing with discounts available.

14. SurveyMonkey


SurveyMonkey is a powerful tool for creating in-depth market research surveys that will help you understand your market and consumer preferences.

With this tool, you can create targeted, uber-specific surveys that help you collect answers that pertain specifically to your product.

While using a data source can give you a general overview of your target audience and market, SurveyMonkey can help you get more granular insights from real consumers.

SurveyMonkey offers dedicated market research solutions and services and a reporting dashboard option that allows you to easily parse through the results.

What I like: I like that SurveyMonkey is a good fit for exploring markets beyond your shores. It includes a global survey panel and survey translation service for international research.

  • Individual plans: Advantage annual plans cost $39 per month. Premier annual plans cost $119 a month. Monthly plans cost $99 per month.
  • Team plans: Team advantage plans cost $29 per person each month. Team premier plans cost $75 per person each month.
  • Enterprise pricing is available upon request.

15. Typeform


Like SurveyMonkey, Typeform allows you to run research surveys to get direct answers from your target consumers. It’s an easy-to-use, mobile-optimized form-builder that’s great for market research.

Typeform’s distinguishing factor is that it shows viewers one form field at a time. In its templates, Typeform encourages a more conversational, casual approach (like in its market research survey template ).

You can create a wide range of question types, and other features include the ability to recall answers from previous questions and create logic jumps.

In a survey, you’d want to collect both demographic and psychographic information on your customers to understand their purchasing behaviors and the problems they encounter.

The goal is to find out if your product is the solution to one of those problems — and whether, before launching, you should add more features or rethink your product positioning strategy .

Best for: I think Typeform is best for product launches that target a younger demographic.

If you’re targeting C-suite executives at established firms, consider a more formal option, such as SurveyMonkey, or keeping your tone more formal in your questions.

Pricing : Free plans are available. Basic plans cost $29 per month. Plus plans cost $59 per month. Business plans cost $99 per month. Enterprise plans are available upon request.

16. PureSpectrum Insights (Previously Upwave Instant Insights )


PureSpectrum acquired Upwave Instant Insights in 2021 and rebranded as PureSpectrum Insights.

As before, this platform is primarily a consumer research tool. While it isn’t advertised as a survey creation tool, it allows you to launch market research surveys specifically to get consumer insights.

PureSpectrum allows you to perform customer and market segmentation and also to visualize your data for easy scanning by key stakeholders and investors. They’ve grown to include A/B testing, brand tracking, and customer sentiment.

Pro tip: PureSpectrum distributes your survey to real people. Take a look at their marketplace profile to get a sense of where and from whom you can collect valuable data.

Pricing : Schedule a demo for more information.

17. Claritas MyBestSegment


Claritas MyBestSegment provides product researchers with tools to understand a specific area’s demographic information as well as the lifestyle habits of those who live there.

Their audience segments give you information gleaned from tens of thousands of data points, giving you insight into much more than just household income, employment, and education levels.

By finding out what a segment of the population does — without having to go out and survey them — you can find out which areas would be most receptive to a campaign or launch.

You can also discover which competitors are located nearby and which lifestyle trends have shifted or are on the rise.

What I like: I like that they are able to do some of the leg work for you. Syndicated Audiences is a tool available from Claritas for finding an organized audience of consumers who are more likely to be interested in your products or services.

Pricing : Pricing is available upon request.


Loop11 is a user experience testing platform that allows you to test the usability of your website, study user intent, test the information architecture of your site, and examine how the user experience changes based on the device they’re using.

Loop11 tests your site on any device by making users perform tasks. They then complete a short question about how easy or difficult the task was to complete.

Your product may be phenomenal, but unless consumers can actually buy it through your site, your launch won’t be successful.

You can use Loop11’s participants for niche demographics or bring in your own to learn more about your current customers.

Best for: Market research for your site development. You can find out whether your target consumers find your site easy to navigate and also identify snags that prevent conversions.

Pricing : Rapid Insights plans cost $199 monthly or $179 per month, billed annually. Pro plans cost $399 per month or $358 per month, billed annually. Enterprise plans cost $599 per month or $533 per month, billed annually.

19. Userlytics


Like Loop11, Userlytics allows you to test the usability of your website, mobile app, and site prototype. You can target different devices, define a buyer persona, and disqualify participants based on screening questions.

Testing is based on tasks that your test-takers carry out. They then answer a simple question about the difficulty of the task. You can structure the question in various ways:

You can leave it open-ended, provide multiple choices, or ask for a rating. Other formats you can use include System Usability Scale (SUS) questions, Net Promoter Score (NPS) questions, and Single Ease Questions (SEQ).

What I like: Userlytics performs both a webcam and a screen recording. You can compare the user’s answers with their reactions on video to understand how they feel when they’re interacting with your assets.

Pricing : Schedule a free demo for more information.


Sometimes, you need a no-frills test to take the pulse of consumers. Temper allows you to create a question and pop it onto your website, into your emails, etc.

The smiley face, “meh” face, and frowny face make it easy for viewers to share their feelings — and for you to read their minds.

You can also add it to a product page or a landing page, tailoring the questions to fit your offerings.

As for what you see, there are three options for receiving the feedback: in a tab on each page you are monitoring, embedded in the web page itself to narrow in on aspects within the page, or at the bottom of emails so you can get real-time information as the interaction unfolds.

Pro tip: One great way I’ve seen this used is by adding it to a blog post announcing the launch of a new product. You can find out general sentiment toward the product before it even launches!

Pricing : Hobby plans cost $12 per month. Pro plans cost $49 per month. Business plans cost $89 per month. White label plans cost $199 per month.

21. NielsenIQ (NIQ)


NielsenIQ (NIQ) is a retail and consumer intelligence consultant that works with you to collect consumer insights, identify the best distribution channels for your product, and create a range of products to address the needs of your target buyers.

This service helps you look at your product launch from all angles, delivering forecasting data that predicts how your sales will perform upon launch. NielsenIQ can also run consumer insights surveys on their list of panelists and partners.

NIQ now offers a service called Byzzer to help small businesses with fewer resources. It opens a door for market research reporting, in-person events, and consulting at a lower cost than the full NIQ suite.

Best for: I think Byzzer can be a helpful and affordable option for smaller businesses, but because NielsenIQ operates like a consultant and not as a self-service software, it is a better option for established firms with a bigger product launch budget.

Pricing : Pricing is available on request.

22. Ubersuggest


Don’t be intimidated by the visually text-heavy Ubersuggest. It really is an easy tool for doing keyword and content research. You just input a phrase, and it’ll create a list of keyword suggestions.

You can also see top-performing articles and pages to better understand the types of content that rank for those keywords.

This tool is useful for market research because you can see who your top competitors are, how often your product is searched for, and whether there’s enough space in the market for the type of product you’re launching.

You can also find out the questions your target audience asks in relation to the product. Each of these questions can be turned into an informative blog post that can guide your audience, increase your brand authority, and drive conversions.

Pro tip: If you want a quick look at the results you can get, head to their website and do a search — just know that you only get one glimpse before they make you register. Alternatives to Ubersuggest include Moz , Ahrefs , and SEMRush .

Pricing : Free seven-day trials are available for all three tiers. Individual plans cost $29 per month. Business plans cost $49 per month. Enterprise and agency plans cost $99 per month. Add-ons are available at $5 each. Lifetime memberships are also available.

23. Pew Research Center


From economic conditions to political attitudes, social media usage to food science, the Pew Research Center website has loads of free research that you can use to better understand your target markets.

Be careful with your curiosity, though. It’s a gorgeous trap of interesting information that can drain your day away — but so happily.

I that Pew Research Center integrates visual data directly into the text — and we’re not talking about a chart or image spliced in.

The site has hundreds of interactive articles that allow you to filter and sift through the data for more granular, targeted insights while also making dense information easier to understand.

Their research topic selection is delightfully vast. Click the top left tab for “ Research Topics.” Then, there is a link to their “ Full Topic List .” Once there, each topic cluster has a “ More ” option.

What I like: As a writer in digital marketing, I am always on the hunt for targeted and nutritious quotes and insights. I love that you have access to what research participants actually had to say below the Pew Research articles.

It’s a stellar feature for building compelling presentations. The quotes are tagged, too, so you can sort quotes more specifically on various concepts or groups related to the research.

Here’s an example article — scroll to the In Their Own Words section at the bottom to check it out.

24. SocialMention (Part of BrandMentions)


SocialMention is a part of BrandMentions focused on social media monitoring. The platform helps you understand what your prospective customers are buzzing about online.

Search for a keyword, and SocialMentions will show you recent social posts that contain that keyword, along with the context of its usage.

After subscribing to the platform, you’ll also get other metrics such as Reach (how many people view the keyword per day), Performance (how many people engage with the keyword per day), and Mentions by Weekday (when people mention the keyword).

One way to use this tool for market research is by finding out what time of day or night people are looking for your product on social media sites.

Let’s say you’ve developed a sleeping aid app and learn through SocialMention that most people look for sleeping aid apps at 2:00 AM. When you start announcing your product, you will need to schedule your post around 2:00 AM.

Pro tip: Another useful tool you’ll have access to is sentiment analysis on your keywords. It allows you to find out how people are generally feeling about the type of product you’re launching.

That way, you can refine the tone of your campaigns.

Pricing : Growing business plans cost $79 per month. Company plans cost $249 per month. Enterprise and agency plans cost $399 per month. All prices are billed annually.

25. Qualtrics Market Research Panels


Qualtrics takes away the hassle of finding respondents for your market research surveys. They provide an online sample service so you can access real, live human thoughts without having to actually manage any humans.

It’s an introverted marketer’s dream come true!

Once you’ve identified your target audience, head on over to Qualtrics and sign up to access a representative sample.

You can then use Qualtrics’ built-in platform to start gathering insights and information from the people whose pain points you might be able to help solve.

Pro tip: You can actually choose between Qualtrics’ built-in platform or using your own chosen survey software . Sometimes, you’re already familiar and comfy with one system or need to hustle with a program you know — Qualtrics lets you pick.

26. ProProfs Qualaroo


Qualaroo is an advanced user and market research tool that helps you understand your specific market with targeted surveys.

You can run surveys on over six channels at once — such as website, app, product, social media, and email — to get a 360-degree view of your existing and potential customers.

It comes packed with features like question branching, 12+ answer types, automatic survey language translation, in-depth audience targeting, pre-built survey templates, and an extensive repository of professionally designed questions.

You can create various market research surveys in minutes to collect data on the demographic, psychographic, and behavioral traits of your target audience.

It can help you map customers’ expectations and preferences, create customer personas, and perform audience segmentation.

Qualaroo also promotes quick feedback analysis. Its in-built AI-based sentiment analysis and text analytics engine automatically categorizes the responses based on user moods.

It also highlights the key phrases and words in real time, saving hours of manual work.

What we like: In my experience, you can get an awful lot done with just this one source for conducting market research. I like it for its rare combination of tool inclusivity and affordable pricing — it’s definitely a solid source to start with.

Pricing : Omni channel plans for up to 50 responses are free. Omni channel plans for businesses up to 100 responses cost $19.99 per month, billed annually. Email surveys up to 50 responses are free.

Email surveys for businesses up to 100 responses cost $9.99 per month, billed annually.

Conduct Market Research for a Successful Product Launch

Conducting market research is essential to a successful product launch to market.

With the tools I’ve just introduced you to, you can find out who’s looking for your product, why they need it, and how you can better market whatever you’re looking to launch.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How to Conduct Market Research for a Startup

Entrepreneur conducting market research for a startup

  • 17 Mar 2022

With every innovative product idea comes the pressing question: “Will people want to buy it?”

As an entrepreneur with a big idea, what’s the best way to determine how potential customers will react to your product? Conducting market research can provide the data needed to decide whether your product fits your target market.

Before launching a new venture, you should understand market research. Here’s how to conduct market research for a startup and why it’s important.

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What Is Market Research?

Market research is the process of gathering information about customers and the market as a whole to determine a product or service’s viability. Market research includes interviews, surveys, focus groups, and industry data analyses.

The goal of market research is to better understand potential customers, how well your product or service fits their needs, and how it compares to competitors’ offerings.

There are two types of research you can conduct: primary and secondary.

  • Primary research requires collecting data to learn about your specific customers or target market segment. It’s useful for creating buyer personas, segmenting your market, and improving your product to cater to customers’ needs .
  • Secondary research is conducted using data you didn’t collect yourself. Industry reports, public databases, and other companies’ proprietary data can be used to gain insights into your target market segment and industry.

Why Is Market Research Important for Entrepreneurs?

Before launching your venture, it’s wise to conduct market research to ensure your product or service will be well received. Feedback from people who fall into your target demographics can be invaluable as you iterate on and improve your product.

Performing market research can also help you determine a pricing strategy by gauging customers’ willingness to pay for your product. Additionally, it can improve the user experience by revealing what features matter most to potential customers.

When assessing which startups to fund, investors place heavy importance on thorough market research that indicates promising potential. Providing tangible proof that your product fulfills a market need and demonstrating you’ve taken the time to iterate on and improve it signal that your startup could be a worthwhile investment.

Related: How to Talk to Potential Investors: 5 Tips

How to Do Market Research for a Startup

1. form hypotheses.

What questions do you aim to answer through market research? Using those questions, you can make predictions called hypotheses . Defining your hypotheses upfront can help guide your approach to selecting subjects, researching questions, and testing designs.

An example question you may ask is: “How much are people in my target demographic willing to pay for the current version of my product?” Your hypothesis could be: “If my product contains all its current features, customers will be willing to pay $500 for it.”

Another example question you may ask is: “What’s the user’s biggest pain point, and is my product meeting their needs?” Your hypothesis could be: “I believe the user’s biggest pain point is needing an easy, unintimidating way to learn basic car maintenance, and I predict that my product meets that need.”

You can and should test multiple hypotheses, but try to select no more than a few per test, so the research stays focused.

Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Hypothesis Testing in Business

2. Select the Type of Research Needed to Test Hypotheses

Once you’ve formed your hypotheses, determine which type of research to conduct.

If your hypotheses focus on determining your startup’s place in the broader market, start with secondary research. This can include using existing data to determine market size, how much of that market your startup could reasonably own, who your biggest competitors are, and how your brand and product compare to theirs.

If your hypotheses require primary research, decide which data collection method best fits your needs. These can include one-on-one interviews, surveys, focus groups, and polls. Primary research allows you to gather insights into customer satisfaction and loyalty, brand awareness and perception, and real-time product usability.

3. Identify Target Demographics and Recruit Subjects

To gather meaningful insights, you need to understand your target demographic. Do you aim to cater to working parents, young athletes, or pet owners? Determine the type of person who can benefit from your product.

If you conduct primary research, you need to recruit subjects. This can be done in several ways, including:

  • Word of mouth: The simplest but least reliable way to recruit participants is by word of mouth. Ask people you know to refer others to be research subjects, then screen them to confirm they fit your target demographic.
  • Promoting the study on social media: Many social media platforms enable you to show an ad to people who fall into specific demographic categories or have certain interests. This allows you to get the word out to a large number of people who qualify.
  • Hiring a third-party market research company: Some companies provide full market research services and recruit participants and conduct research on your behalf.

However you recruit subjects, ensure they take a screener survey beforehand, which allows you to determine whether they fit the specific demographic you want to study or have a trait that eliminates them from the research pool. It also provides demographic data—such as age and race—that enables you to select a diverse subset of your target demographic.

In addition, you can offer compensation to boost participation, such as money, meal vouchers, gift cards, or early access to your product. Make it clear that compensation is in appreciation for subjects’ time and honest feedback.

4. Conduct the Research

Once you’ve determined the type of research and target demographic necessary to test your hypotheses, conduct your research. To reduce bias, enlist someone unfamiliar with your hypotheses to perform interviews or lead focus groups.

Ask questions based on your audience and hypotheses. For instance, if you’re aiming to test existing customers’ purchase motivations, you may ask: “What challenge were you trying to solve when you first bought the product?”

If examining brand perception, your audience should consist of potential customers who don’t yet know your brand. Present them with a list of competitor logos—with yours in the mix—and ask them to rank the brands by perceived reliability.

While the questions you ask are vehicles to prove or disprove hypotheses, ensure they don’t lead subjects in one direction. To craft unbiased research questions , use neutral language and vary the order of options in multiple-choice questions. This can keep subjects from selecting the same option each time if they sense the third option is always mapped to a certain outcome. It also helps account for primacy bias (the tendency to select the first option in a list) and recency bias (the tendency to select the final option in a list).

Once you’ve collected data, ensure it’s organized efficiently and securely so you can protect subjects’ identities .

Related: 3 Examples of Bad Survey Questions and How to Fix Them

5. Gather Insights and Determine Action Items

After you’ve organized your data, analyze it to extract actionable insights. While some of the data will be qualitative rather than quantitative, you can detect patterns in responses to make it quantifiable. For instance, noting that 15 of 20 subjects mentioned feeling overwhelmed when attempting to assemble your product.

Once you’ve analyzed the data and communicated emerging trends using data visualizations , outline action items.

If the majority of users in your target demographic reported feeling overwhelmed while assembling your product, action items might include:

  • Creating different versions of assembly instructions to test with other groups, varying diagrams and instructional language
  • Researching instruction manual best practices

Each round of market research can offer more information about how your product is perceived and experienced by potential users.

Which HBS Online Entrepreneurship and Innovation Course is Right for You? | Download Your Free Flowchart

Market Research as an Ongoing Endeavor

While it’s useful to conduct market research before launching your product, you should revisit your hypotheses and form new ones over the course of building your venture.

By conducting market research with each version of your product, you can gradually improve it and ensure it continues to fit target customers’ needs.

Are you interested in bolstering your entrepreneurship skills? Explore our four-week online course Entrepreneurship Essentials and our other entrepreneurship and innovation courses to learn to speak the language of the startup world.

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About the Author

How to Conduct Market Research for Startups

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With 50% of new businesses failing within the first five years of operation, startups need to develop a deep understanding of their customer base quickly in order to thrive. Successful new business ventures strategically begin by gathering accurate and thorough information about their industry to identify the best path ahead. Conducting market research for startups is a key step toward meeting customer needs and strengthening marketing messaging.

Market research brings together important details about a business's customers, competition, and industry. The results serve as a tool in a startup’s business planning process as it evolves. Analyzing the findings can help determine the viability of a business concept and identify areas for adjustment to improve performance, profitability, and attract investors.

“Without market research, a startup is just making guesses. Listening to your prospective customers will help you align your product/service and marketing messaging to address their needs.” Dr. Elaine Young, Champlain College Online

As noted by Dr. Elaine Young , professor and program director of marketing communication at Champlain College Online, “Startups need market research so that they can gain insight into the behaviors and values of their target customers. Just because you think your startup idea is amazing, doesn't mean that consumers will. Without market research, a startup is just making guesses. Listening to your prospective customers will help you align your product/service and marketing messaging to address their needs.”

Table of Contents

What is market research?

Why is it valuable for startups, types of market research, methods of market research, how to do market research for startups, sample questions to ask customers.

Market research is defined as the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting a broad set of information about a specific market or industry. The research might focus on:

  • A potential product or service for that market
  • Existing and/or potential customers for the product or service
  • The needs, purchase habits, characteristics, and location of your target market
  • Competitors in your industry
  • Trends within your market or industry as a whole

As a business strategy, market research enables companies to make actionable decisions according to data-based findings. These measurable statistics can be gathered through a variety of methods, which we will explore below.


Startups benefit from market research in multiple ways. With so much time, energy, and funds invested in a startup, taking steps to strengthen the concept and connection to your target audience is critical to survival and the bottom line. 

The market research process delivers value to startups by:

  • Allowing you to test the ideas and concepts behind your product or service
  • Enticing investors with data showing the projected profitability of your venture 
  • Providing statistical evidence to potentially support your business concept or encourage you to adapt it to better meet the needs of your target market
  • Helping to clarify exactly who your customers are
  • Serving as evidence to investors of an entrepreneur’s commitment to improving a business based on current market conditions
  • Increasing the odds of   success of your startup

“Market research can help founders focus their energy, enthusiasm, and resources toward a specific segment and the real target audience.”

Adrienne Wallace, Grand Valley State University

The American Marketing Association confirms that market research can directly increase your bottom line. And trusted market research findings can also speed up the process of getting investors on board with your startup venture.

“Startups can't begin with just a hope and a prayer,” notes Adrienne Wallace , associate professor at Grand Valley State University. “Market research can help founders focus their energy, enthusiasm, and resources toward a specific segment and the real target audience instead of making the age-old error of ‘everyone is the target’ because it simply can't be that for efforts to be fruitful.”


There are two types of market research used most in the business world today: primary and secondary. They can be used individually but are often combined to create a broader understanding of your target market.

Primary research

Primary research involves collecting data directly from your target market. This is often achieved through the use of surveys, interviews, and focus groups. The findings can provide a comprehensive understanding of your customer base’s needs and preferences.

Secondary research

Secondary research requires examining existing data collected by third parties. Examples of potential data sources include news media, industry reports, proprietary data from other companies, academic journals, or public databases. Although targeted data is not always available for your particular industry, secondary research enables you to gain insight and understanding about an industry overall.


Choosing a specific method of market research — either quantitative or qualitative — will determine the type of data collected in your research.

Quantitative research

Quantitative market research gathers large numerical datasets that can be used in statistical analysis. These results offer more accurate snapshots of industry trends and market challenges. Common methods of collecting quantitative research data are through surveys, questionnaires, and polls.

Qualitative research

Qualitative market research strives to identify the reasons behind customers’ buying habits, as well as their needs, wants, and overall customer satisfaction . These results can help clarify the “why” behind your target market’s behaviors and feelings. Focus groups, in-depth interviews, and online bulletin boards are typical methods for conducting qualitative market research.

Generally, quantitative market research is more commonly utilized than qualitative market research because it is more scientific, unbiased, and more easily plicated in future studies. In 2019, 61% of the money spent on market research in the United States went toward quantitative research, with only 12% spent on qualitative research.


Conducting market research is not a quick process, so it requires thoughtful planning. You may handle this research on your own or hire a third-party market research company to manage the process on your behalf. The steps below will guide you through developing a market research strategy that benefits your startup.

Step 1. Define your research purpose

The first step in market research for startups is to determine what questions you hope to answer through this research. From those questions, you can develop projected results that will help reveal the overall purpose of your research. Understanding the purpose from the beginning will be an asset in identifying the best approach to selecting subjects, composing questions, and testing product designs.

Examples of market research purpose include:

  • Confirming consumers’ biggest pain point and whether your product meets their needs
  • Tracking and predicting relevant industry trends
  • Determining consumer spending capacity for a product/service
  • Gauging the market infiltration of your competitors

Step 2. Study your target market and competitors closely

It’s important to take time to study existing information about your target market, your competitors, and your target demographic. Growing your knowledge base about all of these factors in advance will strengthen the relevancy of your research.

When working on demographics, a buyer persona template can be a useful tool to help segment the consumer audience into smaller groups for better targeting. Understanding each group’s behaviors and motivation can lead to research findings that resonate deeply with your customer base.

Step 3. Choose the right type and method for your needs

The best type of market research for your business will depend on the purpose you aim to achieve. If your goal is a broad-scope industry view, secondary research examining existing data may provide you with all the information you need. But if your strategy is to clarify specific details about your customer base, you will need to collect new data through primary research. 

The ideal method for data collection also depends on the end goal. Quantitative research methods such as surveys create data useful in making market predictions. Qualitative research methods like focus groups and in-depth interviews offer more personal and subjective responses from participants. Such responses are valuable when seeking direct consumer insight on your product or service and on brand awareness.

Step 4. Recruit appropriate research subjects

If you are pursuing primary research, the subjects involved in your study should be capable of providing insights that are directly relevant and valuable to your market research goals. Recruitment methods can vary from social media posts to hiring third-party market research firms and incentivizing participation.

Seek out existing customers, former customers, and potential customers to create a full spectrum view of your market and product. Other potential sources for research participants include:

  • Recent customers
  • Customers who did not complete their purchase
  • Word of mouth among both personal and professional networks 

Step 5. Conduct your research

Execute your market research plan based on the method you identified in Step 3. Appoint someone not deeply connected with the project planning as the point person for interviews or focus groups in an effort to reduce potential bias. When creating surveys, strive to incorporate neutral (non-leading) language as a way to craft unbiased research questions.

Christina Inge , an instructor and curriculum designer at Northeastern University, suggests an effective research technique called customer discovery. “It requires asking customers what their needs are,” she says, “rather than showing them your product or service and asking for their reactions. This can help you get to the heart of what your customers need, leading to better product market fit, faster.”

Step 6. Analyze your results

Once you’ve collected and organized all of your data, analyze it for relevant trends and patterns. Any qualitative data, such as feedback from focus groups or interviews, can be interpreted quantitatively by noting response ratios amongst the participants. Examine your findings for insights that offer actionable next steps.

One famous example of a startup that pivoted toward success as a result of closely analyzing the market research on their target market is Tune In Hook Up. As an online video dating site that wasn’t seeing much traffic, their research revealed that users struggled to share videos easily with one another. Based on their findings, they decided to shift away from romance and focus on the videos, renaming themselves YouTube.

Step 7. Create an actionable report from your findings

Gather your findings into a report that outlines the recommended actions necessary to address the market research results. Whether the data provides positive or negative insights, you should always come away with actionable steps and suggestions for the next stage of your startup.

Find additional tips and a free report template in HubSpot’s’ How To Do Market Research: A Guide and Template .


Drafting market research questions for startups is not an exact science because cookie-cutter surveys and interview questions will not work. Every product, service, and industry has unique features that require tailored language in each research question. 

Below is a sampling of the type of questions you may want to consider: 

  • What do you like most about our new product or service?
  • What do you wish our product or service did that it does not currently do?
  • What do you lose sleep over at night?
  • What price would you consider so low that you’d question this product’s overall quality?
  • Which of these companies have you purchased this product from in the past six months? (list of competitors)

Market research is a booming industry around the globe, but nowhere more so than in the United States. The U.S. is the leading country for market research services , with the industry bringing in $18.75 billion in 2020, more than six times the industry-related revenue of any other country in the world. It’s no surprise, considering how quality market research can directly impact a company’s bottom line and growth. Free kits for growth marketing can help you get moving on the road to success through market research for startups.

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15 Best Market Research Tools for Small Businesses

Market research is a critical part of the business planning process. Many startup owners will find themselves unsure what tools and resources to use to get the best out of a software or a service, and this can be especially tough when the budget is limited. Here, we’ll review the best, most useful tools and resources that every startup should look into.

Updated September 1, 2023 

Starting a successful business goes beyond the excitement and optimism of creating a product; it’s a strategic, data-based process. 

Research shows that 3 out of 4 Americans stick with the same brand, and 8 out of 10  stay with a retailer. Consumers hate change, so the odds are stacked against business owners venturing into a new market. 

However, conducting market research gives you insight into the market before you launch, enabling you to identify gaps you can fill to stand out and attract customers to your business. 

Successful market research requires functional tools and resources. They automate and provide accurate results compared to manual processes. 

Wondering how to choose an effective market research tool? This article discusses the top 11 market research software and resources you can adopt for your startup. 

Let’s get started. 

15 Best Market Research Tools

Many market research tools and resources are available, but only a few provide the insight needed for effective market research. Here are the top best resources guaranteed to enhance your market research process:

  • Think with Google Creative Tools
  • Make My Persona
  • Ubersuggest
  • BrandMentions
  • Qualtrics Market Research Panels
  • Survey Monkey
  • Google Trends

Looking for help with market research? Connect with a professional market research firm on The Manifest.  

A vital aspect of your market research is consumer research, and Attest makes it easy.

Rather than run your business based on what your consumer thinks, it lets you ask your consumers your most pressing questions directly. It taps into a world of over 125 million customers across 58 countries to provide actual data about who your audience is and what they want right before you launch. 

Send surveys to customized audiences and access accurate insights through the results dashboard; Attests lets you have interesting conversations with your audience. What’s more? It streamlines the process, so anyone can conduct surveys efficiently and in no time. 

Its easy process allows you to quickly access consumers’ data and make data-backed and fast-paced business decisions. Also, it provides a reliable support team, so even if you don’t know how to do market research for a startup, it will guide you through the process and help you troubleshoot challenges.

Using Attest lets you get reliable answers from the right audience because it ensures every survey matches the target consumer. This way, you get the most accurate information to make the best marketing decisions for your startup. 

2. Think with Google Digital Marketing Toolbox

If you want to begin a startup, you probably “know” the business will succeed.

But since successful companies don’t run on instincts and guesswork, you’ll need some facts to know if your business will excel. Think with Google research tools supply helpful insights on trends, market to venture into, etc.

They set you on the right track on your digital marketing campaigns, enhance product performance, and improve consumers’ experiences. For example, “Test My Site” improves your website’s speed, “Grow my store” analyzes and enhances your retail website’s store performance, and “Market Finder” locates the most profitable markets available. 

You can monitor consumers’ journey and trends. Also, you get helpful marketing strategies to gain a competitive edge and convert your audience to consumers. You’ll also find tools to boost your creativity and marketing efforts when exploring Think with Google digital marketing toolbox.

3. Make My Persona 

Creating a buyer persona is one of the best steps to appealing to your target customers. It is a fictional representation of your ideal buyer that helps you understand their needs and cater to them effectively.

Make My Persona allows you to select the name, age, challenges, characteristics and interests of your persona. This way, you can identify their demographics and psychographics for better-targeted marketing. 

It also helps you to identify your target buyers’ challenges and problems to launch a product that is useful to them, increasing your business’s success. 

4. Statista 

Statista as a tool for conducting market research

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The 12 Best Market Research Tools For Startups

Entrepreneurs make decisions every minute, and every such decision should be backed by data to minimize the chances of failure. This is where market research steps in. 

Market research process  is the practice that involves identifying a problem in a business that is to be dealt with, finding a solution to that problem by getting consumer feedback, and analysing the feedback to decide what is to be done to solve the issue in the most effective way possible.

Market research isn't easy. You not only require a hardworking team, but also a good set of tools to conduct an effective research.

Here is a list of 12 best market research tools to help you succeed in your venture.

think with google

Think with Google

Ever wondered how digital innovation results in changing of consumer behaviour? Google monitors and analyse every such change and shares the same with us through Think with Google.

Think with Google is a one-stop resource for consumer trends, marketing insights, and industry research. This free marketing research tool can be used along with other free marketing tools from Google like shopping insights , consumer barometer , Google trends , and market finder to get the best results.

statista logo

Statista calls itself a facts destination. This market research tool has consolidated statistical data on over 80,000 topics from more than 22,500 sources and is available in English, German, French, and Spanish. The company also owns ecommercedb.com that allows you to analyse online shops and ecommerce markets in an instant.

It's a freemium tool which lets free users access basic statistics but charge $49 per month from premium account users who get a full access to all the statistics.

 Statista also entertains individual research requests and creates customized infographics, videos, presentations, and publications in the corporate design of your choice.


Semrush is an all in one digital marketing suite which provides you tools for the following services:

  • SEO (search engine optimization)
  • PPC (pay-per-click advertising)
  • Keyword Research
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Social Media
  • Public Relations
  • Content Marketing

These tools, when used holistically, not only can help you identify the different trends that happen within your niche, but also help you in competitor research. You can also conduct a research for the most searched keywords and the most profitable keywords of your niche using Semrush.

Semrush has four premium plans starting at $99.95 per month.

contentMine market research tool


As the name suggests, ContentMine offers a broad range of text mining services and a free software to help researchers look for, download, analyse and extract data from academic papers using an open source mining code.

Besides text data mining services, ContentMine also offers consultancy services and deliver training and workshops too.

knime market research tools

KNIME Analytics Platform

KNIME is an open source data analytics, reporting and integration platform which integrates components of machine learning and data mining through its modular data pipelining concept.

Its interface allows assembly of over 1000 native and embedded nodes for data access, data transformation, data analysis, data mining, and data visualization.

pickfu market research tool

Pickfu is a powerful market research tool to get reliable and unbiased real-world feedback within minutes. It is an interesting tool not only because it lets you test your idea and collect feedback from people out of your first-degree network but also because it does it within minutes of creating a poll.

With Pickfu, you not only get a definite and unbiased result of your poll, but also you get to know the reasons of why people selected the given option as the tool also shares the demographic information about the participants so you can break down the preferences by gender, age, income, etc. This research tool even lets you target a demographic to give you a feedback on your product, design, idea, etc.

Pickfu is a freemium tool which charges you per response ($1).


Survata is a market research tool which lets you create a survey and define a preferable demographic or behavioural group that will respond to your survey. The surveys are then published on Survata’s high quality partner websites.

It also provides a premium option of letting experts review your survey and match it to the industry best practices. Survata also provides tools to measure your advertising efforts.

facebook audience insights

Facebook Audience Insights

Facebook Audience Insights is a free market research tool that helps you to learn more about your target audience and discover new target audience for your business.

The tool lets you create an audience persona and get consumer insights based off the persona created. You can use the insights for your research purpose or to create an advertisement on Facebook.

worldometers market research tool


Worldometer gives you real-time world statistics on population, government, economics, society and media, environment, food, water, energy, and health.

They collect the data from sources like United Nations Population Division, WHO,FAO, IMF, and World Bank; analyse them, perform statistical analysis, and builds the algorithm which shows the real time estimate.

google public data explorer

Google Public Data Explorer

Google public data explorer is a powerful free market research tool to create animated charts and maps of public economic, social, health, and population datasets sourced from national statistical offices, non-governmental organisations and research institutions.

loop11 market research tool

Loop11 is an online usability testing tool. It allows you to create an online survey that includes tasks for users to complete on a website.

What makes this research tool unique is that it allows you test even your competitors' websites.

followerwonk market research tool


Followerwonk gives you an ability to dig more into your twitter analytics . Who is your audience? Where are they located? How your audience differs from your competitors’?

It’s a freemium tool where one profile is free but you’ll have to pay $29 to dig analytics of up to three profiles.

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How to Do Market Research for a Startup: Tips for Success

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Jaclyn Robinson, Senior Manager of Content Marketing at Crunchbase

So, you have plans to create an industry-disrupting startup. Before you get started, ask yourself this: Do I know the market well enough to disrupt it?

No matter how informed you are about your industry, you’ll need to conduct market research for your startup if you want to succeed. This will help you better understand the industry you’re planning to compete in — and emerge with a well-thought-out business plan that investors take seriously. 

Here’s everything you need to know about how to do market research for a startup so you can back your idea with relevant insights before you hit the ground running.

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What is market research for a startup? 

Market research is a business technique that involves deeply understanding your core demographic, its dynamics, consumer attitudes and buying behavior. This type of research is a vital step in building a brand, satisfying client expectations, recognizing opportunities, increasing profit margins and beating the competition.

If you’re building a startup, market research will help you make smart business decisions and organize a successful launch. By understanding how to do market research, you can protect your startup even in a volatile marketplace.

The demand for market research has made it one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors; from $46 billion in global revenue in 2014 to almost $84 billion in 2023 .

While effective market research is important for every company — and should be done on an ongoing basis throughout many stages of company development — it is imperative when developing a new business idea.

Why is startup market research important?

Small-business market research can help you learn about your industry and market your startup to potential customers. It will also help you figure out how to best engage with customers, benchmark yourself against your competitors, make predictions about profitability, and guide your future moves. Market research may be the difference between making good decisions that help your new business grow and making bad decisions that cause it to fold. 

Here are a few more examples of how startup market research might aid in the development of your business strategy:

  • Gives you an accurate picture of the market: Compare yourself to competitors and assess what they’re doing to attract and retain clients. Likewise, you can assess competitor gaps and determine how you can create a more successful, differentiated product.
  • Provides insight into your target audience: Determine which customers are most likely to buy your product, what they’re interested in, and how you can best communicate with them.
  • Uncovers how customers and prospects perceive your business idea: Learn whether your startup idea fulfills or falls short of specific customer demands. This will help you develop a product that addresses your audience’s needs and a brand that resonates with them.
  • Assesses how a new business or product concept will perform in the market: Look at how similar products and services have performed in the market to help you assess the viability of your startup idea.
  • Effectively markets your product: Startup market research can help you make informed decisions about product packaging and branding, advertising, and crafting a successful marketing message.

Types of market research for startups

Now that you know about the benefits of market research for a startup, let’s talk about the different types of market research you can conduct. 

There are two main types of market research: primary and secondary. You’ll want to use a mix of both to develop a holistic understanding of your target audience. 

  • Primary market research involves gathering market data straight from the source by communicating directly with members of your target audience. The advantage of primary research is that you gain clear, up-to-date insights into your potential customers’ needs. Since you’re conducting the research yourself, you may also gain new insights your competitors don’t have. Examples of primary market research include interviews, surveys and focus groups. 
  • Secondary market research involves looking at information compiled by third parties. The advantage of secondary research is that it consolidates huge swaths of data from a variety of sources and helps you understand important market trends. Examples of secondary data sources include public and private company databases, news sites, academic journals and industry publications. Crunchbase is known as an important tool for uncovering private company data and conducting targeted searches for the industries you’re interested in.

Methods of market research for startups

In addition to there being two different types of market research for your startup, there are also a couple different ways you can conduct it. These methods are known as quantitative and qualitative market research.

  • Quantitative research means collecting and analyzing large numerical datasets. You might conduct this type of research by sending out polls, questionnaires or surveys to large numbers of people within your target market. The data you collect will give you insight into big-picture industry trends, consumer needs and challenges in the market.
  • Qualitative research requires an in-depth exploration of customer mindsets. You might do this by conducting a focus group or interview to assess customer feelings and extract insights from the conversation. 

While quantitative data is about cold, hard facts, qualitative data is exploratory in nature. It’s often worth using a mix of both, but most companies prioritize quantitative research because it is scientific, measurable and easily replicated across different experiments.

How to do market research for a startup

At this point, you’ve learned that there are two main types of startup market research: primary and secondary. You’ve also learned that you can carry out this research in two different ways: either by conducting quantitative research and gathering data, or by conducting qualitative research and holding exploratory conversations. 

Now we’ll dive into how to do market research for a startup, step by step. Here’s a quick seven-step guide:

  • Establish your overall goal
  • Choose a research approach
  • Acquire data on your target audience
  • Formulate your research questions
  • Choose the right tools for the job
  • Analyze the data
  • Act on the data

1. Establish your overall goal

First and foremost, take the time to clearly articulate the rationale behind the research you’re planning. Think through the most critical information you’re searching for and how you’ll apply your findings. What issue did you want to tackle via research? What will be done with the findings? Is it something you’ll do internally or externally?

These questions will help you formulate your overall research objective. This goal should serve as the North Star that guides the research process and keeps everyone aligned as you build and execute your market research plan. 

2. Choose a research approach

Based on the goal you’ve identified, determine how you’re going to conduct your primary and secondary research. With secondary research, answers to research questions are generally already accessible online — through news sources, published books, journals and databases — so you can get started on this right away. 

Primary market research, on the other hand, tends to be more time-consuming and expensive. For a startup, it may be in your best interest to perform primary research only after conducting secondary research. This way, you avoid wasting time and money from the get-go, and instead can develop well-planned research questions that bridge any knowledge gaps.

3. Acquire data on your target audience

Once you’ve determined your guiding research goal and your approach to gathering data, take a closer look at your target audience. Understanding your target audience can help you devise the best way to approach both secondary and primary research. 

Investigate your audience demographics and characteristics, the types of products they’re interacting with, where you can find information about them, and where you might be able to contact them. Read relevant market data, keep an eye on customer trends, and consider enlisting the help of an industry professional. Once you grasp the type of market research you’re going to conduct and the audience you’re targeting, it’s time to start crafting your research questions. 

4. Formulate your research questions 

Asking the right questions can make or break the value of your research. Well-thought-out questions can help inform your overall strategy, but the wrong questions could derail your research and reduce its overall value.  

Some examples of market research questions are:

  • How old are you? 
  • Where do you live?
  • What is your job title?
  • How big is your company?
  • What is your use case for our product?
  • Did you consider any of our competitors? Who and why?
  • What do you wish our product could do?
  • How much money do you usually spend on X products?
  • What’s the maximum you’d pay for X products?
  • How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?
  • How would you rate your most recent experience with us?
  • How long have you been our customer?

Keep in mind that these are just examples, and not all of them will apply to your startup. You should develop your questions based on a number of factors, including whether your company is B2B or B2C, whether your startup is brand new or has existing customers, and whether you’re aiming for quantitative or qualitative data. As you formulate your set of questions, make sure they touch back to your main market research goal.

5. Choose the right tools for the job

Data analysis is a time-consuming task, but it’s the cornerstone of conducting market research for a startup. Data collection, competitive analysis and the identification of customer preferences and trends are critical to your success, so it’s imperative that you have the right tools on hand. Ideally, these tools will not only provide a rich dataset you can use to gather information about your target audience, but they’ll also speed up your workflow during the market research process.

Here are a couple of examples of market research tools you can use:

Secondary research tool: Crunchbase offers a best-in-class dataset of companies and contacts that is updated constantly, helping you identify upcoming market trends and monitor your competitors . With Crunchbase, you can conduct granular, filtered searches based on your target market, set real-time alerts for changes in company activity, and find industry-specific landscape analysis with live information on company firmographics, funding rounds and acquisitions. Learn more about market research on Crunchbase .

Primary research tool: Qualtrics is a platform that helps you conduct research via surveys and a variety of other methods to answer critical market analysis questions for your startup.

6. Analyze the data

Once you’ve collected data using your research questions and tools, you’ll need to analyze it to distill relevant and applicable business insights. 

Often, data analysis is a manual process that includes compiling and sifting through the data you’ve gathered, annotating videos, taking notes, dissecting survey responses and more. Again, you’ll want to reference the overarching goal of your research, especially in this stage, to ensure you’re paying attention to the most applicable information that will best serve you. Start by noting common themes and trends, and then use those trends to efficiently sort through the data.

There are a variety of data collection and market analysis tools (like those listed above) that can help you evaluate the data by automating part of the process. You may also want to partner with an analyst who can gather insights from your data using statistical models and advanced market analysis techniques.

7. Act on the data

After you’ve drawn conclusions from your data, it’s a good idea to create a research brief or report that includes both a high-level findings summary and a deep dive into your methodology, data and key findings. This will help organize your results in a clear and succinct way, enabling other team members to reference and apply findings to inform the overall direction and strategy for your startup. You can also leverage this data when pitching your business idea to investors.

How much does it cost to do market research for a startup?

Startup market research costs vary depending on several aspects, including what you want to achieve, who will be engaged, the time it takes to collect data, and the approach or technology you use. Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach that suits every organization or project, determining an accurate pricing estimate for market analysis may be tricky. Some approaches are less complicated and less expensive than others, but they may not give you as much benefit.

With the help of an agency or consultant, a thoroughly customized market research project could cost between $20,000 and $50,000 . Expect to pay more for market research assignments conducted by a specialist in your industry. This high price is due to industry experience, professional project management and planning, and advanced data interpretation.

There are less expensive alternatives, but the analysis you receive will likely not match what a dedicated research firm can provide. Short, quantitative internet surveys can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 and are more likely to support an existing theory than to identify new, innovative approaches for your business.

Get ahead of the competition

Learning how to do market research for a startup is only the beginning of formulating a strong business plan that will impress investors and lead your startup to success. 

With Crunchbase, you can conduct affordable market research on an ongoing basis by empowering your team to dig deep into industry data and evaluate market trends. Check out our solutions or connect with our team directly .

market research tools for startups

  • market research
  • Originally published February 19, 2022, updated December 19, 2023

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10 Affordable Market Research Tools for Startups + Tips for Use

There are a hundred great market research tools for startups to use for gathering business intelligence. But the thing is, most of them require a lot of your marketing budget.

As a startupper, you can’t invest in expensive tools . Otherwise, you’ll wipe out your budget even before putting your strategy into action.

We know the struggle. And we have the solution.

In this article, we will introduce 10 affordable tools for market research to gather customer and competitor insights.

Table of Contents

What are market research tools, why are market research tools important for startups, 1. mentionlytics: for social media buzz tracking, 2. statista: for data visualization, 3. make my persona: for building buyer personas, 4. semrush: for seo keyword research, 5. glimpse: for ai-powered market research, 6. loop11: for ux testing, 7. userlytics: for user testing sessions, 8. google ads: for product demand discovery, 9. think with google: for understanding customer behavior, 10. reddit: for gathering real customer voices, market research tips for startups.

Market research tools help businesses gather information about their target market, ideal customers, and competitors.  

From data-rich platforms to online survey forms, these tools help in gathering customer intelligence and competitor insights. Businesses use this information to plan their strategies, develop new products, and more.

As early-stage businesses, startups need to use market research tools for a variety of reasons. Below we analyze the 3 main ones.

1. To Find the Right Audience

Identifying the ideal customers to reach out to with your marketing communications is hard. Especially for startups with innovative products appealing to a handful of early adopters.

So, market research software can provide the necessary data to understand your target audience.

We mean, what they like and dislike, what social media they prefer, how they buy, and many more valuable insights to fuel your growth.

2. To Find Gaps in the Market

As a startupper, you probably founded your company to fill a gap in the market with your innovations.

But what about other market gaps and untapped needs of your customers?

Those gaps can guide you in creating new products or services. Also, you can develop new features for your existing products to address emerging needs.

3. To Reduce Risk

Having a startup means juggling multiple sales and marketing activities to increase your revenue. However, knowing where to invest more is key to reducing the risk of wasting your budget on the wrong initiatives.

Market research can help you with that in two ways.

First, to see what your competitors are doing and how it turned out for them.

Secondly, to figure out your audience’s preferences . Those preferences can point you in the right direction to maximize ROI.

10 Market Research Tools for Startups

Mentionlytics tracks what people say about your products, services, competitors, and the industry across social media and the web.

Performing Market Research with Mentionlytics' Share of Voice feature

With our social listening tool , you can:

  • Keep yourself informed about the latest trends and hot topics in your niche to enhance your marketing strategies.
  • Spot the true preferences and needs of your target audience to create new offerings.
  • Monitor customer feedback on your products and services to make adjustments.
  • Learn what people like and dislike about your competitors’ offerings to draw lessons from their successes and misses.
  • Discover where you stand in the market with automatically calculated Share of Voice.

Overall, Mentionlytics combines customer, market, and competitor insights, all in one data analytics tool.

Pricing: Starts at $69 per month but offers a 14-day free trial.

Try Mentionlytics for FREE

Statista is a well-known data visualization platform offering comprehensive information on various topics. It creates clear business insights by visualizing accurate research results and studies.

Statista report example SaaS market size worldwide

You can get reliable data for market research from over 170 industries and 150 countries on this platform. With Statista, you discover trends, customer preferences, and even predictions for your niche.

Pricing: It offers access to free statistics with a basic account. For more data, you need to choose a plan. Starts at €149 per month.

Make My Persona is a free marketing tool for startups to define the key characteristics of their ideal buyers. It mainly serves B2B marketing because the template relies on the professional profile of your targeted prospects.

Hubspot's Make My Persona Tool

This tool helps you create customized buyer personas for your products and services. Begin by picking a name for your ideal customer. Then, you set an age range, their job title, industry, preferred social media, biggest challenges, and more.

It isn’t for market research per se. But it’ll help you define your target customer for whom you should gather insights.

Pricing: Free tool

Semrush helps you with all things SEO. But it can also be handy for market research.

Semrush Keyword Research Feature

You can use it to identify the most searched industry keywords. That way you spot new trends in the market. Also, it helps you detect new competitors entering your league.

In fact, Semrush is amazing for competitor analysis . It offers insights into your competitors’ audience and where they get website visitors from.

Pricing: Starts at $129.95 per month but it offers a free trial.

Glimpse is a powerful market research platform for creating surveys. It helps you collect data on anything you need and target the right audience.

Glimpse Market Research Tool for StartUps

Looking for customer preferences or market trends? You can design any survey with Glimpse.

Also, this platform leverages AI every step of the way. From writing your survey questions to analyzing your data, Glimpse employs AI to make your life easier.

Pricing: You can start with a free plan with limited credits.

Loop11 puts the user experience of your website to the test. It’s perfect for market research. Especially in the area of how useful your website or platform is for your target audience.

After all, without a user-friendly website, you can’t win in the digital world.

Market Research Tool Loop 11 Dashboard

This tool simply asks users to perform specific tasks on your website. And they have to describe if it was easy or difficult to perform.

Also, you can use this tool to test your competitors’ websites to see what they’re doing better.

Pricing: Starts at $199 per month but it offers a 14-day free trial.

Userlytics is a practical alternative tool to UX testing. It helps you gather data on the usability of your website or mobile app.

Userlytics Dashboard

The platform asks test participants to complete specific tasks. Then, they answer a question about the difficulty of the tasks. You can leave the question open-ended, make it multiple-choice, or ask them for a rating.

As for the participants, you can choose users with specific demographic information . Or even bring your own users.

Pricing: You have to contact the company.

Surprisingly, you can use Google Ads to conduct market research.

Example of Google Search Ads by Typeform

You know for every keyword there’s a cost per click (CPC). That CPC indicates the importance of the keyword for the search engine. Now, if you check the CPC of your product category — as a keyword — then the higher the CPC, the higher the demand for it.

Also, you can use Google Ads to do A/B testing for your product campaigns. You can run ads with different copies or visuals to test which one appeals more to your audience.

Knowing what works best for your target customers is part of effective market research too.

Pricing: Depends on the CPC of the keywords you run ads for.

Think with Google is a powerful set of free market research tools for startups .

Think with Google Market Research Tools for Startups

Specifically with Google Trends, you can keep up with what’s trending in your industry. And you can see whether people are interested in your offerings.

Furthermore, with Insights Finder you can deeply understand your target audience. Also, use the Market Finder to make informed decisions on the markets you’ll expand to.

Pricing: Free tools

Reddit is the ultimate social media channel to hear what your customers have to say.

Ask Reddit Example

First, you can start by finding a subreddit that your target audience uses. Subreddits are online communities dedicated to specific topics.

Then, all you have to do is dive into the conversations. From Reddit, you can spot new trends in your niche, find your customers’ untapped needs, and more.

We saved the best for last. Here are 5 tips to conduct market research like a boss.

1. Focus on Your Needs First

Getting an overwhelming amount of consumer insights and market intelligence can be distracting. You end up losing your focus on what you want to achieve with this information.

So, you should have a clear objective of how you’ll use your market research results. Will you develop a new feature on your product? Or will you expand your targeting to different audiences?

Always have your business question top of your mind when choosing a new market research tool.

2. Use a Mix of Tools

As you see, most of the above-mentioned tools serve different purposes. That means, there’s no ultimate solution to gather the market intelligence you need.

For example, let’s say your goal is to improve your content performance. So, you have to create more engaging content. Which of the tools can you use to find what’s interesting for your audience?

That would be through Mentionlytics, Statista, and Reddit:

  • With Mentionlytics you can discover the most engaging topics in your industry.
  • Statista can give you accurate data on your audience’s preferences.
  • And with a quick search on Reddit, you get to understand your customers’ thoughts.

Take all this into consideration when creating content and boom! You’ve got a resonating content strategy.

3. Keep your Surveys Short & Sweet

Now, market research takes a lot of surveys to gather customer data. But people get bored easily. Especially with lengthy questionnaires or endless interviews.

That means you should keep it brief and simple. This shows respect for your customers’ time and makes the data analysis much simpler.

So, here are some tips from us:

  • Ask only the necessary questions to get the information you need.
  • Don’t ask the same thing with other words.
  • Use multiple choice questions and a highly responsive online platform to collect the data.

4. Don’t Rely Just on Numbers

Qualitative data is as important as quantitative. Getting to know your market deeply goes beyond just statistics .

For instance, by analyzing your competitors’ negative mentions you get to uncover weaknesses in their products. Also, by sifting through your customers’ feedback you discover new untapped needs and ideas.

So, don’t stick to numbers and figures.

5. Don’t Skip User Testing

This is for product development. Never — ever — neglect user testing.

This process gives you concrete data from real users that you’re heading your product in the right direction. Thus, you’re closer to addressing your customers’ true needs.

User testing takes the guesswork out of your team’s new feature planning. This results in improving your product with a customer-centric approach.

Start Your Market Research with Mentionlytics

To wrap it up, startups need to do thorough market research as new players in their leagues. As you see, there are numerous tools with fair prices to help you.

Start your market research today with Mentionlytics. Find industry trends, competitor insights, and customer preferences easily. Sign up for a free trial now .

Maira Volitaki

About Maira Volitaki

Just a content manager here who loves researching and writing about all things marketing. But when off-duty, you’ll find me lost in a mystery book or binge-watching TV shows... or petting the nearest dog! 🐶 Feel free to drop me a line on LinkedIn . View all posts by Maira Volitaki →

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15 Market Research Tools for Startups to Validate Their Ideas

As a startup founder, you likely have a brilliant idea for a product or service. But how do you know if your target customers will actually pay for it? This is where market research comes in.

Market research allows you to gather insights directly from your potential customers so you can validate your assumptions before investing significant time and money into developing your offering.

In this post, we’ll explore 15 powerful yet affordable market research tools that early-stage startups can use to understand their target market, refine their positioning, and set themselves up for success.

Why Market Research Matters for Startups

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of building their product first before testing the market. They end up creating something no one wants.

Market research helps you avoid this pitfall by involving your target customers from the start. Their feedback steers your product roadmap so you can focus on features that deliver real value.

Additional benefits of market research for startups include:

  • Validating your business idea  – Get confirmation that customers will purchase what you plan to offer. Pivot if needed.
  • Understanding customer needs  – Discover what frustrations your target market faces and how you can relieve them.
  • Clarifying positioning  – Use customer insights to hone your messaging and competitive differentiation.
  • Estimating market size  – Gauge potential demand to right-size your business model and avoid overinvesting early on.
  • Informing pricing strategy  – Learn what pricing is palatable to customers so you can maximize revenue.
  • Identifying early adopters  – Find those most eager for your solution to win your first customers.
  • Minimizing risk  – Research gives you confidence to move forward knowing you’ll meet a market need.

Now let’s explore 15 handy market research tools to put these benefits to work for your startup.

15 Market Research Tools for Startups

Surveys allow you to directly ask your target audience questions to gain quantitative and qualitative insights. Some options are:

  • Typeform  – Create free, beautiful online surveys with logic and branding.
  • SurveyMonkey  – Feature-packed paid surveys with scheduling and data analysis.
  • Google Forms  – Simple free surveys with data visualization and email collection.

Use surveys to assess interest in your idea, validate features, and size your potential market. Add images and videos for a dynamic experience.

2. Interviews

One-on-one interviews let you deeply probe customer opinions, needs, and preferences. Tools like:

  • UserInterviews  – Recruit participants based on demographics and schedule interviews.
  • Reframer  – Remote user testing with custom flows and task completion data.
  • Validately  – Get 20-minute interviews with your target users for $50 each.

Interviews uncover qualitative insights surveys miss. Observe how participants interact with your prototypes too. Record videos or transcripts.

3. Focus Groups

Focus groups bring together groups of 6-10 participants to discuss your business concept. Options include:

  • FocusGroup.it  – Plan and moderate remote sessions with tools like live polls.
  • Userbrain  – Recruit diverse panels and gain video recordings, transcripts, and analysis.
  • HubSpot  – Free tool for up to 10 participants in browser-based sessions.

Listen as your audience talks to uncover objections and gauge reactions in a social setting. Test marketing messages and designs.

4. Landing Page Tests

Creating a landing page for your product lets you quantify interest before fully building it out. Tools like:

  • Leadpages  – Build high-converting landing pages and run A/B tests.
  • Unbounce  – Create and optimize pages to maximize visitor sign ups.
  • Carrd  – Simple freemium tool for elegant single-page sites.

Measure conversions from advertising or organic traffic. A weak response indicates low demand.

5. Pre-Order Pages

Pre-order pages validate interest by asking visitors to reserve your product before it’s available. Check out:

  • Thunderclap  – Crowdsource pre-orders/backers to hit a minimum threshold by a deadline.
  • Indiegogo  – Popular crowdfunding site with flexible funding options.
  • Preorder  – Customizable pre-order pages to directly accept reservations.

Require just an email or charge a small deposit. If set targets aren’t met, pivot your product.

6. Website Traffic Estimators

Model your potential website traffic to gauge interest in your business idea. Try:

  • SimilarWeb  – Discover any site’s monthly visits, geography, referral sources, and more.
  • Alexa  – Free basic traffic data on competition, related sites, and keyword search volume.
  • SEMrush  – Robust paid tool for search analysis and benchmarking competitors.

Research sites already in your space to determine if it’s saturated or poised for growth.

7. Customer Discovery Calls

Customer discovery calls are like informal interviews focused on learning how a prospect solves problems today. Tools that help:

  • Chorus  – Record, transcribe, and analyze Zoom calls.
  • Gong  – Capture insights from sales calls, including talk patterns.
  • TimeTrade  – Let prospects book call appointments online.

Have open-ended conversations to map pain points and workflows. Ask what they’d change.

8. Paid Online Ads

Run small paid ad campaigns targeted to your audience to assess interest before fully launching. ad platforms:

  • Facebook Ads  – Highly visual with robust targeting options.
  • Google Ads  – Aim ads at people searching relevant keywords.
  • Taboola/Outbrain  – Display ads on high-traffic partner sites.

Measure click-through rate, cost per conversion, and ROI. Tweak messaging if needed.

9. Email Marketing

Collect email leads through a newsletter signup offering valuable content. Test demand with:

  • Mailchimp  – Highly popular with automation and insights.
  • ConvertKit  – Focused on creators with tagging and sequences.
  • Buttondown  – Simple, lean option for publishers starting out.

Monitor open and click-through rates. Use surveys and polls to gather feedback.

10. SEO Keyword Research

Conduct keyword research to see what your audience is searching for online. Check out:

  • SEMrush/Ahrefs – Paid tools for comprehensive keyword data including questions.
  • Answer the Public  – Free keyword suggestions based on autocomplete data.
  • Ubersuggest  – Free version of Neil Patel’s SEO tool with volume and difficulty metrics.

Identify challenges people want solutions for. Optimize content to rank for those terms.

11. Social Listening

Monitor relevant social media conversations to reveal customer sentiments, needs, and objections. Options:

  • Buzzsumo  – Analyze content performance and influencer outreach opportunities.
  • Mention  – Track brand mentions and keywords across the social web.
  • Keyhole  – Hashtag monitoring and competitor hashtag tracking.

Listen before you speak. Then engage where your audience already exists online.

12. Pop-up Surveys

Embed quick pop-up surveys on your website to capture visitor insights while browsing. Check out:

  • Predicto  – Place targeted surveys when visitors perform actions.
  • GetSiteControl  – Create pop-ups and banners without coding.
  • Qualaroo  – Trigger surveys based on time or behavior.

Get feedback on content, designs, or features. Offer an incentive to boost response rates.

13. Customer Advisory Boards

Invite a small group of target customers to join an advisory board for ongoing feedback through:

  • Fountain  – Build fully managed virtual advisory boards.
  • Boardly  – Automates application process and communication.
  • GetFeedback  – DIY option with templates and community add-ons.

Convene quarterly to preview product updates and strategize launches.

14. Quizzes

Engaging quizzes help you learn what resonates with your audience. Build them using:

  • Typeform  – Polished quizzes that work great on mobile.
  • Qualtrics  – Robust advanced options for targeting and randomization.
  • Google Forms  – Free and easy if you only need basic quizzing.

Test positioning statements, messaging, and product reactions. Offer quiz results in exchange for emails.

15. Prediction Markets

Create a prediction market where participants buy “shares” on future outcomes. Check out:

  • Hypermind  – Customizable markets with automated trading.
  • PredictIt  – Popular political prediction market that could work for your business.
  • SciCast  – Specializes in gathering expert forecasts.
  • Zensus – Video polling app on various topics

Evaluate demand for a new product feature or how big your market may become.

Reddit polls can be a useful addition to the list of market research tools for startups. Conducting polls on reddit.com/r/polls allows you to gather insights directly from potential customers in your target market. The Reddit community is highly engaged and passionate about various topics, making it a valuable resource for market research.

By creating polls on subreddits related to your product or service, you can ask specific questions to validate your idea, gauge interest in features, test messaging, and pricing, and gather feedback on your value proposition.

Additionally, the comments section on various topics can provide qualitative insights, allowing you to understand the reasoning behind responses and uncover pain points, objections, or suggestions from your target customers.

Tips for Startup Market Research

While the tools above provide actionable insights, properly planning and executing your market research is also crucial for startup success.

Here are a few tips to ensure you gather quality customer data:

Target the right people – Be as specific as possible when recruiting participants who match your ideal buyer persona. Screen thoroughly.

Ask open-ended questions – Avoid leading questions. Probe with follow-ups like “Can you tell me more?” to uncover deeper motivations.

Test one variable at a time – Isolate what you want to evaluate so results are clear and easy to analyze.

Offer incentives – Provide gift cards, discounts, or free products to encourage participation and thoughtful responses.

Be ethical – Never deceive participants about your product, company, or the research purpose itself.

Analyze sentiment – Look beyond surface-level feedback for meaning, emotion, and patterns using tools like Tableau, Nvivo, or MATLAB.

Iterate quickly – Conduct multiple research rounds to refine your business model and features.

Combine qualitative and quantitative data – Balance hard numbers with human insights for a complete picture.

Turn insights into action – Actually, use what you learn to guide your startup strategy. Don’t let it just sit.

Related Posts

best marketing tools for startups

Validating your big startup idea shouldn’t just be an afterthought. Researching the market beforehand minimizes risk by ensuring you build something customers actually want—and will pay for.

Leverage free and low-cost tools like surveys, interviews, landing pages, social listening, and more to directly connect with your potential customers. Let their feedback steer your product roadmap and messaging so you can start strong.

Just don’t get stuck over-analyzing forever. Use the most vital data to make decisions confidently. Then refine as you go once you launch. With the right market insights, you can avoid failure and set your startup on a path to success.

So put down your product roadmap for a moment. There are people out there who can tell you what should be on it. Go find them and win them over.

Partha Chakraborty

Partha Chakraborty is a venture capitalist turned entrepreneur with 17 years of experience. He has worked across India, China & Singapore. He is the founder of Tactyqal.com, a startup that guides other startup founders to find success. He loves to brainstorm new business ideas, and talk about growth hacking, and venture capital. In his spare time, he mentors young entrepreneurs to build successful startups.

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Table of contents, unveiling the best market research tools.

  • 3 May, 2024

market research tools for startups

Importance of Market Research

Market research plays a vital role in the success of startups, providing valuable insights into the target market and helping attract potential investors. By conducting thorough market research, startups can make informed decisions and tailor their strategies to meet the demands of their customers.

Startup Success and Market Research

For startups, market research is a crucial step in understanding the market landscape and identifying opportunities. According to Attest , a lack of market need is one of the top reasons for startup failure. By conducting market research, startups can assess the demand for their products or services and identify any gaps in the market. This knowledge allows them to tailor their offerings to meet the needs and preferences of their target audience.

Market research also helps startups gain a competitive advantage by understanding the dynamics of their industry. By analyzing market trends, consumer behavior, and competitor strategies, startups can identify opportunities for differentiation and innovation. This insight enables them to develop unique value propositions and position themselves effectively in the market.

Impact on Attracting Investors

Investors play a crucial role in the growth and development of startups. They seek evidence of a viable market and potential for growth before investing their resources. According to Attest , investors want to see proprietary data gathered from target consumers, as it provides them with confidence in the startup’s claims and validates the market potential.

By conducting market research, startups can gather data and insights that showcase the demand for their products or services, the size of their target market, and the competitive landscape. These findings serve as persuasive tools when pitching to investors, demonstrating a deep understanding of the market and the startup’s ability to meet customer needs.

Market research findings also help startups develop robust go-to-market strategies and refine their business models. Investors are interested in deeper insights beyond general market size figures, and market research provides the necessary data to support the startup’s growth plans and revenue projections.

In summary, market research is a critical component of startup success. It helps startups identify their target market, understand industry trends, and validate the demand for their products or services. Additionally, market research findings play a crucial role in attracting investors, providing them with confidence in the startup’s potential for success.

To delve deeper into the topic of market research for startups, check out our article on how to conduct market research for a startup .

Types of Market Research

When it comes to conducting market research for startups, there are two primary types to consider: primary market research and secondary market research.

Primary Market Research

Primary market research is the process of gathering information directly from the target audience or potential customers. It involves collecting data firsthand through surveys, interviews, focus groups, or observations. This type of research provides valuable insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and opinions.

Startups often find primary market research to be the most effective form of research. By directly engaging with their target market, startups can gather specific and relevant data to inform their business decisions. This includes understanding customer needs, identifying market trends, and assessing the demand for their products or services.

Some common methods of primary market research for startups include:

  • Surveys: Conducting online or in-person surveys to gather feedback and opinions from the target audience.
  • Interviews: Having one-on-one conversations with potential customers to gain deeper insights into their preferences and pain points.
  • Focus Groups: Bringing together a small group of individuals to discuss specific topics related to the startup’s offerings.
  • Observations: Actively observing and recording customer behavior in real-life or online settings.

By conducting primary market research, startups can gain a comprehensive understanding of their target market, enabling them to make informed business decisions and tailor their offerings accordingly.

Secondary Market Research

Secondary market research involves gathering information from existing sources, such as industry reports, market studies, government data, or academic research. This type of research relies on data that is already available and does not require direct interaction with the target audience.

Startups can leverage secondary market research to access a wealth of valuable information quickly and cost-effectively. This includes market size, industry trends, competitor analysis, consumer demographics, and more. By analyzing existing data, startups can gain insights into the broader market landscape and identify opportunities for growth and differentiation.

Common sources of secondary market research for startups include:

  • Market reports: Published reports by research firms, industry associations, or market intelligence providers.
  • Government data: Data provided by government agencies, such as census data, economic reports, or trade statistics.
  • Academic research: Studies conducted by universities or research institutions that are relevant to the startup’s industry.
  • Online databases: Accessing online resources that compile market data, such as industry-specific websites or market research platforms.

By leveraging secondary market research, startups can gain a comprehensive overview of the market landscape, identify key trends and competitors, and make more informed strategic decisions.

Both primary and secondary market research play crucial roles in helping startups understand their target market, validate their ideas, and make informed business decisions. By combining these research methods, startups can gather a holistic understanding of their industry, customers, and competitive landscape, setting a strong foundation for their growth and success.

Key Benefits for Startups

Market research plays a critical role in the success of startups, providing valuable insights that inform their strategies and decision-making processes. By utilizing market research, startups can gain a competitive edge and increase their chances of success. Here are key benefits that market research offers to startups:

Identifying Target Market

One of the primary benefits of market research for startups is the ability to identify their target market. Through thorough research and analysis, startups can gain a deep understanding of their potential customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors. This knowledge allows startups to tailor their products or services to better match the needs of their target market, increasing the chances of gaining loyal customers and generating revenue. By segmenting their target market effectively, startups can create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with their intended audience, ultimately driving growth and success.

Testing Product Viability

Market research enables startups to test the viability of their products or services before fully launching them into the market. By conducting market surveys, focus groups, or interviews, startups can gather valuable feedback from potential customers about their offerings. This feedback helps startups refine their products or services, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that they meet the needs and expectations of their target market. By validating their product or service through market research, startups can reduce the risk of failure and increase their chances of success.

Customizing Products or Services

Market research empowers startups to customize their products or services according to the preferences and demands of their target market. By understanding customer needs and preferences, startups can identify gaps or unmet needs in the market that their offerings can fulfill. This knowledge allows startups to create innovative solutions that address those needs, differentiating themselves from competitors and capturing a unique market share. By customizing their products or services based on market research insights, startups can increase customer satisfaction, build brand loyalty, and ultimately drive growth.

By harnessing the benefits of market research, startups can make informed decisions, minimize risks, and maximize their chances of success. It allows startups to gain a deep understanding of their target market, test the viability of their offerings, and customize their products or services to meet market demands. Market research is an indispensable tool for startups looking to navigate the competitive business landscape and achieve sustainable growth. For more information on market research methods for startups, visit our article on startup market research methods .

Market Research Tools for Startups

To conduct effective market research, startups need the right tools at their disposal. These tools help streamline data collection, analysis, and reporting processes, enabling startups to gather valuable insights and make informed business decisions. Here, we will explore the must-have tools for startups and categorize them based on their functionalities.

Must-Have Tools

Think With Google : This tool provides access to valuable market insights, consumer trends, and industry research. It offers data on consumer behavior, search trends, and market analysis, helping startups understand their target audience better.

Census Bureau : The U.S. Census Bureau offers a wealth of demographic and economic data, which can be invaluable for startups. It provides information on population demographics, income levels, and consumer spending patterns, enabling startups to identify target markets and make data-driven decisions.

Statista : Statista is a comprehensive market research platform that offers access to a vast collection of statistics, reports, and infographics. It covers various industries and markets, providing startups with up-to-date data to support their market research efforts.

Make My Persona : This tool, provided by HubSpot, helps startups create detailed buyer personas. By answering a series of questions, startups can generate personas that represent their target audience, allowing for more targeted marketing strategies.

KNIME Analytics Platform : KNIME is an open-source data analytics platform that enables startups to process and analyze large datasets. It offers a range of data mining and data visualization tools, allowing startups to uncover valuable insights from their market research data.

Categorizing Market Research Tools

Market research tools can be categorized based on their functionalities and the specific aspects of research they address. Some common categories of market research tools for startups include:

Category Description
Social Media Monitoring Tools These tools help monitor social media platforms for mentions, discussions, and trends related to a startup’s industry, products, or services. They provide real-time insights into consumer sentiment and preferences.
Market Research Websites Websites such as Census Bureau, Statista, and Pew Research Center offer a wealth of market research data, reports, and statistics. They serve as valuable sources of information for startups looking to understand market trends and consumer behavior.
Data Analysis Software Tools like KNIME Analytics Platform and other data analysis software enable startups to process and analyze large datasets, identify patterns, and derive meaningful insights.
CRM Software Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, such as Salesforce or HubSpot, helps startups manage customer data, track interactions, and gain a deeper understanding of their target audience.
Survey Tools Survey tools like SurveyMonkey and Typeform allow startups to collect data directly from their target audience through customized surveys. These tools provide valuable feedback and insights that can inform product development and marketing strategies.
Competitive Intelligence Tools Tools like BrandMentions and Google Public Data Explorer help startups monitor their competitors, track industry trends, and identify potential market opportunities. They provide valuable insights into competitor strategies, consumer preferences, and market dynamics.
Text Analytics Tools Text analytics tools analyze unstructured data, such as customer reviews, social media posts, and online discussions. They help startups extract meaningful insights from these sources, enabling them to understand customer sentiment and identify emerging trends.

By utilizing these market research tools, startups can gain a competitive edge by identifying their target market, testing product viability, and customizing their offerings to meet customer needs. It’s important for startups to assess their specific research requirements and choose the tools that align with their objectives and budget. With the right tools in place, startups can conduct thorough market research and make data-driven decisions that fuel their growth.

Case Studies: Brands Using Market Research

Examining how successful brands utilize market research can provide valuable insights into the impact of these strategies. Let’s explore two notable case studies: Starbucks and Apple.

Starbucks and Customer Feedback

Starbucks, a global coffeehouse chain, has consistently relied on market research to enhance its offerings and customer experience. For the past 14 years, Starbucks has actively obtained consumer feedback through its My Starbucks Idea platform ( Drive Research ). This platform allows customers to submit creative ideas for new offerings or changes to current products.

By leveraging customer feedback, Starbucks has been able to make informed decisions regarding its product lineup, store layouts, and overall brand experience. This customer-centric approach has helped Starbucks stay attuned to evolving consumer preferences and maintain a loyal customer base. The company’s commitment to listening to its customers stands as a testament to the importance of market research in driving business growth.

Apple and Customer Satisfaction

Apple, a renowned technology company, recognizes the significance of market research in understanding customer needs and satisfaction. To cater to customer preferences and gather insights, Apple developed an in-house research team known as the “Apple Customer Pulse” ( Drive Research ). This team conducts customer satisfaction surveys to gather feedback on Apple’s products and services.

By actively engaging with customers and analyzing their feedback, Apple can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions to enhance their products. This customer-centric approach has played a crucial role in Apple’s success, allowing them to continuously innovate and deliver products that resonate with their target audience.

These case studies highlight the impact of market research on the success of prominent brands like Starbucks and Apple. By actively seeking customer feedback and leveraging market research insights, these companies can adapt their strategies and offerings to meet customer demands effectively. Startups can draw inspiration from these examples to understand the importance of market research in driving business growth and achieving customer satisfaction.

Market Research Process for Startups

To make well-informed decisions and gain a competitive edge, startups must follow a systematic market research process. This process involves several key steps, including defining the research purpose, analyzing results, and creating reports.

Defining Research Purpose

The first step in the market research process for startups is to define the purpose of the research. This involves identifying the specific objectives and questions that the research aims to address. Startups need to have a clear understanding of what they want to achieve through the research, whether it is to gain insights about their target market, understand customer preferences, or evaluate the competition.

Defining the research purpose helps startups focus their efforts and resources on gathering the most relevant and valuable data. It provides a roadmap for the entire research process, ensuring that the findings align with the startup’s goals and objectives.

Analyzing Results and Creating Reports

Once the research data has been collected, the next step is to analyze the results and create reports. This involves examining the data for patterns, trends, and insights that can guide decision-making. Startups can use various analytical techniques, such as statistical analysis, data visualization, and qualitative analysis, to derive meaningful conclusions from the data.

Analyzing the results of the market research enables startups to identify key findings, opportunities, and areas for improvement. By understanding customer needs, preferences, and market dynamics, startups can make informed decisions regarding product development, marketing strategies, and business expansion.

Creating reports is an essential part of the market research process as it allows startups to document and communicate the findings effectively. The reports should provide a concise summary of the research objectives, methodology, key findings, and recommendations. Visual aids, such as charts and graphs, can be used to present the data in a clear and easily understandable format.

By documenting the research findings in reports, startups can share the insights with stakeholders, investors, and team members. These reports serve as a valuable resource for future reference and can guide strategic decision-making and planning.

In conclusion, the market research process for startups involves defining the research purpose and analyzing the results to create actionable reports. This process is crucial for startups to gather valuable insights, understand their target market, and make informed decisions that drive growth and success. By utilizing market research tools and following a systematic approach, startups can gain a competitive advantage and navigate the challenges of the business landscape with confidence.

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market research tools for startups

How to Conduct Market Research for a Startup

Two people looking at market research.

  • Startup Marketing
  • Conducting Market & Industry Research

Last Updated: May 9, 2024 By Reyna Hurand

So, you have a great idea for a startup. You're passionate about solving a problem and believe your solution is something customers want. But how do you validate these assumptions? This is where market research comes in. 

Conducting market research is a critical step in developing any new product or service. It helps startups make data-driven decisions about their target customers, product features, pricing, and more. In this article, we’ll discuss what market research entails, why it's vital for entrepreneurs, and how to conduct it like a pro.

Recommended:  Check out our list of the best market research tools for startups .

Understanding Market Research for Startups

As companies look to understand their customers and make data-driven decisions, market research has become an essential tool in the business world. Let’s further explore what it is and why it's so important for startups specifically.

What Is Market Research?

Market research is the process of gathering data about your industry, target market, and competitors to gain insights into customer demand, behavior, and preferences. It essentially aims to determine if there is an appetite for your solution or product. 

Why Market Research Is Vital for Startups

Startups often operate with limited resources, and every decision can have significant consequences. Market research helps in the following ways:

  • Developing marketing strategies: Insights into demographics/preferences allow startups to segment customers and develop targeted marketing strategies and messaging on a bootstrap budget.
  • Competitor Analysis: Identifying competitors and their strategies helps you find a unique position in the market.
  • Risk Mitigation: Analyzing market trends and potential challenges helps in anticipating and preparing for risks.
  • Refining Product Features: Enables startups to identify the most important and desired product features to focus on in their MVP or prototypes. This ensures product-market fit .
  • Forecasting market size : Helps startups realistically estimate the total addressable market and forecast demand. Accurate projections are critical for attracting investors.
  • Identifying sales opportunities: Understanding where target customers congregate, both online and offline, helps startups identify the right distribution channels, partnerships, and promotional outlets to sell their offerings.
  • Funding and Investment: A well-researched market plan can make your business more appealing to investors and financial institutions.

Without proper market research, a startup may enter a market with limited understanding and potential for failure. This underscores why it isn't just useful but essential for startups.

How to Do Market Research for Your Startup

Follow our step-by-step guide below to learn how to perform market research to validate and inform your startup plans.

1. Identify Your Goals

First, clearly define your objectives for the market research. Ask yourself:

  • What specific questions do I need answered?
  • What data and information do I need to make an informed business decision?
  • How will I use the results of the research?

Having clear goals will allow you to determine the proper scope, methodology, budget, timeline, and resources required for the market research project.

For example, if your goal is to understand consumer demand for a new mobile app, your research objectives may be to gauge interest levels, ideal features, and potential pricing models.

2. Determine the Type of Market Research to Conduct

There are two main types of market research to consider - primary and secondary research.

Primary research involves collecting new data yourself. This could include surveys, interviews, focus groups, field trials, and firsthand observation. Primary research gives you direct insights from your target market but also tends to be more time-consuming and expensive.

For instance, Airbnb has utilized interviews and surveys with hosts and guests to understand their experiences and preferences. This research has helped in refining the platform's features and service offerings.

Secondary research compiles existing data from sources like industry reports, academic studies, government statistics, and news articles. While the data is not customized, it can provide useful context, benchmarks, and trends.

Uber likely relied on secondary transportation data to estimate the market opportunity for ride-sharing in various cities.

You will likely need a blend of both primary and secondary research. Just make sure your methods directly align with your defined goals.

3. Define Your Target Market

An integral step is to narrowly define the target market(s) you want to reach with your startup. Gather basic demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral data on your ideal customer profiles.

For example, if your app helps busy moms tackle household organization, your target market research would focus on working mothers in suburban areas who value efficiency and convenience.

The more precisely you can define your target markets, the better your research will resonate with your future customers' needs and interests.

4. Create Your Research Plan

Now outline your market research plan. Determine:

  • Research timeline - Set realistic milestones for completing the research from start to finish.
  • Budget - Estimate costs for tools, software, data purchases, involved personnel, incentives, and other expenses.
  • Methodology - Will you conduct surveys, interviews, focus groups, or a mixed methods approach? Detail how you will distribute, collect, and analyze the data.
  • Sample sizes - For surveys or interviews, determine appropriate sample sizes to produce statistically significant findings.
  • Tools & technologies - Select market research software, data analysis tools, survey builders, social listening tools, and other relevant resources .

Thoughtfully mapping out your plan will keep your research focused, efficient, and aligned with your defined goals.

5. Conduct the Research

Primary research.

If your plan includes primary research, carefully develop your research instruments to collect useful, unbiased data.

For survey research:

  • Write neutral, closed-ended questions that elicit valuable insights.
  • Avoid leading or confusing questions that skew results.
  • Limit the survey length and simplify questions to boost completion rates.
  • Offer incentives to improve participation.

For interviews or focus groups:

  • Recruit participants who match your target buyer personas.
  • Prepare an interview script to cover all objectives while allowing organic conversation.
  • Offer thank-you gifts to interviewees to show appreciation for their time.

Take detailed notes during interviews and focus groups. Only record sessions if participants consent.

Secondary Research

To conduct effective secondary research:

  • Search for relevant industry reports, academic studies, news articles, and other pre-existing sources.
  • Analyze competitors through product reviews, market share data, and brand messaging.
  • Look for demographic statistics, economic trends, and forecasts related to your market.
  • Compile findings in a way that contrasts and compares relevant data points.

Secondary research provides context to better interpret your own primary research.

6. Analyze and Interpret the Results

Once your research data is gathered, analyze the findings to identify patterns, trends, correlations, and actionable insights in relation to your original goals. Consider the following:

  • Quantitative data analysis – Use statistics, graphs, and charts to analyze survey data.
  • Qualitative data analysis – Identify themes in open-ended questions, interviews, and observations.
  • Compare market segments – Spot differences in responses across your target groups.
  • Benchmark competitors – Gauge how your startup could improve upon existing solutions.

Solid analysis transforms simple data points into powerfully insightful market intelligence.

7. Refine Your Startup Idea

With your research findings in hand, refine and validate your startup concept to match real market demand:

  • Fill gaps - Find openings or pain points overlooked by current solutions.
  • Adapt to preferences - Adjust your product roadmap based on customer feedback.
  • Price competitively - Set optimal prices informed by buyers' willingness to pay.
  • Position your competitive advantage - Demonstrate how you will provide superior value compared to alternatives.

Ongoing market research helps startups recognize opportunities and craft innovative products people truly want and need.

Market Research Tools and Resources

Here's a list of some market research tools and resources that startups may find particularly useful:

Databases and Market Research Platforms

  • Systematic : AI-powered data analysis tool for startups and investors.
  • Statista : A broad database for statistical information.
  • CB Insights : Focuses on technology market trends and startups.

Free Government and Public Resources

  • U.S. Census Bureau : Offers demographic and economic data.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics : Provides labor market information.
  • World Bank Open Data : Free access to global development data.

Survey and Questionnaire Tools

  • Google Forms : A free tool for creating surveys.
  • Typeform : Known for engaging, conversational surveys.
  • Qualtrics : Offers advanced survey options and analytics.

Social Listening and Monitoring Tools

  • Brandwatch : For tracking and analyzing online conversations.
  • BuzzSumo : Helps in content research and monitoring social presence.
  • Hootsuite : Manages social media and offers monitoring.

SEO & Competitive Analysis Tools

  • Google Analytics : Analyzes website traffic and user behavior.
  • Semrush : Comprehensive tool for SEO, PPC, and content marketing.
  • Ahrefs : Helps in analyzing backlinks and SEO rankings.

Consumer Insight Tools

  • Nielsen : Provides market insights, data, and analysis.
  • IBISWorld : Offers industry research and analysis.

User Testing Tools

  • UserTesting : Gathers feedback through video sessions with customers.
  • Crazy Egg : Offers heatmap tools to understand how visitors interact with a website.

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The 13 Best Market Research Tools

Jan 3, 2024

10 min. read

The 328 million terabytes of data we create each day can be very telling about your target audience’s preferences and buying habits. This same data can also be inaccurate and low quality, depending on the source. That’s why the market research tools you choose matter — you need to be able to get the most up-to-date insights and trust what the data is telling you.

While traditional manual methods of market research and secondary research (aka desk research or complementary research ) still have a time and place in the digital world, marketers are supplementing them with market research platforms and software that do most of the heavy lifting.

Astronomical amounts of market-related data are created at lightning speed, far outpacing our ability to consume it all. To help find, filter, sort, and make sense of all this information, we’ve chosen 13 of the best market research tools to streamline and improve the process :

Meltwater Radarly

Think with google, ubersuggest, surveymonkey, answer the public, brandmentions, heartbeat ai, u.s. census bureau.

Tip: Also take a look at the top secondary research companies out there.

A leader in AI market research tools, Radarly is Meltwater’s AI-powered market research platform that provides real-time insights into consumer preferences . This always-on consumer intelligence suite uses a combination of data science, AI, and human market research expertise to surface insights about customers based on online conversations and activities.

Meltwater Radarly market research tool Consumer Intelligence Dashboard

Most of the world’s data is unstructured ( about 90% , by some estimates), making it harder to act on and understand its significance. Radarly brings structure to the unknown by detecting patterns and understanding audience sentiments.

Also, Meltwater for market research continuously sources new information and works in real-time. This gives marketers an advantage by working with the latest data so they can make informed decisions when it matters most.

See Meltwater Radarly live in action by requesting a free tour of our platform. Simply fill out the form at the bottom of this post and we'll be in touch.

Statista offers data trends and reports on a wide range of topics and interests, from Facebook’s monthly active users to leading beer brands based on sales. In total, the market research platform spans more than 170 industries and 150 countries .

What sets this resource apart is its visualizations — all of Statista’s stats have been compiled into neat and tidy graphs that are ready to publish or share in your own reports. This makes it easy to see trends over time or gain quick insights about consumer preferences.

Statista screenshot as one of the best online market research tools

There’s a chart for just about anything, and they’re updated on a regular basis. In many cases, Statista will include a brief explanation of the chart’s findings and recommend related charts for further research.

Google’s status as the world’s most popular search engine makes it a great resource for market research. Google has access to billions of first-party data points based on what people are searching for online. 

For market research purposes, users can tap into Google Trends to see the popularity of searches over time. See the terms that are trending on a daily or weekly basis, or check out shopping-related trends to predict the hot new products of the season ( trend prediction ).

Google’s Market Finder can also pinpoint new markets that might be a great fit for your product or service. Learn how various markets compare to each other and how your business might fit in.

Think With Google screenshot as a market research tool

And if you’re selling physical products, you can see how sales trends might impact your business using Google’s Rising Retail Categories . Retailers use this tool often to predict hot-selling holiday items and right-size their inventory.

Attest brings old-school focus groups and surveys into the digital era with its rapid-response approach. In the past, organizing interviews and focus groups took weeks or even months. Once the research activities were finished, analysts required additional time to compile the results. No more.

Attest market research tool screenshot

With Attest, you can hear directly from consumers who fit your audience profiles, with ready-made questions and respondents at your fingertips. All responses are recorded in the Attest platform, and the market research software analyzes results and collects consumer insights on your behalf.

Users pay per response, so you can scale your market research as needed.

A popular survey tool, Typeform offers a mobile-friendly way to collect market research insights . It’s unique in that it only shows users one field at a time to limit distractions. The look and feel lend to a more casual, conversational approach, which may encourage survey takers to be more candid in their responses. (We can’t prove it, though.)

Typeform survey market research templates screenshot

Users can create various question types, including multiple-choice questions, open-ended questions, and scale ratings. It’s intuitive and makes basic market research a breeze.

Ubersuggest, a popular k eyword research tool , also has market research capabilities packed into its user-friendly interface . That’s because keyword research is a form of market research , giving you a glimpse of what people are actively searching for online.


Let’s say you’re launching a new facial cleaning device for your beauty brand . By using Ubersuggest for keyword research, you can also uncover:

  • Other brands selling facial cleaning devices
  • Publications talking about facial cleaning devices
  • The popularity of online searches for facial cleaning devices
  • Competition for related keywords
  • Questions related to the keyword “facial cleaning device”
  • Cost per click to rank for the keyword via paid ads
  • Search volume (and interest) over time

This is a great tool to help you see who your top competitors are online, what type of content ranks well for a keyword, and how crowded a market is for a particular product or service.

Market research doesn’t always have to be a costly, complex beast, and SurveyMonkey is a great example. This easy-to-use survey tool can create simple or in-depth surveys sent to targeted audiences for feedback. 

SurveyMonkey market research tool screenshot

For example, you might have one-off questions to ask customers who made a purchase to learn more about their buying habits. Or, you might want to send longer surveys to customers to help develop a new product. No matter your use case, you can customize surveys to reach highly specific audiences and compile their answers instantly. 

SurveyMonkey also offers turnkey market research solutions, including a global panel survey, translation services, and a reporting dashboard. These services can help you reach more people and get more use from your data.

Answer the Public is a free search listening tool that compiles the questions people are asking online. These questions can serve as a starting point for new product development, product improvements, and content marketing .

Answer The Public market research software screenshot

This market research software uses autocomplete data from Google . When you start typing a search, Google will try to guess what you’re looking for based on what other people have searched for. You can do this manually, but it’s time-consuming and relies only on your ideas.

Answer the Public makes life easier by compiling related questions in an easy-to-understand graphic. And since the data comes from Google, market researchers can trust its reliability and quality.

Ever wonder what it is about a brand (including yours) that people love? The things that get people talking? BrandMentions can help provide some context.

BrandMentions market research tool

Specializing in social media monitoring , BrandMentions takes the next step into showing why a particular keyword is buzzing. Type in a keyword and you’ll see recent social media posts that also contain that keyword.

You can also see the keyword’s Reach, Performance, and Number of Mentions — all of which can come in handy when you’re planning a new product launch. You can use these insights to plan your launch-related posts to generate the most buzz.

Tip: Learn more about brand monitoring , brand tracking , brand reputation measurement , about the best brand tracking software , and understand why your brand mentions are spiking .

AI market research tools like Heartbeat AI allow you to put market research on autopilot , or at least close to it. Using sentiment analysis , this market research tool recognizes themes and trends in qualitative text data.

HeartBeat AI market research software screenshot

No more poring through pages and pages of text — Heartbeat AI can quickly surface insights about how your audience feels regarding your brand or products (or your competitors). What’s more, it can turn these insights into attractive visuals for simpler understanding or sharing with other stakeholders.

Qualitative research can be more difficult to sort and analyze because it contains more variables. Unlike quantitative research, which deals with specific, measurable data, qualitative research involves the complexities of human behavior and perception. The results are subjective in nature, and it involves more work to extract their value.

Discuss market research tool screenshot

Discuss aims to change the narrative with AI-powered insights . Offering video capabilities, built-in note-taking, and auto-generated highlight reels, marketers can capture the “Aha!” moments without losing efficiency.

The market research platform makes it easy to refer back to conversations and keep their audience engaged throughout the process, leading to more complete data.

One of the oldest but most trusted market research sources , the U.S. Census Bureau offers basic demographic information about U.S. citizens. This platform gives you instant insight into America’s people , including things like family sizes, income levels, and populations.

U.S. Census Bureau American market research tool

Beyond demographics, the market research platform has thousands of tables and maps to bring your research to life. You can customize your own maps and tables using any of the data available.

Another option is to find your business’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code , and then filter the Tables tool to focus on your industry. This allows you to see where your industry is most popular and where it might be over- or under-saturated.

Tableau from Salesforce is a business intelligence platform that connects to all of your data sources, making it easier to connect the dots between disparate systems. It excels at transforming unstructured data into visualizations to streamline decisions.

Tableau market research tool screenshot

Their goal is to democratize data and make it more accessible and user-friendly. It accomplishes its mission with a user-friendly interface, visual data transcriptions, and a community of more than a million members who share how-tos and best practices.

Make Your Market Research Tools Work for You

Online market research tools aren’t replacing the traditional survey or focus group — they’re enhancing them by providing an always-on approach to speed up results. By tapping into the wealth of data people are openly sharing online, businesses can gain more insights than ever before, on demand.

Meltwater offers some of the best tools for market research that are accurate, reliable, and easy to use. By tapping into billions of data points and analyzing them in the context of your business, you can make valuable data-driven decisions to move your company forward.

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Unveiling Your Target Audience: A Guide to Market Research for Startups

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Every entrepreneur dreams of a product that resonates with customers, but how do you know if yours will? The answer lies in market research, the key to unlocking valuable insights about your target audience and their needs. This guide delves into the world of market research for startups, equipping you with the knowledge and tools to navigate this crucial step for success. 

Understanding Market Research

Market research is a systematic process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information about customers and the market to assess the viability of a product or service. It involves various methodologies such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, and data analyses to gain insights into potential customers, their needs, and how a product compares to competitors.

Types of Market Research

There are two main types of market research: primary and secondary.

Primary Research: Involves collecting data directly from the target market. It helps in creating buyer personas, segmenting the market, and improving the product to meet customer needs.

Secondary Research: Utilizes existing data not collected by the entrepreneur. This can include industry reports, public databases, and proprietary data from other companies to gain insights into the target market and industry.

Methods of Market Research

Market research can be conducted using two main methods: quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative Research:   Quantitative research gathers large numerical datasets for statistical analysis. Surveys, questionnaires, and polls are common methods for collecting quantitative research data.

Qualitative Research:   Qualitative research aims to understand the reasons behind customer behaviors, needs, and satisfaction. Focus groups, in-depth interviews, and online bulletin boards are typical methods for conducting qualitative research.

Why Market Research is Crucial for Entrepreneurs

In an environment where 50% of new businesses fail within the first five years, startups need to gain a deep understanding of their customer base quickly. Market research serves as a strategic tool, offering insights into customer behavior, industry trends, and competition.

Before launching a startup, conducting market research is essential for several reasons:

Product Improvement: Feedback from the target demographic is invaluable for iterating and improving the product.

Pricing Strategy: Market research helps in determining the optimal pricing strategy by gauging customers’ willingness to pay.

User Experience Enhancement: Understanding what features matter most to potential customers enhances the overall user experience.

Investor Attraction: Thorough market research provides tangible proof that the product fulfills a market need, making the startup more attractive to investors.

How to Conduct Market Research for a Startup

To initiate an effective market research strategy, begin by defining your target audience. Identify their demographics, preferences, and pain points to tailor your product or service accordingly. Utilize both primary and secondary research methods, such as surveys, interviews, and competitor analysis, to gather valuable insights.

Analyze industry trends, consumer behavior, and market dynamics to stay informed about potential opportunities and challenges. Engage with potential customers through social media, forums, and other online platforms to understand their needs and expectations. Additionally, leverage data analytics tools to gather quantitative data that can provide a comprehensive view of the market landscape. By investing time and resources in a robust market research process, your startup can make informed decisions, refine its value proposition, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

A Step-by-Step Guide

Define Your Research Purpose:

  • Identify the questions you aim to answer through research.
  • Develop hypotheses to guide your approach.

Study Your Target Market and Competitors:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of your target market, competitors, and demographic.
  • Use buyer persona templates for better targeting.

Choose the Right Type and Method:

  • Select primary or secondary research based on your goals.
  • Determine the ideal method for data collection, such as surveys or interviews.

Recruit Appropriate Research Subjects:

  • Understand your target demographic.
  • Recruit subjects through word of mouth, social media, or third-party research firms.

Conduct Your Research:

  • Execute the research plan with unbiased questioning.
  • Use various methods like interviews and surveys.

Analyze Your Results:

  • Organize and analyze data for relevant trends.
  • Interpret qualitative data quantitatively.

Create an Actionable Report:

  • Compile findings into a report with actionable steps.
  • Provide recommendations for the next stage of your startup.

Sample Questions to Ask Customers

Crafting market research questions requires tailored language for each product, service, and industry. Sample questions may include:

  • What do you like most about our new product or service?
  • What do you wish our product or service did that it does not currently do?
  • What price would you consider so low that you’d question this product’s overall quality?

Market Research: A Key to Startup Success

Whether confirming consumer pain points or predicting industry trends, market research is a foundational step toward building a successful and sustainable startup. However, market research is not a one-time activity but an ongoing process. Revisit and form new hypotheses with each product version to continuously improve and align with customer needs.

In conclusion, for startups aiming to navigate the competitive landscape and thrive, market research is not just a valuable tool—it’s an indispensable compass guiding them towards informed decisions and customer-centric innovation.

To learn more about market research for startups, see if you qualify for membership to join Founders Network .

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Market Research for Startups – Successful Market Entry through Insights

Table of content.

  • Key Takeaways: Market Research for Startups
  • Why is Market Research Essential for Startups?
  • Fundamentals of Market Research for Startups
  • Applying Market Research in Strategic Planning for Startups
  • Steps to Conduct Effective Market Research for Startups
  • Practical Market Research Tips for Startups
  • Case Study: Successful Market Research in a Startup
  • Conclusion: The Importance of Market Research for the Market Entry of Startups

Startups are dynamic and full of potential, yet they simultaneously face intense competition. Comprehensive market research is crucial for establishing success. In this blog post, we highlight why market research for startups is essential. We will demonstrate how targeted market research can minimize risks and maximize opportunities. The goal is to make the right decisions based on data and facts specifically tailored to the needs and challenges of young companies. Discover how your startup can benefit from precise and effective market research methods.

Importance of Market ResearchMarket research enables startups to make data-driven decisions, which are essential for development, positioning, and growth in the market.
Recognizing Market TrendsMarket research helps startups identify current and future market trends and respond to them to gain a competitive advantage.
Understanding CustomersThrough direct feedback and in-depth analysis, market research enhances understanding of customer needs and preferences.
Resource AllocationEfficient use of resources through targeted investments in product development and marketing strategies based on market research findings.
Building Investor ConfidenceSolid market research data can strengthen investors’ confidence and is often crucial for financing.

Market research is the backbone for any startup looking to establish and grow in the market. Without a solid data foundation, startups risk missing their target audience or investing resources in products that miss the market need. Effective market research for startups provides deeper insights into the needs and expectations of potential customers. It enables the identification of market gaps and understanding of competitors. This leads to strategic decisions based on facts rather than assumptions, which is critical in the early phases of a company.

Market research is a systematic process aimed at collecting, analyzing, and interpreting relevant data about markets, customer behavior, and competitive structures. This knowledge is crucial for making informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies, and business models.

For startups operating in uncertain environments, market research can make the difference between success and failure. There are various types of market research specifically adapted to the needs and resources of startups:

Desk Research : Also known as secondary research , this method involves analyzing already existing data collected from various sources such as industry reports, existing studies, public databases, and competitive analyses. This method is cost-effective and can provide valuable insights into the market and competitive landscape.

Primary Research : This type of research collects new data directly from the target group. It includes:

  • Quantitative Methods : Surveys and questionnaires are common tools to generate large amounts of data that can be statistically evaluated. These methods are useful for identifying market trends and quantitatively assessing consumer behavior.
  • Qualitative Methods : Interviews and focus groups provide deeper insights into the thoughts and feelings of customers. They help understand motivations and attitudes that underlie behavior. For startups, this can be particularly valuable for testing the usability and emotional resonance of their products.

By combining these methods, startups can gain a comprehensive view of their market and adjust their strategies accordingly. The goal is to understand not only current needs but also to identify future opportunities and challenges early on.

Market research is not just a tool for gathering information but also plays a crucial role in the strategic planning and decision-making in startups. By strategically using the gathered data, young companies can optimize their business strategies and enhance their competitiveness. Below, we consider specific areas where market research is crucial for improving company performance:

Strategic Decision Making

Market research is an indispensable tool for startups to make strategic decisions. By collecting data on customer preferences, market conditions, and competitive landscapes, young companies can make informed decisions about product developments, market entry strategies, and pricing. This targeted use of data allows startups to focus their resources on the most promising opportunities.

Adapting to Customer Feedback

A dynamic market presence requires startups to respond quickly to customer feedback. Regular market research enables the continuous capture of customer opinions and behaviors and the corresponding adjustment of products and services. This flexibility helps startups quickly adapt to changing market conditions and improve customer satisfaction.

Predicting Market Trends

Through forward-looking market research, startups can identify future trends and changes in consumer behavior early on. This knowledge allows them to develop innovative products or adjust marketing strategies before the competition does. This can secure them a decisive advantage in the market and strengthen their market position.

Resource Allocation

Effective market research informs startups where to invest their limited resources to achieve maximum effects. Whether it involves investing in specific marketing channels, pushing product developments, or optimizing sales strategies, data-driven decisions provide the foundation for efficient decision-making and help strategically allocate the budget.

Building Investor Confidence

For startups seeking investments, demonstrating solid market knowledge and a well-thought-out business strategy is essential. Market research provides the necessary data and analyses to give potential investors confidence. This not only strengthens trust in the company but can also be crucial for securing financial support.

For startups focused on rapid growth and the development of innovative products, primary research plays a crucial role. Here are the key steps to effectively conduct it:

Setting Research Goals Specifically for Startups

The definition of clear research goals is the first step. These goals are usually closely linked to product development and market validation, which are critical for startups. Examples might include:

  • Understanding and validating customer needs for a new product.
  • Testing market acceptance and price willingness of potential customers.

These specific goals require direct and current data that can be effectively captured through primary research.

Selecting Suitable Market Research Methods for Young Companies

While desk research provides useful insights and an overview, primary research is essential to gather direct and specific information needed for quick and precise decisions:

  • Surveys and Polls are cost-effective and quickly deployable, ideal for startups reliant on agile feedback.
  • Depth Interviews and Ethnographic Studies provide deep insights into consumer behavior and attitudes, crucial for fine-tuning products.

Gathering and Analyzing Data to Support Startup Strategies

Careful collection and analysis of primary data are crucial to ensuring unbiased and relevant insights:

  • Data Interpretation should help understand the real needs and expectations of the target group.
  • Strategic Use of Results enables startups to make quick and informed decisions based on solid data.

Conducting market research doesn’t have to be expensive or complex. With the right strategies and tools, even startups with limited resources can gain valuable insights into their markets. Here are some tips on how to implement market research efficiently and cost-effectively:

Tips for Efficient and Cost-Effective Market Research

  • Start small : Begin with small, manageable market research projects. This helps you refine the methodology without committing too much capital.
  • Use existing data : Before collecting new data, check if there are already studies and reports containing relevant information. Public databases, industry reports, and even social media often provide valuable insights.
  • Lean Survey Design : Design your surveys to be short and precise. Long surveys can decrease response rates and impair data quality.
  • Automated Tools for Data Collection and Analysis : Use software and online survey tools to collect and analyze data efficiently. This saves time and resources.

Using Online Tools and Platforms for Market Research

Online survey tools play a crucial role in modern market research, especially for startups:

  • resonio : As a user-friendly platform, resonio enables startups to quickly and easily create and distribute surveys. The platform offers a variety of question, answer, and logic options that allow you to develop customized surveys tailored to your research goals.
  • Real-time Analysis and Automated Result Report : With resonio, you can not only analyze collected data in real time but also generate automated result reports. These reports summarize key findings and provide visual representations of the data, facilitating interpretation and sharing of results.
  • Target Group Segmentation : Use the advanced segmentation features of resonio to target your surveys specifically to relevant subgroups, increasing the relevance and quality of the data collected.

These tips and tools can help startups conduct effective market research without straining their budget. By combining lean planning, the use of modern technology, and the use of specialized platforms like resonio, market research becomes not only more accessible but also an integral part of strategic growth.

To illustrate the role of market research in practice, let’s consider the fictitious example of EcoWear , a startup that produces sustainable fashion.

Initial Situation

EcoWear wanted to launch a new line of eco-friendly T-shirts but was uncertain about the price willingness and design preferences of their target group. The young company faced the challenge of validating its product ideas without a large marketing budget.

Conducting the Market Research

EcoWear opted to use resonio to conduct comprehensive market research:

  • Target Group Definition and Segmentation : Initially, EcoWear more precisely defined its target group: environmentally conscious consumers aged 18 to 35 years. With resonio, they further segmented this group by geographic and demographic characteristics.
  • Online Surveys : EcoWear created an online survey to gain insights into preferences regarding material, design, and price. The survey included questions about various design drafts and price points to test acceptance and price willingness.
  • Analysis of Survey Data : The data collected through resonio was analyzed in real time. The results showed a clear preference for certain designs and a higher price willingness for products marketed as sustainable and ethically sound.

Results and Implementation

The market research provided valuable insights that helped EcoWear optimize its product line and develop a targeted marketing strategy. The startup introduced the most popular designs and set a price that was both competitive and acceptable to the target audience. The successful market entry led to rapid market penetration and strong customer loyalty.

The comprehensive presentation and analysis in this blog post demonstrate how critical market research is for the success of startups. It is not only a tool for risk minimization but also a crucial factor for strategic alignment and sustainable growth of a company. Market research allows startups to make informed decisions based on accurate data and deep insights into the market.

Through targeted use of market research, startups can develop an understanding of their customers, design effective marketing strategies, and ultimately successfully introduce their products to the market. As the example of EcoWear shows, market research helps optimize product offerings and effectively address the needs of the target group, leading to faster acceptance and customer loyalty.

Overall, this overview underscores the central role of market research for startups looking to compete and grow in a competitive environment. It not only lays the foundation for successful product launches but also supports continuous adjustment and improvement of offerings to meet the ever-changing market conditions and customer desires.

Ines Maione

Ines Maione brings a wealth of experience from over 25 years as a Marketing Manager Communications in various industries. The best thing about the job is that it is both business management and creative. And it never gets boring, because with the rapid evolution of the media used and the development of marketing tools, you always have to stay up to date.

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How to do market research for a startup (with examples)

Did you step out of the shower this morning with a business idea to beat them all? Did you read back through late-night notes, and they finally made sense?

If you’ve come up with an amazing idea for a product or service, congratulations! This could be the start of a great adventure, and every adventure needs to start somewhere.

To set a business set up for success, don’t create that website or launch that prototype just yet .

Take the time for proper market research . We know it might not seem as exciting as elevator pitches and guerilla marketing campaigns. Still, it’s just as important for your business strategy and will be a firm contributor to your startup’s success.

To discover if your big shower idea is viable, you need to conduct market research .

Before understanding which market research method is best for you, let’s get on the same page. 

How to do market research for a startup

What we’ll cover in this article:

What is market research.

  • What good market research looks like, and what it can deliver
  • Why market research for startups is so valuable 
  • How to conduct market research for startups in a way that’ll give you actionable data
  • Some examples of how market research changed the course for startups that went on to become successful businesses

Market research is about analysing the market you are in or are about to enter. It involves closely examining market trends, industry trends, market dynamics, your target audience, and other potential customers. Market research includes competitor analysis to see how similar businesses are selling and identify any indirect competitors you can learn from.

Market research findings will influence and guide your go-to-market strategies, and help you secure funding — they aren’t just for good-looking reports! Investors will want to see more than general market size figures. If you can show them proprietary data you’ve gathered from your target consumers (also known as zero-party data ), it will give them the deeper layer of insight they’re looking for.

Market research has been around for decades , and companies have tweaked and updated it over time, but the term has always been used rather loosely. It shouldn’t be conducted to simply confirm that your idea is good. 

When you conduct market research looking to affirm a hypothesis, you become susceptible to market research bias. You can end up walking away with specific data sets that affirm your theory, rather than actionable data that can dictate the direction your theory needs to take—which may be the opposite direction!

Why is market research important for entrepreneurs and startups?

It’s easy to be blinded by the potential of a big startup idea. Your product or service might seem great on paper—or even as a prototype—but without proper market research services , it could flop when you go to market.

Startup founders need to get as much detailed information on their potential market as soon as possible. Here are some reasons why:

Market research will help you test your ideas

There are several things you can and should find out about your product through research. The first question to answer: is there sufficient demand for your product?

It’s not true that if you make something and promote it hard enough, people will eventually start buying it. 

It could be that the product you have in mind is not for the target group you would expect or that the timing is off. For example, selling wired headphones now that most cell phones don’t even have a headphone jack would not be the perfect timing to secure demand. This works both ways; your product could be behind the times or ahead of them—as you’ll see later in our examples!

That doesn’t mean you can’t produce anything that hasn’t been done before – you simply have to do it differently and better. When Slack entered the market, there were communication tools for businesses already on the market. They just did it better. 

Aside from understanding what your core product and its features need to look like, you’ll also gather important information on pricing, payment plans, marketing strategies, product messaging, and more. There are tons of companies to help you with your research—here are the top market research companies in the US to get you started.

Startups need to test their ideas to make sure there’s a viable business opportunity there

Conducting market research is important for attracting investors

If you want to impress potential investors, you’ll need more than a spicy prototype to whet their appetite. The main thing that investors care about is how likely they are to make money out of this product in the long run. 

For that, they’ll need to see research that backs up your claims and proves there’s a viable market for you to enter and meet demand. 

 This research makes the decision-making process to invest that much easier. 

Investors will need to conduct a due diligence check before they part with their cash. You’ll have a large chunk of the data they need embedded in your market research—making this investment process run that much smoother for every stakeholder. 

Discover how market research can help your brand: from reaching the right customers to testing creative assets

It makes startups less likely to fail 

Let’s look at why startups fail.

The top answers for this underline the importance of market research once again. At number 1 on the list of reasons why startups fail: ‘ no market need. ’ In 42% of cases , there’s simply not sufficient demand for a shower thought—no matter how innovative it is.

Number 3 on that same list is being beaten by the competition. Ignoring your competitors accounts for 20% of startup failure !

Of course, market research can’t predict the future entirely. However, when done properly, it’ll give your small business the tools needed to get a head start in the sink-or-swim world of startups.

market research tools for startups

Choose the right tools for market research

Attest is here to give you all the market insights you need, with tailored demographic filters and ready-to-go survey templates, you can measure everything from brand awareness to product demand in hours, not days or weeks.

How to do market research for a startup: 6 steps

There are plenty of tools, resources, and best practices to conduct solid market research, but it can be difficult to pick the right direction to head in. Worry not! Here are six steps to get the most out of your market research.

1. Find the right market research methods for your needs

Before diving into your market, target audience, and competitors, it’s good to freshen up on the types of market research methods there are: primary research and secondary research.

Primary market research

The internet only knows so much. You’ll have to get some data straight from the source: your target audience. That’s where primary data enters the picture. This is research you do yourself, gathering information directly from the people you want to use your product or service.

A great way to do this is by using online surveys or working with focus groups to get a comprehensive understanding of what your future buyers and loyal customers need.

Secondary research

If you use existing research and data, you’re doing secondary market research and finding secondary data. This can be great for exploring market dynamics and spotting trends. You can find more tools to help you conduct this research method in our blog: 12 great market research tools .

Secondary data has its place, but because it’s external research that hasn’t been conducted with your business in mind, you’ll need to be aware of citation bias.

What’s citation bias? Citation bias occurs when your data uses the results of other research. The results of which may have been looking to prove something slightly different to what you’re looking to prove. Plus, if the research is not conducted by you, then the data may already have fallen victim to one or more other types of survey bias you haven’t been able to account for.

2. Find out what you need to focus on

You might have a general sense of what you want to learn from your market research: whether or not you should launch your startup idea. However, you’ll need to specify some research goals to get actionable data.

After your first exploratory primary research or secondary research, you’ll be able to identify where you have knowledge gaps. What isn’t clear about the market? What assumptions about your potential customers need to be verified?

You can split up your market research goals into different categories—helping you better assign the right team to the right tasks.

For example, let your best marketers and sales reps help you in researching buyer behaviours. Let your finance team guide payment habits and payment methods for your market research. 

This market research template can help you better guide your market research.

3. Identify your ideal market

In any market research, you’ll have to look at three important factors:

  • the target market as a whole
  • your competitors
  • your potential customers

We’ll start with the market as a whole because it’ll help you get more specific data along the way.

First, figuring out which market and industry niche you fall into is crucial. It may seem obvious, but if you put some thought into it, you might find you’d perform better in a different market.

Aim for a market where you fit in, where there’s a large enough product demand , and where you can make a difference.

Here’s how to find out what’s going on in a market:

market research tools for startups

Find your market, fast

Don’t leave the success of your startup to chance – our market research software is here to help you navigate the market and make the right decisions for your brand.

Talk to industry experts

Talk to experts who’ve been working in that target market for years and ask them about what they think the future will look like. These might just be speculations, but it’s better to hear them and address them than pretend they don’t exist.

You can also pay attention to what’s happening in online communities revolving around your product idea. For example, places like Facebook Groups, Reddit, Twitter, Twitch, ProductHunt, G2, Capterra, and other platforms can be a great eye opener about your potential future customers and market. 

Read the latest trend reports

Another great way to get a clear view of trends in your market is to keep track of relevant blogs and news. There are plenty of target market reports and public market data available to find out the latest trends and where the market is going, like G2, Deloitte, Gartner, McKinsey, and more—make the most of these datasets.

Use target market research tools

Google searches are a goldmine – use Google Trends to analyse what people are searching for

With Google Alerts and Trends, you always have comprehensive, up-to-date data on trends and can spot changes in popularity for certain brands and products by focusing on specific keywords. 

Find out what our favourite tools are for analysing your target market in our blog: eight smart market analysis tools .

4. Shake hands with your target audience

Get ready to talk to real people.

To understand your target market, you need to look at more than numbers. It’s great to see some people spending a lot on certain products, but you’ll need to learn why they do that. Get the powerful insights you need to create a strong positioning and ensure your marketing efforts hit the spot.

This is where primary research is most important. You can choose in-depth interviews, online surveys, focus groups, or a mix of those things, depending on what answers you’re looking for. 

Lost for words? We’ll give you some inspiration in this list of 20 essential questions you should ask your (future) customers .

Consumer profiling for startups

We recommend you go beyond the standard consumer profiling demographics and build buyer personas with layers. By adding behavioural and attitudinal data to the mix, you will create much more effective marketing campaigns and digital marketing strategies that land with the people most likely to use your product.

We’ve got a guide full of tips to get started with consumer profiling as a startup and a success story of one startup that discovered their most important potential customers weren’t who they thought they were .

Surveying your target market—through platforms like Attest—is the ideal way to understand their behaviours and buying potential

5. Analyse your key competitors—direct and indirect

Next up: your competition. You don’t need to infiltrate their business to get to know them inside-out, but it sure helps to look at their strategy, messaging, tactics, and, most  importantly, what your target audience thinks of them.

Your target market probably knows who your competitors are better than anyone else. Find out what products they consider as alternatives to yours, and you may find out you have significantly more competition than you initially thought.

Take things a step further and look beyond your obvious direct competitors; focus on other companies that could be catching up with you in a few years or are in your niche but currently offering something else. Chances are you’re not the only one working on a new business idea each morning in the shower!

Rest assured, this doesn’t have to be guesswork—here are our 14 favourite competitor tracking tools to help you get started.

6. Be prepared to make big, but well-informed decisions

Once your market research is done, and all questions answered, it’s time to create a plan of action. Hopefully, you found out that your product or service is a lucrative idea and that there’s a real market for it—even if you need to tweak your idea a bit.

Market research will be the guide for any future business decision you take. How you approach product development, branding, and marketing, will all depend on the results of this research. 

Planning your marketing strategies is made simpler when you have solid market research data to back it up

3 Examples of market research for startups

The success of any startup heavily depends on whether they’re willing to listen to their target market or not.

Let’s look at real-life examples that paved the way for tons of startups and set an example in market research best practices to transform a business in its earliest stages of growth.

Example 1: the board game maker that won big with market research

Before coming across Attest, Big Potato Games was cobbling together insights from social media and Google Analytics—not ideal when you want a comprehensive picture of your market.

The team needed to establish exactly who their customers were, and learn the behaviours and attitudes of their potential customers to more effectively target the right people in the right places with the right messaging.

Using market research to explore consumers’ attitudes towards board games and what motivates them to play helped them define key customer personas. The research uncovered seven key customer types, all the way from casual, occasional players to hardcore gamers.

An example of what they uncovered through market research was that mums view board games as a way of getting the family together, while young adults saw it more as a way to socialise with friends.

They also found out the size and importance of each customer segment. While the hardcore gamers are a super important and dedicated segment, it’s still quite a small buyer group. It turned out that the mums group was a much bigger purchase decision-maker and demographic to go for.

Market research allowed them to better understand the segments where they sought to build awareness, who was using their product, and who was actually buying it.

Example 2: admit when you can’t beat the competition

Ever heard of Odeo? It probably doesn’t ring a bell. It was created by Evan Williams and Biz Stone in 2005 as a platform for podcasts. They placed their bets on podcasts. However, as we now know, their timing was off.

Instead of sitting around and waiting for podcasts to hit, they re-examined the market. They looked at user adoption rates, technology, and customer acquisition costs. At the time, Apple was their main competitor, and they knew they wouldn’t win. So, based on their market research, they pivoted.

They looked at other popular platforms where content was shared, such as Facebook. Their market research looked at what people didn’t like about those platforms. What tools were they missing? What annoyed people?

Not long after, Twitter was born. The Facebook News Feed was too cluttered for many people, so they cleaned things up. As we know today, it was a huge success.

Twitter’s inception came at the price of the founders’ original startup idea

Example 3: The dating site that turned into a video platform

Over the years, a lot of dating sites and apps have come and gone. Tune In Hook Up is one of those that has gone rather quickly. Its creators saw that the website, which was a video dating site, didn’t get enough traffic to make the right matches.

They had this technology that made posting videos online easier than ever, but not enough people were jumping on it.

They did market research and found it was hard to find specific videos online, and websites that did offer them didn’t work very well. Sharing videos with others was a pain for users.

Based on their research, they broke up with the online dating market and focused on the video part of their business that already existed. They changed the name, the platform, and their lives. You might have heard of it. They called it: YouTube.

Market research made simple

The right market insights can make or break your business, which is why market research is one of the most important things you can invest in. Don’t leave your market research up to chance – choose the best tools that set your startup on the path to success and match it with talent that knows what to go for. Now get back in the shower; you’ve got ideas to create!

Make market research easy with Attest

With our cutting-edge tech and on-demand research expertise, your startup can rest easy. Measure brand awareness and gain vital insights from our built-in audience of 110+ million people.

Market Research FAQs

To do market research for a startup, you should follow these six steps: 1. Pick the right market research methods 2. Identify what you need to know 3. Find your ideal market 4. Get to know your target audience 5. Analyse your key competitors – direct and indirect 6. Be prepared to make big, but well-informed decisions Once you complete them, you’ll have all the information you need to create a business strategy that will lead to your startup’s success.

The best form of market research you can do for a new business is primary market research. This is gathering information directly from the people you want to use your product or service by using online surveys or working with focus groups.

The main focus of the market research for small startup businesses is to validate their business idea. It doesn’t matter how good your idea or prototype looks; if there isn’t a market for it, no marketing budget will suffice.  By researching what the market thinks about your idea and what needs they have, you’ll know if your product will have demand or not. 

market research tools for startups

Customer Research Lead 

Nick joined Attest in 2021, with more than 10 years' experience in market research and consumer insights on both agency and brand sides. As part of the Customer Research Team team, Nick takes a hands-on role supporting customers uncover insights and opportunities for growth.

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Growth Navigate

  • Team Growth Navigate
  • Dec 1, 2023

Market Research for Startups: A Comprehensive Guide to Success

Market research plays a pivotal role in the success of startups. It provides valuable insights into the target market , customer preferences , and competitor landscape . By conducting thorough market research, startups can make informed decisions, minimize risks, and maximize their chances of success.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various types of market research, how to conduct primary and secondary research, analyze data, identify target markets, and more. So let's dive in and unlock the power of market research for startups .

Table of Contents

Importance of Market Research for Startups

Types of market research for startups, analyzing market research data, identifying target markets and customer segments, competitor analysis and market positioning, market research tools and resources for startups, common market research mistakes to avoid, implementing market research findings into business strategies, benefits of ongoing market research for startups.

Market Research for Startups

Market research is the foundation on which startups build their business strategies. It helps them understand the market dynamics, customer needs, and competitive landscape. By conducting market research, startups gain insights into consumer preferences, buying behavior, and market trends . This knowledge enables them to develop products or services that cater to the specific needs of their target audience, ensuring higher chances of success.

Startups can utilize two main types of market research: primary research and secondary research . Primary research involves gathering firsthand information directly from potential customers, while secondary research involves analyzing existing data and information that is already available.

Conducting Primary Market Research

Primary market research involves interacting directly with potential customers to gather insights. There are various methods to conduct primary research, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observations. Surveys can be conducted online or offline, while interviews and focus groups provide in-depth qualitative data. By engaging with customers, startups can understand their needs, preferences, and pain points, which will help them refine their products or services.

Conducting Secondary Market Research

Secondary market research involves analyzing existing data and information from external sources. Startups can access market reports, industry publications, government statistics, and online databases to gather insights. This research helps in understanding the market size, industry trends , competitor analysis, and consumer behavior. Secondary research is cost-effective and provides a broader perspective of the market, enabling startups to make informed decisions.

Once startups have gathered primary and secondary research data, the next step is to analyze it effectively. Data analysis involves organizing, interpreting, and deriving meaningful insights from the collected information. Startups can use various techniques like statistical analysis , data visualization , and trend analysis to identify patterns and trends. By analyzing market research data, startups can gain a deeper understanding of their target market, customer preferences, and competitive landscape.

One of the key objectives of market research is to identify target markets and customer segments. Startups need to define their target audience based on demographics, psychographics, and behavioral factors. By understanding who their customers are, startups can tailor their marketing messages, product features, and pricing strategies accordingly. Market research helps startups identify niche markets, untapped opportunities, and customer segments that align with their business goals.

Market research also involves conducting competitor analysis to understand the competitive landscape. Startups should identify their direct and indirect competitors, analyze their strengths, weaknesses, and market positioning strategies. By studying competitors, startups can differentiate themselves by offering unique value propositions and positioning themselves effectively in the market. Market research helps startups identify gaps in the market and develop strategies to gain a competitive edge.

Startups can leverage various market research tools and resources to streamline their research process. Online survey tools like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms help in collecting primary research data. Social listening tools like Brand24 and Mention allow startups to monitor online conversations and gather insights about their brand and competitors. Market research platforms like Nielsen and Statista provide access to industry reports and market data. Startups should explore these tools and resources to enhance the effectiveness of their market research efforts.

While conducting market research, startups must be aware of common mistakes that can hinder the accuracy and reliability of their findings. Some of the common mistakes to avoid include:

Biased sampling : Startups should ensure their sample size represents their target market accurately to avoid biased results.

Leading questions : Framing questions in a way that leads respondents to a particular answer can skew the results.

Ignoring qualitative data : Quantitative data alone is not sufficient. Startups should also gather qualitative data to gain deeper insights into consumer behavior.

Overreliance on secondary research : While secondary research is valuable, startups should validate the findings through primary research to ensure accuracy.

By avoiding these mistakes, startups can ensure the integrity and reliability of their market research findings.

Market research is only valuable if its findings are implemented into business strategies. Startups should use the insights gained from market research to refine their value proposition, product development, pricing strategies, and marketing campaigns . By aligning their business strategies with customer needs and market trends, startups increase their chances of success. Regularly revisiting and updating market research findings is crucial to stay relevant in an ever-changing market landscape.

Market research is not a one-time activity; startups should engage in ongoing market research to stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing market dynamics. Some benefits of ongoing market research include:

Identifying emerging trends : Continuous market research helps startups identify emerging trends and capitalize on new opportunities.

Tracking customer satisfaction : Regularly collecting feedback and measuring customer satisfaction enables startups to improve their products or services.

Monitoring competitor strategies : Ongoing market research allows startups to closely monitor their competitors' strategies and adapt accordingly.

Evaluating marketing effectiveness : By tracking marketing metrics, startups can evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and make necessary adjustments.

By embracing ongoing market research, startups can stay agile, responsive, and competitive in their respective industries.

Market research is an indispensable tool for startups to navigate the complex business landscape. By conducting thorough market research, startups can gain valuable insights into their target market, customer preferences, and competitor landscape. Through primary and secondary research, startups can gather meaningful data, analyze it effectively, and identify target markets and customer segments. By implementing market research findings into their business strategies and embracing ongoing research, startups can increase their chances of success. So, invest time and resources into market research, and let data-driven decisions guide your startup towards success.

How much does market research cost for startups?

The cost of market research for startups can vary depending on the scope and complexity of the research. Startups can conduct primary research at a relatively low cost using online survey tools and social media platforms. Secondary research, which involves analyzing existing data, is often more cost-effective. Startups can access free or low-cost market research reports and industry publications. It is essential to allocate a budget for market research as it is a valuable investment in the success of the startup.

How long does market research take for startups?

The duration of market research for startups depends on several factors, such as the research objectives, target market size, and availability of data. Primary research methods like surveys and interviews can be conducted within a few weeks, depending on the response rate. Secondary research can be time-consuming, as it involves analyzing vast amounts of data. Startups should allocate sufficient time for market research to ensure thoroughness and accuracy in their findings.

How often should startups conduct market research?

Startups should engage in ongoing market research to stay up to date with market trends, customer preferences, and competitor strategies. The frequency of market research may vary depending on the industry and the pace of change. However, startups should aim to conduct market research at least annually or whenever there are significant changes in the market dynamics. Regular market research ensures that startups stay relevant, responsive, and adaptable in a rapidly evolving business environment.

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How To Use Market Research Tools For Startups In 2022

Dominic Tarn

Dominic Tarn Head of Content - ReVerb

Market research is a sophisticated procedure that assesses a product’s or service’s viability in a specific market by gleaning insightful information from the possible client base.

When performing market research, surveys and focus groups gather information on current and future market trends and customer behavior.

The primary purpose of market research is to understand or evaluate the market for a specific product or service to forecast how the intended audience will respond. You may then utilize this information to adjust the goods and services and the marketing operations to achieve the most significant potential response.

Let’s define the key benefits of conducting market research for your startup and overview the essential market research tools and methods you’ll need to use.

Key Benefits Of Market Research 

You may use marketing research for various purposes. Marketing research may be used in a variety of ways by businesses. 

The following are some of the key benefits of market research:

  • Enhances the quality of the feedback received from clients
  • Reduces the costs of doing business
  • Taking advantage of a market niche
  • Encourages new ideas
  • Segments the market based on demographics
  • Defines the level of competition

benefits of market research

Every successful firm has relied on market research techniques. Complete awareness of your intended audience is more critical than ever in a competitive setting that seems endless.

A PwC study found that organizations that benchmark expands at a rate of 69% quicker and produce at a rate of 45% higher than those that don’t.

When Should Market Research Be Used?

You can use market research for nearly anything. Market research is the right way to go if you want to learn more about your target audience.

Here are some common ways to use it:

ways to use market research

  • Product development 

Evaluating new product lines and receiving input from potential customers could mean the difference between market success and failure. Market research is a key component of an effective  product management process  that helps understand the pain points and expectations of your customers and achieve a product-market fit faster.

  • Brand monitoring research

One of your most valuable assets is your brand. However, unlike other indicators such as product sales, it is not a measurable value that you can extract from your system. Regular market research that records customers’ perceptions of your brand helps you monitor and optimize your brand strategy on a real-time basis. You can then respond to consumer input to help preserve or develop your brand’s reputation with your target audience.

  • Buyer classification and profiles

Buyer avatars assist you in creating items and messages that are appropriate for your various consumers. Studying your buyers and prospective customer, including their motivations, requirements, and pain points, allows you to optimize everything from marketing assets to goods to ensure that the appropriate people receive the right messages at the right time and through the right channel.

  • Advertisement and communications testing

Advertising campaigns may be costly. They risk failing spectacularly with your target demographic if not pre-tested by assessing your promotions, whether the content or the creativity. However, you can learn how consumers react to your messages before deploying them, allowing you to make adjustments based on consumer input before going live.

  • Competitor analysis

Knowing your rivals and how customers view them is essential for building the correct product and messaging. You may have visited their websites and tested their products, but you won’t have an accurate picture of where you stand in comparison until you know how customers perceive them. Understanding their market position helps you to uncover strengths you can capitalize on and problems you can fix to help you compete more effectively.

Significance Of Employing Market Research Tools

Tools for market research are helpful to company owners and their staff, whether they run a little shop or a significant enterprise. These technologies enable firms to monitor client responses to their products, assess the impact of marketing initiatives, and maintain an open contact channel with their customers. Ultimately, they can make educated business decisions, such as introducing new items or discontinuing product lines and where to devote most time and money to marketing initiatives.

Generally, effective market research tools must be able to help you with the following:

  • Define the audience you want to reach
  • Develop a questionnaire for the study
  • Share the survey used in the study
  • Gather and analyze data to develop knowledge 

Below I list the main types of market research tools and methods.

types of market research tools

Surveys are a popular market research method for gathering customers’ information, ideas, and views. They are available in person, via mail, or online. Respondents often do not disclose their identities on surveys when conducted in person to maintain confidentiality. The survey question format might range from a brief response to a multiple-choice question to a true or false inquiry. Companies frequently provide responders with incentives such as discounts, free items, or gift certificates.

Employing a survey maker plugin can enhance the surveying process by offering a convenient online platform for creating and distributing surveys, allowing companies to efficiently collect and analyze customer feedback, and easily manage incentives or rewards for participants.

  • Interviews with individuals

You can use telephone or online video conferencing software to conduct one-on-one interviews. A firm representative consults with a consumer to obtain direct input on product price to product design. One-on-one surveys are a useful research method for businesses seeking feedback on sensitive issues that participants may not feel at ease expressing in a group environment.

  • Discussion groups

Companies utilize focus groups to help establish the most successful marketing messages to deliver to potential customers, choose tastes for products, design pricing, choose to package, and even help name products and services. After a product is introduced, focus groups are organized to get input from a group of people who reflect the target market. 

Focus groups are comparable to one-on-one interviews, except they usually consist of 6 to 10 persons. A facilitator, who moderates the discussion, asks participants questions. The information acquired during focus group discussions is presented to key decision-makers in the form of a report and utilized to assist businesses in issue solving.

  • Blogs and social media comments

Blogs and social networking allow customers to voice their ideas without a survey or interview. Customers are more eager to communicate their honest thoughts about companies, goods, and opinions on these networks. Thus firms should leverage these sites for market research. Consumers may give businesses rapid input on the material they provide by posting comments or responding to surveys on company blogs.

Companies may utilize services like Technorati and Google Alerts to determine when and what customers say about their brands. Social networks such as Twitter provide search options that allow businesses to look for consumers or potential customers who mention their products.

  • Observation

Market observation studies customers in their natural environment, such as a retail outlet. These customers might not have been aware that they were being watched. For instance, the research team may examine surveillance footage from a store to determine which departments visitors visit first and if they pause to look at point-of-purchase displays.

  • Field tests

Field trials entail making a business decision on a relatively small scale and evaluating the outcomes. A restaurant chain, for example, may test a new menu item in a few locations to determine how acceptable it is. If it is a hit, the corporation will be more likely to include the dish on menus all through the region.

Companies can do their market research, but many choose to discuss their objectives with a third-party specialist who can develop and implement a market research plan. Outsourcing market research helps streamline the processes, concentrate on your core capabilities, and acquire valuable data from specialists that you can use to propel your business ahead.

Is Market Research Effective?

It is worth investing time, effort, and money in market research only if you expect a favorable return on your investment. Market research is still an essential aspect of managing a business since it is well worth the expense. Market research will not guarantee your firm’s success — but it will provide you with the information required to make thoughtful decisions that will drive your company forward.

We examined various market research advantages, but we must also consider the opposite reality. In the absence of market research, you risk failing to connect with consumers, missing out on growth prospects, leaving yourself open to hazards, making bad business decisions, and eventually losing customers to the competition. Some firms strike it rich without completing their homework, but these are the exceptions. Market research may assist you in avoiding frequent traps and expanding your firm.


Finally, market research will always be seen as a sophisticated method of acquiring insights and solutions that will ultimately lower corporate risk and promote success.

The success of your research can always be measured by comparing your findings to the company objectives. One of the essential accelerators of this achievement is the proper implementation of market research technologies.

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