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Data Collection Techniques for Market Research

DZone 's Guide to

Data Collection Techniques for Market Research

Take a look at some of the methods of data collection as well as some things to keep in mind before you start.

· Big Data Zone ·
Free Resource

Market research is critical for every type of business. It gives you insights into your target audience and how you should present your products. 

Unfortunately, 95% of new products fail. However, with the right data collection techniques, you can make your product unique and better than what is already present in the market. 

Things to Keep in Mind Before Data Collection

Following the best practices of data collection ensures your time and efforts are not wasted. Before you start leveraging data collection techniques, you should do the following:

  • Set a goal. Data collection without an aim is as good as nothing. Decide is it to understand your target audience? Understand your competitors? Or both? 

  • Get permission from all your subjects. Collecting data without the person’s consent might land you in legal trouble. 

  • Safeguard your data against breaches and system crashes.

  • Know the US privacy rules related to data collection. 

Data Collection Techniques

Advancement in technology has changed the way businesses collect data for market research. However, it is vital to make sure you are choosing the right method. 

Here are the most efficient data collection techniques:

Web Scraping

Web scraping refers to the technique of collecting a large volume of data from publicly available information on the internet. 

Manual research is limited to the results search engines show, but web scrapers can extract valuable information from millions of websites on the internet, that too quickly. The only problem with web scraping is that certain websites block traffic coming from the same IP address very frequently (considering it a bot). However, that can be avoided by using a residential IP Proxy

By automating web scraping, you can streamline data collection without spending any time in it. 

If you don’t want to pay for web scraper tools, you can use programming languages like PHP and Python for web scraping

Remember, the key to successful web scraping is knowing what data you want. For example, if you wish to identify the types of phones using the “Snapdragon” processor, you should be specifically looking for the keyword “Snapdragon.” 

Social Listening

More than 3.6 billion people are on social media, and probably a lot of them are talking about stuff that matters to your business (your industry, product, and competitors). 

Social listening, also known as Netnography, helps find what people are talking about on social media. You can filter the information by industry, product, or company. 

Social listening tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social enables you to collect data that matters the most to you. Just set up the keywords, mentions, or hashtags you want to track, and it will deliver relevant information to you. 

Another advantage of social listening is that it helps uncover changing consumer trends, allowing you to adapt to it before your competitors. 

Unlike social media monitoring, which looks at numbers (likes, total mentions, etc.), social listening considers the emotions behind the data. It enables you to understand how consumers feel about your brand or competitors. This, in turn, allows you to capitalize on customers’ sentiment and make data-driven decisions. 

Tip: When doing social media listening, pick some of your top competitors to imitate. Also, determine which of their posts are getting maximum engagement and why. Doing so enables you to find what resonates the best with your target audience. 

Focus Groups

Focus groups are yet another great way to collect data for market research. In focus groups, you bring a group of people together and interview them. 

The biggest benefit of the focus group is that it allows participants to interact and influence each other’s decisions, giving you different perspectives of your ideal customers. 

Make sure each participant of your focus group is a good representative of your customer profiles. Also, the moderator should prepare questions beforehand and follow a logical sequence. 

Provide a comfortable seating arrangement for all the participants so that they can share their opinions without any hesitation. 

Focus groups also allow you to understand the why behind the what. You can always go more detailed question probing. 

If performed efficiently, focus groups can provide you with tons of valuable data that you can use to improve your business. 

You can choose to videotape or audio record the session to analyze it at a later stage. However, make sure all the participants know and agree to you recording them. 

It is always better to choose at least three to four focus groups to gather actionable data. This way, you get to know how people from different backgrounds, demographics, or characteristics respond to a particular thing (question, product, or service). 

Computer-Aided Personal Interviewing (CAPI)

CAPI refers to the method of collecting data via face-to-face interviews. In this technique, the interviewer uses a tablet device, smartphone, or a computer (with a webcam) to record the answers. 

The biggest advantage of CAPI is that you can incorporate multimedia elements and gamification in the survey. 

Here are some more advantages of computer-aided personal interviewing:

  • It facilitates logic checks, skips patterns, and validations during the interview. This improves the efficiency of the survey and ensures higher quality data. 
  • You can upload the data immediately into the system so other members can also check it. 
  • It allows you to implement more sophisticated research methods like BPTO (brand price trade-off) surveys.
  • With modern systems, you can record audio feedback, take pictures, and track the interview's GPS location, thereby enhancing the data quality. 

To leverage CAPI for data collection, use tools like Surveybe. It allows you to design, collect, and manage your data efficiently. 

Final Thoughts

The technique you choose for data collection makes a difference in the type of insights you collect. Web scraping enables you to collect data from publicly available information, while social listening empowers you to determine what people are talking about in your industry in real-time. 

Use a combination of all the four techniques mentioned above to ensure you are collecting all types of data and from all the sources. After all, market research is based on a solid foundation of data. 

Topics:
big data, data collection, market research

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