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Market Research

What It Is?

Market research (also called consumer or audience research) is research designed to enhance your understanding of the target audience's characteristics, attitudes, beliefs, values, behaviors, determinants, benefits and barriers to behavior change in order to create a strategy for social marketing programs.

How It Is Done?

Define your research questions.

  • Review results of your work from phase 1 to identify information gaps; restate these gaps as research questions
  • Ask basic social marketing questions (e.g., barriers/benefits of recommended behavior)
  • Ask questions to clarify how to segment your audience (e.g., demographics, psychographics)
  • Ask questions to assess the environment (e.g., community attitudes towards HIV)

Develop a market research plan.

  • Which answers can come from secondary sources and which ones require collecting new data?
  • Which methods will be used to collect and analyze the new data? (e.g., focus groups, surveys, interviews)
  • What order will the methods be used in?

Conduct and analyze market research

  • Assign roles and responsibilities for carrying out your market research plan
  • Hire a professional market research vendor to conduct the research, or partner with a university or community-based organization to do some of the work if you lack in-house expertise or staff time
  • Approve final versions of the data collection instruments and market research procedures before data collection begins
  • Conduct or oversee data collection and analysis

Summarize research results

  • Write a market research report that presents your findings clearly and concisely. Report should include an executive summary, introduction, methodology section, results, and conclusions and recommendations.

Tools and Templates

Tools and Templates

  • Page last reviewed: August 9, 2010
  • Page last updated: August 9, 2010
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