99 Market Research Questions You Should Be Asking

99 Market Research Questions You Should Be Asking

Asking the right market research questions at the right time can pay dividends. You wouldn’t buy a house without first researching the neighborhood – and it’s unlikely you’d take a job without doing your homework on your prospective employer. So why should starting a business be any different?

Whichever way you look at it, asking the right market research questions makes sense as a first step.

The five parts of market research: definition, methods, steps & tips, examples and importance & benefits.

Do you want to gain a foothold in the market? Get to grips with the competition? Start thinking like your target audience? Introduce a new product or mobile app?

Whatever your goal, market research will help you understand all aspects of your industry, brand, potential customers, and rivals – good market questions can make a world of difference.

Below, we’ll walk you through 99 questions to ask for market research to succeed in the digital world. We started out as a research intelligence tool , so we know our stuff when it comes to defining a market, mapping key players, marketing strategies , and understanding trends , and target audiences.

So read on for all the questions your market research strategy needs – and how Similarweb can help you answer them.

How to choose market research questions

The market research questions you pick will depend on where your business is in its lifecycle. As we’ll get to in a moment, there are a lot of market research questions – so how exactly do you choose?

Pre-start-up – If you’ve not launched a business yet, and are just cultivating an idea – you’ll want to start with some formal market research first. Then, ask more general market research questions, and some targeted at start-ups. This will help you determine if there’s a financially viable market, whether it has blockbuster prospects, or is better off left in the cutting room.

Early start-up – If you’ve just started out, you’ll want to reach out to your target market with survey questions to help you tailor your products and services to them.

Established – If you’ve been around a little longer – and already have a few current customers – you’ll want to learn more about how you can keep improving your customer experience.

Finally, you can look at questions to ask for market research that focus on competitor analysis. These aren’t limited to any particular stage of your business’s journey. After all, getting clued up on the competitive landscape is always handy – whether you’ve just entered the market or are one of its most established players.

A business person conducting market research, analyzing graphs and evaluating data.

99 market research questions: discover, define, drill down

There’s no need to limit yourself! The best types of market research should – and do – include general questions and those addressing both existing and prospective customers. Indeed, an intelligent approach to market research should cover demographic questions all the way to those that’ll help you plan a product launch , drill down into your target market , and get the jump on your competitors.

Read on to see the best examples of market research questions in action!

Generic market research questions

These questions are most useful at the planning stage. They can apply to all businesses at any stage because markets shift, along with consumer behaviors, needs, and demands.

General market research is the process of figuring out how rich the soil is and whether the conditions are optimal to allow your business’s roots to take hold.

Some general market research questions you should be asking include:

1. How large is my product’s total addressable market (TAM)? 2. Will this market hold firm, or will it grow or decrease with time? 3. Are there already similar products or services out there? 4. If so, who’s offering them? (see the competitor analysis questions below for more) 5. Who are my buyer personas ? 6. What pain points does my product address? 7. How much market share is available for my business to take? 8. What external factors might affect the health and viability of my chosen market? 9. Which website demographics will I target? 10. Will I market my product internationally or target a specific geographical location or a single location (if so, why?) 11. Do I need to consider a website alone, or should I invest in a mobile app? (use mobile app intelligence to help to figure this one out) 12. Which suppliers or manufacturers operate in the space, and are they reputable? 13. Which marketing channels will I prioritize, and which affiliates or advertisers could I look to in order to expand my reach?

Market research questions for start-ups

Regardless of your sector, there are key things you need to establish before setting up a business. Read on to discover the fifteen market research questions all start-ups need to ask.

14. What is the total addressable market (tam), serviceable available market (sam), and share of market (som)? 15. What are the latest (and predicted) trends impacting your market? 16. Do you know who your direct and indirect competitors are?

Read through questions 71-99 for examples of market research questions to help you with this.

17. What’s your USP in the market? What’s the value-add that’ll make you stand out? 18. What do your competitors charge, and will you charge the same, more, or less?

You’ll also need to consider pricing models. For instance,  pay-monthly, annual subscription, or other?

19. Do you know how much people are willing to pay for a product/service like yours? 20. Can you trial your product or service with a beta group before launch to get feedback and/or testimonials? 21. What are the most effective marketing channels for businesses like yours? 22. How active are your customers and competitors on social media? 23. How will you onboard/welcome new customers? 24. Do rivals offer new customer or loyalty discounts? 25. What kind of customer support will you offer? Look at your rival’s offerings and decide whether you want to stick with the same or do better. 26. Are potential customers driven by price, product, or service? 27. Are your competitors or market impacted by seasonal trends ? 28. What opening hours and service level agreements (SLAs) will you advertise on your site?

Market research questions for a new product

Whether established, pre-launch or newly set up, you may need to ask specific market research questions for a new product launch. Whether you simply want to test the water with an idea or concept or go a little deeper to get clearer insights, these questions will help.

29. Is there a specific pain point your product will address? (if you have already identified an ideal customer, what kinds of things do they struggle with?) 30. Is there a demand for your product in the market? 31. Are there any opportunities to partner with other companies to get referrals for your product? 32. How do you plan to market and launch your product? 33. Will you release a minimum viable product (MVP) to market first?

If you release an MVP or offer a free trial to a select group of people, you’ll need to follow this up with a survey or specific questions to get feedback around usage, benefits, and improvements. A few examples of market research questions like these could include:

34. Which feature of the product did you use the most? 35. What improvements would you like to see? 36. How much would you be willing to pay for this product? 37. Was the product easy to use? 38. Was there anything you experienced during the trial that may deter you from using our product in the future? 39. How often did you use the product? 40. Would you recommend this product to someone else? If yes, why? If no, why?

Market research questions for your target audience

Once you’re sure there’s a viable market for your business, it’s time to drill down into that market – your audience and website demographics .

The six aspects of audience demographics: education level, hobbies or interests, financial situation, profession, age, and gender.

To begin, you’ll want to ask your respondents a few demographic questions to understand the basics. These might include:

41. How old are you? 42. Which gender do you identify as (if any)? 43. What’s your level of education? 44. What’s your profession? 45. What’s your household size? 46. What is your household income? 47. Which ethnic/cultural group do you identify with? 48. Where do you live? 49. Do you have any dependents? 50. What are your hobbies?

These questions provide a top-level understanding of your target audience . So, you can then utilize psychographic segmentation to dig a little deeper. These inquiries are designed to draw out your customers’ attitudes, lifestyles, likes, dislikes, motivations, and beliefs – particularly if they relate to your product or service.

The goal? To match your business with its ideal customer . Examples of these types of market research questions include:

51. Do you actively seek out new experiences or prefer to stick with what you know? 52. What do you most enjoy doing in your free time? 53. What was the last big-ticket item you purchased? 54. Have you ever boycotted a brand? If so, which brand – and why? 55. Which matters more when you make a purchase – price or quality? 56. Would you rather have more time or money? 57. How do you like to make purchases – do you prefer apps or web-based services? 58. How do you prefer to seek customer support? 59. What’s your main source of information?

For a more detailed deep dive into the above, see our guide on the what and why of market segmentation – and how to become a pro at it!

The definition of market segmentation is “the process of dividing a broad target market into smaller, more specifically defined groups.

Market research questions for your customers

So, you’ve established the market for your product, nailed your target audience, and now… you’ve got customers! Congrats – that’s a surefire sign that you’re on the right track.

But simply having new customers isn’t enough. To be truly successful, you’ll need to maintain engagement , foster loyalty to your product, and keep your customers coming back for more – in other words, build your brand.

Fortunately, this is where market research can help. By asking your existing customers a few questions, you can find out what you’re doing well, what you could be doing better, and – crucially – what your brand means to them. With this knowledge, you can do more of what your customers love, and identify key areas for improvement.

Here are some of the market research questions you can ask your customers to get useful feedback:

60. How did you first hear about our brand? 61. What made you choose us? 62. How long have you been a customer? 63. How would you rate your most recent experience with us? 64. Did we answer all your questions and requests for support? 65. Would you use us again? 66. How likely are you to recommend us to a friend? 67. What do you wish our product could do? 68. Do you believe our product is priced fairly? 69. What’s the maximum you’d pay for this kind of product? 70. What do you like most about our product?

Explore our complete guide to audience development for more tips, tricks, and strategies around this type of customer analysis.

Market research questions for competitor analysis

Death, taxes, and… competition .

Yep – no matter how original or innovative your idea is, pretty soon, there’ll be hordes of wannabes targeting the same space with similar products, and guess who they’ll be targetting? Your customers.

So how do you keep your friends close and your competition even closer?

Well, a SWOT analysis is a good place to start. It involves swotting up on your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s a heady mix of evaluating your business and the external factors that could affect it. So it’s naturally a great place to get your competitor analysis and benchmarking off the mark.

The definition of SWOT is strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

You could also begin by asking yourself the following market research questions:

71. Who are our main competitors? 72. What are they doing that we’re not? 73. What’s our unique value proposition? 74. How much web traffic do our competitors receive? 75. Do they have a mobile app? If so, is it on iOS or android? How many monthly or daily active users do they have? 76. What’s their bounce rate ? 77. Which keywords and search terms do they target? 78. Which marketing channels do they prioritize, and how frequently do they advertise? 79. How do the backlink profiles of our competitors compare to our own? 80. Are our competitors seen as more authoritative in the space? 81. What kind of content do our competitors produce? 82. How do our competitors attract customers? 83. What are the unique selling points of our competitors? 84. What do our competitors charge? 85. What social media channels do our competitors use? 86. What kind of discounts and promotions do our competitors run? 87. Which sources and affiliates drive traffic to our competitors’ sites? 88. How does our business model compare to those of our rivals?

Remember, your customers are a potential goldmine of information about your competitors . Reach out to your client base with the following market research questions:

89. Who do you seek advice from when shopping for this kind of product? 90. Are you loyal to a particular brand in the space? 91. If so, what do you love most about this brand? 92. Is there anything that this brand could do better? 93. How did you find the last product you bought in the industry? 94. Is there anything you see our competitors doing that you’d like us to do? 95. What’s most likely to make you buy a product from another brand? 98. Can you tell us the top three things that made you choose us over a competitor? 99. What one thing matters most to you when deciding between brands that offer the same product?

You may also consider including some open-ended questions so you can hear from your loyal customers in their own words. Market research surveys are a great way to uncover and collect this type of data.

If you’re unsure where to start, learn about the seven types of competitor analysis frameworks – and how to use them to get your strategy off the ground.

Similarweb Competitor Analysis Frameworks

Whether you're B2B or B2C, get started with our free and easy to use template

How to answer these questions with Similarweb

Now that you’re armed with the 99 research questions you need to succeed in your market research endeavors, how do you answer them?

Similarweb Digital Research Intelligence is a great place to start. With these tools (which you can try for free) you can effortlessly do market sizing, gauge your audience’s loyalty and engagement rate , uncover mobile app intelligence for your market, improve your site’s retention rates, and more.

Similarweb platform shows the traffic and engagement metrics with its cutting-edge data.

In the same vein, Similarweb can also help you conduct that all-important competitor analysis . You can build a picture of which rival sites your customers frequent and form a data-driven understanding of why.

With Similarweb Digital Research Intelligence, you get an entire suite of market research and analysis tools at your fingertips. You can monitor your industry in real time via a personalized dashboard with on-demand access to industry, company, and consumer trends. With a broad view across web and mobile app intelligence, you can clearly understand the digital landscape that matters to you ( and your customers ) most.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Check out what Similarweb can do for you today, and start tackling those big questions now!

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What is market research?

Market research assesses the viability of a product or service by reaching out to its target market. It can include primary research – such as interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires – and secondary research , like articles and white papers.

What is the best way to ask market research questions to customers?

Because they’re quick to set up, relatively low-cost, and easy to use, market research surveys are a great tool to use if you want to ask a group of people market research questions.

What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative market research?

While qualitative data is typically mined through close observation with participants – such as in focus groups or face-to-face interviews – quantitative processes tend to involve larger-scale data grabbing. This could use forms, surveys, polls, or questionnaires to collect opinions en masse, often via emails or social media.

Qualitative data captures people’s thoughts and feelings – the prevailing sentiment around a product or service. Its quantitative counterpart, however, is more concerned with the cold, hard facts. That could be traffic metrics, engagement levels, bounce rates: anything that paints a data-driven picture!

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define question market research

68 market research questions to ask (and how to ask them)

Example market research questions, market research questions to ask customers, market research questions for product development, market research questions for brand tracking, pricing survey questions for market research, how to write your own market research questions.

No two market research projects are alike, but happily there are some tried-and-tested questions you can use for inspiration to get the consumer insights you’re looking for.

It’s all about asking questions that are most relevant to the goals of your research. Every so often the best questions are actually quite straightforward, like asking consumers where they do their grocery shopping.

If you’re creating a customer profile, you’ll ask different questions than when you’re running creative testing with your target audience, or getting insights on key consumer trends in your market.

The right market research questions are the ones that will lead you to actionable insights, and give you a competitive advantage in your target market.

Let’s kick this off and get straight into some questions, shall we?

define question market research

Where do we even begin with this?! There are so many types of research and we’ll get into which questions work for each below, but here are some classic example market research questions to get you started.

These particular questions are good for surveys that you might run when you’re running some essential consumer profiling research.

  • Which of these products have you purchased in the last 3 months?
  • Which of the following types of >INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE CATEGORY< do you buy at least once a month?
  • Approximately, how much would you say you spend on >INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE CATEGORY< per month?
  • What is stopping you from buying more of >INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE CATEGORY<?
  • When was the last time you tried a new >INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE CATEGORY<?
  • Please rank the following on how important or unimportant they are when deciding which >INSERT PRODUCT CATEGORY< to buy?
  • Which of these brands are you aware of?
  • Which of these brands have you purchased from in the last 3 months?
  • How do you prefer to shop for >INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE CATEGORY<?
  • Why do you prefer to shop online?
  • Why do you prefer to shop in-store?
  • Thinking about the following, how often do you use/listen/watch each of these media?
  • Where do you go to keep up to date with the news?
  • Which social media platforms do you use daily?
  • What mobile phone do you currently own?

Surely you want to talk to your current customers to understand why they buy from you and what they think about your products?

Correct! But your consumer research should definitely not end with current customers!

Potential customer in a supermarket

Here’s why you should think about broadening your research to include other groups and different market research methods :

  • Current customers: This is a must! Running research to your current customers will help you understand how you can make your product or service better. These are the people who’ve spent their hard-earned cash on your products so they have a unique perspective on what kind of value you offer. In addition, understanding why your existing customer base chose your brand over others can help you create messaging that resonates with people who are still on the fence.
  • Previous customers: People who used to buy your products but don’t anymore can give you valuable insight into areas you might need to improve. Perhaps your brand perception has shifted making some customers buy elsewhere, or maybe your competitors offer customers better value for money than you currently do. These are the kinds of areas you can learn about by running research to previous customers.
  • Non-customers: You should also ask people who haven’t bought your products why they haven’t. That way you’ll learn what you need to improve to bring new customers in. You should ideally ask the same kinds of questions, so that you can learn about what product features you need to work on but also things like the messaging you should be putting out there to win people over.

Here are some questions that are perfect for competitive market analysis research. Some of these questions might sound similar to some from our previous section on consumer profiling—that’s because there’s often some crossover between these types of research. Consumer profiling often refers to a more general type of research that covers similar ground to market analysis. If you’re wondering how to calculate market size , questions like these would be a great starting point.

  • How often do you usually purchase >INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE CATEGORY<?
  • What types of >INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE CATEGORY< do you buy?
  • How often do you buy the following types of >INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE CATEGORY<?
  • Where do you find out about >INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE CATEGORY<?
  • Which of these brands have your purchased in the last 12 months?
  • How would you feel if you could no longer buy >INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE CATEGORY<?
  • How important or unimportant do you find the following topics? (e.g. sustainability, diversity and inclusion, ethical supply chain)
  • What could be improved about the products you currently use?

Group of people taking part in market research

By involving consumers in the product development process, you can make sure that your products are designed to meet—and ideally exceed—their needs.

Product market research can be done at several points in the product development process, by asking potential customers in your target market questions about existing products (yours or competitors’), prototypes, or just your own early-stage product ideas.

You can dive into the customer experience, specific product features or simply find out if the product quality matches the value proposition you’re putting out there.

Sometimes you even get a surprising answer to the question: how does our product or service help people?

You might learn from the survey responses that customers are using your product in a different way than you intended, opening you up to new target markets and different product types in the future.

Asking these questions also allows you to get feedback on your designs, so that you can make necessary changes before the product is released. Here’s some inspiration for when you’re conducting product market research.

There are different types of new product development research. A key type is Jobs to be done research. This research digs into the practical reasons people buy products—the jobs they need to get done with a specific product. You use these insights to help you create products that will genuinely help consumers, and that they’ll ultimately want to buy.

  • How many times have you carried out [INSERT ACTIVITY] in the last 12 months?
  • How much time would you typically spend on this [INSERT ACTIVITY]?
  • How important or unimportant is carrying out this [INSERT ACTIVITY]?
  • How satisfied or unsatisfied do you feel when carrying out this [INSERT ACTIVITY]?
  • What is the best thing about carrying out [INSERT ACTIVITY]?
  • How does carrying out [INSERT ACTIVITY] make you feel? Please select all that apply
  • What particular problems or challenges do you run into while carrying out [INSERT ACTIVITY]?

When you’re cooking up your brand’s next product, you’ll want to go through a concept testing phase. This is where you ask consumers what they think about your idea and find out whether it’s likely to be a success. Here are some of the questions you could ask in your concept testing research.

  • To what extent do you like or dislike this idea/product? [ATTACH IMAGE]
  • What do you like about this idea/product?
  • What do you dislike about this idea/product?
  • Is easy to use
  • Sounds tasty
  • Is good quality
  • Is Innovative
  • Is different from others
  • Purchase this product
  • Replace the product I currently own with this
  • What other products this idea/product reminds you of? Please provide as much detail as possible including the product name.
  • What feature(s), if any, do you feel are missing from this product?
  • How would you improve this idea/product? Be as descriptive as possible!
  • What issues do you solve through the use of this product?
  • When can you see yourself using this product? Please select all that apply.
  • The price for this product is $25.00 per item. How likely or unlikely would you be to buy this product at this price?

Get inspired with NPD survey templates

Our in-house research experts have created New Product Development (NPD) survey templates to give you the perfect starting point for your product research!

Does the perspective of new customers change over time? How do you compare to other brands, and how do you become the preferred brand in your market and increase that market share?

Brand perception and brand awareness are super important metrics to track. These insights can be used to improve customer experience and satisfaction on a higher level than just product: the relationship you have with your customers.

This research can also help you understand how to reach the holy grail of branding: turning loyal customers into brand ambassadors.

You should also remember to ask marketing research questions about your brand to existing and potential customers.

Existing customers might have a different view after having interacted with your team and products, and you can use that to manage the expectations of your target customers down the line. And potential customers can help you understand what’s holding them back from joining your customer base.

Top tip: it’s completely fine (and super beneficial!) to run brand tracking into your competitors’ brands as well as your own. Replicating research for different brands will give you a tailored benchmark for your category and position.

Here are some key questions to ask in your brand tracking research.

  • Which of the following, if any, have you purchased in the past 12 months?
  • Thinking about >INSERT YOUR CATEGORY<, what brands, if any, are you aware of? Please type in all that you can think of.
  • Which of these brands of facial wipes, if any, are you aware of?
  • Which of these facial wipe brands, if any, have you ever purchased?
  • Which of these facial wipe brands, if any, would you consider purchasing in the next 6 months?
  • e.g. Innovative
  • Easy to use
  • Traditional
  • We’d now like to ask you some specific questions about >INSERT YOUR BRAND<.
  • When did you last use >INSERT YOUR BRAND<?
  • What do you like most about >INSERT YOUR BRAND<?
  • What do you like least about >INSERT YOUR BRAND<?
  • How likely would you be to recommend >INSERT YOUR BRAND< to a friend, family or colleague?
  • Why did you give that score? Include as much detail as possible
  • In newspapers/magazines
  • On Instagram
  • On Facebook
  • On the radio
  • Through friends/family/colleagues
  • When did you last use >INSERT MAIN COMPETITOR BRAND<?
  • How likely would you be to recommend >INSERT MAIN COMPETITOR BRAND< to a friend, family or colleague?

Kick off your brand tracking with templates

Track your brand to spot—and act on!—how your brand’s perception and awareness affects how people buy. Our survey templates give you the ideal starting point!

When it comes to pricing your product, there’s no need to wing it—a pricing survey can give you the insights you need to arrive at the perfect price point.

By asking customers questions about their willingness to pay for your product, you can get a realistic sense of what price point will be most attractive to them and, not unimportant, why.

Top tip: good pricing research can be tough to get right. Asking how much people would theoretically be willing to pay for a product is very different from them actually choosing it in a shop, on a shelf next to competitors’ products, and with a whole load of other economic context that you can’t possibly test for. Price testing is useful, but should sometimes be taken with a pinch of salt.

Here are some questions you could use in your pricing research.

  • Which of the following product categories have you bought in the last 12 months?
  • How often do you currently purchase >INSERT YOUR CATEGORY<?
  • At what price would you consider this >INSERT PRODUCT CATEGORY< to be so expensive that you would not consider buying it? (Too expensive)
  • At what price would you consider this >INSERT PRODUCT CATEGORY< to be starting to get expensive, so that it is not out of the question, but you have to give some thought to buying it? (e.g. Expensive)
  • At what price would you consider this >INSERT PRODUCT CATEGORY< to be a bargain—a great buy for the money? (e.g. cheap)
  • At what price would you consider this >INSERT PRODUCT CATEGORY< to be priced so low that you would feel the quality couldn’t be very good? (Too cheap)
  • How much do you currently pay for >INSERT PRODUCT CATEGORY<? Please type in below
  • Thinking about this product, please rank the following aspects based on how much value they add, where 1 = adds the most value 10 = adds the least value.
  • Thinking about the product category as a whole, please rank the following brands in order of value, where 1 is the most expensive and 10 is the least.

Formulating market research questions can be tricky. On the one hand, you want to be specific enough that you can get tangible, useful answers. But on the other hand, you don’t want to ask questions that are so difficult or unclear that respondents will get frustrated and give up halfway through.

Think about what answers you need and what actions you are hoping to take based on those answers.

We’ll help you get started with a list of steps to take when formulating your own market research questions, and putting them together in a survey that makes sense.

1. Define your research goals and link them to actions you can take

Before you can write great market research questions, you need to know what you want to learn from your research.

What are your goals? What do you want to find out? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can start brainstorming questions that will help you achieve them.

2. Know your target market and the language they use

Who are you conducting market research for? It’s important to know your audience before you start writing questions, as this will help you determine the best way to phrase them.

For example, if you’re conducting market research for a new product aimed at teenagers, you’ll want to use different language than if you were conducting research for a new financial planning service aimed at retirees.

3. Keep it simple, and break things into smaller pieces

Don’t make your questions too complicated. Stick to simple, straightforward questions that can be easily understood by your target audience.

The more complex your questions are, the more likely it is that respondents will get confused and provide inaccurate answers.

If you feel a question is too difficult, see if you can break it up into smaller pieces and add follow-up questions on top.

And don’t ever load two questions into one! This falls into Consumer Research 101, but it’s amazing how often it happens. Instead of ‘What’s your favorite chocolate bar, and why?’ ask two questions: ‘What’s your favorite chocolate bar?’ and ‘Why is this your favorite chocolate bar?’

4. Be super specific

Make sure your questions are specific enough to get the information you need. Vague questions will only lead to vague answers.

For example, instead of asking ‘What do you think of this product?’, ask ‘What did you think of the taste of this product?’ or ‘What did you think of the packaging of this product?’.

5. Avoid leading questions

Leading questions are those that suggest a particular answer or course of action. For example, instead of asking ‘Do you like our new product?’, which suggests that the respondent should like the product, try asking ‘What are your thoughts on this product?

This question is neutral and allows the respondent to answer freely without feeling pressured in any particular direction. It’s also brand-neutral: people answering this question will have no idea who’s asking, and their opinion won’t be biased as a result.

6. Make sure your question is clear

It’s important that your question is clear and concise so that respondents understand exactly what they’re being asked. If there is any ambiguity in your question, respondents may interpret it in different ways and provide inaccurate answers.

Always test your questions on a few people before sending them to a larger group to make sure they understand what they’re being asked.

7. Avoid loaded words

Loaded words are those with positive or negative connotations that could influence the way respondents answer the question. For example, instead of asking ‘Do you love this product?’, which has a positive connotation, try asking ‘What are your thoughts on this product?’

This question is neutral and allows the respondent to answer freely without feeling pressured in any particular direction

8. Make sure the question is answerable

Before you include a question in your market research survey, make sure it’s actually answerable. There’s no point in asking a question if there’s no way for respondents to answer it properly. If a question isn’t answerable, either revise the question or remove it from your survey altogether.

9. Use an appropriate question type

When designing your market research survey, be sure to use an appropriate question type for each question you include. Using the wrong question type can lead to inaccurate or unusable results, so it’s important to choose wisely. Some common question types used in market research surveys include multiple choice, rating scale, and open-ended questions.

10. Pay attention to question order

The order of the questions in your survey can also impact the results you get from your research. In general, it’s best to start with more general questions and then move on to more specific ones later on in the survey. This will help ensure that respondents are properly warmed up and able to provide detailed answers by the time they reach the end of the survey.

Make smart decisions with the reliable insights

To make sure you make smart decisions that have real impact on your business, get consumer insights you can rely on. Here’s our rundown of the top market research tools.

Survey questions for market research are designed to collect information about a target market or audience. They can be used to gather data about consumer preferences, opinions, and behavior. Some common types of market research survey questions include demographic questions, behavioral questions and attitudinal questions.

There are many different types of market research questions that companies can use to gather information about consumer preferences and buying habits. They can be divided into different categories, like a competitive analysis, customer satisfaction or market trends, after which you can make them more specific and turn them into survey questions. These are some of the things your research questions can help you answer: – What is the target market for our product? – Who is our competition? – What do consumers think of our product? – How often do consumers purchase our product? – What is the typical customer profile for our product? – What motivates consumers to purchase our product?

When conducting market research, surveys are an invaluable tool for gathering insights about your target audience. But how do you write a market research questionnaire that will get you the information you need? First, determine the purpose of your survey and who your target respondents are. This will help you to write questions that are relevant and targeted. Next, craft clear and concise questions that can be easily understood. Be sure to avoid ambiguity, leading questions and loaded language. Finally, pilot your survey with a small group of people to make sure that it is effective. With these tips in mind, you can write a market research survey that will help you to gather the crucial insights you need.

define question market research

Elliot Barnard

Customer Research Lead 

Elliot joined Attest in 2019 and has dedicated his career to working with brands carrying out market research. At Attest Elliot takes a leading role in the Customer Research Team, to support customers as they uncover insights and new areas for growth.

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What Is Market Research?

  • How It Works
  • Primary vs. Secondary
  • How to Conduct Research

The Bottom Line

  • Marketing Essentials

How to Do Market Research, Types, and Example

define question market research

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Market research examines consumer behavior and trends in the economy to help a business develop and fine-tune its business idea and strategy. It helps a business understand its target market by gathering and analyzing data.

Market research is the process of evaluating the viability of a new service or product through research conducted directly with potential customers. It allows a company to define its target market and get opinions and other feedback from consumers about their interest in a product or service.

Research may be conducted in-house or by a third party that specializes in market research. It can be done through surveys and focus groups, among other ways. Test subjects are usually compensated with product samples or a small stipend for their time.

Key Takeaways

  • Companies conduct market research before introducing new products to determine their appeal to potential customers.
  • Tools include focus groups, telephone interviews, and questionnaires.
  • The results of market research inform the final design of the product and determine how it will be positioned in the marketplace.
  • Market research usually combines primary information, gathered directly from consumers, and secondary information, which is data available from external sources.

Market Research

How market research works.

Market research is used to determine the viability of a new product or service. The results may be used to revise the product design and fine-tune the strategy for introducing it to the public. This can include information gathered for the purpose of determining market segmentation . It also informs product differentiation , which is used to tailor advertising.

A business engages in various tasks to complete the market research process. It gathers information based on the market sector being targeted by the product. This information is then analyzed and relevant data points are interpreted to draw conclusions about how the product may be optimally designed and marketed to the market segment for which it is intended.

It is a critical component in the research and development (R&D) phase of a new product or service introduction. Market research can be conducted in many different ways, including surveys, product testing, interviews, and focus groups.

Market research is a critical tool that companies use to understand what consumers want, develop products that those consumers will use, and maintain a competitive advantage over other companies in their industry.

Primary Market Research vs. Secondary Market Research

Market research usually consists of a combination of:

  • Primary research, gathered by the company or by an outside company that it hires
  • Secondary research, which draws on external sources of data

Primary Market Research

Primary research generally falls into two categories: exploratory and specific research.

  • Exploratory research is less structured and functions via open-ended questions. The questions may be posed in a focus group setting, telephone interviews, or questionnaires. It results in questions or issues that the company needs to address about a product that it has under development.
  • Specific research delves more deeply into the problems or issues identified in exploratory research.

Secondary Market Research

All market research is informed by the findings of other researchers about the needs and wants of consumers. Today, much of this research can be found online.

Secondary research can include population information from government census data , trade association research reports , polling results, and research from other businesses operating in the same market sector.

History of Market Research

Formal market research began in Germany during the 1920s. In the United States, it soon took off with the advent of the Golden Age of Radio.

Companies that created advertisements for this new entertainment medium began to look at the demographics of the audiences who listened to each of the radio plays, music programs, and comedy skits that were presented.

They had once tried to reach the widest possible audience by placing their messages on billboards or in the most popular magazines. With radio programming, they had the chance to target rural or urban consumers, teenagers or families, and judge the results by the sales numbers that followed.

Types of Market Research

Face-to-face interviews.

From their earliest days, market research companies would interview people on the street about the newspapers and magazines that they read regularly and ask whether they recalled any of the ads or brands that were published in them. Data collected from these interviews were compared to the circulation of the publication to determine the effectiveness of those ads.

Market research and surveys were adapted from these early techniques.

To get a strong understanding of your market, it’s essential to understand demand, market size, economic indicators, location, market saturation, and pricing.

Focus Groups

A focus group is a small number of representative consumers chosen to try a product or watch an advertisement.

Afterward, the group is asked for feedback on their perceptions of the product, the company’s brand, or competing products. The company then takes that information and makes decisions about what to do with the product or service, whether that's releasing it, making changes, or abandoning it altogether.

Phone Research

The man-on-the-street interview technique soon gave way to the telephone interview. A telephone interviewer could collect information in a more efficient and cost-effective fashion.

Telephone research was a preferred tactic of market researchers for many years. It has become much more difficult in recent years as landline phone service dwindles and is replaced by less accessible mobile phones.

Survey Research

As an alternative to focus groups, surveys represent a cost-effective way to determine consumer attitudes without having to interview anyone in person. Consumers are sent surveys in the mail, usually with a coupon or voucher to incentivize participation. These surveys help determine how consumers feel about the product, brand, and price point.

Online Market Research

With people spending more time online, market research activities have shifted online as well. Data collection still uses a survey-style form. But instead of companies actively seeking participants by finding them on the street or cold calling them on the phone, people can choose to sign up, take surveys, and offer opinions when they have time.

This makes the process far less intrusive and less rushed, since people can participate on their own time and of their own volition.

How to Conduct Market Research

The first step to effective market research is to determine the goals of the study. Each study should seek to answer a clear, well-defined problem. For example, a company might seek to identify consumer preferences, brand recognition, or the comparative effectiveness of different types of ad campaigns.

After that, the next step is to determine who will be included in the research. Market research is an expensive process, and a company cannot waste resources collecting unnecessary data. The firm should decide in advance which types of consumers will be included in the research, and how the data will be collected. They should also account for the probability of statistical errors or sampling bias .

The next step is to collect the data and analyze the results. If the two previous steps have been completed accurately, this should be straightforward. The researchers will collect the results of their study, keeping track of the ages, gender, and other relevant data of each respondent. This is then analyzed in a marketing report that explains the results of their research.

The last step is for company executives to use their market research to make business decisions. Depending on the results of their research, they may choose to target a different group of consumers, or they may change their price point or some product features.

The results of these changes may eventually be measured in further market research, and the process will begin all over again.

Benefits of Market Research

Market research is essential for developing brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. Since it is unlikely for a product to appeal equally to every consumer, a strong market research program can help identify the key demographics and market segments that are most likely to use a given product.

Market research is also important for developing a company’s advertising efforts. For example, if a company’s market research determines that its consumers are more likely to use Facebook than X (formerly Twitter), it can then target its advertisements to one platform instead of another. Or, if they determine that their target market is value-sensitive rather than price-sensitive, they can work on improving the product rather than reducing their prices.

Market research only works when subjects are honest and open to participating.

Example of Market Research

Many companies use market research to test new products or get information from consumers about what kinds of products or services they need and don’t currently have.

For example, a company that’s considering starting a business might conduct market research to test the viability of its product or service. If the market research confirms consumer interest, the business can proceed confidently with its business plan . If not, the company can use the results of the market research to make adjustments to the product to bring it in line with customer desires.

What Are the Main Types of Market Research?

The main types of market research are primary research and secondary research. Primary research includes focus groups, polls, and surveys. Secondary research includes academic articles, infographics, and white papers.

Qualitative research gives insights into how customers feel and think. Quantitative research uses data and statistics such as website views, social media engagement, and subscriber numbers.

What Is Online Market Research?

Online market research uses the same strategies and techniques as traditional primary and secondary market research, but it is conducted on the Internet. Potential customers may be asked to participate in a survey or give feedback on a product. The responses may help the researchers create a profile of the likely customer for a new product.

What Are Paid Market Research Surveys?

Paid market research involves rewarding individuals who agree to participate in a study. They may be offered a small payment for their time or a discount coupon in return for filling out a questionnaire or participating in a focus group.

What Is a Market Study?

A market study is an analysis of consumer demand for a product or service. It looks at all of the factors that influence demand for a product or service. These include the product’s price, location, competition, and substitutes as well as general economic factors that could influence the new product’s adoption, for better or worse.

Market research is a key component of a company’s research and development (R&D) stage. It helps companies understand in advance the viability of a new product that they have in development and to see how it might perform in the real world.

Britannica Money. “ Market Research .”

U.S. Small Business Administration. “ Market Research and Competitive Analysis .”

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What are your customers’ needs? How does your product compare to the competition? What are the emerging trends and opportunities in your industry? If these questions keep you up at night, it’s time to conduct market research.

Market research plays a pivotal role in your ability to stay competitive and relevant, helping you anticipate shifts in consumer behavior and industry dynamics. It involves gathering these insights using a wide range of techniques, from surveys and interviews to data analysis and observational studies.

In this guide, we’ll explore why market research is crucial, the various types of market research, the methods used in data collection, and how to effectively conduct market research to drive informed decision-making and success.

What is market research?

Market research is the systematic process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a specific market or industry. The purpose of market research is to offer valuable insight into the preferences and behaviors of your target audience, and anticipate shifts in market trends and the competitive landscape. This information helps you make data-driven decisions, develop effective strategies for your business, and maximize your chances of long-term growth.

Business intelligence insight graphic with hand showing a lightbulb with $ sign in it

Why is market research important? 

By understanding the significance of market research, you can make sure you’re asking the right questions and using the process to your advantage. Some of the benefits of market research include:

  • Informed decision-making: Market research provides you with the data and insights you need to make smart decisions for your business. It helps you identify opportunities, assess risks and tailor your strategies to meet the demands of the market. Without market research, decisions are often based on assumptions or guesswork, leading to costly mistakes.
  • Customer-centric approach: A cornerstone of market research involves developing a deep understanding of customer needs and preferences. This gives you valuable insights into your target audience, helping you develop products, services and marketing campaigns that resonate with your customers.
  • Competitive advantage: By conducting market research, you’ll gain a competitive edge. You’ll be able to identify gaps in the market, analyze competitor strengths and weaknesses, and position your business strategically. This enables you to create unique value propositions, differentiate yourself from competitors, and seize opportunities that others may overlook.
  • Risk mitigation: Market research helps you anticipate market shifts and potential challenges. By identifying threats early, you can proactively adjust their strategies to mitigate risks and respond effectively to changing circumstances. This proactive approach is particularly valuable in volatile industries.
  • Resource optimization: Conducting market research allows organizations to allocate their time, money and resources more efficiently. It ensures that investments are made in areas with the highest potential return on investment, reducing wasted resources and improving overall business performance.
  • Adaptation to market trends: Markets evolve rapidly, driven by technological advancements, cultural shifts and changing consumer attitudes. Market research ensures that you stay ahead of these trends and adapt your offerings accordingly so you can avoid becoming obsolete. 

As you can see, market research empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions, cater to customer needs, outperform competitors, mitigate risks, optimize resources and stay agile in a dynamic marketplace. These benefits make it a huge industry; the global market research services market is expected to grow from $76.37 billion in 2021 to $108.57 billion in 2026 . Now, let’s dig into the different types of market research that can help you achieve these benefits.

Types of market research 

  • Qualitative research
  • Quantitative research
  • Exploratory research
  • Descriptive research
  • Causal research
  • Cross-sectional research
  • Longitudinal research

Despite its advantages, 23% of organizations don’t have a clear market research strategy. Part of developing a strategy involves choosing the right type of market research for your business goals. The most commonly used approaches include:

1. Qualitative research

Qualitative research focuses on understanding the underlying motivations, attitudes and perceptions of individuals or groups. It is typically conducted through techniques like in-depth interviews, focus groups and content analysis — methods we’ll discuss further in the sections below. Qualitative research provides rich, nuanced insights that can inform product development, marketing strategies and brand positioning.

2. Quantitative research

Quantitative research, in contrast to qualitative research, involves the collection and analysis of numerical data, often through surveys, experiments and structured questionnaires. This approach allows for statistical analysis and the measurement of trends, making it suitable for large-scale market studies and hypothesis testing. While it’s worthwhile using a mix of qualitative and quantitative research, most businesses prioritize the latter because it is scientific, measurable and easily replicated across different experiments.

3. Exploratory research

Whether you’re conducting qualitative or quantitative research or a mix of both, exploratory research is often the first step. Its primary goal is to help you understand a market or problem so you can gain insights and identify potential issues or opportunities. This type of market research is less structured and is typically conducted through open-ended interviews, focus groups or secondary data analysis. Exploratory research is valuable when entering new markets or exploring new product ideas.

4. Descriptive research

As its name implies, descriptive research seeks to describe a market, population or phenomenon in detail. It involves collecting and summarizing data to answer questions about audience demographics and behaviors, market size, and current trends. Surveys, observational studies and content analysis are common methods used in descriptive research. 

5. Causal research

Causal research aims to establish cause-and-effect relationships between variables. It investigates whether changes in one variable result in changes in another. Experimental designs, A/B testing and regression analysis are common causal research methods. This sheds light on how specific marketing strategies or product changes impact consumer behavior.

6. Cross-sectional research

Cross-sectional market research involves collecting data from a sample of the population at a single point in time. It is used to analyze differences, relationships or trends among various groups within a population. Cross-sectional studies are helpful for market segmentation, identifying target audiences and assessing market trends at a specific moment.

7. Longitudinal research

Longitudinal research, in contrast to cross-sectional research, collects data from the same subjects over an extended period. This allows for the analysis of trends, changes and developments over time. Longitudinal studies are useful for tracking long-term developments in consumer preferences, brand loyalty and market dynamics.

Each type of market research has its strengths and weaknesses, and the method you choose depends on your specific research goals and the depth of understanding you’re aiming to achieve. In the following sections, we’ll delve into primary and secondary research approaches and specific research methods.

Primary vs. secondary market research

Market research of all types can be broadly categorized into two main approaches: primary research and secondary research. By understanding the differences between these approaches, you can better determine the most appropriate research method for your specific goals.

Primary market research 

Primary research involves the collection of original data straight from the source. Typically, this involves communicating directly with your target audience — through surveys, interviews, focus groups and more — to gather information. Here are some key attributes of primary market research:

  • Customized data: Primary research provides data that is tailored to your research needs. You design a custom research study and gather information specific to your goals.
  • Up-to-date insights: Because primary research involves communicating with customers, the data you collect reflects the most current market conditions and consumer behaviors.
  • Time-consuming and resource-intensive: Despite its advantages, primary research can be labor-intensive and costly, especially when dealing with large sample sizes or complex study designs. Whether you hire a market research consultant, agency or use an in-house team, primary research studies consume a large amount of resources and time.

Secondary market research 

Secondary research, on the other hand, involves analyzing data that has already been compiled by third-party sources, such as online research tools, databases, news sites, industry reports and academic studies.

Build your project graphic

Here are the main characteristics of secondary market research:

  • Cost-effective: Secondary research is generally more cost-effective than primary research since it doesn’t require building a research plan from scratch. You and your team can look at databases, websites and publications on an ongoing basis, without needing to design a custom experiment or hire a consultant. 
  • Leverages multiple sources: Data tools and software extract data from multiple places across the web, and then consolidate that information within a single platform. This means you’ll get a greater amount of data and a wider scope from secondary research.
  • Quick to access: You can access a wide range of information rapidly — often in seconds — if you’re using online research tools and databases. Because of this, you can act on insights sooner, rather than taking the time to develop an experiment. 

So, when should you use primary vs. secondary research? In practice, many market research projects incorporate both primary and secondary research to take advantage of the strengths of each approach.

One rule of thumb is to focus on secondary research to obtain background information, market trends or industry benchmarks. It is especially valuable for conducting preliminary research, competitor analysis, or when time and budget constraints are tight. Then, if you still have knowledge gaps or need to answer specific questions unique to your business model, use primary research to create a custom experiment. 

Market research methods

  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Focus groups
  • Observational research
  • Online research tools
  • Experiments
  • Content analysis
  • Ethnographic research

How do primary and secondary research approaches translate into specific research methods? Let’s take a look at the different ways you can gather data: 

1. Surveys and questionnaires

Surveys and questionnaires are popular methods for collecting structured data from a large number of respondents. They involve a set of predetermined questions that participants answer. Surveys can be conducted through various channels, including online tools, telephone interviews and in-person or online questionnaires. They are useful for gathering quantitative data and assessing customer demographics, opinions, preferences and needs. On average, customer surveys have a 33% response rate , so keep that in mind as you consider your sample size.

2. Interviews

Interviews are in-depth conversations with individuals or groups to gather qualitative insights. They can be structured (with predefined questions) or unstructured (with open-ended discussions). Interviews are valuable for exploring complex topics, uncovering motivations and obtaining detailed feedback. 

3. Focus groups

The most common primary research methods are in-depth webcam interviews and focus groups. Focus groups are a small gathering of participants who discuss a specific topic or product under the guidance of a moderator. These discussions are valuable for primary market research because they reveal insights into consumer attitudes, perceptions and emotions. Focus groups are especially useful for idea generation, concept testing and understanding group dynamics within your target audience.

4. Observational research

Observational research involves observing and recording participant behavior in a natural setting. This method is particularly valuable when studying consumer behavior in physical spaces, such as retail stores or public places. In some types of observational research, participants are aware you’re watching them; in other cases, you discreetly watch consumers without their knowledge, as they use your product. Either way, observational research provides firsthand insights into how people interact with products or environments.

5. Online research tools

You and your team can do your own secondary market research using online tools. These tools include data prospecting platforms and databases, as well as online surveys, social media listening, web analytics and sentiment analysis platforms. They help you gather data from online sources, monitor industry trends, track competitors, understand consumer preferences and keep tabs on online behavior. We’ll talk more about choosing the right market research tools in the sections that follow.

6. Experiments

Market research experiments are controlled tests of variables to determine causal relationships. While experiments are often associated with scientific research, they are also used in market research to assess the impact of specific marketing strategies, product features, or pricing and packaging changes.

7. Content analysis

Content analysis involves the systematic examination of textual, visual or audio content to identify patterns, themes and trends. It’s commonly applied to customer reviews, social media posts and other forms of online content to analyze consumer opinions and sentiments.

8. Ethnographic research

Ethnographic research immerses researchers into the daily lives of consumers to understand their behavior and culture. This method is particularly valuable when studying niche markets or exploring the cultural context of consumer choices.

How to do market research

  • Set clear objectives
  • Identify your target audience
  • Choose your research methods
  • Use the right market research tools
  • Collect data
  • Analyze data 
  • Interpret your findings
  • Identify opportunities and challenges
  • Make informed business decisions
  • Monitor and adapt

Now that you have gained insights into the various market research methods at your disposal, let’s delve into the practical aspects of how to conduct market research effectively. Here’s a quick step-by-step overview, from defining objectives to monitoring market shifts.

1. Set clear objectives

When you set clear and specific goals, you’re essentially creating a compass to guide your research questions and methodology. Start by precisely defining what you want to achieve. Are you launching a new product and want to understand its viability in the market? Are you evaluating customer satisfaction with a product redesign? 

Start by creating SMART goals — objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Not only will this clarify your research focus from the outset, but it will also help you track progress and benchmark your success throughout the process. 

You should also consult with key stakeholders and team members to ensure alignment on your research objectives before diving into data collecting. This will help you gain diverse perspectives and insights that will shape your research approach.

2. Identify your target audience

Next, you’ll need to pinpoint your target audience to determine who should be included in your research. Begin by creating detailed buyer personas or stakeholder profiles. Consider demographic factors like age, gender, income and location, but also delve into psychographics, such as interests, values and pain points.

The more specific your target audience, the more accurate and actionable your research will be. Additionally, segment your audience if your research objectives involve studying different groups, such as current customers and potential leads.

If you already have existing customers, you can also hold conversations with them to better understand your target market. From there, you can refine your buyer personas and tailor your research methods accordingly.

3. Choose your research methods

Selecting the right research methods is crucial for gathering high-quality data. Start by considering the nature of your research objectives. If you’re exploring consumer preferences, surveys and interviews can provide valuable insights. For in-depth understanding, focus groups or observational research might be suitable. Consider using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods to gain a well-rounded perspective. 

You’ll also need to consider your budget. Think about what you can realistically achieve using the time and resources available to you. If you have a fairly generous budget, you may want to try a mix of primary and secondary research approaches. If you’re doing market research for a startup , on the other hand, chances are your budget is somewhat limited. If that’s the case, try addressing your goals with secondary research tools before investing time and effort in a primary research study. 

4. Use the right market research tools

Whether you’re conducting primary or secondary research, you’ll need to choose the right tools. These can help you do anything from sending surveys to customers to monitoring trends and analyzing data. Here are some examples of popular market research tools:

  • Market research software: Crunchbase is a platform that provides best-in-class company data, making it valuable for market research on growing companies and industries. You can use Crunchbase to access trusted, first-party funding data, revenue data, news and firmographics, enabling you to monitor industry trends and understand customer needs.

Market Research Graphic Crunchbase

  • Survey and questionnaire tools: SurveyMonkey is a widely used online survey platform that allows you to create, distribute and analyze surveys. Google Forms is a free tool that lets you create surveys and collect responses through Google Drive.
  • Data analysis software: Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are useful for conducting statistical analyses. SPSS is a powerful statistical analysis software used for data processing, analysis and reporting.
  • Social listening tools: Brandwatch is a social listening and analytics platform that helps you monitor social media conversations, track sentiment and analyze trends. Mention is a media monitoring tool that allows you to track mentions of your brand, competitors and keywords across various online sources.
  • Data visualization platforms: Tableau is a data visualization tool that helps you create interactive and shareable dashboards and reports. Power BI by Microsoft is a business analytics tool for creating interactive visualizations and reports.

5. Collect data

There’s an infinite amount of data you could be collecting using these tools, so you’ll need to be intentional about going after the data that aligns with your research goals. Implement your chosen research methods, whether it’s distributing surveys, conducting interviews or pulling from secondary research platforms. Pay close attention to data quality and accuracy, and stick to a standardized process to streamline data capture and reduce errors. 

6. Analyze data

Once data is collected, you’ll need to analyze it systematically. Use statistical software or analysis tools to identify patterns, trends and correlations. For qualitative data, employ thematic analysis to extract common themes and insights. Visualize your findings with charts, graphs and tables to make complex data more understandable.

If you’re not proficient in data analysis, consider outsourcing or collaborating with a data analyst who can assist in processing and interpreting your data accurately.

Enrich your database graphic

7. Interpret your findings

Interpreting your market research findings involves understanding what the data means in the context of your objectives. Are there significant trends that uncover the answers to your initial research questions? Consider the implications of your findings on your business strategy. It’s essential to move beyond raw data and extract actionable insights that inform decision-making.

Hold a cross-functional meeting or workshop with relevant team members to collectively interpret the findings. Different perspectives can lead to more comprehensive insights and innovative solutions.

8. Identify opportunities and challenges

Use your research findings to identify potential growth opportunities and challenges within your market. What segments of your audience are underserved or overlooked? Are there emerging trends you can capitalize on? Conversely, what obstacles or competitors could hinder your progress?

Lay out this information in a clear and organized way by conducting a SWOT analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Jot down notes for each of these areas to provide a structured overview of gaps and hurdles in the market.

9. Make informed business decisions

Market research is only valuable if it leads to informed decisions for your company. Based on your insights, devise actionable strategies and initiatives that align with your research objectives. Whether it’s refining your product, targeting new customer segments or adjusting pricing, ensure your decisions are rooted in the data.

At this point, it’s also crucial to keep your team aligned and accountable. Create an action plan that outlines specific steps, responsibilities and timelines for implementing the recommendations derived from your research. 

10. Monitor and adapt

Market research isn’t a one-time activity; it’s an ongoing process. Continuously monitor market conditions, customer behaviors and industry trends. Set up mechanisms to collect real-time data and feedback. As you gather new information, be prepared to adapt your strategies and tactics accordingly. Regularly revisiting your research ensures your business remains agile and reflects changing market dynamics and consumer preferences.

Online market research sources

As you go through the steps above, you’ll want to turn to trusted, reputable sources to gather your data. Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Crunchbase: As mentioned above, Crunchbase is an online platform with an extensive dataset, allowing you to access in-depth insights on market trends, consumer behavior and competitive analysis. You can also customize your search options to tailor your research to specific industries, geographic regions or customer personas.

Product Image Advanced Search CRMConnected

  • Academic databases: Academic databases, such as ProQuest and JSTOR , are treasure troves of scholarly research papers, studies and academic journals. They offer in-depth analyses of various subjects, including market trends, consumer preferences and industry-specific insights. Researchers can access a wealth of peer-reviewed publications to gain a deeper understanding of their research topics.
  • Government and NGO databases: Government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and other institutions frequently maintain databases containing valuable economic, demographic and industry-related data. These sources offer credible statistics and reports on a wide range of topics, making them essential for market researchers. Examples include the U.S. Census Bureau , the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Pew Research Center .
  • Industry reports: Industry reports and market studies are comprehensive documents prepared by research firms, industry associations and consulting companies. They provide in-depth insights into specific markets, including market size, trends, competitive analysis and consumer behavior. You can find this information by looking at relevant industry association databases; examples include the American Marketing Association and the National Retail Federation .
  • Social media and online communities: Social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter (X) , forums such as Reddit and Quora , and review platforms such as G2 can provide real-time insights into consumer sentiment, opinions and trends. 

Market research examples

At this point, you have market research tools and data sources — but how do you act on the data you gather? Let’s go over some real-world examples that illustrate the practical application of market research across various industries. These examples showcase how market research can lead to smart decision-making and successful business decisions.

Example 1: Apple’s iPhone launch

Apple ’s iconic iPhone launch in 2007 serves as a prime example of market research driving product innovation in tech. Before the iPhone’s release, Apple conducted extensive market research to understand consumer preferences, pain points and unmet needs in the mobile phone industry. This research led to the development of a touchscreen smartphone with a user-friendly interface, addressing consumer demands for a more intuitive and versatile device. The result was a revolutionary product that disrupted the market and redefined the smartphone industry.

Example 2: McDonald’s global expansion

McDonald’s successful global expansion strategy demonstrates the importance of market research when expanding into new territories. Before entering a new market, McDonald’s conducts thorough research to understand local tastes, preferences and cultural nuances. This research informs menu customization, marketing strategies and store design. For instance, in India, McDonald’s offers a menu tailored to local preferences, including vegetarian options. This market-specific approach has enabled McDonald’s to adapt and thrive in diverse global markets.

Example 3: Organic and sustainable farming

The shift toward organic and sustainable farming practices in the food industry is driven by market research that indicates increased consumer demand for healthier and environmentally friendly food options. As a result, food producers and retailers invest in sustainable sourcing and organic product lines — such as with these sustainable seafood startups — to align with this shift in consumer values. 

The bottom line? Market research has multiple use cases and is a critical practice for any industry. Whether it’s launching groundbreaking products, entering new markets or responding to changing consumer preferences, you can use market research to shape successful strategies and outcomes.

Market research templates

You finally have a strong understanding of how to do market research and apply it in the real world. Before we wrap up, here are some market research templates that you can use as a starting point for your projects:

  • Smartsheet competitive analysis templates : These spreadsheets can serve as a framework for gathering information about the competitive landscape and obtaining valuable lessons to apply to your business strategy.
  • SurveyMonkey product survey template : Customize the questions on this survey based on what you want to learn from your target customers.
  • HubSpot templates : HubSpot offers a wide range of free templates you can use for market research, business planning and more.
  • SCORE templates : SCORE is a nonprofit organization that provides templates for business plans, market analysis and financial projections.
  • : The U.S. Small Business Administration offers templates for every aspect of your business, including market research, and is particularly valuable for new startups. 

Strengthen your business with market research

When conducted effectively, market research is like a guiding star. Equipped with the right tools and techniques, you can uncover valuable insights, stay competitive, foster innovation and navigate the complexities of your industry.

Throughout this guide, we’ve discussed the definition of market research, different research methods, and how to conduct it effectively. We’ve also explored various types of market research and shared practical insights and templates for getting started. 

Now, it’s time to start the research process. Trust in data, listen to the market and make informed decisions that guide your company toward lasting success.

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There are different types of market research, with 85% of researchers regularly using online surveys as their go-to tool , allowing them to reach broad target audiences in a cost-effective way.

Online surveys can break down geographical barriers and uncover profound customer insights, but only if you come up with the right market research questions.

Your questions shape the data you get, influencing your understanding of customer behavior and key consumer trends.

In this article, you'll find many examples of market research questions organized by categories, followed by tips for creating and analyzing your own market research survey.

80 market research questions to ask for more valuable insights

Demographic questions.

define question market research

Learning more about your existing customer base can help you identify your ideal customers and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. During the process, you may also discover that you have different customer personas, and you can later segment your audience.

Also, having detailed demographic data allows you to create targeted marketing campaigns that will convert better.

Here are some questions to explore your target audience:

  • What is your age and gender?
  • Where do you live?
  • Do you have a partner or children?
  • What is your highest level of education?
  • In what industry do you work?
  • What is your current job title?
  • What is your annual income?
  • What's the category you spend the most money on (e.g., groceries, technology, clothes)?
  • What's the average amount you spend on _____ (mention a particular category relevant to your industry)?
  • What websites, newspapers or magazines do you use to stay informed?

Product opportunities

Almost half of the startups fail because they're building products for which there's no real market need . That's why it's essential to do a product opportunity assessment before you invest time and money into building a product that may not have a big enough target market.

The following market research interview questions will help you discover burning issues and problems that your new product or service can solve.

  • What challenges and problems do you currently face in _____ (name specific area) that you can't find an adequate solution for?
  • Are there any existing products that you find close to meeting your needs but still fall short in some aspects, and which?
  • How do you currently cope with the absence of a dedicated solution for that problem?
  • Hypothetically speaking, what would an ideal solution for that problem look like?
  • What features would you like this product to include?
  • Would you purchase this product if it was available today? If not, why?
  • What is the one feature that would make our product a must-have for you?
  • Are there any untapped market segments or niches where our product could solve the existing problems?
  • If you were to brainstorm about a product that anticipates future needs in your industry, what would be its main features?
  • How would you prioritize the importance of the following features? (you can provide them with a list of features they need to rank from the most important to the least important)

If you've already started developing your product, read this article on how to get feedback for early-stage products and validate your product.

Customer feedback

define question market research

If you've already launched a product or service, you should ask your existing customers for feedback and suggestions for improvement. This is an essential component of continuous product discovery , which is the best way to increase customer satisfaction by anticipating their needs.

Here are some questions you can use:

  • How long have you been using our product?
  • How often do you use our product?
  • What made you decide to purchase our product?
  • Describe how you use our product and what problems it solves for you.
  • Which features of our product do you use the most?
  • Which features of our product do you use the least or not at all?
  • What is the best feature of our product in your opinion?
  • What might be the weakest feature or the biggest area for improvement in our product?
  • Have you had any issues or problems with our product?
  • What would you miss the most if our product was no longer available?

Click here to discover 13 proven ways to collect customer feedback . Also, here are some additional questions for your product feedback survey .

Brand awareness

Market research surveys can help you see how existing and potential customers perceive your brand and whether you need to raise brand awareness or adjust your brand image.

  • Have you heard about our brand before?
  • How did you hear about us?
  • What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions our brand?
  • What emotions or feelings do you associate with our brand?
  • How would you describe our brand in one sentence?
  • Are you currently using our products, and how often?
  • How likely are you to purchase our products again?
  • Are you aware that we also offer _____? (this can be an excellent opportunity for up-selling)
  • How often do you see our posts or ads on social media?
  • You can also calculate the Net Promoter Score by asking your current customers: On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?

Pricing analysis

define question market research

The following market research survey questions will help you explore the balance between product quality, features, and cost and assess the perceived value of your product.

  • What is more important to you: product quality or price?
  • In your opinion, what's a fair and reasonable price for a product like this?
  • What is the price range within which you'd feel comfortable purchasing this product?
  • What is the maximum amount you'd be willing to spend on this product?
  • If you think the price is too high, what additional features or improvements would justify the current price of our product?
  • Are there specific payment options or financing plans that would make you consider purchasing our product?
  • Do you find our pricing information clear and easy to understand?

Customer preferences

This set of questions will help you learn more about consumer preferences and their purchasing habits so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

  • What factors are influencing your purchasing decisions the most?
  • Where do you look for products you want to buy?
  • Do you prefer offline or online shopping, and why?
  • Do you read customer reviews, and on which websites?
  • Are you looking for recommendations from your friends and family?
  • Do you use social media to follow brand accounts, and which platforms do you use the most?
  • What is your preferred way to receive information and updates about a brand (e.g., social media, email newsletter, SMS)?
  • How do you prefer to consume information: through video, audio or reading?

Customer concerns

Understanding why people are not buying from you is essential for adjusting your offer and marketing. This set of questions will help you uncover potential objections you can address on your website.

  • Is there anything that's preventing you from buying our product?
  • What would need to happen for you to purchase our product today?
  • If now is not the right time to buy it, why is that?
  • Do you have any doubts or questions about our product?
  • What was your biggest concern before purchasing our product?
  • What is the main reason for canceling your subscription / not ordering again?
  • Did you encounter any problems or challenges when using our product?
  • If there was one thing about our product that would have made your decision-making process faster, what would it be?

Competitive analysis

It's important to research your competitors and learn both about their unique selling points and their weaknesses from users’ perspectives, which can help you discover your own competitive advantage and do a thorough market opportunity analysis.

  • How are you currently dealing with the problem that our product solves?
  • Are you already using a product with similar features?
  • Which products or brands would you consider as an alternative to ours?
  • Why did you choose our product over other options?
  • Did you consider any other options?
  • Does our product miss some features that our competitors' products have?
  • Are our prices higher, lower or similar to those of other companies?
  • Which of these products have you tried? (provide a list of your competitors' products)
  • What is your preferred brand?
  • If our product was no longer available, what other product would you choose instead?

The following market research questions can be applied to your website, landing page, social media platforms or any other channel you use to share information about your product or service or communicate with your customers.

  • Was it easy to find information on our website?
  • Is our website easy to navigate and user-friendly?
  • Is some information missing on our website?
  • Is product information clear and transparent?
  • Do you think we should add any features to our website, and which ones?
  • What kind of content would you like to see on our blog?
  • Did you have any difficulties using our website?

Market research questions: Best practices

Here are a few tips to consider when creating your own market research questions:

  • Define clear objectives: Before starting, you have to be clear on what you want to get out of the market research. Learning more about your potential customers? Identifying your competition? Evaluating a new product idea? Identifying different customer segments?
  • Use neutral language: If you want to get unbiased results to drive customer-led product growth , use neutral language to avoid leading participants toward a particular response.
  • Use different types of questions: You should combine multiple-choice questions, Likert scales and open-ended questions, as each of them helps you gather different types of data. While close-ended questions are great for collecting and analyzing large amounts of quantitative data, the open-ended format can be better when creating interview questions for market research as it provides you with deeper customer insights .

Writing questions and conducting market research is just the first step. The second and even more important step is to analyze the data you've gathered so you can uncover insights and patterns.

The best way to do so is through a customer feedback platform like, which provides you with a centralized workspace to collect and manage feedback and analyze data from all customer interaction points in one place.

define question market research

Our platform helps you transform customer feedback into actionable insights that can help you decide which product to build or how to prioritize product features .

Thanks to advanced AI algorithms, we can help you spot product opportunities by uncovering the features users desire the most.

It can also help you analyze customer feedback to detect issues and frustrations reported by users so that you can enhance customer experience by promptly fixing them.

We can also spot trends in user feedback and calculate a potential revenue impact from adding new features.

We hope you were able to pick some ideas for creating your next customer survey or interview questions for market research.

After conducting research, it's crucial to thoroughly analyze your market research questionnaire using the right user feedback tools . is an AI-powered tool that transforms raw customer data into actionable insights, helping you better understand your customers and spot emerging trends before competitors.

It helps you take the guesswork out of product discovery and confidently create products your target market will love.

Sign up today, and let's uncover burning issues and market gaps together.

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How do you write a good market research question?

Good market research questions are the ones that are clear, concise, specific and aligned with your goals. To get unbiased data, avoid leading questions and suggesting particular answers to your target audience.

What questions should I ask for market research for a new product?

You should ask target customers about their pain points, struggles, challenges and desires. See how they're currently solving those problems, whether they're using any other similar product and whether some features of that product could be added or improved.

What are the 7 basic questions in market research?

Here are the key market research questions: What problem is our product solving? Who is our target audience? What product features are the most important for them? What influences their purchasing decisions? How much are they willing to pay? What's preventing potential customers from buying our product? Who are our main competitors?

What are the elements of market research?

The main elements of market research are researching your target audience, their needs and problems, doing a competitor analysis and spotting market trends.


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Introduction to Market Research

  • First Online: 20 July 2018

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Part of the book series: Springer Texts in Business and Economics ((STBE))

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Market research is key to understanding markets and requires the systematic gathering and interpreting of information about individuals and organizations. This will give you an essential understanding of your customers’ needs, a head start on your competitors, allow you to spot potential problems, and future growth. Drawing on real examples, we show the value of market research, describe its main purposes, and explain how market research differs from marketing research. We explain what makes, or breaks, a successful market research study and describe when market research is most needed. We also provide a description of the different types of market research providers.

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Market Research: A How-To Guide and Template

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



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


Updated: 02/21/24

Published: 02/21/24

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

Enter: Market Research.

→ Download Now: Market Research Templates [Free Kit]

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

Table of Contents

What is market research?

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

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

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

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

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

How? Consider these two things:

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

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

define question market research

Free Market Research Kit

  • SWOT Analysis Template
  • Survey Template
  • Focus Group Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Why do market research?

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

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

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

Market research also provides insight into the following:

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

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

As a result, you can make better business decisions.

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

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

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

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

Primary Research

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

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

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

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

Secondary Research

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

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

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

1. Interviews

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

2. Focus Groups

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

3. Product/Service Use Research

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

4. Observation-Based Research

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

5. Buyer Persona Research

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

6. Market Segmentation Research

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

7. Pricing Research

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

8. Competitive Analysis

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

9. Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Research

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

10. Brand Awareness Research

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

11. Campaign Research

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

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

1. Define your buyer persona.

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

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

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

define question market research

1. TikTok uses in-app research surveys to better understand consumer viewing preferences and ad experiences.

If you’re a TikTok enthusiast (like me), then you’ve probably been served a survey or two while you scroll through your For You feed.

TikTok has strategically started using in-app market research surveys to help improve the viewer experiences.

I’ve received two different types of surveys so far.

The first type typically follows a video or an ad and asks how I felt about the video I just viewed. There are options like “I don’t like this ad,” “I enjoyed watching this video,” or “This content is appropriate.”

The other type of survey I’ve gotten asks if I’ve recently seen a sponsored video or ad from a particular brand. For example, “Did you see any promotional content from the Dove Self Esteem Project in the past two days on TikTok?

TikTok can then use this information to tweak my algorithm to match my preferences or to serve ads that are more in line with my buying behaviors.

2. Taco Bell tests new products in select markets before launching nationwide.

Taco Bell is known for their innovative, consumer-driven menu items. In fact, just last year, they gave Taco Bell rewards members exclusive access to vote on the newest round of hot sauce sayings .

This popular fast-food chain puts a lot of menu decisions in the hands of their target market. Taco Bell lovers ultimately determine which new menu items stay on the menu through voting and, ultimately, their purchase behaviors.

(Let’s all collectively agree that the Cheez-It Crunchwrap deserves a permanent spot.)

Often, this process of releasing a new item is done regionally before a nationwide launch. This is a form of market research — soft launching products in smaller markets to determine how well it sells before dedicating too many resources to it.

The way Taco Bell uses this information is pretty straightforward. If the product is not successful, it’s unlikely to be released on a national scale.

3. The Body Shop used social listening to determine how they should reposition brand campaigns to respond to what their customers cared most about.

The Body Shop has long been known for offering ethically sourced and natural products, and proudly touts “sustainability” as a core value.

To dive deeper into the sustainability subtopics that meant the most to their audiences, the team at The Body Shop tracked conversations and ultimately found their audiences cared a lot about refills.

Using this information helped the Body Shop team feel confident when relaunching their Refill Program across 400 stores globally in 2022 .

Market research proved they were on the right track with their refill concept, and demonstrated increased efforts were needed to show Body Shop customers that the Body Shop cared about their customers' values.

Conduct Market Research to Grow Better

Conducting market research can be a very eye-opening experience. Even if you think you know your buyers pretty well, completing the study will likely uncover new channels and messaging tips to help improve your interactions.

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

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  • 33 Best Market Research Question Examples


To build a successful business, it is important to gather useful insights through market research. More than anything else, carrying out market research helps you to collect necessary information and make the right business decisions with regard to market segmentation and product differentiation. 

In this article, we will share sample questionnaires for different types of market research; specifically product, client, and customer market research. We will also show you how to use Formplus to create a simple online research questionnaire in no time. 

What is Market Research? 

Market research is the process of gathering valuable information about the needs of your target market, consumer behaviors, and market challenges. Conducting market research helps you to determine the feasibility of a product or service before its introduction to the market. 

During market research , an organization can collect primary and/or secondary data. Primary data refers to information that is collected directly from the research participants and target markets while secondary data refers to already-processed information about the research context and subject(s). 

Importance of Market Research

  • Improves Sales

Market research provides unique insights into the expectations of your customers and clients, which helps you tailor your product to meet their specific needs. This would ultimately help to increase your sales.

  • Identifying New Business Opportunities

With market research, you’d be able to spot untapped business opportunities in your industry and work on building a product in line with this. You can discover new geographical concentrations for your target market, for instance. 

  • Reduces Business Risks

As a business owner, your priority should be taking calculated risks and this can be achieved when you have forehand knowledge of the dynamics of your industry. Conducting market research arms you with useful insights that will help you make the right business decisions.

  • Advertising

Market research also improves your advertising by helping you to identify the best channels to reach your customers. You’d better understand market demographics and also know the channels that can yield the best returns in terms of lead generation and sales. 

  • Competitive Advantage

With better knowledge of market needs and consumers’ preferences, you’d stay ahead of your competition. For instance, you can identify neglected market segments and focus on penetrating them. 

Market Research Questionnaire Examples for Product 

Product market research questions trigger responses that reveal how well-suited your product is for the target market. The right product-market research questions provide useful insight into the feasibility of the product before it is launched. Here are 11 question samples for your product market research questionnaire. 

  • What is your deciding factor for product patronage?

This question would help you focus your product’s unique selling point on what the target market considers valuable. For instance, if the deciding factor for your target market is affordability, you would want to work on a fair pricing rate for your product.

  • How likely are you to purchase groceries online?

Since you want to create a product that satisfies a specific need, you need to be sure your target market would be willing to buy into your idea. If the market has no need for an online grocery store, there’s little or no reason for you to launch one.

  • Which product features are most valuable to you?

You can tweak this question in line with your specific product. Data gathered via responses would help you identify the product features you need to invest in.

  • Would you be willing to subscribe to a weekly business newsletter?

Questions like this would help you decide whether you need to go ahead with a specific development plan for your business. If you want to launch a newsletter, it helps to know if you have a willing audience for it.

  • Would you like to process orders and payments in a single form?

This type of question would help you identify the need(s) of the market and you can work on creating a product or developing a feature to meet this need.

  • Who is your trusted internet service provider?

If you’re looking to penetrate a new market, it is important for you to identify the existing competition; that is, organizations that provide similar services in your industry. Asking prospective customers to identify the brands they trust is an essential part of your competitive analysis.

  • What challenges do you face with 3rd party logistics companies?

This question would help you to identify the specific needs of your target market. You can focus your product on providing solutions to the challenges highlighted.

  • Would you find this product useful?

This is a straightforward question to determine whether your product fills a specific need in the market.

  • Would you be willing to pay in installments for this service?

Questions like this would help you identify product features that your target market considers to be valuable.

  • How much are you willing to pay for this product?

This question would help you fix a reasonable price for your product. While your product may be excellent, ensuring its affordability is key to penetrating the market effectively.

  • How much do you spend on groceries every month?

This question would provide insights into the purchasing power of your target market.

Read: Research Questions: Definition, Types, +[Examples]

Market Research Questionnaire Examples for Customer

To better under your customers’ perceptions of your product, you can create and administer a market research questionnaire. A market research questionnaire for your customers should include questions that focus on the usefulness of different aspects of your product delivered to your customers. 

You’d also want to centralize questions that bother on customer demographics, challenges, specific needs of your customers, and how your product meets these needs. Here are 11 specific questions you can include in your market research questionnaire for customers: 

Demographic Questions

These questions will help you better understand who your customers are and also help you create an accurate buyer persona.  Knowing who your customers are and what appeals to them means that you would be able to focus your product on what appeals to them. 

  • What is your monthly income range?

Knowing how much your customers earn gives you a hint of their purchasing power and how much they can typically spend on your product. This will inform the pricing of your product so that you do not price yourself out of business.

  • How much do you spend on shopping every month?

Just like you, customers work with a budget and are more likely to purchase products whose costs fit into this. Responses to this question will help you fix an appropriate fee on your product.

  • Where do you prefer to shop?

Catering to customer preferences is one way of securing repeated patronage. Responses to this question will inform your business expansion plan. For example, if your customers prefer shopping online, you can set up a Formplus online order form to allow them to place orders for items and make payments conveniently. 

  • How old are you?

This question will help you identify the age group that your product appeals to the most. Knowing this would help you craft marketing and advertising campaigns that appeal to the members of this group.

Feedback Questions

These questions help you to collect insightful information about customer experience; that is, how customers perceive your product and overall delivery. Responses to these questions would let you know why your customers buy from you and how well your product meets their needs. 

  • What specific needs does our product meet for you?

This question helps you to identify the unique selling point of your product. You would know why customers patronize your brand and you can leverage this information for better marketing and advertising.

  • How would you rate our product delivery?

Responses to this question are a direct reflection of your customer’s perceptions of your product delivery. For better insight, you can ask them to provide reasons for their ratings.

  • What challenges did you encounter while using our product?

These questions help you to identify business weaknesses from the point of view of the end user. If left unattended to, competitors can capitalize on these weaknesses to increase their customer base.

  • How likely are you to recommend our product?

Happy customers are one of the most effective marketing tools as customers will only recommend a product they are satisfied with. If more people are eager to recommend your product, it means that your business and brand is on the right track.

Other market research question samples are:

  • How would you rate our customer experience?

Feedback on customer experience is important because it helps you improve your brand’s relations with its customers across different business touchpoints.

  • What do you think about product pricing?

This question would help you adjust your product pricing appropriately. If customers think your product is too expensive, they may stop buying from you.

  • How often do you use our product?

This question would help you track repeated patronage and to know how your product fits into your customers’ everyday lives.

Market Research Questionnaire Examples for Client 

Clients are individuals and organizations that you provide specific services for. Just like with customer market research questions, market research questions for clients help you assess your service delivery, identify clients’ unique needs, and gather useful insights via feedback. Here are 11 sample questions for you: 

  • How would you rate our service delivery?

This is a feedback question that will help you understand how well your service meets your client’s needs.

  • What challenges are you experiencing with our services?

Responses to this question would highlight areas needing improvement in your overall service delivery.

  • Would you be willing to recommend us to your network?

If the answers to this question are in the affirmative, then you can be sure that your clients are quite impressed with the service you provide.

  • What specific needs do our services meet for you?

To clearly map out the value of your product from the clients’ perspectives, ask them to identify the specific needs your services meet for them.

  • How can our service delivery be better?

This is another feedback question that would help you improve your services to better cater to the needs of your clients.

  • For how long have you been a client?

This question helps you to gather meaningful data to improve your client retention strategies.

  • What do you like the most about our services?

This question would help you identify the unique selling point of your services.

  • How would you rate your last experience with us?

With this question, you’d be able to gather valuable information about a client’s experience with your services.

  • What do you dislike about our service delivery?

This question allows clients to highlight areas needing improvement in your service delivery. The data gathered would help you improve your services for the benefit of your clients.

  • Are our services helpful?

This is a simple question that requires clients to highlight the value of your services.

  • Why did you choose us?

How to Create an Online Research Questionnaire 

With Formplus, it is easier for you to create and administer an online questionnaire for market research. In the drag-and-drop form builder, you can add preferred form fields and edit them to suit specific research needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to go about it: 

  • Sign in to your Formplus account. In your dashboard, click on “create new form” to get started on your online research questionnaire.

define question market research

  • Drag and drop preferred fields into your online questionnaire. You can edit form fields to include market research questions. You can also make some fields hidden or read-only depending on your research needs.

define question market research

  • Use the form customization options to tweak the appearance of the online research questionnaire. You can add preferred background images, add your organization’s logo or tweak the form font.


  • Finally, copy the form link and share it with form respondents. You can use one or more of the multiple sharing options including the social media direct sharing buttons and the email invitation option.

define question market research


While creating your market research questionnaire, it is important for you to tailor its questions to specific contexts. For instance, if you are conducting product market research, you should ask questions that would provide useful information on product feasibility among other things. 

Conducting market research yields multiple benefits for your business. To make the process seamless and easy to coordinate, you can set up an online research questionnaire with Formplus and share this with your customers, clients, and target market(s). 


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How To Do Market Research: Definition, Types, Methods

Jan 2, 2024

11 min. read

Market research isn’t just collecting data. It’s a strategic tool that allows businesses to gain a competitive advantage while making the best use of their resources. Research reveals valuable insights into your target audience about their preferences, buying habits, and emerging demands — all of which help you unlock new opportunities to grow your business.

When done correctly, market research can minimize risks and losses, spur growth, and position you as a leader in your industry. 

Let’s explore the basic building blocks of market research and how to collect and use data to move your company forward:

Table of Contents

What Is Market Research?

Why is market research important, market analysis example, 5 types of market research, what are common market research questions, what are the limitations of market research, how to do market research, improving your market research with radarly.

Market Research Definition: The process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information about a market or audience.

doing a market research

Market research studies consumer behavior to better understand how they perceive products or services. These insights help businesses identify ways to grow their current offering, create new products or services, and improve brand trust and brand recognition .

You might also hear market research referred to as market analysis or consumer research .

Traditionally, market research has taken the form of focus groups, surveys, interviews, and even competitor analysis . But with modern analytics and research tools, businesses can now capture deeper insights from a wider variety of sources, including social media, online reviews, and customer interactions. These extra layers of intel can help companies gain a more comprehensive understanding of their audience.

With consumer preferences and markets evolving at breakneck speeds, businesses need a way to stay in touch with what people need and want. That’s why the importance of market research cannot be overstated.

Market research offers a proactive way to identify these trends and make adjustments to product development, marketing strategies , and overall operations. This proactive approach can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and remain agile as markets shift.

Market research examples abound — given the number of ways companies can get inside the minds of their customers, simply skimming through your business’s social media comments can be a form of market research.

A restaurant chain might use market research methods to learn more about consumers’ evolving dining habits. These insights might be used to offer new menu items, re-examine their pricing strategies, or even open new locations in different markets, for example.

A consumer electronics company might use market research for similar purposes. For instance, market research may reveal how consumers are using their smart devices so they can develop innovative features.

Market research can be applied to a wide range of use cases, including:

  • Testing new product ideas
  • Improve existing products
  • Entering new markets
  • Right-sizing their physical footprints
  • Improving brand image and awareness
  • Gaining insights into competitors via competitive intelligence

Ultimately, companies can lean on market research techniques to stay ahead of trends and competitors while improving the lives of their customers.

Market research methods take different forms, and you don’t have to limit yourself to just one. Let’s review the most common market research techniques and the insights they deliver.

1. Interviews

3. Focus Groups

4. Observations

5. AI-Driven Market Research

One-on-one interviews are one of the most common market research techniques. Beyond asking direct questions, skilled interviewers can uncover deeper motivations and emotions that drive purchasing decisions. Researchers can elicit more detailed and nuanced responses they might not receive via other methods, such as self-guided surveys.

colleagues discussing a market research

Interviews also create the opportunity to build rapport with customers and prospects. Establishing a connection with interviewees can encourage them to open up and share their candid thoughts, which can enrich your findings. Researchers also have the opportunity to ask clarifying questions and dig deeper based on individual responses.

Market research surveys provide an easy entry into the consumer psyche. They’re cost-effective to produce and allow researchers to reach lots of people in a short time. They’re also user-friendly for consumers, which allows companies to capture more responses from more people.

Big data and data analytics are making traditional surveys more valuable. Researchers can apply these tools to elicit a deeper understanding from responses and uncover hidden patterns and correlations within survey data that were previously undetectable.

The ways in which surveys are conducted are also changing. With the rise of social media and other online channels, brands and consumers alike have more ways to engage with each other, lending to a continuous approach to market research surveys.

3. Focus groups

Focus groups are “group interviews” designed to gain collective insights. This interactive setting allows participants to express their thoughts and feelings openly, giving researchers richer insights beyond yes-or-no responses.

focus group as part of a market research

One of the key benefits of using focus groups is the opportunity for participants to interact with one another. They spark discussions while sharing diverse viewpoints. These sessions can uncover underlying motivations and attitudes that may not be easily expressed through other research methods.

Observing your customers “in the wild” might feel informal, but it can be one of the most revealing market research techniques of all. That’s because you might not always know the right questions to ask. By simply observing, you can surface insights you might not have known to look for otherwise.

This method also delivers raw, authentic, unfiltered data. There’s no room for bias and no potential for participants to accidentally skew the data. Researchers can also pick up on non-verbal cues and gestures that other research methods may fail to capture.

5. AI-driven market research

One of the newer methods of market research is the use of AI-driven market research tools to collect and analyze insights on your behalf. AI customer intelligence tools and consumer insights software like Meltwater Radarly take an always-on approach by going wherever your audience is and continuously predicting behaviors based on current behaviors.

By leveraging advanced algorithms, machine learning, and big data analysis , AI enables companies to uncover deep-seated patterns and correlations within large datasets that would be near impossible for human researchers to identify. This not only leads to more accurate and reliable findings but also allows businesses to make informed decisions with greater confidence.

Tip: Learn how to use Meltwater as a research tool , how Meltwater uses AI , and learn more about consumer insights and about consumer insights in the fashion industry .

No matter the market research methods you use, market research’s effectiveness lies in the questions you ask. These questions should be designed to elicit honest responses that will help you reach your goals.

Examples of common market research questions include:

Demographic market research questions

  • What is your age range?
  • What is your occupation?
  • What is your household income level?
  • What is your educational background?
  • What is your gender?

Product or service usage market research questions

  • How long have you been using [product/service]?
  • How frequently do you use [product/service]?
  • What do you like most about [product/service]?
  • Have you experienced any problems using [product/service]?
  • How could we improve [product/service]?
  • Why did you choose [product/service] over a competitor’s [product/service]?

Brand perception market research questions

  • How familiar are you with our brand?
  • What words do you associate with our brand?
  • How do you feel about our brand?
  • What makes you trust our brand?
  • What sets our brand apart from competitors?
  • What would make you recommend our brand to others?

Buying behavior market research questions

  • What do you look for in a [product/service]?
  • What features in a [product/service] are important to you?
  • How much time do you need to choose a [product/service]?
  • How do you discover new products like [product/service]?
  • Do you prefer to purchase [product/service] online or in-store?
  • How do you research [product/service] before making a purchase?
  • How often do you buy [product/service]?
  • How important is pricing when buying [product/service]?
  • What would make you switch to another brand of [product/service]?

Customer satisfaction market research questions

  • How happy have you been with [product/service]?
  • What would make you more satisfied with [product/service]?
  • How likely are you to continue using [product/service]?

Bonus Tip: Compiling these questions into a market research template can streamline your efforts.

Market research can offer powerful insights, but it also has some limitations. One key limitation is the potential for bias. Researchers may unconsciously skew results based on their own preconceptions or desires, which can make your findings inaccurate.

  • Depending on your market research methods, your findings may be outdated by the time you sit down to analyze and act on them. Some methods struggle to account for rapidly changing consumer preferences and behaviors.
  • There’s also the risk of self-reported data (common in online surveys). Consumers might not always accurately convey their true feelings or intentions. They might provide answers they think researchers are looking for or misunderstand the question altogether.
  • There’s also the potential to miss emerging or untapped markets . Researchers are digging deeper into what (or who) they already know. This means you might be leaving out a key part of the story without realizing it.

Still, the benefits of market research cannot be understated, especially when you supplement traditional market research methods with modern tools and technology.

Let’s put it all together and explore how to do market research step-by-step to help you leverage all its benefits.

Step 1: Define your objectives

You’ll get more from your market research when you hone in on a specific goal : What do you want to know, and how will this knowledge help your business?

This step will also help you define your target audience. You’ll need to ask the right people the right questions to collect the information you want. Understand the characteristics of the audience and what gives them authority to answer your questions.

Step 2: Select your market research methods

Choose one or more of the market research methods (interviews, surveys, focus groups, observations, and/or AI-driven tools) to fuel your research strategy.

Certain methods might work better than others for specific goals . For example, if you want basic feedback from customers about a product, a simple survey might suffice. If you want to hone in on serious pain points to develop a new product, a focus group or interview might work best.

You can also source secondary research via secondary research companies , such as industry reports or analyses from large market research firms. These can help you gather preliminary information and inform your approach.

team analyzing the market research results

Step 3: Develop your research tools

Prior to working with participants, you’ll need to craft your survey or interview questions, interview guides, and other tools. These tools will help you capture the right information , weed out non-qualifying participants, and keep your information organized.

You should also have a system for recording responses to ensure data accuracy and privacy. Test your processes before speaking with participants so you can spot and fix inefficiencies or errors.

Step 4: Conduct the market research

With a system in place, you can start looking for candidates to contribute to your market research. This might include distributing surveys to current customers or recruiting participants who fit a specific profile, for example.

Set a time frame for conducting your research. You might collect responses over the course of a few days, weeks, or even months. If you’re using AI tools to gather data, choose a data range for your data to focus on the most relevant information.

Step 5: Analyze and apply your findings

Review your findings while looking for trends and patterns. AI tools can come in handy in this phase by analyzing large amounts of data on your behalf.

Compile your findings into an easy-to-read report and highlight key takeaways and next steps. Reports aren’t useful unless the reader can understand and act on them.

Tip: Learn more about trend forecasting , trend detection , and trendspotting .

Meltwater’s Radarly consumer intelligence suite helps you reap the benefits of market research on an ongoing basis. Using a combination of AI, data science, and market research expertise, Radarly scans multiple global data sources to learn what people are talking about, the actions they’re taking, and how they’re feeling about specific brands.

Meltwater Radarly screenshot for market research

Our tools are created by market research experts and designed to help researchers uncover what they want to know (and what they don’t know they want to know). Get data-driven insights at scale with information that’s always relevant, always accurate, and always tailored to your organization’s needs.

Learn more when you request a demo by filling out the form below:

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  • 50+ Must-ask questions for your market research surveys

50+ Must-ask questions for your market research surveys

Şeyma Beyazçiçek

Market research is an essential part of finding answers to your questions. For this reason, market research surveys have a big importance. So, market study survey questions, too . These types of questions help you get essential data about the target audience, conduct competitive analysis, get new ones, or protect existing customers .

We have gathered the most essential data to help you gather information on the target market or target customer. In this article, you will find 50+ market research survey questions and examples about customers, products, social media, etc. You need to seriously consider these business survey questions for market research and learn more!

  • What is a market research survey?

A market research survey is a document that asks demographic questions or any type of market research questions that aim to collect vital customer feedback to make you better in marketing . The critical point of a market research survey is to learn customer experience and make marketing plans according to it.

A report by Statista shows that since 2008 , the market research sector’s global revenue has increased by more than twice, surpassing $81 billion in 2022 . So, the importance of market research is getting more realized, and you need market analysis survey questions. Good survey questions for market research collect data to help you create definite strategies for a better marketing plan.

  • 50+ Market research survey questions you must ask in your surveys

Each company has its own unique priorities and needs. For this reason, companies should choose questions carefully for their survey. 50+ market research survey questions might differ according to the needs and requirements of a company. Nevertheless, we have gathered the most essential and basic ones to make you grow faster. 

If you want to access all these privileges we have discussed so far, you need to have a look at these 50+ must-ask questions for your market research surveys:

Customer survey questions for market research questions

The primary reason for selling a product or service is for customers . Finding the target audience for your company is one of the most important parts of your market research survey. For that reason, you need to have a look at these customer survey questions for market research questions: 

1. How often do you shop from us?

  • Once a week
  • Twice a week
  • Once a month
  • Twice a month
  • Once every two months
  • Once every three months
  • Once every six months
  • Once a year

2. What is your favorite product/service?

3. What is your least favorite product/service?

4. Why do you choose us?

  • Your reputation for quality products and services
  • Your competitive pricing
  • Your commitment to customer service
  • Your convenient location
  • Your wide selection of products and services
  • Your knowledgeable staff
  • Your experience in the industry
  • Your commitment to innovation
  • Your commitment to sustainability

5. Would you recommend us to your friends/family?

6. Since when do you choose us?

  • Two Years Ago
  • Three Years Ago

7. Overall, from 1-10, how do you rate us?

An opinion scale question example about satisfaction

An opinion scale question example about satisfaction

Market research questions for a product

A market research question for a product is an excellent helper for companies to understand and collect data about existing. If you want to learn how your customers are satisfied with your exciting product, you only need to ask them these questions. Here are your market research questions for a product: 

8. Have you ever heard of this product before?

9. From 1-10, how would you rate this product?

10. Do you believe this product is useful/helpful for you? 

11. What is the likelihood of buying this product again?

  • Very Likely
  • Very Unlikely

12. What do you like about this product?

  • It is easy to use
  • It is cost-effective
  • It is reliable
  • It has great customer service
  • It has a wide range of features

13. What do you dislike about this product?

  • Functionality

14. Would you recommend this product to your friends or family?

You can replace the word “ product”  with the name of your own product.

A question example about purchasing behavior

A question example about purchasing behavior

New product market research survey questions

New product market research survey questions are perfect for your company if you plan for a new product. Imagine that you are about to launch a new product. You can take fewer risks if you ask questions about the new product before launching it. So you might need these market research questionnaire questions for your new product: 

15. Have you seen a similar product? 

16. How likely are you to use this product for your business activities?

17. What do you think is the best feature of this new product?

18. What do you think is the least favorite feature of this new product?

19. Do you find the price reasonable?

20. Are you excited about this product?

21. Overall, from 1-10, how do you rate this new product?

A question example about later use

A question example about later use

Social media survey questions for market research

Social media is an excellent way of collecting helpful data from your customers because, today, nearly everybody has a social media account. You can have insightful data as long as you know which platform to use and how to use it. So, here are your social media survey questions for market research: 

22. Which social media platforms do you use? ( you can choose more than 1 )

23. In which social media platforms do you spend time the most?

24. Do you follow us on your social media accounts?

25. What do you think about our company’s social media account? 

  • It's great!
  • It could use some improvement.
  • I haven't seen it

26. Do you believe we can use social media effectively?

27. What can we do to improve our social media accounts?

  • Post regularly
  • Run contests and giveaways
  • Use relevant hashtags
  • Optimize profile information
  • Respond to comments
  • Collaborate with influencers

28. Which influencers do you relate to us the most?

A market research survey question example about social media

A market research survey question example about social media

Market research questions to ask potential customers

As much as trying to hold your existing customers, you should also try to find potential customers and expand your network. Because only in this way you can grow your business. When you have good market research questions to ask potential customers, as given below, you can easily get what you need: 

29. Have you ever heard us before?

30. When you think of our brand, what comes to your mind first? 

31. Who is our rival for you?

32. What is your minimum budget?

33. What is your maximum budget?

34. Would you consider choosing our product/service?

35. What are your best aspects, you think?

Market research questions for B2B companies

Just like any sector, B2B companies need to do their best to run market research. As for their market research survey, the questions will be different because they need to aim at businesses directly. If you need them, here are your market research questions for B2B companies: 

36 . Who is your ideal customer?

37. What really matters to your ideal customer?  

38. Do you think you know your customers?

39. How can you know your customers better?

40. What is your customers’ annual income? 

41. What do your customers do in their free time?

42. What attracts your customer?

Demographic questions for your market research survey

Demographic questions allow your company to understand your customer’s background better. Also, if you want to understand the certain characteristics of your target audience, demographic questions are the best option for you. Have a look at these demographic questions for your market research survey: 

43. What gender do you identify as?

  • Genderfluid

44. How old are you?

  • 65 or Above

45. What is your marital status?

46. Can you please specify your ethnicity?

  • African American
  • Asian American
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • Native American
  • Pacific Islander
  • White/Caucasian

47. Where are you located?

  • United States
  • United Kingdom

48. What is your education level?

  • High School
  • Associate's Degree
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree
  • Doctorate Degree

49. What is your annual income?

  • $0 - $25,000
  • $25,001 - $50,000
  • $50,001 - $75,000
  • $75,001 - $100,000
  • $100,001 - $150,000
  • $150,001 - $200,000
  • $200,001 and above

50. What is your current employment situation? 

  • Employed full-time
  • Employed part-time
  • Self-employed
  • Not looking for work

A market research survey question example about income

A market research survey question example about income

  • How can I create a market research survey?

In order to collect essential data for your market research, if you want to handle it the fastest way, you will need an online form builder. Also, if you want to build your form with lots of options and create just like you wish and want to do all of them for free, there is only one option left: .

As long as you follow some basic steps, you can easily create your market research survey and here are the steps: 

1. Login or create an account

Firstly, you should log in to your existing account if you do not have one; no worries, you can easily and quickly create an account . Also, do not forget that you have the opportunity to log in via Google, Facebook, and Apple accounts. 

2. Start from scratch, choose a temple, or generate with AI

You have access to a wide range of options thanks to . You must begin from scratch if you wish to pick every aspect of your survey. The site offers pre-made market research survey templates if you do not want to spend too much time on it. However, if you stay current with the latest technology, artificial intelligence can create your survey in seconds!

3. Add your market research survey questions

Based on your company’s primary needs and essential requirements, you should choose your market research survey questions very carefully. Each company’s priorities can differ. For that reason, you need to pay attention while adding them. 

4. Customize your survey form

In this step, you can easily change and personalize your online survey . To give an example, you can change the size and type of the font, colors, and order of questions, add your brand’s logo, etc. 

5. Share your market research survey

In the final step, you can share your survey with your target via many platforms . You can choose the link to be public, limited, or private while sharing. Additionally, you can preview the link to see whether it has any meta titles, descriptions, or images. 

  • How can I write good market research questions?

One can randomly create market research questions for the survey; however, if you want to be one step ahead of your rivals and be good at writing market research questions, you need to follow the points given below:

  • Consider your company’s needs : You need to have a moment and consider what your company needs the most. What are your priorities or urgent needs? Or what are your urgent deficiencies to be covered? After answering these questions, you can create better questions. 
  • Think like the customer: The key point is listening to your customers and trying to think like them. When you think like them, you can come up with better market research questions and collect more valuable data for your survey. 
  • Be direct: Questions asked directly are definitely better , instead of asking too many indirect questions or long and complex sentences that might be confusing. So, you need to pay attention at this point. 
  • Key points to take away

As we have discussed so far, the importance of market research is undeniable. If you want to increase your market share and be more successful in your sector, there are some key points for your company to take away. You should not ignore these points:

  • Design of the survey: Do not forget that the more you pay attention to your market research survey design, the more you will seem professional. 
  • Pay attention to the context: Design is an important factor, but context is the exact reason you run a survey. So, you need to be careful with your questions. 
  • Check the result: At the end of the survey, checking and analyzing the results is a key point. If you will not do that, there is no need to share the survey, isn’t it?

Now that you have read so far, you know all the critical points about the issue and where to start. Take action now and start finding your own effective data collection methods for market research !

Şeyma is a content writer at She loves art and traveling. She is passionate about reading and writing. Şeyma has expertise in surveys, survey questions, giveaways, statistics, and online forms.

  • Market Research
  • Form Features
  • Data Collection

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9 Key stages in your marketing research process

You can conduct your own marketing research. Follow these steps, add your own flair, knowledge and creativity, and you’ll have bespoke research to be proud of.

Marketing research is the term used to cover the concept, development, placement and evolution of your product or service, its growing customer base and its branding – starting with brand awareness , and progressing to (everyone hopes) brand equity . Like any research, it needs a robust process to be credible and useful.

Marketing research uses four essential key factors known as the ‘marketing mix’ , or the Four Ps of Marketing :

  • Product (goods or service)
  • Price ( how much the customer pays )
  • Place (where the product is marketed)
  • Promotion (such as advertising and PR)

These four factors need to work in harmony for a product or service to be successful in its marketplace.

The marketing research process – an overview

A typical marketing research process is as follows:

  • Identify an issue, discuss alternatives and set out research objectives
  • Develop a research program
  • Choose a sample
  • Gather information
  • Gather data
  • Organize and analyze information and data
  • Present findings
  • Make research-based decisions
  • Take action based on insights

Step 1: Defining the marketing research problem

Defining a problem is the first step in the research process. In many ways, research starts with a problem facing management. This problem needs to be understood, the cause diagnosed, and solutions developed.

However, most management problems are not always easy to research, so they must first be translated into research problems. Once you approach the problem from a research angle, you can find a solution. For example, “sales are not growing” is a management problem, but translated into a research problem, it becomes “ why are sales not growing?” We can look at the expectations and experiences of several groups : potential customers, first-time buyers, and repeat purchasers. We can question whether the lack of sales is due to:

  • Poor expectations that lead to a general lack of desire to buy, or
  • Poor performance experience and a lack of desire to repurchase.

This, then, is the difference between a management problem and a research problem. Solving management problems focuses on actions: Do we advertise more? Do we change our advertising message? Do we change an under-performing product configuration? And if so, how?

Defining research problems, on the other hand, focus on the whys and hows, providing the insights you need to solve your management problem.

Step 2: Developing a research program: method of inquiry

The scientific method is the standard for investigation. It provides an opportunity for you to use existing knowledge as a starting point, and proceed impartially.

The scientific method includes the following steps:

  • Define a problem
  • Develop a hypothesis
  • Make predictions based on the hypothesis
  • Devise a test of the hypothesis
  • Conduct the test
  • Analyze the results

This terminology is similar to the stages in the research process. However, there are subtle differences in the way the steps are performed:

  • the scientific research method is objective and fact-based, using quantitative research and impartial analysis
  • the marketing research process can be subjective, using opinion and qualitative research, as well as personal judgment as you collect and analyze data

Step 3: Developing a research program: research method

As well as selecting a method of inquiry (objective or subjective), you must select a research method . There are two primary methodologies that can be used to answer any research question:

  • Experimental research : gives you the advantage of controlling extraneous variables and manipulating one or more variables that influence the process being implemented.
  • Non-experimental research : allows observation but not intervention – all you do is observe and report on your findings.

Step 4: Developing a research program: research design

Research design is a plan or framework for conducting marketing research and collecting data. It is defined as the specific methods and procedures you use to get the information you need.

There are three core types of marketing research designs: exploratory, descriptive, and causal . A thorough marketing research process incorporates elements of all of them.

Exploratory marketing research

This is a starting point for research. It’s used to reveal facts and opinions about a particular topic, and gain insight into the main points of an issue. Exploratory research is too much of a blunt instrument to base conclusive business decisions on, but it gives the foundation for more targeted study. You can use secondary research materials such as trade publications, books, journals and magazines and primary research using qualitative metrics, that can include open text surveys, interviews and focus groups.

Descriptive marketing research

This helps define the business problem or issue so that companies can make decisions, take action and monitor progress. Descriptive research is naturally quantitative – it needs to be measured and analyzed statistically , using more targeted surveys and questionnaires. You can use it to capture demographic information , evaluate a product or service for market, and monitor a target audience’s opinion and behaviors. Insights from descriptive research can inform conclusions about the market landscape and the product’s place in it.

Causal marketing research

This is useful to explore the cause and effect relationship between two or more variables. Like descriptive research , it uses quantitative methods, but it doesn’t merely report findings; it uses experiments to predict and test theories about a product or market. For example, researchers may change product packaging design or material, and measure what happens to sales as a result.

Step 5: Choose your sample

Your marketing research project will rarely examine an entire population. It’s more practical to use a sample - a smaller but accurate representation of the greater population. To design your sample, you’ll need to answer these questions:

  • Which base population is the sample to be selected from? Once you’ve established who your relevant population is (your research design process will have revealed this), you have a base for your sample. This will allow you to make inferences about a larger population.
  • What is the method (process) for sample selection? There are two methods of selecting a sample from a population:

1. Probability sampling : This relies on a random sampling of everyone within the larger population.

2. Non-probability sampling : This is based in part on the investigator’s judgment, and often uses convenience samples, or by other sampling methods that do not rely on probability.

  • What is your sample size? This important step involves cost and accuracy decisions. Larger samples generally reduce sampling error and increase accuracy, but also increase costs. Find out your perfect sample size with our calculator .

Step 6: Gather data

Your research design will develop as you select techniques to use. There are many channels for collecting data, and it’s helpful to differentiate it into O-data (Operational) and X-data (Experience):

  • O-data is your business’s hard numbers like costs, accounting, and sales. It tells you what has happened, but not why.
  • X-data gives you insights into the thoughts and emotions of the people involved: employees, customers, brand advocates.

When you combine O-data with X-data, you’ll be able to build a more complete picture about success and failure - you’ll know why. Maybe you’ve seen a drop in sales (O-data) for a particular product. Maybe customer service was lacking, the product was out of stock, or advertisements weren’t impactful or different enough: X-data will reveal the reason why those sales dropped. So, while differentiating these two data sets is important, when they are combined, and work with each other, the insights become powerful.

With mobile technology, it has become easier than ever to collect data. Survey research has come a long way since market researchers conducted face-to-face, postal, or telephone surveys. You can run research through:

  • Social media ( polls and listening )

Another way to collect data is by observation. Observing a customer’s or company’s past or present behavior can predict future purchasing decisions. Data collection techniques for predicting past behavior can include market segmentation , customer journey mapping and brand tracking .

Regardless of how you collect data, the process introduces another essential element to your research project: the importance of clear and constant communication .

And of course, to analyze information from survey or observation techniques, you must record your results . Gone are the days of spreadsheets. Feedback from surveys and listening channels can automatically feed into AI-powered analytics engines and produce results, in real-time, on dashboards.

Step 7: Analysis and interpretation

The words ‘ statistical analysis methods ’ aren’t usually guaranteed to set a room alight with excitement, but when you understand what they can do, the problems they can solve and the insights they can uncover, they seem a whole lot more compelling.

Statistical tests and data processing tools can reveal:

  • Whether data trends you see are meaningful or are just chance results
  • Your results in the context of other information you have
  • Whether one thing affecting your business is more significant than others
  • What your next research area should be
  • Insights that lead to meaningful changes

There are several types of statistical analysis tools used for surveys. You should make sure that the ones you choose:

  • Work on any platform - mobile, desktop, tablet etc.
  • Integrate with your existing systems
  • Are easy to use with user-friendly interfaces, straightforward menus, and automated data analysis
  • Incorporate statistical analysis so you don’t just process and present your data, but refine it, and generate insights and predictions.

Here are some of the most common tools:

  • Benchmarking : a way of taking outside factors into account so that you can adjust the parameters of your research. It ‘levels the playing field’ – so that your data and results are more meaningful in context. And gives you a more precise understanding of what’s happening.
  • Regression analysis : this is used for working out the relationship between two (or more) variables. It is useful for identifying the precise impact of a change in an independent variable.
  • T-test is used for comparing two data groups which have different mean values. For example, do women and men have different mean heights?
  • Analysis of variance (ANOVA) Similar to the T-test, ANOVA is a way of testing the differences between three or more independent groups to see if they’re statistically significant.
  • Cluster analysis : This organizes items into groups, or clusters, based on how closely associated they are.
  • Factor analysis: This is a way of condensing many variables into just a few, so that your research data is less unwieldy to work with.
  • Conjoint analysis : this will help you understand and predict why people make the choices they do. It asks people to make trade-offs when making decisions, just as they do in the real world, then analyzes the results to give the most popular outcome.
  • Crosstab analysis : this is a quantitative market research tool used to analyze ‘categorical data’ - variables that are different and mutually exclusive, such as: ‘men’ and ‘women’, or ‘under 30’ and ‘over 30’.
  • Text analysis and sentiment analysis : Analyzing human language and emotions is a rapidly-developing form of data processing, assigning positive, negative or neutral sentiment to customer messages and feedback.

Stats IQ can perform the most complicated statistical tests at the touch of a button using our online survey software , or data from other sources. Learn more about Stats iQ now .

Step 8: The marketing research results

Your marketing research process culminates in the research results. These should provide all the information the stakeholders and decision-makers need to understand the project.

The results will include:

  • all your information
  • a description of your research process
  • the results
  • conclusions
  • recommended courses of action

They should also be presented in a form, language and graphics that are easy to understand, with a balance between completeness and conciseness, neither leaving important information out or allowing it to get so technical that it overwhelms the readers.

Traditionally, you would prepare two written reports:

  • a technical report , discussing the methods, underlying assumptions and the detailed findings of the research project
  • a summary report , that summarizes the research process and presents the findings and conclusions simply.

There are now more engaging ways to present your findings than the traditional PowerPoint presentations, graphs, and face-to-face reports:

  • Live, interactive dashboards for sharing the most important information, as well as tracking a project in real time.
  • Results-reports visualizations – tables or graphs with data visuals on a shareable slide deck
  • Online presentation technology, such as Prezi
  • Visual storytelling with infographics
  • A single-page executive summary with key insights
  • A single-page stat sheet with the top-line stats

You can also make these results shareable so that decision-makers have all the information at their fingertips.

Step 9 Turn your insights into action

Insights are one thing, but they’re worth very little unless they inform immediate, positive action. Here are a few examples of how you can do this:

  • Stop customers leaving – negative sentiment among VIP customers gets picked up; the customer service team contacts the customers, resolves their issues, and avoids churn .
  • Act on important employee concerns – you can set certain topics, such as safety, or diversity and inclusion to trigger an automated notification or Slack message to HR. They can rapidly act to rectify the issue.
  • Address product issues – maybe deliveries are late, maybe too many products are faulty. When product feedback gets picked up through Smart Conversations, messages can be triggered to the delivery or product teams to jump on the problems immediately.
  • Improve your marketing effectiveness - Understand how your marketing is being received by potential customers, so you can find ways to better meet their needs
  • Grow your brand - Understand exactly what consumers are looking for, so you can make sure that you’re meeting their expectations

Download now: 8 Innovations to Modernize Market Research

Scott Smith

Scott Smith, Ph.D. is a contributor to the Qualtrics blog.

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Market research

Research question: What is it and how do you do it correctly?

Research question


The Research question is the cornerstone of any study, whether it is market research or academic research in any field.

Although it is part of any research process, the aspects that allow it to be carried out correctly are not always known. That's why in this article we've put together everything you need to know when formulating the research question for your next project.

  • 1 What is a research question?
  • 2.1 Quantitative research question
  • 2.2 Qualitative research questions
  • 2.3 Mixed methods questions
  • 3 What is the significance of the research question?
  • 4.1 1. Start with a broad topic
  • 4.2 2. carry out an initial review of the relevant literature
  • 4.3 3. Narrow down your topic and identify possible research questions.
  • 4.4 4. Evaluate the strength of your research question
  • 5.1 PICOT model
  • 5.2 PEO frame
  • 6 Conclusion
  • 7 1:1 Live Online Presentation: QUESTIONPRO MARKET RESEARCH SOFTWARE
  • 8 Try software for market research and experience management now for 10 days free of charge!

What is a research question?

The research question is the central question that a study aims to answer. It is at the heart of systematic research and helps to clearly define the path for the research process.

The research question is usually the first step in the research methodology. It is the main point of the survey and determines the pace of the work.

This question usually refers to a problem or question that is answered by data analysis and interpretation in the conclusion of the study.

In most studies, the question is phrased in a way that highlights the various aspects of a study, including the problem the study is addressing, the population, and the variables being examined.

The research questions are often only determined during the course of the study. Therefore, these questions are dynamic, meaning researchers can change or refine the research question as they review the relevant literature and develop a framework for the study.

While many research projects focus on a single research question, larger studies may use more than one question.

Types of research questions

The type of research question depends on the focus and direction of the study being conducted and can therefore be different:

Quantitative research question

Quantitative research questions aim to understand processes that take place in specific contexts and locations. They generally fall into three types:

  • Descriptive : They aim to obtain information about a variable or several variables in order to assign a size to the variable.
  • Comparative : A comparison is made between two or more groups based on one or more reliable variables.
  • Relational : These questions aim to understand the association, trends and causal relationship between two or more variables.

These questions are precise and typically include the population to be studied, the dependent and independent variables, and the research design to be used. They are usually formulated and defined at the beginning of the study. Check out these examples of quantitative questions for a survey

Qualitative research questions

These questions may cover broad areas of research or more specific areas of study. Like quantitative questions, these questions are also linked to the research design.

Unlike quantitative questions, qualitative research questions tend to be adaptive, non-directive, and more flexible, so studies with these types of questions generally aim to “discover,” “explain,” or “explore.”

Mixed methods questions

Mixed methods research requires a range of quantitative and qualitative questions. Separate research questions are appropriate when mixed studies focus on the importance and differences between quantitative and qualitative methods rather than the integrative factor of the study.

What is the significance of the research question?

The primary reason for asking a research question is that it narrows a broad topic of interest to a specific area of ​​inquiry.

The research questions, along with the hypotheses, serve as a framework that guides the research. These questions also reveal the limitations of a study by establishing its boundaries and ensuring that it is coherent.

Most importantly, the research question has implications for the rest of the study and influences factors such as research methods, sample size, data collection and analysis.

How do you formulate a research question?

Now that you know what a research question is and how important it is, here are the key steps to consider when formulating a research question in a project:

1. Start with a broad topic

A broad topic provides researchers with a number of options to explore in finding a viable research question.

Brainstorming and concept mapping are some techniques that help develop a topic into subtopics and potential research questions.

These techniques help you organize your thoughts so you can identify relevant connections and subtopics within a broad topic.

When researching a topic, it makes sense to choose a subject area that really interests you, because your interest in the topic will affect your motivation during the research.

It is also worth considering the interests that have recently been expressed by the research community, as this may influence the chances of your research being published.

   |   See also: How to formulate a Research problem ?

2. carry out an initial review of the relevant literature

Once you have decided on a topic, you can begin to create a preliminary review of the relevant literature. With this first phase of research you can achieve two goals:

  • You can find out what topics are currently being discussed by scientists and other researchers. In this way, you gain current and relevant knowledge on your topic.
  • You identify gaps or limitations in existing knowledge about your topic. With some degree of fine-tuning, you can later use these gaps as the focus of your research question.

3. Narrow down your topic and identify possible research questions.

Once you have accumulated enough knowledge about the topic you want to work on, you can begin to focus on a more specific area of ​​inquiry.

One option is to focus on gaps in existing knowledge or recent literature. This method involves developing research questions based on limitations identified in the literature that have been neglected in the past.

Similarly, researchers may choose research questions that extend or complement existing literature findings.

4. Evaluate the strength of your research question

The initial research and review of the relevant literature you have undertaken will have revealed some interesting questions that seem worth addressing.

However, are Not all interesting questions are also good research questions . Remember that research questions draw their answers or conclusions through an analysis of the evidence.

When formulating the research question, it is important to first consider relevance. A good strategy for this is to use the acronym FINER:

A good research question is feasible, meaning the question is within the researcher's capabilities. Researchers should be realistic about the scope of their research, as well as their ability to collect data and conduct the research within their skills and available resources.


The ideal research question is interesting not only to the researcher, but also to his colleagues and the community. Novel The research question should be formulated in such a way that it provides new knowledge in the area under study.

The question and the subsequent study should be approved by the examination committees and the relevant authorities.

The research question should be relevant to the scientific community and the people working in your field of study. If possible, the question should also be relevant to the interest of the general public.

Recommendations for the appropriate formulation of a research question

Research questions should be appropriately structured to ensure clarity. There are several frameworks that can be used to correctly formulate a research question, the two most common are:

PICOT model

The PICOT framework allows research questions to be constructed to address important elements of the study, including the population to be studied, the expected results, and the time needed to achieve the result.

P : population, patient or problem. I: Intervention or indicator to be studied. C: Comparison group. O: Result of interest. T: Time frame of the study.

With these elements, the framework is commonly used in clinical research and evidence-based studies.

Example of a question constructed using the PICOT framework

Are children aged 5 to 20 of parents with addiction problems at a higher risk of developing depression or anxiety than children of parents without diagnosed mental health problems?

This question reflects the PICOT framework as follows:

P (population examined): Children I (indicator or intervention) : Parents with addiction problems C (comparison group) : Children of parents without addiction problems. O (result of interest) : Increased risk of depression T (interesting time frame) : Between the ages of 5 and 18

Like the PICOT framework, the PEO framework is also commonly used in clinical trials. However, this study is more suitable for conducting qualitative research questions.

This framework includes the following elements:

P: Population studied. E: Exposure to pre-existing conditions. O : result of interest.

Example of a question constructed using the PEO framework

How does exposure to classical music affect the development of emotional expression in infants and children under 8 years of age?

P (population examined): Infants and children under 8 years old E (exposure to given conditions) : exposure to classical music O (result of interest): Effects on the development of emotional expression

As you can see, the research question is the step you should pay the most attention to when conducting a study, as it will guide you for the rest of your work.

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Types of research | Empirical research | Research topic



Research question | Research  | Question


  • Applied Research: Definition, Types and Examples
  • Research methods: what are they and how to choose them?
  • Types of research and their features
  • What is exploratory research?
  • Mixed methods research: what it is and what types there are
  • Research topic: what is it and how to choose it correctly?
  • Data collection tools: which are the best?
  • Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: How do they work together?

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  • What is a recession? 

Recessions and the business cycle

  • What is a depression? 

Recession vs. depression

  • How recessions affect you 
  • Recession FAQs

What is a recession?

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  • A recession and a depression describe periods during which the economy shrinks, but they differ in severity, duration, and scale.
  • A recession is a decline in economic activity spread across the economy that lasts more than a few months.
  • A depression is a more extreme economic downturn, and there has only been one in US history: The Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 to 1939.

Economic downturns are a lousy time for everyone. You may be worried about losing your job and being able to pay your bills — or you may be alarmed at just how abruptly that little red line that represents your investment portfolio has dropped. It's even worse if that red line represents your 401(k) savings. As a result, it can be helpful to know the signs of a recession, as well as the different ways this term is defined. 

While you've probably heard the terms "recession" and "depression" before, you may not know what they actually mean and what the difference is between the two. Chiefly, a depression is a more severe, long-lasting recession that extends beyond the confines of a single country's border and into the economies of other nations.

To help you better understand the business cycle and prepare for the twists and turns of an economic crisis, here's what you need to know about recessions, depressions, and how they're different. 

What is a recession?  

Defining a recession , technical definition .

The technical definition of a recession is "a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and that lasts more than a few months," according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a nonprofit organization that officially declares U.S. recessions and expansions. 

An economic recession is often defined as a decline of real (meaning inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) for two consecutive quarters — but it's not that simple. Over the course of a business cycle, you might see GDP contract for a period of time, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there's a recession. 

The NBER takes a broader view. The group defines recessions as "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months," with indicators including:

  • Decline in real GDP
  • Decline in real income
  • Rise in unemployment
  • Slowed industrial production and retail sales
  • Lack of consumer spending

The NBER's view of recessions takes a more holistic outlook of the economy, meaning recessions are not necessarily defined by one single factor. But many of these factors are intertwined, meaning a significant drop in something like GDP could rattle consumer spending or unemployment.

In simpler terms 

A recession can be defined as a time during which the economy shrinks, businesses make less money and the unemployment rate goes up. The business cycle is not characterized by neverending increases in GDP. As a result, there are times when this economic yardstick is decreasing, and if it declines for a long enough time, the economy has entered recession. 

These periods of economic decline frequently last about a year, according to figures provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 

During these times, many economic indicators experience notable declines. Investment and production both decline, according to an IMF paper. Consumption also declines, which reduces the overall demand for goods and services created by corporations. 

This, in turn, can reduce profitability and motivate companies to lay off employees in an effort to ensure their bottom line remains healthy. 

It is worth noting that while recessions frequently last about a year, expansions generally last longer , as the economy is usually growing in size, according to the IMF. 

More specifically, the global organization examined 21 advanced economies between 1960 and 2007, revealing that they were in recession roughly 10% of the time, at least according to this sample. 

Causes of recession

Generally speaking, expansion and growth in an economy cannot last forever. A significant decline in economic activity is usually triggered by a complex, interconnected combination of factors, including:

Economic shocks 

An economic shock is an unpredictable event that causes widespread economic disruption, such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. The most recent example of such a shock was the COVID-19 outbreak, which triggered a brief recession. 

Another example of an event that served as a shock to the economy was Hurricane Katrina. One estimate was that this natural disaster caused $200 billion worth of damage, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

High interest rates 

High interest rates make it more expensive for consumers to borrow money. This means that they are less likely to spend, especially on major purchases like houses or cars. Companies will probably reduce their spending and growth plans as well because the cost of financing is too high.

Asset bubbles

During an asset bubble, for example a housing bubble , the prices of investments like tech stocks in the dot-com era or real estate before the Great Recession rise rapidly, far beyond their fundamentals. These high prices are supported only by artificially inflated demand, which is caused by overly optimistic expectations of future asset values. This artificially inflated demand eventually dissipates, and the bubble bursts. At this point, people lose money and confidence collapses. Both consumers and businesses cut down on spending and the economy goes into recession. 

Loss of confidence

The sentiment of consumers has a substantial impact on the economy. Consumer spending accounts for close to 70% of U.S. GDP, so when these individuals tighten up their purse strings, it can tip the economy into recession. Even if this change in mindset is not enough to trigger a recession, a drop in consumer demand gives companies less incentive to produce goods and services, which can in turn motivate them to lay off employees in order to maintain profitability.

It is worth noting that the confidence of business executives, as well as other key decision makers in corporations, has a substantial impact on the health of the economy. If these decision makers become less confident, then they could cut budgets, laying off workers and potentially reducing expenditure on capital equipment in an effort to bolster profitability. 

To understand the macroeconomic variables that constitute recessions, Giacomo Santalego , PhD, a senior lecturer of economics at Fordham University, says it's important to acknowledge the relationship between recessions and the business cycle.

A business cycle tracks the up-and-down fluctuations natural to any capitalistic economies. Because the cycle traces the wide-ranging upward and downward comovements of economic indicators, it is often a focal point for monetary and fiscal policy as governments attempt to curtail the effects of these peaks and valleys.

Business cycles are understood as having four distinct phases:

  • Expansion: This phase represents a period of economic growth, also considered the "normal" phase of the business cycle. It is often characterized by an increase in employment and a swelling of consumer spending and demand, which leads to an increase in the production and cost of goods and services.
  • Peak: The highest point of a business cycle that signifies when an economy has reached its crest of output. Here, there's nowhere to go but down, sending the economy into a contraction phase. This can happen for any number of reasons, either investors get too speculative and create an asset bubble or industrial production starts outpacing demand. This is commonly seen as the turning point into the contraction phase.
  • Contraction: A period that is marked by a decline in economic activity often identified by a rise in unemployment as well as a bear market . Additionally, GDP growth falls under 2%. As growth contracts, the economy enters a recession. 
  • Trough: A peak is to an expansion what a trough is to a contraction. A trough marks the bottom of a business cycle's economic activity and marks the start of a new wave of expansion and a new business cycle. This is a turning point that's followed by a new wave of expansion. 

It's important to note that business cycles do not occur at predictable intervals. Instead, they are irregular in length, and their severity is reflected by the economic variables of the time. That said, the average post-World War II business cycle lasted 65 months, according to the Congressional Research Service . 

What is a depression? 

An economic depression is typically understood as an extreme downturn in economic activity lasting several years, but the exact definition and specifications of a depression are less clear. 

"The way people think about it is a depression is a more widespread and severe recession," says Laura Ullrich, senior regional economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, says, "but there is no clear-cut moment where we can say 'we hit X unemployment rate or Y GDP growth — we're now officially in a depression.'"

The NBER notes that economists differ on the period of time that designates a depression. Some experts believe a depression lasts only when economic activity is declining, while the more common understanding is that a depression extends until economic activity has returned to close to normal levels. 

A depression is a more severe recession. However, it's a little tricky to concretely, quantifiably describe the difference between a recession and a depression, mainly because there's only been one. 

Because economists do not have a set definition for what constitutes a depression, the general public sometimes uses it interchangeably with the term recession. However, the difference makes itself evident when you compare the Great Recession to the Great Depression. 

Generally speaking, a depression spans years, rather than months, and typically sees higher rates of unemployment and a sharper decline in GDP. And while a recession is often limited to a single country, a depression is usually severe enough to have global impacts.

How recessions affect you 

Job losses .

One major consequence of economic downturns is job losses. When the economy starts to contract, revenues decline, which gives companies substantial incentive to lay off employees in order to turn a profit. A perfect example of how a downturn can cause employers to eliminate jobs is the recession that coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. The global pandemic began in early 2020, and during March, April and May of that year, the nation's employers shed 1.5 million jobs, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, economic downturns result in reduced tax revenue, which can prompt governments to lay off workers. Many state governments, in particular, need to balance their budgets each year, which can cause them to slash jobs. 

Reduced income 

Economic downturns can lower the income of residents by eliminating jobs and lowering wages. In addition, companies reduce investment in capital equipment during recessions, which lowers productivity. This can, in turn, adversely impact wages. Lowered incomes can have significant impacts on the economy in the long-term, for example undermining nutrition and making it more difficult for people to pursue college education. Both of these adverse effects can impact productivity in the long-run. 

Difficulty finding work 

One very noticeable impact of an economic downturn is a tighter labor market. When the economy goes into recession, many jobs will get eliminated, both in the public and private sectors. This can increase the number of applicants for every available position, resulting in a highly competitive labor market. This increased competition for jobs can undermine the power that employees have to demand adequate compensation, which can in turn place downward pressure on salaries and wages. 

Declining investments 

One common challenge that investors encounter during economic downturns is the impact that falling asset values can have on their net worth. When the economy goes into recession, the value of assets held by everyday investors, for example stocks and real estate, can decline substantially. This can undermine the value of their retirement accounts and also wealth they hold outside of these accounts, for example in brokerage accounts. When investors feel less wealthy, it can make them less likely to spend, something referred to as the wealth effect . This can in turn contribute to further economic contraction. 

Recession FAQs 

The length of a recession varies, from a matter of months to multiple years. According to IMF research cited in this piece, recessions typically last a year. 

Economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) officially declare US recessions. 

Yes, you can prepare for a recession by paying off debt, building up savings and also creating a diversified investment portfolio. 

Governments may respond to recessions by cutting taxes or spearheading other forms of economic stimulus in order to fuel expansion. 

Yes, there are different types of recessions, which can vary in terms of length and intensity. A depression, for example, is a severe recession. 

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20 Market Research Questions To Ask In Your Customer Survey

Market Research Questions

The primary reason you conduct any customer survey with market research questions is to make effective decisions that grow your business by selling more to both existing customers, as well as by acquiring new customers by increasing the effectiveness of your product/service to suit their needs better. But when you take even a closer look, we’re making these decisions because the main objective is to become the obvious choice for that ideal customer. For that to happen and to reach market research goals, you need to ask:

What are Market Research Questions?

Market research questions is a questionnaire that is answered by customers or potential consumers, to understand their perception and opinion on a given subject, typically pertaining to product or service feasibility, understanding consumer needs and interests, and pricing concepts.

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For example: A customer survey on market research of an existing product line that focuses on the usefulness of specific features in a product line. Based on the feedback received from this survey, a business can now decide which features to invest and enhance/improve, and which features to relatively defocus/discontinue. This market research , therefore, enables a business to efficiently allocate resources based on real, data-oriented insights from their own customers.

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A similar set of market research questions can also be sent to potential consumers of a product, to understand market absorption capability.

LEARN ABOUT: Consumer Surveys

What Market Research Questions should I ask in my Customer Survey?

  • Who is our ideal customer? These are typically demographic market research questions such as gender survey questions , education level, income level or location.  You can expand these questions to find out your customer’s occupation or if your ideal customer is a parent, pet owner. Don’t skimp on demographics or psychographics .  If anything, get really creative with them. You might consider conducting a survey with nothing but profiling questions that include where your customers shop, or where they prefer to eat. It’s critical to know as much as possible about your ideal customer so that you can begin focusing your marketing decisions around their preferences.
  • What do they struggle with? Another root set of data that market researchers are searching for within their ideal customer is “what they struggle with.”  What are the 5 to 7 frustrations that they are dealing with when it comes to interacting with our product or service? Suppose you are a golf accessories company and you ask your ideal customer what frustrates them about their golfing experience. In that case, you might get responses such as “expensive golf clubs getting wet during a rainstorm.”  If you get enough of those responses, you may consider developing a golf accessory that protects golf clubs in the rain.
  • What does your ideal customer really WANT? No matter how you phrase the market research questions (and there are countless creative formats) all we really want to know is what our customer will actually purchase as a solution.  What is it that they WANT? Of course, they’re NOT going to say that they want something that doesn’t exist yet — in the 1960’s the average person would NOT have known that they wanted a microwave. They wanted hot food fast. One good way to get at these wants is to give your respondents some examples of product offerings and combinations and see how they rate them.
  • What sets you apart from your competition? Competitive analysis and bench-marking are critical if you want to increase the profitability of your product and build your brand. An effective way to measure or identify differentiators or competitive advantage is to ask Customer Satisfaction questions . The key to asking these market research questions is getting the attributes right.  For example “How important is it that your tires have a run-flat safety feature?” instead of asking “How important is it that your car has tires.”For example, A survey can be conducted by either Apple or Samsung to find out how satisfied are the customers with their products and what are the other features that the consumer prefers from the competitive brand. Using such data a company can incorporate features based on the demand and can also benchmark their features that the customers prefer. A Apple vs Samsung Survey Questions template can help to achieve the data required to compare their products with the competition and strategize accordingly .
  • What benefits do your customers perceive? Because we all choose and purchase based on emotion — it’s important to understand specifically what emotional benefits our customers receive from our products and services. The more we connect with our customers on an emotional level and provide that benefit — the more likely they are to choose us. This is an ideal place to use matrix questions that rate the degree to which customers agree or disagree with a variety of “benefit” statements.  Here is an example “I can count on Service X to pull me out of a bind.”
  • Who is currently buying from us? A very important research metric to track is the “who” is currently buying a product or a service from you. Deriving a pattern from the current purchasing population, helps you target and market to a similar potential demographic. This also is an ideal place to use demographic questions extensively but it also helps if other factors like geographical metrics are tracked. You don’t want to be ignoring your existing customer base and also be smart and agile in attracting new business to your brand.
  • Why are other people not buying from us? While it is imperative to know who is your potential customer or map your existing customer base, you need to find out who is not buying from you. This information is essential to understand if there are shortcomings in a product or service and at what milestone customers drop out of the purchasing process . This also helps to identify the way your business is conducted, if additional training is required to make a sale or if your product or service lacks in quality. Understanding why people are not buying from you also helps monitor if there is something fundamentally wrong with what you are offering to the masses.
  • Who can buy from us in the future? It is a known fact that is about 10x more expensive to create a new customer rather than to maintain the one you currently have. That, however, is no reason not to aim for new business. It is therefore important to have a clear picture of your potential future business. Targeting potential customers, is a mix of customer demographics that have purchased from you in the past and a mix of demographics you advertise and market to. It is therefore important to have a well-rounded product or solution. For example, since your barbecue sauces and rubs are famous and widely used in the midwest does not mean they cannot be bought in the southern states.
  • Why do people buy from you? What value or need does it fulfill? Customers only buy from you because of a perceived value . This value is either what you depict to potential customers or repeat customers have been privy to the value of your product or service. Customers also make a purchase because of the trust they have either in the product or service or the brand or sometimes even certain individuals. It is therefore important that you understand the value of your brand and stick to the morals and ethics of delivering high quality to ensure that the perceived and actual brand quotient is very high. The other reason why customers purchase from you is if their need is fulfilled by what you have on offer. This could either be a direct or an indirect need.
  • What would make you a perfect brand? No brand can be perfect! But you can surely be close to perfect. What this means is everything about your product or service is easy to use, intuitive, is value for money, scalable and ancillary support is impeccable. All of this is obviously immaterial if the product does not solve a real problem or make life easier for the customer. Having a very high customer oriented focus gives your brand a positive ring and becomes increasingly the go-to brand. You can use a simple Net Promoter Score question to understand how referrable is your brand and who are the promoters and detractors of your brand.
  • What single aspect about your brand makes it stand out and makes clients trust you? People buy from you or transact with you mostly when there is a high trust factor. Very rarely is the purchasing decision purely based on need or ease of access. To identify and build on that one factor that makes you a preferred buying choice over your competitors is very important. You can map preferred aspects of your brand to age, sex, geographical location , financial limitations etc. because each of those factors can appeal to your brand differently. It is important that you identify and fortify those aspects of your business. Your brand can also be preferred because of other factors like personnel, customer service , ethos and perception amongst peers, consumers and the society alike. Abercrombie & Fitch was a respected brand but lost a lot of market share and goodwill due to CEO’s words in one isolated incident. It takes lots of work and time to build trust but takes none to lose all of it!
  • What is the best way to communicate with the kind of people you are trying to reach out to? What’s caused the downfall for a lot of brands is the inability to reach out to target customers despite their product or service being impeccable. Not knowing how to reach your target audience or potential customer makes all your hardwork go down the drain. For example, if a new life saving drug is making its way to the market, but medical professionals and doctors don’t know about it or how to administer it and its benefits, about 20 years of work goes down the drain. You need to identify the right channels and avenues to reach out to the people that will consume your product or service.
  • What do customers make of your product and/or service line? There are a few brands that have one product or service and that rakes in the customers and money for them because of the nature of the product or service. But most brands aren’t this way! They would need to branch out into multiple products or services or very often, a mix of both. It is, therefore important to understand the value of your products and/or services. It is imperative to know if they solve a problem a customer has or make life easier for the customer or any other such reason. This helps in consolidating the customer base.
  • What improvements could be made to your products or services to have a wider reach? A product or a service has never achieved the maximum number of customers it can get. There always is someone who could use your product or service; maybe not in the form that it currently is but there is scope to scale. This makes it so much more important to collect periodic feedback on what additions your current customer base would like to see in your brand and what can bring in new customers from your competitors. Chipping away at deadwood features and making increased usability tweaks increases the adoption and use of your product and service. For example, a retail store wants to promote the use of its self-service checkout systems. However, a lot of customers still are not opting for the system. There can be many reasons to why the customer is choosing not to use the system, like complex operation, no readability, or even slow speed of the system. To understand the reason, a Usability survey for self-service checkouts can be conducted. This will enable the store to gather first-hand information from the customers and make improvements in the system accordingly.

Learn More: User Interface Survey Template

  • What is the right price to charge? Pricing a product or service is one of the most important aspects of your business. Pricing right can decide the revenue, brand perception, profitability and adoption of the product or service. Pricing too slow has a negative connotation and may increase in bringing in lower revenue. Pricing high gives the feeling of being elite and then the profitability and revenue hinge on the factors of per unit adoption rather than a very high adoption. Pricing just right is a myth – what someone finds cheap, someone else could find expensive. Where someone finds your product or service value for money, others may find it exorbitant. Hence, it is important to collect extensive feedback from your existing and potential customers about what they think is an ideal price to play. It is also important to conduct due diligence on competitors to map how they price versus the service and product features they provide. These factors will help you come close to an “ideal price” to charge.
  • What is the vision for the brand? A vision for a brand dictates the level the brand aspires to be and wants to scale up to be. Apple is now a preferred phone because the vision was to be an experience, not a device. The device is the means to ensuring that vision. They wanted to make the ecosystem so robust that any device you use, that familiarity and ease of use is standardized but also stonewall easy. Despite being expensive and facing ridicule during early days due to the ecosystem being different, they are now a one trillion behemoth, more than the GDP of some countries, due to having a vision for the brand.
  • What is the way to ensure you reach that vision? A vision is easy to have but tough to follow through on. This is because your vision may see many roadblocks and may not be the current flavor of the market, but it is the right thing to stick with it. Innovate in your product and service lines by taking into consideration what your customers want and need and items they themselves don’t know that they need. Despite enduring hardships, if you stick to your vision, it is easier to use that as a launchpad for being an immaculate and preferred brand.
  • What should the brand branch out into to avoid stagnation or imitation? While launching a product or service, it’s essential to understand where your competitors stand on the same product type or service line. How soon can they catch up to you and imitate your service or product? On the other hand, stagnation brings the ultimate demise of a brand, product, or service line. With little innovation and competitors saturating the market by imitating your product or service line, you’ll soon see your customer base dwindle. To ensure your customers don’t drop out, the key question to ask is, “What next?”. The best way to innovate or bundle your product or service is to understand what your customers struggle with and what value they are looking for. For example, Sony is known for its PlayStations, but competitors like Xbox don’t take long to catch up to their new products. How Sony does manage to stay ahead of the market is by constantly branching into new products and services.
  • What bundled service or product you can offer in conjunction with yours? Good partnerships are hard to come by, strategic ones are even harder. This question tackles two of your problems, how to offer  something new to your customers and how to reduce competitors in market. Your bundled service or product though has to make sense to the use, should complement your brand and cannot be an operational and logistical nightmare for your brand which then makes it counter-productive. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram to consolidate on social images and short content rich video, is a strategic initiative to increase customer base as well as reduce competition at the same time. The key to building strong brand partnerships is to ensure your vision and product values align. Summing up, offering a bundled service or product in partnership will not only retain the existing customer base but also attract and increase new customers.

No matter why you are conducting a survey, you’ll find these 20 research questions at the core of “WHY” you want to know. Remember, your respondents will read or spend time with absolutely ANYTHING as long as they are at the center.  Be sure to keep these 20 questions in mind when creating your survey and everyone involved will save time, aggravation and money. You can use single ease questions . A single-ease question is a straightforward query that elicits a concise and uncomplicated response.

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Who is Hispanic?

Beauty pageant contestants at the Junta Hispana Hispanic cultural festival in Miami.

Debates over who is Hispanic and who is not have often fueled conversations about identity among Americans who trace their heritage to Latin America or Spain . Recently, results from the 2020 census have drawn attention to how Hispanic identity is defined and measured in the United States.

A line chart showing that the U.S. Hispanic population reached nearly 64 million in 2022.

The once-a-decade head count of all people living in the U.S. used a different approach from previous censuses to measure racial identity, which has provided new insight into how Hispanics view their racial identity. At the same time, the federal government has proposed a change to how race and ethnicity are measured in government surveys like the decennial census, bringing even more attention and debate.

So, who is considered Hispanic in the U.S. today? How exactly do the federal government and others count the Hispanic population? What role does race play in deciding who counts as Hispanic? And how do surveys incorporate various terms people use to describe their Hispanic identity, such as Latina or Latinx?

We’ll answer these common questions and others here.

To answer the question of who is Hispanic, this analysis draws on five decades of U.S. Census Bureau data and two decades of Pew Research Center surveys of Hispanic adults in the United States.

National counts of the Latino population come from the Census Bureau’s decennial census (this includes PL94-171 census data ) and official population estimates . The bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) provides demographic details such as race, country of origin and intermarriage rates. Some ACS data was accessed through Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) from the University of Minnesota.

Views of Hispanic identity draw on the Center’s National Survey of Latinos (NSL), which is fielded in English and Spanish. Hispanics have taken the survey online since 2019, primarily through the American Trends Panel (ATP), which is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. Hispanic adult population by gender, Hispanic origin, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology . The NSL was conducted by phone from 2002 to 2018.

Read further details on how the Census Bureau asked about race and ethnicity and coded responses in the 2020 census. Here is a full list of origin groups that were coded as Hispanic in the 2020 census.

How many Hispanics are in the U.S. today?

The Census Bureau estimates there were roughly 63.7 million Hispanics in the U.S. as of 2022, a new high. They made up 19% of the nation’s population .

Behind the official Census Bureau number, however, lies a long history of changing labels, shifting categories and revised question wording on census forms . That history reflects evolving cultural norms about what it means to be Hispanic or Latino in the U.S. today.

How are Hispanics counted in government surveys, public opinion polls and other studies?

Before diving into the details, keep in mind that some surveys ask about Hispanic origin and race separately, following current Census Bureau practices:

A screenshot from the 2020 Census showing how the U.S. Census Bureau determines who is Hispanic.

One way to count Hispanics is to include those who say they are Hispanic, with no exceptions – this is, you are Hispanic if you say you are. Pew Research Center uses this approach in our surveys, as do other polling firms such as Gallup and voter exit polls.

The Census Bureau largely counts Hispanics this way, too, but with some exceptions. If respondents select only the “Other Hispanic” category and write in only non-Hispanic responses such as “Irish,” the Census Bureau recodes the response as non-Hispanic.

However, beginning in 2020, it widened the lens to include a relatively small number of people who did not check a Hispanic box on the census form but answered the race question in a way that implied a Hispanic background. As a result, someone who wrote that their race is “Mexican” or “Argentinean” in the race question was counted as Hispanic, even if they did not check the Hispanic box.

From the available data, the exact number of respondents affected by this change is difficult to determine, but it appears to be about 1% of Hispanics or fewer.

How did Hispanics identify their race in the 2020 census?

In the eyes of the Census Bureau, Hispanics can be of any race, because “Hispanic” is an ethnicity and not a race. However, this distinction is subject to debate . A 2015 Center survey found that 17% of Hispanic adults said being Hispanic is mainly a matter of race, while 29% said it is mainly a matter of ancestry. Another 42% said it is mainly a matter of culture.

A bar chart showing that most Hispanics do not identify their race only as White, Black or Asian.

Nonetheless, the Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey (ACS) provides the self-reported racial identity of Hispanics. For example, 22.1 million single-race Hispanics identified only as “some other race,” a group that mostly includes those who wrote in a Hispanic origin or nationality as their race. The next largest single-race group among Hispanics was White (10.2 million), followed by American Indian (1.4 million), Black (900,000) and Asian (300,000).

In addition, about 27.6 million Hispanics identified as more than one race in 2021, up from just 3 million in 2010. The sharp increase in multiracial Hispanics could be due to several factors, including changes to the census form that added space for written responses to the race question and growing racial diversity among Hispanics. The former explanation is supported by the fact that more than 25 million of the Hispanics who identified as two or more races in 2021 were coded as “some other race” (and wrote in a response) and one of the specific races (such as Black or White).

Growth in multiracial Hispanics comes primarily from those who identify as White and “some other race.” That population grew from 1.6 million to 23.7 million between 2010 and 2021. The number of Hispanics who identify as White and no other race declined from 26.7 million to 10.2 million.

Is there an official definition of Hispanic or Latino?

In 1976, the U.S. Congress passed a law that required the government to collect and analyze data for a specific ethnic group: “Americans of Spanish origin or descent.” That legislation defined this group as “Americans who identify themselves as being of Spanish-speaking background and trace their origin or descent from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central and South America, and other Spanish-speaking countries.” This includes 20 Spanish-speaking nations from Latin America and Spain itself, but not Portugal or Portuguese-speaking Brazil.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) developed standards for collecting data on Hispanics in 1977 and revised them in 1997 . Schools, public health facilities and other government entities and agencies use these standards to track how many Hispanics they serve – the primary goal of the 1976 law.

In 2023, an OMB working group sought public feedback on a proposal to combine the race and ethnicity questions asked in federal surveys, including the decennial census. The proposal would add checkboxes for “Hispanic or Latino” and “Middle Eastern or North African.” Officials hope the changes will reduce the number of Americans who choose the “Some other race” category, especially among Hispanics .

The review of the proposal is scheduled to be completed by summer 2024 . Approved changes would be implemented in the 2030 census and other Census Bureau surveys. However, it’s worth noting that public feedback has included concerns that combining the race and ethnicity questions could lead to an undercount of the nation’s Afro-Latino population .

What’s the difference between Hispanic and Latino?

“Hispanic” and “Latino” are pan-ethnic terms meant to describe – and summarize – the population of people of that ethnic background living in the U.S. In practice, the Census Bureau often uses the term “Hispanic” or “Hispanic or Latino.” We use the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” interchangeably for this population in our work.

A bar chart that shows Hispanics describe their identity in different ways.

Some people have drawn sharp distinctions between these two terms . For example, some say that Hispanics are from Spain or from Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, which matches the federal definition, and Latinos are people from Latin America regardless of language. In this definition, Latinos would include people from Brazil (where Portuguese is the official language) but not Spain or Portugal.

Despite this debate, the Hispanic and Latino labels are not universally embraced by the population that has been labeled, even as they are widely used. Our own surveys show a preference for other terms to describe identity. A 2019 survey found that 47% of Hispanics most often described themselves by their family’s country of origin, while 39% used the terms Latino or Hispanic and 14% most often described themselves as American.

Another Center survey in 2022 found that 53% of Hispanics prefer to describe themselves as “Hispanic,” 26% prefer “Latino,” 2% prefer “Latinx” and 18% have no preference.

Who uses ‘Latinx’?

Latinx is a pan-ethnic identity term that has emerged in recent years as an alternative to Hispanic and Latino. Some news and entertainment outlets, corporations, local governments and universities use it to describe the nation’s Hispanic population. Yet the use of Latinx is not common practice, and there is debate about its appropriateness in a gendered language like Spanish. Some critics say it ignores the gendered forms of Spanish language, while others see Latinx as a gender- and LGBTQ-inclusive term . Adding to this debate, some lawmakers have gone as far as introducing legislation to ban use of the term in government communication .

A pie chart that shows most Latino adults have not heard of the term Latinx, and few use it.

The term is not well known among the population it is meant to describe. In a 2019 Center survey , only 23% of U.S. adults who self-identified as Hispanic or Latino had heard of the term, and just 3% said they use it to describe themselves.

However, awareness and use of the term varied across subgroups of Hispanics. For example, 42% of those ages 18 to 29 said they had heard of the term, compared with 7% of those 65 and older. And among the youngest Hispanic adults, women were much more likely than men to say they use the term (14% vs. 1%).

The emergence of Latinx coincides with a global movement to introduce gender-neutral nouns and pronouns into many languages that have traditionally used male or female constructions. In the U.S., Latinx first appeared more than a decade ago, and it was added to a widely used English dictionary in 2018. Another gender-neutral pan-ethnic label, Latine , has also emerged and is largely used in Spanish.

How do factors like language, last name and parental background impact whether someone is considered Hispanic?

Many U.S. Hispanics have an inclusive view of what it means to be Hispanic. In a 2015 Center survey , 71% of Hispanic adults said speaking Spanish is not required to be considered Hispanic, and 84% said having a Spanish last name is not required. However, in a 2019 survey , 32% of Hispanic adults said having two Hispanic parents is an essential part of what being Hispanic means to them.

A chart showing that, In 2021, 3 in 10 Hispanic newlyweds married someone who is not Hispanic.

Views of Hispanic identity may change in the coming decades as broad societal changes, such as rising intermarriage rates, produce an increasingly diverse and multiracial U.S. population .

In 2021, 30% of Hispanic newlyweds married someone who is not Hispanic. The Hispanic intermarriage rate is similar to the rate for Asians (32%) but higher than the rate for Black (21%) and White (14%) newlyweds. Among Hispanic newlyweds, 40% of those born in the U.S. married someone who is not Hispanic, compared with 12% of immigrant newlyweds, according to an analysis of ACS data.

Among all married Hispanics in 2021, 21% had a spouse who is not Hispanic.

Our 2015 survey found that 15% of U.S. Hispanic adults had at least one parent who is not Hispanic. This share rose to 29% among the U.S. born and 48% among the third or higher generation – those born in the U.S. to parents who were also U.S. born.

What role does skin color play in whether someone is Hispanic?

As with race, Latinos can have many different skin tones. A 2021 survey of Latino adults showed respondents a palette of 10 skin colors and asked them to choose which one most closely resembled their own.

Latinos reported having a variety of skin tones, reflecting the diversity within the group. Eight-in-ten Latinos selected one of the four lightest skin colors, and the second-lightest was most common (28%), followed by the third- (21%) and fourth-lightest colors (17%). By contrast, only 3% selected one of the four darkest skin colors.

A majority of Latino adults (57%) say skin color shapes their daily life experiences at least somewhat. Similar shares also say having a darker skin color hurts Latinos’ ability to get ahead in the U.S. (62%) and having a lighter skin color helps Latinos get ahead (59%).

Are Afro-Latinos Hispanic?

A bar chart showing that Afro-Latinos are about 2% of the U.S. adult population and 12% of Latino adults, but almost one-in-seven do not identify as Hispanic or Latino.

Afro-Latino identity is distinct from and can exist alongside a person’s Hispanic identity. Afro-Latinos’ life experiences are shaped by race, skin tone and other factors in ways that differ from other Hispanics. While most Afro-Latinos identify as Hispanic or Latino, not all do, according to our estimates based on a survey of U.S. adults conducted in 2019 and 2020.

In 2020, about 6 million Afro-Latino adults lived in the U.S., making up about 2% of the U.S. adult population and 12% of the adult Latino population. About one-in-seven Afro-Latinos – an estimated 800,000 adults – do not identify as Hispanic.

Does country of origin or ancestry affect whether someone is Hispanic?

Similar to race and skin color, Hispanics can be of any country of origin or ancestry. However, people from certain countries may be more likely to identify as Hispanic on census forms. For example, in a Center analysis of the 2021 ACS, nearly all immigrants from several Latin American and Caribbean countries called themselves Hispanic. That included nearly 100% of those from Mexico, Cuba and El Salvador among many others; 97% of those from Venezuela; 94% from Chile; 93% from Spain; 92% from Argentina; and 88% from Panama.

Are Brazilians, Portuguese, Belizeans and Filipinos considered Hispanic?

A chart showing the estimated population of several origin groups in the U.S. increased in 2020 due to a coding error.

Officially, Brazilians are not considered Hispanic or Latino because the federal government’s definition – last revised in 1997 – applies only to those of “Spanish culture or origin.” In most cases, people who report their Hispanic or Latino ethnicity as Brazilian in Census Bureau surveys are later recategorized – or “back coded” – as not Hispanic or Latino . The same is true for people with origins in Belize, the Philippines and Portugal.

However, an error in how the Census Bureau processed data from a 2020 national survey omitted some of the coding and provides a rare window into how Brazilians living in the U.S. view their identity.

In 2020, at least 416,000 Brazilians — more than two-thirds of Brazilians in the U.S. — described themselves as Hispanic or Latino on the ACS and were mistakenly counted that way. Only 14,000 Brazilians were counted as Hispanic in 2019, and 16,000 were in 2021.

In addition, 30,000 more people with Filipino origin were counted as Hispanic or Latino in 2020 than in 2021. The number with origins in non-Hispanic Caribbean countries – including Haiti, Jamaica, Guyana and the Virgin Islands – was 28,000 higher. The number from Belize was almost 12,000 higher than in 2021, but the number with Portuguese origin was similar to other recent years.

The increase in the Hispanic population among Brazilians in 2020 was far higher than for the other groups because 70% of Brazilians considered themselves to be Hispanic or Latino – compared with 41% of Belizeans, 3% of Filipinos and 3% of those of non-Hispanic Caribbean origin.

How many people with Hispanic ancestry do not identify as Hispanic?

define question market research

Of the 42.7 million adults with Hispanic ancestry living in the U.S. in 2015, an estimated 5 million people, or 11%, said they do not identify as Hispanic or Latino , according to a Center survey. These people aren’t counted as Hispanic in our surveys.

Notably, Hispanic self-identification varies across immigrant generations. Among immigrants from Latin America, nearly all identify as Hispanic. But by the fourth generation, only half of people with Hispanic heritage in the U.S. identify as Hispanic.

How has the Census Bureau changed the way it counts Hispanics over time?

The Census Bureau first asked everybody in the country about Hispanic ethnicity in 1980, but it made some efforts before then to count people who today would be considered Hispanic. In the 1930 census, for example, the race question had a category for “Mexican.”

The first major attempt to estimate the size of the nation’s Hispanic population came in 1970 and prompted widespread concerns among Hispanic organizations about an undercount. A portion of the U.S. population (5%) was asked if their origin or descent was from the following categories: “Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, Other Spanish” or “No, none of these.”

This approach indeed undercounted about 1 million Hispanics. Many second-generation Hispanics did not select one of the Hispanic groups because the question did not include terms like “Mexican American.” The question wording also resulted in hundreds of thousands of people living in the Southern or Central regions of the U.S. being mistakenly included in the “Central or South American” category.

By 1980, the current approach – in which someone is asked if they are Hispanic – had taken hold, with some changes to the question and response categories since then. In 2000, for example, the term “Latino” was added to make the question read, “Is this person Spanish/Hispanic/Latino?”

Note: This post was originally published on May 28, 2009, by Jeffrey S. Passel and Paul Taylor, former vice president of Pew Research Center. It has been updated a number of times since then.

  • Hispanic/Latino Identity
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Key facts about U.S. Latinos for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Latinos’ views of and experiences with the spanish language, 11 facts about hispanic origin groups in the u.s., how a coding error provided a rare glimpse into latino identity among brazilians in the u.s., about 6 million u.s. adults identify as afro-latino, most popular.

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6 Common Leadership Styles — and How to Decide Which to Use When

  • Rebecca Knight

define question market research

Being a great leader means recognizing that different circumstances call for different approaches.

Research suggests that the most effective leaders adapt their style to different circumstances — be it a change in setting, a shift in organizational dynamics, or a turn in the business cycle. But what if you feel like you’re not equipped to take on a new and different leadership style — let alone more than one? In this article, the author outlines the six leadership styles Daniel Goleman first introduced in his 2000 HBR article, “Leadership That Gets Results,” and explains when to use each one. The good news is that personality is not destiny. Even if you’re naturally introverted or you tend to be driven by data and analysis rather than emotion, you can still learn how to adapt different leadership styles to organize, motivate, and direct your team.

Much has been written about common leadership styles and how to identify the right style for you, whether it’s transactional or transformational, bureaucratic or laissez-faire. But according to Daniel Goleman, a psychologist best known for his work on emotional intelligence, “Being a great leader means recognizing that different circumstances may call for different approaches.”

define question market research

  • RK Rebecca Knight is a journalist who writes about all things related to the changing nature of careers and the workplace. Her essays and reported stories have been featured in The Boston Globe, Business Insider, The New York Times, BBC, and The Christian Science Monitor. She was shortlisted as a Reuters Institute Fellow at Oxford University in 2023. Earlier in her career, she spent a decade as an editor and reporter at the Financial Times in New York, London, and Boston.

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    Survey questions for market research are designed to collect information about a target market or audience. They can be used to gather data about consumer preferences, opinions, and behavior. Some common types of market research survey questions include demographic questions, behavioral questions and attitudinal questions. 2.

  7. Market Research: What It Is and How to Do It

    Market research is a process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information about a given market. It takes into account geographic, demographic, and psychographic data about past, current, and potential customers, as well as competitive analysis to evaluate the viability of a product offer. In other words, it's the process of ...

  8. How to Do Market Research, Types, and Example

    Market research is the process of assessing the viability of a new good or service through research conducted directly with the consumer which allows a company to ...

  9. How to Do Market Research: The Complete Guide

    Monitor and adapt. Now that you have gained insights into the various market research methods at your disposal, let's delve into the practical aspects of how to conduct market research effectively. Here's a quick step-by-step overview, from defining objectives to monitoring market shifts. 1. Set clear objectives.

  10. 80 Market Research Questions for More Valuable Insights (+tips)

    There are different types of market research, with 85% of researchers regularly using online surveys as their go-to tool, allowing them to reach broad target audiences in a cost-effective way.. Online surveys can break down geographical barriers and uncover profound customer insights, but only if you come up with the right market research questions.

  11. Quantitative Market Research: The Complete Guide

    Quantitative Market Research is a technique to ask questions to the target audience in an organized manner using surveys, polls or questionnaires. Received responses can be analyzed to make well-thought decisions for improving products and services, that will in turn help increase respondent satisfaction levels.

  12. Introduction to Market Research

    Abstract. Market research is key to understanding markets and requires the systematic gathering and interpreting of information about individuals and organizations. This will give you an essential understanding of your customers' needs, a head start on your competitors, allow you to spot potential problems, and future growth.

  13. Market Research: A How-To Guide and Template

    Download HubSpot's free, editable market research report template here. 1. Five Forces Analysis Template. Use Porter's Five Forces Model to understand an industry by analyzing five different criteria and how high the power, threat, or rivalry in each area is — here are the five criteria: Competitive rivalry.

  14. Market Research Questions (With Definition and Examples)

    Market research questions are those that companies and businesses ask to help them better understand the market they're operating in and their customers within this market. Companies conduct market research to gather information about market needs and preferences. These studies can help companies understand their customers, particularly how ...

  15. 33 Best Market Research Question Examples

    This question would provide insights into the purchasing power of your target market. Read: Research Questions: Definition, Types, +[Examples] Market Research Questionnaire Examples for Customer. To better under your customers' perceptions of your product, you can create and administer a market research questionnaire.

  16. How To Do Market Research: Definition, Types, Methods

    Step 4: Conduct the market research. With a system in place, you can start looking for candidates to contribute to your market research. This might include distributing surveys to current customers or recruiting participants who fit a specific profile, for example. Set a time frame for conducting your research.

  17. 50+ Must-ask questions for your market research surveys

    Market research is an essential part of finding answers to your questions. For this reason, market research surveys have a big importance. So, market study survey questions, too.These types of questions help you get essential data about the target audience, conduct competitive analysis, get new ones, or protect existing customers.. We have gathered the most essential data to help you gather ...

  18. Marketing Research Process: Complete Guide

    Integrate with 100+ apps and plug-ins to get more done. SurveyMonkey Forms. Build and customize online forms to collect info and payments. SurveyMonkey Genius. Create better surveys and spot insights quickly with built-in AI. Market Research Solutions. Purpose-built solutions for all of your market research needs. INDUSTRIES.

  19. 9 Key Stages in the Marketing Research Process

    The marketing research process - an overview. A typical marketing research process is as follows: Identify an issue, discuss alternatives and set out research objectives. Develop a research program. Choose a sample. Gather information. Gather data. Organize and analyze information and data. Present findings.

  20. Research question: What is it and formulation

    The research question is the central question that a study aims to answer. It is at the heart of systematic research and helps to clearly define the path for the research process. The research question is usually the first step in the research methodology. It is the main point of the survey and determines the pace of the work.

  21. Qualitative Market Research : The Complete Guide

    Qualitative market research is an open ended questions (conversational) based research method that heavily relies on the following market research methods: focus groups, in-depth interviews, and other innovative research methods. It is based on a small but highly validated sample size, usually consisting of 6 to 10 respondents.

  22. 10 Research Question Examples to Guide your Research Project

    The first question asks for a ready-made solution, and is not focused or researchable. The second question is a clearer comparative question, but note that it may not be practically feasible. For a smaller research project or thesis, it could be narrowed down further to focus on the effectiveness of drunk driving laws in just one or two countries.

  23. Where To Earn An Online Ph.D. In Marketing In 2024

    Research areas include topics within consumer behavior and marketing strategy. Graduate online tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students: $383 per credit.

  24. Market Research as a Service

    Cost: MRAS is a market research service GSA provides to all federal, state, and local agencies at no cost. How to submit your market research request: Please reach out to your agency POC so they can walk you through the MRAS process and determine the best MRAS service for your requirement. You can then fill out the MRAS Service Request Form.

  25. Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins

    In order to keep the Millennial generation analytically meaningful, and to begin looking at what might be unique about the next cohort, Pew Research Center decided a year ago to use 1996 as the last birth year for Millennials for our future work. Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial, and anyone ...

  26. What Is a Recession? Definition, Causes, and Impacts

    A recession is a decline in economic activity spread across the economy that lasts more than a few months. A depression is a more extreme economic downturn, and there has only been one in US ...

  27. Forget Tesla. Top Funds Love This Non-Mag 7 AI Giant

    In the latest report, top-performing money managers scooped up more than $1.9 billion worth of shares in Broadcom. Also accounting for massive capital inflows by these savvy money managers were ...

  28. 20 Market Research Questions To Ask In Your Customer Survey

    A single-ease question is a straightforward query that elicits a concise and uncomplicated response. Beyond these 20 market research questions, here are 350+ Market Research Templates for you to use completely free! Market research questions is a questionnaire that is answered by customers or potential consumers.

  29. Who is Hispanic?

    The term is not well known among the population it is meant to describe. In a 2019 Center survey, only 23% of U.S. adults who self-identified as Hispanic or Latino had heard of the term, and just 3% said they use it to describe themselves. However, awareness and use of the term varied across subgroups of Hispanics.

  30. 6 Common Leadership Styles

    Summary. Research suggests that the most effective leaders adapt their style to different circumstances — be it a change in setting, a shift in organizational dynamics, or a turn in the business ...