Online marketing research is the process by which companies use the Internet to gather data to evaluate how well a product or service is selling to consumers. The information provided by a careful market analysis conducted online can also identify popular trends that can assist a company in creating a strategy that will get better results. When used properly, online marketing research can be an effective tool that a company can use to experience higher revenues.
In addition to identifying potential areas for growth, online market research can help a company learn more about its target consumers. For example, if consumers purchase a certain type of product and then return to purchase accessories, that is a specific type of consumer behavior that can be measured. The information gathered from doing an online market research study is helpful to track this type of behavior.
An online marketing research study can be conducted by the company itself, or the company may choose to hire an outside company to manage this. How and by what method a company decides to conduct a market research plan is dependent upon how objective or anonymous the company wishes to remain. An online marketing research program can include any number of methodologies.
Some companies may use a direct method, by which a survey is sent out to existing customers to determine satisfaction levels and gather feedback. A company may also contact consumers and gather information from a specific demographic, such as an age group, or a specific geographic region. Companies may also use a “blind” method, by which a random sample of the population is contacted for opinions online.
With the advent of more social media networking websites, some companies are tapping into communities to gather important market behavior information. Some of the larger social media networks offer up general data about the registered users of these sites to benefit market research. The information gathered online in social media networks can be very valuable to marketing firms.
Using online market research data is one way that companies adapt existing products to meet the needs of consumers. It is also one of many ways that companies develop new products and services that consumers rely on. Companies carefully evaluate and use the data that online market research campaigns produce to influence the market via consumers.
When it comes to online marketing research, the general understanding is that since the market is mostly consumer driven, anything that can be done to influence consumers is positive for business. Influencing consumers stimulates the market. This can result in better products, plus higher sales and revenues for companies who best use the research data.