Methods, trends and tools. Market research done right in 2024

Małgosia Garapich-Nowicka
November 21, 2023

While you may believe that you know everything about your target audience and understand your market, the truth is that their preferences and the existing market landscape are constantly evolving. Without sufficient data to support your decisions, even a small miscalculation can lead you astray. That's where market research comes in. It is a way for companies and researchers to gather information from target markets and audiences. So, if you are looking for the best tool for market research - keep reading! 

I. What is market research and what are the key areas to focus on?

Market research (or marketing research, or even business research) is any set of techniques used to gather information and better understand a company’s target market. Businesses use market research to design better products, improve user experience, and craft a marketing strategy that attracts quality leads and improves conversion rates. Market research beats assumptions, empty labels like trends and so-called best practices, saving companies from planning in a vacuum. 

Market research helps to determine:

  • Who your customers are;
  • What they’re looking for from you;
  • The best way to reach them;
  • What is your competition in the area.

These are the major areas to focus on, when conducting market research. Is it crucial for any business and choosing the right tool, or more likely a whole bunch of tools will help to do it right. 

1. Understanding Your Customers

One of the primary objectives of market research is to understand your customers. This includes identifying their demographics, preferences, needs, and behaviors. By gaining a deep understanding of your target audience, you can tailor your products, services, and marketing messages to meet their specific needs. This involves conducting surveys, interviews, and analyzing customer data to uncover valuable insights.

2. Market Segmentation and Targeting

Another important area of market research is market segmentation and targeting. This involves dividing the broader market into distinct segments based on characteristics such as age, gender, location, interests, and purchasing behavior. By segmenting your market, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with specific customer groups. This helps to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and increase customer engagement.

3. Competitor Analysis

Keeping a close eye on your competitors is essential for staying ahead in the market. Competitor analysis involves researching and analyzing your competitors' products, pricing strategies, marketing campaigns, and customer feedback. By understanding your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, you can identify opportunities for differentiation and develop strategies to gain a competitive advantage.

4. Monitoring and Measuring Marketing Performance

To evaluate the success of your marketing efforts, it is crucial to monitor and measure your marketing performance. This includes tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, conversion rates, customer satisfaction, and social media engagement. By analyzing these metrics, you can identify areas for improvement, optimize your marketing strategies, and allocate resources effectively.

In conclusion, as market research is an essential component of any successful business strategy, by leveraging it, businesses can gain a competitive edge, improve customer satisfaction, and achieve greater success in the dynamic marketplace.

II. What are the market research types and methods?

Customer research can be done in two different ways: primary and secondary.

Primary research

Primary research is research that you do yourself. Basically, with primary research, you collect the data personally. Some examples of primary research methods include face-to-face interviews, surveys, and interacting on social media.

Secondary research

Secondary research (or desk research) is research done by someone else. With secondary research, you make use of data that has already been collected by others. A few examples of secondary research sources are forums or communities, industry reports, and online databases.

Both primary and secondary research can be further divided into two types of data: qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative research

Qualitative data is descriptive and conceptual. It's subjective and open to interpretation. Examples of qualitative data include descriptions of specific attributes, like "blue eyes" or "chocolate-flavored ice cream."

Quantitative research

Quantitative data can be expressed using numbers, which means it can be counted or measured. Unlike qualitative data, it's objective and provides conclusive results. Examples of quantitative data include numerical values like measurements, length, cost, or weight.

When talking about methods, market research uses several traditional ones, such as focus groups or surveys. However, with time newer market research techniques for extracting market insights, like social listening, have been added to the range. We will concentrate here on the 4 most rooted and commonly used, but also those serving as a basis or point of reference for newer ones. 

1. Surveys: most common 

In survey research, respondents answer survey questions in person, over the phone, by email, or online. Survey questions can be closed-ended or open-ended. Closed-ended questions have different types:

  • Dichotomous (two choices, like 'yes' or 'no')
  • Multiple choice
  • Checkbox
  • Rating scale
  • Likert scale (usually five options from 'strongly agree' to 'strongly disagree')
  • Matrix (options presented on a grid)
  • Demographic (requests for gender, age, or occupation)

Surveys offer a wide range of question formats. It's important to choose the appropriate format for different types of questions. There are various methods for conducting surveys, including creating them from scratch or using simplified tools.

The way questions are asked is crucial. Well-crafted questions contribute to effective analysis. Writing clear and concise questions, avoiding vagueness and leading respondents, ensures accurate survey results.

2. Focus groups: most challenging 

The concept of focus groups is simple, but putting it into practice can be challenging.

In a focus group, a group of people is brought together to discuss various topics. Participants are selected based on specific criteria for the given study and are allowed to engage in spontaneous discussions on the subject. The organizer aims to extract insights and gauge public opinion.

However, conducting focus groups correctly can be expensive, and if cuts made here could lead to research errors. Dominance bias, where a forceful participant influences the group, and moderator style bias, where different moderator personalities yield different results in the same study, are just two examples of how focus group data can become skewed. This also applies to one-on-one interviews.

3. Interviews: insightful, yet vulnerable 

During interviews, the interviewer directly talks with the respondent. This market research method is more personal, allowing for effective communication and clarification, which makes it great for open-ended questions. Plus, interviews let the interviewer dig deeper beyond surface-level responses. Any kind of in-depth interview will provide big insights into understanding your target customers.

However, the downside of interviews is that they can take up a lot of time and money. Those who choose this method need to manage their resources effectively. It's also important to be careful not to ask leading or poorly worded questions, as they can give you useless or biased results.

4. Social listening: a new approach to observation 

Social Listening is the process of capturing online conversations and gaining insights about what people are saying about your brand, products, or industry. It involves identifying your target audience, monitoring their comments and questions, and responding to them through social media or digital means.

Social listening market research collects data from social media platforms to understand consumer behavior, preferences, and trends. It helps track mentions of your brand, competition, or industry to gain valuable insights.

Social listening is an essential method for marketers, used for product research, brand awareness, and competitive intelligence. Automation through social media monitoring tools can streamline the process and compile data faster.

Most businesses use social listening to: 

  • gain customer insights,
  • monitor brand reputation,
  • track competition,
  • generate leads,
  • enhance customer service.

Benefits of social listening market research include: 

  • making informed marketing decisions,
  • monitoring brand sentiment,
  • identifying customer issues,
  • building relationships with potential customers,
  • receiving real-time feedback,
  • addressing negative sentiment.

III. What are current market research trends?

Naturally, it is a system of communicating vessels: cultural influences meeting technological progress, result in consumer behavior changes. By those factor power combined trends are born, that influence the market, that influence the market research, that breed the market research trends… Therefore, it is beneficial to first explore the current trends in market research before focusing on specific tools. Understanding why a particular tool is or will be popular allows companies to harness the power of emerging trends in market research. This enables them to gain a deeper understanding of their target audience, make informed decisions, and shape their strategies to meet the constantly evolving demands of consumers.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Market Research

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have totally changed so many industries, and marketing research is no exception. AI-powered tools can super efficiently analyze huge amounts of data and pick out really valuable market insights in no time. ML algorithms can spot patterns and trends in how consumers act, helping businesses make their marketing strategies even more effective.

Collaborative Research and Co-creation with Consumers

Collaboration between researchers and consumers has become more and more important in marketing research. By getting consumers involved in the research process, businesses can get a better understanding of their needs, preferences, and problems. Co-creation lets companies come up with cool solutions together with their target audience, which helps build customer loyalty and brings in fresh ideas for new products.

Personalization and Customization of Research Findings

Consumers nowadays want brands to give them personalized experiences at every touchpoint. Similarly, businesses can gain more valuable insights by personalizing their research findings. By customizing research reports and presentations for different stakeholders, market researchers can make their findings more relevant and impactful. When research findings are tailored, decision-makers receive insights that they can actually use to achieve their strategic goals.

Ethical Considerations in Market Research

Ethics and responsible data handling are super important in market research. As consumers become more aware of their data privacy rights, businesses gotta make ethical research practices a top priority. Following ethical guidelines makes sure that market researchers collect data in a transparent and responsible way, which helps maintain consumer trust and credibility.

Emotion and Neuromarketing Research

Understanding how consumers feel and react without even realizing it is super important for marketing to work its magic. Techniques like analyzing facial expressions and using fancy brain imaging stuff (neuromarketing) help businesses figure out how people feel about their marketing assets. So, by using emotion and neuromarketing research, companies can create not only cooler, but more importantly effective marketing campaigns and get customers more excited about what they are providing.

Cross-Cultural Research and Global Market Expansion

As businesses grow and start exploring new markets, it becomes super important to do cross-cultural research. This helps us understand the little cultural differences and how people behave as consumers in different regions. Doing cross-cultural research allows companies to customize their marketing strategies for specific cultural contexts. This makes sure that their marketing is relevant and really connects with the people they want to reach. By taking cultural differences into account, businesses can avoid making expensive mistakes and come up with winning strategies to enter new markets.

IV. What are the types of market research tools?

If you google the phrase "market research tool," you will find numerous lists that compile tools from various areas of the market research spectrum. Therefore, it is helpful to start by establishing a basic differentiation between those areas where each tool is applied.

Data collecting, analytics and reporting 

As data serves as the foundation of any successful marketing strategy, analytics and reporting tools offer useful market insights and information, to help you monitor the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and make informed decisions.

One widely-used market analysis tool is Google Analytics. And it is for good reason! With Google business intelligence became more approachable. Now, with its robust features, Google Analytics enables you to monitor website traffic, user behavior, and conversions. It also provides comprehensive reports, allowing you to analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns and identify areas for improvement. All in all, Google Analytics works as a powerful business intelligence suite that can be useful to almost every business. 

Another powerful reporting tool is Google Data Studio. It allows you to create customizable dashboards and reports by pulling data from various sources. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to visualize and share your marketing performance data with stakeholders. 

Of course, you get plenty more analytics and reporting tools. Few of them will be covered later on. For now, it is vital to keepbury in mind that tool like this is essential for businesses that want to track and evaluate the success of their marketing efforts. By leveraging these tools, you can make data-driven decisions, optimize your strategies, and ultimately achieve greater business success.

Conversion Optimization 

Conversion optimization is the process of improving your creative design or product design, communication or advertising formats to increase the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. Conversion optimization methods provide insights and features to help you optimize conversion rates and drive more conversions.

One popular method for conversion optimization is A/B testing. It means launching two ad sets (or design sets, or product sets, or ideas sets - you name it), each with ads that are slightly different from the other. With its A/B testing you are allowed to test different variations to find the best-performing one. After spending some time and money on platforms like Facebook Ads or Google Ads, you may nat to decide which ad is better based on which performed better or generated more sales.

The tool is worth including, as besides its’ primary function, using surveys for A/B tests could provide also more useful insights than traditional approach, like surveys. 

Another powerful method for conversion optimization is neuromarketing research. These will provide you heatmaps, session recordings, and conversion funnels. It delivers insights into user behavior, helping you identify areas for improvement and optimize your website, but also product design, communication or ad formats accordingly.

In conclusion, conversion optimization methods are essential for businesses aiming to increase conversion rates and drive more sales. By leveraging specific tools, that will be mentioned below, you can identify areas for improvement, test different variations, and optimize your creative design and ideas for maximum conversions.

V. What are top market research tools for 2024?

You may ask yourself: what would be the best tool for market research? After going through the basics, summarizing trends and forecasts, the time has come for not one, but selection of 14 market research tools to reach out for in 2024. To make it easier to navigate in this vast sea of possibilities, tools were grouped in certain categories. Some software work more like all-in-one tool. Other play complementary role to each other, or manage very specific tasks. Read on to find out, would benefit the business your working on!

Impressive multi-taskers 

Think with Google Research Tools

When it comes to market trends, consumer behavior and other, Think with Google research platform can provide some really good insights. This free (free!) online market research tool offers some awesome stats and marketing resources. With Think with Google you get an analysis tool, you can track trends and learn from other companies. One tool in this collection is the Rising Retail Categories one, which shows trending eCommerce categories by country and time period. Another super useful tool is the Market Finder, which helps you find markets for product launches, but this software can provide in-depth market research. Dig in to find what your business needs! 


When it comes to online trends and topics, BuzzSumo is one of the most versatile market research tools out there. This is another all-in-one machine that gives you plenty of market research options. BuzzSumo helps with all aspects of market research, including:

  • Trends – See trending topics happening in real-time and compare them to previous topics from the last few months or years. 
  • Content Research – You can access over 8 billion articles worldwide about a vast number of topics or ideas. 
  • Social Research – BuzzSumo connects to all the major social media sites, so you can see what everyone is talking about in real time. 
  • You can start with a 30-day free trial and decide on a set of features you need, which vary depending on the pricing plan. 

Put market research data in order and in use!


Remesh is a cloud-based feedback platform that uses AI and advanced algorithms to collect and analyze real-time participant responses. It allows engaging and understanding large groups of people online. Users can define the number and demographics of participants, who are pre-screened to meet requirements. Remesh reminds participants and ensures the right number of attendees. Users can create questions before and during live conversations. Responses can be segmented manually or automatically for comparison.


  • Gain quick, frequent, and actionable insights by incorporating the customer voice throughout the innovation process.
  • Engage in live, flexible conversations with up to 1,000 people, saving resources compared to surveys and focus groups.
  • Save over 50 hours of work, allowing more focus on storytelling and crafting a narrative from data.
  • It doesn’t have a free trial option, but you can request a demo, before deciding on choosing the plan. 


Qualaroo is a cloud-based CX optimization software that maps customer journeys across touchpoints to discover motivations and fears. With targeted surveys, pre-built templates, question branching, and advanced audience targeting, you can measure customer experience and improve it using the AI-powered data analysis engine.

Qualaroo is a tool for UX designers and user researchers who need to conduct user research at scale and quickly. It is an automated research platform that helps digital product teams collect valuable insights from users quickly and seamlessly. It relieves teams of the burdens of user research by offering features like advanced targeting, dynamic insight reporting, and sentiment analysis. 

It offers a free trial and several pricing plans to choose from. 


Statista is a research tool that provides consumer and market data for various industries. It is a very user-friendly tool that can remit data visualization, market research reports, and statistical dashboards that are created from numerous sources. Depending on term you search, it returns a list of reports based on consumer activity over recent years, including production, per capita consumption in various areas, and more.

From this data, you can gain access to survey sources, analytical dashboards, and similar studies. This tool is great at helping you find valuable information regarding consumer opinions, demographics, market trends, and consumer behavior.

It is free to begin, although there is a paid option that offers more details.


Tableau is a collection of market research tools that enable you to connect with almost any data source and simplify complex ones. Unlike other market research tools, Tableau presents data in easy-to-read tables. It uses colorful tables and charts to provide data visualization and trends.

With Tableau, you can visualize retrieved data in a way that effectively communicates with potential clients. This tool can extract data from various sources such as PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, Python, and cloud databases.

Neuroscience all-in-one solution


RealEye is a really comprehensive tool for eye-tracking and/or neuromarketing studies and data analysis right from your web browser.

It's an online platform that lets companies do large-scale neuromarketing research software. It uses webcams and mobile cameras to detect eye movements, attention, and emotions while participants interact with tested content (packages, websites, videos, and advertisements). The collected data is shown as attention graphs and heatmaps for even more analysis. RealEye is trusted by super famous companies like P&G, IPSOS, and other F500 companies, as well as over 100 universities worldwide, including Stanford and Warsaw SWPS.

With RealEye, you can:

You can try it for free, choose from offered pricing plans or ask a quote for specific project you run. 

Surveys done the right way


QuestionPro is a leading SaaS survey solutions company that offers a wide range of applications for measuring and managing customer experience, employee engagement, and audience feedback. It provides all kinds of market research surveys with over 40 question types, more than 350 survey templates, and customizable themes. QuestionPro boasts over 80 features for creating online surveys for free, which is the highest number in the research industry. Apart from the free essential unit, it offers several pricing plans and allows you to create a tailored one. 

With this survey tool you can analyze survey performance quickly using dashboards and explore details with over 20 reports, including text analytics, comparison reports, TURF analysis, conjoint analysis, and more. You can also filter results by demographics, questions, location, and custom variables. 

Forsta / Decipher

Decipher is a free survey platform offered by the FocusVision brand (now a Forsta brand). It provides software solutions for online surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Decipher offers essential survey features along with personalized tools.

One of the tools provided by Decipher allows users to seamlessly upload survey questionnaires created in Microsoft Word™ to the platform. Another notable feature of Decipher is Video Open Ends, which allows respondents to record video responses to open-ended survey questions. To access this feature, integration with Qualtrics is required.


SurveyMonkey is an online survey software that allows you to create and run professional surveys easily. It is powerful and well-known. SurveyMonkey is one of the top competitors in the online survey space. It meets industry standards and offers additional features that simplify data collection and analysis.

SurveyMonkey provides all the necessary tools to create strong, professional surveys. The specific features depend on the pricing plan chosen (there are three of those). If you're new to the subject and want to find the best online survey tool, you can start with the free plan, which offers basic tools for creating great surveys.


Typeform is an online form builder that allows users to create visually appealing and engaging forms. It is versatile and can be used for various purposes such as surveys, contact lists, shopping carts, quizzes, and more. With its flexible tools, you can easily design forms and manage collected data, similar to a spreadsheet. Additionally, Typeform offers logic jumps, which enable you to create multiple forms and direct respondents based on their answers to previous questions.

The key features of Typeform include drag and drop template design, unlimited forms and surveys, hidden fields, secure encryption, data export, a free API, integration with other applications, and compatibility with both mobile and desktop devices.

You can get started with Typeform for free and later choose from the available pricing plans.

Got form? Now get respondents!


Prolific is a platform that helps researchers in recruiting participants for their online research. It facilitates fast, reliable, and high-quality data collection by connecting diverse individuals from around the world, all while ensuring ethical compensation for participants.

The platform allows researchers to post studies and easily recruit the specific participants they need. Likewise, participants have the opportunity to take part in these studies and earn fair compensation, all while contributing to the advancement of human knowledge.

How does it work? Researchers create and upload their studies to Prolific. They estimate the time required, set a reward per hour, and establish participant criteria, which we refer to as pre-screening. If you meet the criteria, the study will be displayed on your Studies page and you can choose to participate.

Once you complete the study, you submit it. The researcher will review your submission, approve it, and provide you with your reward. In some cases, researchers may reject submissions.

Prolific never charges participants and has a very transparent fee policy, which makes it easy to work with.


Cint's most impressive asset is the scale. It is a global software leader in digital insights and research technology. The platform automates the insights gathering process so that companies can gain access to insights faster with unparalleled reach. It offers one of the world’s largest consumer networks for digital survey-based research, with 140 millions of engaged respondents across more than 130 countries.

Market research data and how to deal with them 


Qualtrics is a CXM platform that specializes in collecting, organizing, and understanding customer and employee data. It plays a crucial role in helping businesses comprehend customer behavior, preferences, and areas for improvement. By focusing on retention, loyalty, and overall customer satisfaction, Qualtrics facilitates the development of a customer-centric company culture.

Qualtrics effectively organizes and collects important metrics for customer experience, providing valuable insights for making necessary changes. The platform consists of four core functions: CustomerXM, ProductXM, EmployeeXM, and BrandXM. Each of these functions contributes to creating a model that prioritizes customer reception and contentment. Additionally, Qualtrics offers a free survey maker and a 30-day free trial to its DesignXM platform.


GrowthBar is a software tool made for marketers and bloggers. It helps internet-based businesses like blogs, e-commerceecommerce businesses, and startups. It makes finding important data easy and gives recommendations. What is important is that, with GrowthBar you can create content, check out what your competitors are up to, analyze paid and organic keywords, and keep an eye on your Facebook ads. It also keeps track of how keywords are ranking and shows you everything in easy-to-read dashboards. It offers a short (7 days, but still) free trial and three pricing plans to choose from. 

So, basically, you gotta do effective market research to really get what your audience wants and make smart business moves. It might sound easy, but actually taking the time to really understand your customers, find your target market, check out your competition, and keep an eye on how well your marketing is working is super important. But, no mercy: it will be a lot of work! Luckily, there's tech out there to lend a hand, with all sorts of tools at different price points. So go ahead, crunch those numbers, and dive deep into your research.


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