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If customer is king, market research is like a deep conversation with royalty!

The purpose of this talk would be to understand his habits, preferences and thought processes. The idea behind Market Research is similar. Online Market Research tools and techniques are designed to collect relevant information on your target customer base. It is a vital component of conducting a successful business that caters aptly to customer needs.

Market Research can come to you in 5 basic forms. These are via:

· Social Media Insights

· Online Content

· Statistics/User Analytics

· Survey Responses

· Research Automation

We’ll cover the most widely used online marketing research tools that offer a variety of all the above 5 forms.

1) Google Keywords and Google Analytics

Though these are 2 different tools from the Google stable, we’ve clubbed them together for your convenience. Being the most popular search engine on the internet, most of your target consumers are looking for your product or service via Google. This is where Google Keywords will help you to understand who these people are and their habits. To enable Google Keywords, you will need a Google Adwords account which is free.

Google Analytics, on the other hand, will give you insight on all the website visitors. How long they stay, which products they prefer, their favourite payment methods and even how they behave on social media channels.

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2) Social Mention

Speaking of social media, brands rely strongly on their social media presence. This gives you the opportunity to understand industry trends and relevant consumer preferences by accessing their data. Social Mention is a website that can be used to search for social media trends and what people are saying about your particular sector, product or service.

This type of research helps you to hone your offerings to match the current consumer demand. Plus, it gives real time updates which are vital in today’s dynamic marketplace.

3) SurveyMonkey

As the name suggests, SurveyMonkey facilitates the process of conducting online surveys. Many businesses all over the world use SurveyMonkey for their specific needs. Before entering a market, testing a new product, or altering any aspect of a brand or product are some of the reasons why you may need to do online consumer surveys or polls. 

SurveyMonkey is an online software which is extremely user friendly. You may use it to mail a database of hundred consumers at one time. Survey links may also be shared via social media.

You may also utilize the services of an outsourced customer support team to conduct your surveys over phone or email.

4) Quora

The resounding success of Quora has made this Q&A website into a valuable online research tool. It can used as a reference source to read about certain topics and what people are saying about them It can be used to ask questions to a particular set of people and draw out information.

Stay in loop of topics related to your business and consumer groups. Quora is a very effective way to track online content.

5) Pew Research Center

This is a global database of world economic and political conditions. It even tracks social media usage and other online consumer habits. Data is presented in easy to understand graphs and lists.

The Pew Research Center Website gets its updated information via online polls and demographic analysis on prevalent attitudes and trends. It’s a free website and caters to a wide area of businesses. This website is recommended for conducting research in a wider geographical or socio-economic area.

Apart from these 5, there are many more online marketing research tools that you can explore. Well rounded research about economic, political, social scenarios and buying habits of your target audience would be most helpful. This can be achieved via two or more marketing research tools, instead of limiting to just one.

So, choose well!

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