“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well; the product or service sells itself.” – Peter Drucker?
Online market research is a research method in which the data collection process is carried out over the Internet. This research can evaluate the performance of a product or service and may allow companies to glean insight into consumer purchasing behaviour. With the rising use of the Internet, online research has become a popular tool among market research firms.
Definition of online market research
Online market research can be interpreted in three different ways.
- Internet as a method of research
- Internet as a object of research
- Internet as a medium of research
This article focused on the first topic „Internet as a method of research“. In that case, the internet is the instrument of research. The methods of online market research are the same methods used in the traditional market research: interview, observation, case studies and focus groups.
Methods of online market research
Similar to market research, online market research falls into primary and secondary research as well. secondary research is not build on own data, it falls back to pre-existing data on the internet. For example, search engines, databases or information sites. Primary research on the other hand builds its own data. Holger Lütter , expert for online market research and author, varies regarding primary research in reactive an non-reactive methods. Reactive methods in the context of online market research are online surveys, online observations and online focus groups. Online case studies and online panels belong to non-reactive methods.
The participant fills out a survey featured by the medium internet. The survey is programmed and the processing occurred through local browsers. Online surveys have different advantages such as the possibility of a comfortable, program-controlled filtering error or the access to a target group that is difficult to reach offline (e.g. young men or visitors of specific websites). But there are also existing different disadvantages such as the missing possibility to control the situation of the survey (similar to normal surveys, researchers can check the time to fill out the survey. If it is far below the average, the researcher has to take into consideration that the information provided might not be as sufficient as surveys provided by other members of the group)
Via online observation, market researchers basically examine the reaction of users about companies, organizations, products or services. The behaviour of the user is for example analysed by log file-analysis, cookies or clickstream-analysis. Market researchers can also use blogs, for example, to inform about the users opinion
Online focus groups
Another subset of the methods of online market research are online groups. Online focus groups have between 8 and 10 participants and last usually from 60 minutes up to 90 minutes. The online focus group is lead by a moderator who uses predetermined questions and unscripted probes.
An online panel is a group of users, who confirmed participating in constant online studies. Advantages of online panels are the costs, because online panels are much cheaper than the conducting of real panels, and the researcher has more flexibility in conducting the online panel. Because of the own decision to participate at the panel, the biggest problem of online panels is the missing representativeness. This causes the sample not to be fully representative of the target audience
Advantages of online market research
- Large numbers of participants can be reached at the same time
- Low costs: Large audiences are reachable at a fraction of traditional advertising budgets, allowing businesses to create appealing consumer ads.
- Flexibility and convenience: Consumers may research and purchase products and services at their leisure.
- Analytics: Efficient statistical results are facilitated without extra costs.
- Multiple options: Advertising tools include pay-per-click advertising, email marketing and local search integration (like Google Maps).
- Demographic targeting: Consumers can be demographically targeted much more effectively in an online rather than an offline process time – rapid turnaround („same-day delivery“)
What does it offer you?
- In-depth insight into behaviour, motivations and needs of your target group.
- Practical deployable consultancy.
- Online customer panel can be deployed at any time.
- Reliable and valid data which is representative for specific target groups.
- Enrich research results with Mentality profile, socio-demographic info and previous research results.
Aristocrat Market Research regularly conducts market research both on behalf of our clients and as a company to identify and analyse the market need, market size and competition.
We specialize in international online market research. Our Online Access Panel gives us access to consumers in over 70 countries that we regularly survey on a wide range of market research topics via email and mobile app.
We offer our clients access to our registered survey participants. That way we can support you step-by-step in all stages of a market research survey. We will program and host the questionnaire, conduct the survey with the respective target group and provide raw data or prepare the data into meaningful presentations.
If you only need participants for an existing survey, we can also help ensure proper sampling. You just send us your online survey and we’ll send it out to your target group.
Using a range of professional software to collect data, collate data and analyse data, we are also well versed in preparing reports with key recommendations and budgets based on our findings.
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well, the product or service sells itself.” – Peter Drucker