Consumer research, also referred to as consumer market research, is a form of applied sociology that is used to understand the behaviors of consumers in a market-based economy, and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns aimed at those consumers. Consumer market research is a systematic process and can seem intimidating to market research novices, but it is an essential process for the success of a business, since it can improve customer relationships and increase sales. Start with the following consumer research key terms, and soon there will be enough of an understanding to begin the process of conducting market research for your business.
Primary researchPrimary research is original research, information gathered first-hand directly from the source. In the case of consumer research, the source is the customer base.
Secondary researchSecondary research is research previously conducted, usually by someone else. This research is usually much easier to come by, but not as valuable or relevant to a business as primary research.
DemographicDemographics are a set of characteristics amongst customers used to segment the market, or break down the market into smaller groups. Groups can be organized by age, race, income level, employment status, level of education or location.
Marketing mixA marketing mix is the unique combination of marketing tactics, using product, price, promotion and place, used by a business to achieve its goals. The objective of consumer research is to discover how a marketing mix is effecting customers and their buying decisions.
Exploratory researchExploratory research is conducted to find comprehensive insight into a specific situation using qualitative research tools like small focus groups or one-on-one interviews.
University of Maryland University College.