The Official Blog of Acuity Knowledge Partners

A comprehensive guide to conducting market research

Published on July 6, 2023 by Anish Goel

What is market research?

Market research refers to the systematic method of gathering, analysing and decoding records relating to a global marketplace, sector or unique commercial enterprise’s problem. It includes accumulating and reading applicable statistics associated with customers, competitors, products and marketplace tendencies. Marketplace studies aim to provide insight on marketplace dynamics, customer behaviour and tendencies that may affect a commercial enterprise’s performance.

Market research firms play an important role in helping businesses make smart decisions. In this blog, we discuss the methodologies commonly used by market research firms, highlighting their importance in understanding customers, identifying market trends and guiding business strategies.

  • Understanding the market: Market research firms help businesses understand the complexity by conducting detailed studies and surveys. They gather data on consumer behaviour, market trends, competition and economic indicators to give a clear picture of what is happening in the market.

  • Learning about consumers: One of the main tasks of market research firms is to study consumers. They use surveys, interviews and observations to understand what customers like, what they need and how they make purchasing decisions. This information helps businesses create products and services that meet specific customer preferences, and effectively communicate with them.

  • Finding the right customers: Market research firms help businesses divide the market into different groups based on factors such as age, location, interests and behaviour. By identifying these groups, companies can customise their marketing strategies and product offerings to better meet the needs of each segment. Market research firms help identify the most promising customer groups, enabling businesses to allocate resources wisely.

  • Analysing the competition: Knowing about competitors is crucial for business. Market research firms analyse what competitors are doing, their strengths and weaknesses, market share and how customers perceive them. This information helps businesses understand their own performance, make informed decisions and stand out from the competition.

  • Developing products and innovation: Market research firms test product ideas and prototypes to gather feedback from consumers. This helps companies improve existing products or create new ones that match customer preferences. By reducing the risk of product failure and increasing the chances of success, market research firms contribute to a company's innovation and growth.

  • Pricing and market entry: Setting the right price and entering the market at the right time are critical for business. Market research firms conduct studies to understand customer demand, feasibility and competitive pricing. This information enables companies to set competitive prices, identify customer preferences and choose effective market entry strategies.

  • Tracking market trends: Market research firms keep a close eye on market trends, consumer preferences and industry developments. By analysing data and making predictions, they help businesses anticipate changes, identify growth opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.

Key steps in conducting market research:

  • Set clear goals: Define what you want to achieve with your research. Determine the specific information you need to gather and the questions you want answered.

  • Choose the right method: Select a research method that fits your goals and target audience. Common methods include surveys, interviews, focus groups and observing customer behaviour.

  • Collect data: Gather information using the chosen research method. Make sure your sample size represents your target audience and the data you collect is reliable.

  • Analyse the data: Organise and study the data collected to find meaningful patterns and insights. Look for trends and connections that can guide your business decisions.

  • Draw conclusions and make recommendations: Based on your analysis, draw conclusions and make recommendations that align with your research goals. These recommendations should guide your actions and strategies.

  • Implement and monitor: Put your decisions into action and monitor the results. Evaluate the success of your strategies and make adjustments as needed.

Research methodologies commonly used by research companies in 2023

In the domain of market analysis, it is essential to select the appropriate technique for data collection to obtain precise and dependable information.

  • Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing

  • Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing

  • Computer-Assisted Web Interviewing

These are three commonly used research methods. Each method has its own unique advantages and considerations, depending on the study's nature and target audience. In this article, we explore these research methods, their applications and the key factors to consider when selecting the most suitable approach.

Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI)

CAPI research is a method where interviews are conducted face-to-face using a computer or electronic device. The interviewer carries a portable device, such as a tablet, and uses a special program to ask questions and record the answers directly. This method helps collect accurate data quickly and allows for using pictures or videos during the interview. CAPI research is used for more detailed surveys and interviews that require personal interaction. It is often used by market research firms and professionals who conduct interviews in person.

CAPI offers several advantages:

  • More accurate data: CAPI ensures the data collected is accurate as interviewers enter responses directly into a computer program. This avoids mistakes that may occur when writing down answers by hand and makes the information more reliable.

  • Quick data collection: CAPI enables collecting data in real time, which means you can access the information right away. This helps speed up the analysis process and expedites making decisions based on the data.

  • Multilingual surveys: CAPI research can handle surveys in multiple languages, making it suitable for diverse populations. Interviewers can switch between different languages during the survey, making it easier to communicate and collect data from those who speak different languages.

  • Visual aids and media support: CAPI allows for using pictures, videos and other visual aids in surveys. This helps respondents understand the questions better and give more accurate and insightful answers.

  • Quality control: CAPI includes features to ensure data quality. Interviewers can double-check responses, make sure all necessary questions are answered and keep track of the overall progress. This helps maintain the reliability and accuracy of the data collected.


CATI research is a method used to conduct surveys and interviews over the phone. It involves using a computer program to help the interviewer ask questions and record the answers. Market research firms use CATI to reach a wide range of people in different places. It is a cost-effective and quick way to collect and analyse data. With CATI, the interviewer can enter the responses directly into the computer, saving time and avoiding mistakes in data entry.

CATI offers several advantages:

  • Wider geographical reach: CATI enables researchers to reach respondents across geographies without the need for face-to-face interaction. This method is particularly useful when conducting surveys with a diverse target population.

  • Cost-efficient: Compared to face-to-face interviews, CATI research is more cost-effective, as it eliminates travel expenses associated with fieldwork.

  • Quick turnaround: CATI allows for rapid data collection and analysis. Interviewers can input responses directly into the computer program, reducing the time required for data entry and cleaning.


CAWI research is a method of conducting surveys online. Instead of using paper or talking on the phone, questions are answered via the internet using computers or phones. Market research firms like using CAWI because it lets them reach a number of people from different places. It is also convenient for those participating in the survey because they can do so whenever they wish and even change their answers before submitting them. CAWI is also cheaper because it eliminates the need for printing and makes collecting and organising the data easier.

CAWI offers several advantages:

  • Wide audience reach: CAWI enables researchers to reach a large and diverse audience, including geographically dispersed respondents. It is particularly effective for conducting surveys with a tech-savvy population.

  • Convenience and flexibility: Respondents can complete the survey at their convenience, eliminating the need to schedule interviews. They can also review and revise their responses before submission.

  • Cost-effective: CAWI eliminates the need to incur printing and distribution costs associated with paper surveys. It also reduces administrative tasks by automating the data collection process.

How to choose the right method

When selecting a research method, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Target audience: Understanding the characteristics of your target audience is crucial. Consider their demographics, technological literacy and preferred communication channels to determine which method is the most suitable.

  • Nature of the study: Assess the complexity of the survey and the need for visual aids, multimedia elements or complex skip patterns. CAPI research may be suitable for in-depth interviews, while the CATI or CAWI methods may be better for larger-scale surveys.

  • Geographical reach: Determine the geographical scope of your study. If you need to reach respondents across large distances, the CATI or CAWI methods may be more feasible and cost-effective.

  • Budget and resources: Evaluate your budget and available resources. CAPI research may require more resources due to travel costs, while CATI and CAWI are cost-effective.


Market research firms are valuable partners, as they provide insights on the ever-changing market landscape. By gathering and analysing data, they help companies understand customers, competitors and market trends. With this knowledge, companies could make informed decisions, develop effective strategies and unlock growth potential in the market. Working with market research firms gives companies a competitive advantage and contributes to long-term success.

How Acuity Knowledge Partners can help

We are a global one-stop shop for solutions for all major market research services, offering a combination of the latest technology, optimum execution techniques, robust quality and extensive experience. Our market research services span the various sectors, and we have a scalable resource pool of domain experts.


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About the Author

Anish carries a rich experience of 13+ years in Market Research Industry and associated with Acuity since start of his career. During his tenure, he managed very high revenue generated clients and out of which one is the third largest company in MR domain. He has been associated with different verticals as Survey Programming, Project Management, Client Handling, Team Management etc.

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