Today's consumers have a lot of power. They can research your product or service and make purchase decisions entirely on their own.

Moreover, rather than talking to one of your sales reps, they're more likely to ask for referrals from members of their networks or read online reviews.

With this in mind, have you adapted your marketing strategy to complement the way today's consumers research, shop, and buy?





What is market research?

Market researchis the process of gathering information about your business's买家角色, target audience, and customers to determine how viable and successful your product or service would be, and/or is, among these people.

Why do market research?

Market research allows you to meet your buyer where they are. As our world (both digital and analog) becomes louder and demands more and more of our attention, this proves invaluable. By understanding your buyer's problems, pain points, and desired solutions, you can aptly craft your product or service to naturally appeal to them.

Market research also provides insight into awidevariety of things that impact your bottom line including:

  • Where your target audience and current customers conduct their product or service research
  • Which of your competitors your target audience looks to for information, options, or purchases
  • What's trending in your industry and in the eyes of your buyer
  • Who makes up your market and what their challenges are
  • 什么影响目标受众的购买和转换

Free Resource

Free Market Research Kit

填写表格以访问指南 +模板。

As you begin honing in on your market research, you'll likely hear about primary and secondary market research. The easiest way to think about primary and secondary research is to envision to umbrellas sitting beneath market research: one for primary market research and one for secondary market research.

在这两个雨伞之下different types of market research, which we'll highlight below. Defining which of the two umbrellas your market research fits beneath isn't necessarily crucial, although some marketers prefer to make the distinction.

So, in case you encounter a marketer who wants to define your types of market research as primary or secondary — or if you're one of them — let's cover the definitions of the two categories next. Then, we'll look at the differenttypes of market research in the following section.

Primary vs. Secondary Research

There are two main types of market research that your business can conduct to collect actionable information on your products including primary research and secondary research.

Primary Research

主要研究是追求有关您的市场和您市场中客户的第一手信息。这很有用segmentingyour market and establishing your buyer personas. Primary market research tends to fall into one of two buckets: exploratory and specific research.

Exploratory Primary Research

这种主要市场研究不太关心可衡量的客户趋势,而更多地谈论值得一提的潜在问题。它通常是在进行任何特定研究之前的第一步 - 可能涉及少数人的开放式访谈或调查。


Specific primary market research often follows exploratory research and is used to dive into issues or opportunities the business has already identified as important. In specific research, the business can take a smaller or more precise segment of their audience and ask questions aimed at solving a suspected problem.


Secondary research is all the data and public records you have at your disposal to draw conclusions from(e.g. trend reports, market statistics, industry content, and sales data you already have on your business). Secondary research is particularly useful for分析您的竞争对手. The main buckets your secondary market research will fall into include:

Public Sources

These sources are your first and most-accessible layer of material when conducting secondary market research. They're often free to find and review — lots of bang for your buck here.

Government statistics are one of the most common types of public sources according toEntrepreneur.Two U.S. examples of public market data are the美国人口普查局劳工统计局这两者都提供有关全国各个行业状况的有用信息。

Commercial Sources

These sources often come in the form of market reports, consisting of industry insight compiled by a research agency likePew,Gartner, 或者福雷斯特. Because this info is so portable and distributable, it typically costs money to download and obtain.

Internal Sources

Internal sources deserve more credit for supporting market research than they generally get. Why? This is the market data your organization already has!

Average revenue per sale, customer retention rates, and other historical data on the health of old and new accounts can all help you draw conclusions on what your buyers might want right now.

Now that we've covered these overarching market research categories, let's get more specific and look at the various types of market research you might choose to conduct.

1. Interviews

Interviews allow for face-to-face discussions (in-person and virtual) so you can allow for a natural flow or conversation and watch your interviewee's body language while doing so.

2. Focus Groups

Focus groups provide you with a handful of carefully-selected people that you can have test out your product, watch a demo, provide feedback, and/or answer specific questions.


产品或服务使用研究提供了有关观众如何以及为什么使用您的产品或服务以及该项目的特定功能的洞察力。这种类型的市场研究还可以使您了解产品或服务usabilityfor your target audience.

4. Observation-Based Research


5. Buyer Persona Research

买方角色研究gives you a realistic look at who makes up your target audience, what their challenges are, why they want your product or service, what they need from your business and brand, and more.

6. Market Segmentation Research

Market segmentationresearch allows you to categorize your target audience into different groups (or segments) based on specific and defining characteristics — this way, you can determine effective ways to meet their needs, understand their pain points and expectations, learn about their goals, and more.

7. Pricing Research

Pricing research gives you an idea of what similar products or services in your market sell for, what your target audience expects to pay — and is willing to pay — for whatever it is you sell, and what's a fair price for you to list your product or service at. All of this information will help you define yourpricing strategy.


Competitive analysesare valuable because they give you a deep understanding of the competition in your market and industry. You can learn about what's doing well in your industry, what your target audience is already going for in terms of products like yours, which of your competitors should you work to keep up with and surpass, and how you can clearlyseparate yourself from the competition.

9. Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Research

Customer satisfaction忠诚研究使您了解如何使当前客户返回更多业务,以及什么将促使他们这样做的原因(例如,忠诚计划,奖励,出色的客户服务)。这项研究将帮助您发现最有效的方法promote delight among your customers.

10. Brand Awareness Research

Brand awarenessresearch tells you about what your target audience knows about and recognizes from your brand. It tells you about the associations your audience members make when they think about your business and what they believe you're all about.



Now that you know about the categories and types of market research, let's review how you canconduct your market research.


1. Define your buyer persona.

Before you dive intohowcustomers in your industry make buying decisions, you must first understandwhothey are.

This is where your buyer personas come in handy.Buyer personas— sometimes referred to as marketing personas — are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers.




  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • 职称)
  • 职称
  • Family size
  • Income
  • 主要挑战

The idea is to use your persona as a guideline for how to effectively reach and learn about the real audience members in your industry. Also, you may find that your business lends itself to more than one persona — that's fine! You just need to be thoughtful about each specific persona when you're optimizing and planning your content and campaigns.

To get started with creating your personas, check outthese free templates, as well asthis helpful tool.


现在你知道谁是你的买家角色,使用that information to help you identify a group to engage to conduct your market research with — this should be a representative sample of your target customers so you can better understand their actual characteristics, challenges, and buying habits.

The group you identify to engage should also be made of people who recently made a purchase or purposefully decided not to make one. Here are some more guidelines and tips to help you get the right participants for your research.

How to Identify the Right People to Engage for Market Research

When choosing who to engage for your market research, start by focusing on people who have the characteristics that apply to your buyer persona. You should also:




哟u may want to focus on people that have completed an evaluation within the past six months — or up to a year if you have a longer sales cycle or niche market. You'll be asking very detailed questions so it's important that their experience is fresh.


哟u want to recruit people who have purchased your product, purchased a competitor's product, and decided not to purchase anything at all. While your customers will be the easiest to find and recruit, sourcing information from those who aren't customers (yet!) will help you develop a balanced view of your market.

Here are some more details on how to select this mix of participants:
  • 列出最近购买的客户列表。正如我们前面所提到的,这通常是简单的t set of buyers to recruit. If you're using a CRM system, you can run a report of deals that closed within the past six months and filter it for the characteristics you're looking for. Otherwise, you can work with your sales team to get a list of appropriate accounts from them.
  • Pull a list of customers who were in an active evaluation, but didn't make a purchase.哟u should get a mix of buyers who either purchased from a competitor or decided not to make a purchase. Again, you can get this list from your CRM or from whatever system your Sales team uses to track deals.
  • Call for participants on social media.Try reaching out to the folks that follow you on social media, but decided not to buy from you. There's a chance that some of them will be willing to talk to you and tell you why they ultimately decided not to buy your product.
  • Leverage your own network.Get the word out to your coworkers, former colleagues, and LinkedIn connections that you're conducting a study. Even if your direct connections don't qualify, some of them will likely have a coworker, friend, or family member who does.
  • Choose an incentive.时间是宝贵的,因此您需要考虑如何激励某人在您和您的书房上花费30-45分钟。预算紧张?您可以通过独家访问内容来免费奖励参与者。另外的选择?研究完成后,请发送简单的手写“谢谢”便条。

3. Prepare research questions for your market research participants.


(Note: This is not intended to be a script. The discussions should be natural and conversational, so we encourage you to go out of order or probe into certain areas as you see fit.)

哟ur discussion guide should be in an outline format, with a time allotment and open-ended questions for each section.

Wait, all open-ended questions?

是的,这是一个市场研究的黄金法则。哟u never want to "lead the witness" by asking yes and no questions, as that puts you at risk of unintentionally swaying their thoughts by leading with your own hypothesis. Asking open-ended questions also helps you avoid one-word answers (which aren't very helpful for you).

Example Outline of a 30-Minute Survey

Here's a general outline for a 30-minute survey for one B2B buyer. You can use these as talking points for an in-person interview, or as questions posed on a digital form to administer as a survey to your target customers.




Here are some other key background questions to ask your target audience:

  • 描述你的团队结构。
  • Tell me about your personal job responsibilities.
  • What are the team's goals and how do you measure them?
  • What has been your biggest challenge in the past year?

Now, make a transition to acknowledge the specific purchase or interaction they made that led to you including them in the study. The next three买家旅程的阶段will focus specifically on that purchase.

Awareness (5 Minutes)


  • Think back to when you first realized you needed a [name the product/service category, but not yours specifically]. What challenges were you facing at the time?
  • How did you know that something in this category could help you?
  • How familiar were you with different options on the market?

Consideration (10 Minutes)


  • 您为研究潜在解决方案所做的第一件事是什么?这个来源有多帮助?
  • 您去哪里找到更多信息?

If they don't come up organically, ask about search engines, websites visited, people consulted, and so on. Probe, as appropriate, with some of the following questions:

  • 您是如何找到该来源的?
  • 您是如何使用供应商网站的?
  • 您在Google上专门搜索了哪些单词?
  • 有多帮助?怎么会更好?
  • Who provided the most (and least) helpful information? What did that look like?
  • Tell me about your experiences with the sales people from each vendor.
  • Which of the sources you described above was the most influential in driving your decision?
  • What, if any, criteria did you establish to compare the alternatives?
  • What vendors made it to the short list and what were the pros/cons of each?
  • Who else was involved in the final decision? What role did each of these people play?
  • What factors ultimately influenced your final purchasing decision?

Here, you want to wrap up and understand what could have been better for the buyer.

  • Ask them what their ideal buying process would look like. How would it differ from what they experienced?
  • Allow time for further questions on their end.
  • Don't forget to thank them for their time and confirm their address to send a thank-you note or incentive.

4. List your primary competitors.

列出您的主要竞争对手 - 请记住,列出竞争并不总是像X公司对公司Y的简单。bob全站app


For example. Apple is known for its laptops and mobile devices but Apple Music competes with Spotify over its music streaming service.

From a content standpoint, you might compete with a blog, YouTube channel, or similar publication for inbound website visitors — even though their products don't overlap with yours at all.

And a toothpaste company might compete with magazines like Health.com or Prevention on certain blog topics related to health and hygiene even though the magazines don't actually sell oral care products.

Identifying Industry Competitors


The list goes on, but find an industry term that you identify with, and use it to create a list of companies that also belong to this industry. You can build your list the following ways:

  • 在G2人群上查看您的行业象限:在某些行业中,这是您在二级市场研究中最好的第一步。G2人群汇总用户评分和社交数据以创建“象限”,您可以看到公司在各自的行业中被绘制为竞争者,领导者,利基市场和高性能者。G2人群专门从事数字内容,IT服务,人力资源,电子商务和相关业务服务。
  • Download a market report:Companies like Forrester and Gartner offer both free and gated market forecasts every year on the vendors who are leading their industry. On Forrester's website, for example, you can select "Latest Research" from the navigation bar and browse福雷斯特'slatest material using a variety of criteria to narrow your search. These reports are good assets to save on your computer.
  • Search using social media:信不信由你,社交网络造就伟大的排版any directories if you use the search bar correctly. On LinkedIn, for example, select the search bar and enter the name of the industry you're pursuing. Then, under "More," select "Companies" to narrow your results to just the businesses that include this or a similar industry term on their LinkedIn profile.


Search engines are your best friends in this area of secondary market research. To find the online publications with which you compete, take the overarching industry term you identified in the section above, and come up with a handful of more specific industry terms your company identifies with.



  • Google it:Don't underestimate the value in seeing which websites come up when you run a search on Google for the industry terms that describe your company. You might find a mix of product developers, blogs, magazines, and more.
  • Compare your search results against your buyer persona:Remember the buyer persona you created during the主要研究stage, earlier in this article? Use it to examine how likely a publication you found through Google could steal website traffic from you. If the content the website publishes seems like the stuff your buyer persona would want to see, it's a potential competitor, and should be added to your list of competitors.

After a series of similar Google searches for the industry terms you identify with, look for repetition in the website domains that have come up.




To make the process easier, try using your favorite presentation software to make a report, as it will make it easy to add in quotes, diagrams, or call clips.

Feel free to add your own flair, but the following outline should help you craft a clear summary:

  • 背景:哟ur goals and why you conducted this study.
  • 参与者:你和谁交谈。桌子效果很好,因此您可以按角色和客户/潜在客户分解小组。
  • Executive Summary:What were the most interesting things you learned? What do you plan to do about it?
  • Awareness:描述导致某人进行评估的常见触发因素。(引号可能非常强大。)
  • Consideration:提供您发现的主要主题,以及购买者在进行评估时使用的详细资源。
  • Decision:Paint the picture of how a decision isreallymade by including the people at the center of influence and any product features or information that can make or break a deal.
  • 行动计划:哟ur analysis probably uncovered a few campaigns you can run to get your brand in front of buyers earlier and/or more effectively. Provide your list of priorities, a timeline, and the impact it will have on your business.
Lastly, let's review a resource that can help you compile everything we just discussed in a simple yet effective way (plus, it's free!).


Within a market research kit, there are a number of critical pieces of information for your business's success. Let's take a look at what those different kit elements are next.

Pro Tip: Upon downloadingHubSpot's自由市场研究套件, you'll receive editable templates for each of the given parts of the kit as well as instructions on how to use the templates and kit, and a mock presentation that you can edit and customize.

屏幕截图2021-03-29在2.23.58 pm


1. Five Forces Analysis Template

five forces analysis template

利用波特的五力模型通过分析五个不同的标准以及每个领域的权力,威胁或竞争的高度来了解一个行业 - 这是五个标准:

  • Competitive rivalry
  • Threat of new entrants
  • Threat of substitution
  • Buyer power
  • 供应商电源
Download a free, editable Five Forces Analysis template here.

2. SWOT Analysis Template

自由editable swot analysis template
A SWOT analysis highlights direct areas of opportunity your company can continue, build, focus on, and work to overcome.

3. Market Survey Template

Both market surveys and focus groups (我们将在下一节中介绍) help you uncover important information about yourbuyer personas,目标受众,当前客户,市场,竞争等等(例如,对您的产品或服务的需求,潜在价格,品牌印象等)。

Surveysshould contain a variety of question types, like multiple choice, rankings, and open-ended responses. Ask quantitative and short-answer questions to save you time and to more easily draw conclusions. (Save longer questions that will warrant more detailed responses for your focus groups.)

Here are some categories of questions you should ask via survey:

  • Demographic questions
  • 商业问题
  • Competitor questions
  • Industry questions
  • 品牌问题
  • 产品问题


Focus groupsare an opportunity to collect in-depth, qualitative data from your real customers or members of your target audience. You should ask your focus group participants open-ended questions. While doing so, keep these tips top of mind:

  • Set a limit for the number of questions you're asking (after all, they're open-ended).
  • Provide participants with a prototype or demonstration.
  • 询问参与者对您的价格的感觉。
  • 向参与者询问您的比赛。
  • Offer participants time at the end of the session for final comments, questions, or concerns.



Editor's note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Originally published Jan 27, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated April 27 2021