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Market research tools for business success

The data you gather will inform your decisions related to product placement, target market, and brand positioning.

Market research could be daunting, but fortunately, there are some great tools out there to help you gather and analyze all of the market research data you need quickly, efficiently, and effectively. 

What is market research?

Market research is used by companies to collect information about consumer behaviors and preferences, trends in the industry, data about main competitors, amongst other insights. The collected data is used to inform product development and marketing strategies. Utilized correctly, market research will drive business growth.

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Advantages of market research

Informed decision-making depends on having comprehensive data and analysis of your target market. The following advantages of market research highlight why it is so valuable to your company.

Market research directs your business strategy

The data you collect validates your marketing, product, or product feature direction. And if it doesn’t validate, it gives you the information you need to change course.

Market research prevents expensive mistakes

Inc. magazine reports that, according to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, each year over 300,000 new products are introduced—and 95% fail. And failure is expensive. There’s more to the picture than just lost revenue—there’s recovery from the mistake. 

Market research builds credibility

You have the data to support your claims, decisions, and statements, whether you’re establishing yourself as an expert or presenting ideas to leadership.

Market research shows you what’s next

In business, you need to think fast and keep up with trends. When you use data-driven decision-making, your product or feature is more likely to succeed

Our market research case studies for Tweezerman and Helix Sleep highlight the benefits of market research in the real worlds of their brands.

There are some really great market research analysis tools out there. We’ll take a look at what each one is best used for, the key features of the tool, and pricing options. Some of the tools we cover are free, but don’t be put off by price tags. Many of the tools offer free options or trials so you can determine if they will be valuable to your market research.

Why do you need market research tools?

Market research tools streamline the process of data collection and analysis. While you could gather a focus group of people in your target market to discuss your product, observe shoppers as they roam through store aisles, conduct in-depth interviews with each individual in-person or by phone, these practices lengthen your data collection and analysis process. Consider the difference in time between gathering a focus group and creating an online market research survey—think days vs. minutes. 

Market research templates

The SurveyMonkey market research survey template is completely customizable and gives you a head start on collecting data.

Best for: 

The SurveyMonkey market research template is a good starting point for your market research. It has basic questions to get you started, and you can add more questions that are specific to your purpose.

Key features:
  • Fully customizable
  • Variety of question types
  • Demographic and psychographic information collected
  • Dashboard for collecting results and analyzing data
  • Easy to use
Pricing: 

Plans available for teams and organizations starting at $25 per user per month.

Survey responses

When you don’t have your own list of respondents, SurveyMonkey Audience will send your survey to the exact market you’re targeting.

Best for: 

With SurveyMonkey Audience, you can obtain survey results from your chosen target audience quickly and easily.

Key features:
  • Narrow down your target audience by demographics, psychographics, etc.
  • Easy to use
  • Collects feedback
  • Real-time results
  • Custom reporting
Pricing:

Pricing is dependent on the number of responses required.

Customized solutions

When you need flexible solutions for market knowledge, product innovation, or brand and creative development, SurveyMonkey has the tools you need.

Best for: 

SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions are comprehensive solutions for understanding your target market, decisions for product innovations, and creative analysis of branding and messaging.

Key features:
  • Market knowledge solutions
    • Industry tracker
    • Consumer segmentation
    • Usage & attitudes
  • Product innovation solutions
    • Product concept analysis
    • Product optimization
    • Feature importance
    • Packaging design analysis
    • Price sensitivity
  • Brand and creative development solutions
    • Brand tracker
    • Ad creative analysis
    • Messaging & claims analysis
    • Brand name analysis
    • Logo design analysis
    • Video creative analysis
Pricing:

While SurveyMonkey offers a whole suite of market research tools, we know that sometimes you need answers that we don’t provide—yet. So, here is our list of the best market research tools out there today.

Data and statistics tools

When you need reliable statistics and data, you have several excellent choices, depending on what kind of data you’re looking for.

LivingFacts is a tool that offers human-focused data to help you identify your ideal consumer base. It was created by Pew Charitable Trusts, which has a reputation for thorough, high-quality data.

Best for:

Use LivingFacts to find out demographic, work, faith, community, health, and other facts about Americans today. The site provides an interesting array of facts to start identifying your potential customers.

Key features:

The company offers well-research facts in a variety of categories. Here are some examples of those categories and relevant facts: 

  • Communities - 31% of married Americans say they know most of their neighbors
  • Demographics - 33% of Americans 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Family - 21% of American children are living with a single mother
  • Health - 74% of Americans age 20 and older are obese
  • Finance - 83% of American adults have at least one credit card
  • Trends - 81% of US adults say they use YouTube

This site is for broad research and to help you begin to understand your market with interesting facts in broad categories. Searches provide a wide variety of information, but if you’re looking for something specific, try another tool.

Pricing: 

LivingFacts is free to all users.

The US Census Bureau generates economic data across the entire economy. Data is produced on a monthly, quarterly, yearly, and five-year basis.

Best for:

US Census business data has detailed information about the American economy. This tool has the most in-depth information about businesses in the US. If you’re looking for specific statistics and data about any type of business, you’ll find it here. Each survey is supported by a detailed methodology.

Key features:
  • Data and statistics on business and owner characteristics including age of the business, industry, location, employment size, employee demographics, etc.
  • Information about business and workforce dynamics, such as business starts and closures, hires and separations, job creation or destruction, and more.
  • Relevant data regarding economic indicators, including new residential sales, new residential construction, advance monthly retail sales, business formation statistics, etc.

This is a tiny sampling of what this tool has to offer. It has thorough data on all sectors of business and the economy in the US.

Pricing: 

Using US Census for data and statistics is free

Statista is a global information platform. It provides business data across 170 industries and 150+ countries.

Best for:

This tool is best for finding data to create buyer personas, reliable statistics for marketing communications, and anything that requires specific research-backed data. 

Key features:
  • Clean interface
  • Easy-to-understand charts
  • Detailed global statistics across several industries
  • Digital trend reports
  • Multiple formats for download
  • Infographics

In the Brands & Companies section, you can search over 19,000 detailed brand reports with detailed overviews, rankings, revenue, major competitors, company value, and the number of employees.

Pricing:

The pricing structure includes three plans for basic users and three for corporate users. Academic and government users can contact Statista for pricing information. 

A basic account is free. User plans start at $39/month. Project accounts are $1,950 for 30 days. Corporate accounts start at $745/month.

Pew Research Center is considered the gold standard in market research. The Pew Research Center focuses on public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis, and other social science inquiries.

Best for:

Pew Research Center is best for learning more about your target audience. You won’t be able to drill down deeply into specific segments, but you will find interesting, relevant data.

Key features:
  • Research grouped by topics such as: Generations & Age, Internet & Technology, News Habits & Media, Economy & Work, and more
  • Tools and resources for databases and dataset downloads
  • Access to National Public Opinion Reference Survey
Pricing: 

Free

Content research tools

Your marketing plan will most certainly contain content—website, blogs, advertising, social media, marketing collateral, and video at the very least. These tools will help you determine what content will resonate with your target audience and how to make sure they can find it.

This simple, effective tool provides you with a visual look at the interest in a particular product or service as it fluctuates over time and across regions.

Best for:

Google Trends is perfect for finding out what people are actually searching for online. Use the data to build your content marketing strategy.

Key features:
  • Compare up to five search terms
  • Filter data by country, subregion, time, category, or search type
  • View trending and past searches
Pricing: 

Free

Google Keyword Planner is a tool for keyword research to use in your search engine optimization (SEO) plans.

Best for:

Google Keyword Planner is best for choosing keywords for advertising, but can also offer insights into the best keywords for your business or product. 

Key features:
  • Provides related keywords
  • Presents data about keywords, including average number of monthly searches and level of competition
Pricing: 

Free

Survey tools

Survey tools provide you with means to easily poll your target market and gather and analyze data.

SurveyMonkey allows you to gather valuable data from employees, customers, or your target market through easy-to-create surveys. It offers pre-written survey questions and templates for a variety of surveys, including many market research methods. 

Best for:

SurveyMonkey is best for gathering market research through online surveys.

Key features:
  • ore than 150 customizable templates for popular survey topics
  • Question bank containing hundreds of questions formulated by experts to reduce bias and yield the most accurate results
  • Multiple features for attractive survey design
  • AI-powered data analysis and automatic charts and graphs
  • Dashboard for managing surveys and presenting data
  • Options for finding respondents for your survey
  •  Dedicated tools for businesses
Pricing:

SurveyMonkey offers flexible plans for individuals, teams, and enterprises. The Basic plan is free. It allows you to create multiple-choice surveys of up to 10 questions. Paid plans start at $16/month.

This tool from HubSpot helps you create detailed profiles of your ideal customers. Personas help you understand the data you’re collecting on a more human level.

Best for:

This tool is best for learning about buyer personas and then developing one for your brand.

Key features:
  • Walks you through the process
  • Easy to use
  • Sections for demographic data, social media preferences, and job responsibilities
  • Option to add sections of your own
  • 10 color options for the finished report
Pricing: 

Free

Social insights tools

Take a peek at what your target audience does on social media. Do they interact with video more than images? Do they post regularly? What is their favorite channel? Find out their views on current trends and more with social listening tools.

This tool scours social media sites to find mentions of your brand, product, or competitors.

Best for:

Instead of combing through the internet looking for mentions of your brand, this tool does the work for you. It pulls mentions from blogs, forums, online news, and social media. You can use the information to identify influencers, monitor your marketing campaign performance, better understand your audience, and research new content ideas.

Key features:
  • Provides the number of mentions, interactions, reach, shares, and likes
  • Context of mentions
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Top influencers
  • Related hashtags
  • Search trends
  • Sources
  • Related media
Pricing:

Pricing starts at $99/month with a 7-day free trial. 

This market research tool is used by businesses that advertise on Facebook. It provides insights into your target market and its demographics, behaviors, and more. This information can be used to build stronger buyer personas and to guide your social media marketing messages.

Best for:

This tool is best for businesses that are planning to advertise on Facebook.

Key features:
  • Analyzes trends about your current and potential customers on Facebook
  • Gathers data from third parties as well
Pricing: 

Free with an Ads Manager account.

Data analysis and visualization tools

These types of market research tools put the data you’ve collected into easy-to-digest visuals. Put them to work when sharing your data, presenting to leadership, and gaining a greater understanding of your statistics.

This visual analytics platform makes it easy to explore, manage, and share your data. It is part of the Salesforce family of brands.

Best for:

Tableau makes data more accessible, understandable, and actionable. This is a great tool for providing visual representations of your data to make interpretation easier and presentations smoother with an easy-to-use interface. No programming knowledge is required.

Key features:
  • Extracts data from PDFs, Excel, text, and other sources
  • Drag-and-drop functionality to create visualizations of your data in multiple formats
  • Completely customizable to find the visual representation that fits your data
  • Use Tableau on desktop, online, or on your servers 
  • Included collaboration tools
Pricing:

Pricing starts at $15/user/month

Another Google tool to help you with your research! Google Data Studio provides you with easy-to-use tools for data visualization.

Best for:

Google Data Studio is a simple interface so everyone on your team can visualize and customize data visualizations. Each viewer can then compare, filter, and organize exactly what data they need with a few clicks. Data Studio is easiest to use for those already using Analytics, Ads, and other Google marketing tools.

Key features:
  • Customers familiar with other Google products, such as Analytics, will find this similar interface easy to understand
  • Connecting to over 510 apps and software solutions to visualize the collected data
  • Create real-time reports 
  • No coding necessary
Pricing: 

Free, though some third-party connectors may charge to integrate data

Ecommerce and marketplace research tools

Before jumping into the market with your product, it’s important to research e-commerce opportunities and the marketplace for your product.

AMZScout is a tool specifically for Amazon Sellers. It contains everything a seller needs to learn the process and get selling on the online platform.

Best for:

AMZScout is for users who are interested in researching and selling products on Amazon.

Key features:
  • Research profitable products to sell
  • Track sales performance
  • Step-by-step learning course
  • Optimized listings
Pricing:

There are two ways to use AMZScout, through a Chrome browser extension, or through the website bundle. PRO extension plans start at $16.49/month and Amazon Seller’s Bundle starts at $29/month.

Both types of plans have lifetime options. PRO Extension is $499 and Amazon Seller’s Bundle is offered at $1,499.

This site is great for researching your competitors using feedback directly from customers.

Best for:

Yelp is perfect for competitive research. The customer reviews give you feedback on businesses in the customers’ own words. Find the competition’s strengths and weaknesses and use that information in your positioning strategy.

Key features:
  • Customer reviews
  • Location-specific research
  • Add your free business profile
  • Marketing solutions for a variety of industries
Pricing:

Use of the site to check reviews is free. 

Listing your business is free.

Upgrade packages for your business listing include adding a logo, portfolio of work, and blocking competitor ads from your page. You can add all of the upgrades for $6-$10/day or a la carte for $1-$2/day each.

Find out what sells—and what customers want—with this valuable e-commerce tool.

Best for:

Viewing the most-wished-for items on Amazon gives you insight into what products customers want most in every department. This is useful when deciding on what product you are going to sell, researching the competition, and determining if you have a viable product in mind.

Key features:
  • View competitors' listings 
  • View upsell opportunities
  • Compare price points
  • See what’s selling in your niche
Pricing:

This list, as well as the Best Sellers and Movers & Shakers lists are free to view. 

This tool from Google offers interesting insights into consumer behavior in the form of videos, articles, and infographics.

Best for:

Think with Google Consumer Insights is best for discovering current trends in consumer behaviors and exploring top search trends from the past year.

Key features:
  • Global and US-based insights
  • Multiple methods of content delivery: video, infographics, visual storytelling, and articles
  • Access to additional information in the Consumer Journey and Consumer Trends sections
Pricing:

Free

Tools for business success

Your business depends on market research for success. Take advantage of these amazing market research analysis tools to maximize your data collection efforts and enhance your business decision-making. And don’t forget to explore Momentive, the parent company of SurveyMonkey, for a broad portfolio of AI-powered solutions for your brand.

Want more information about market research solutions? Check out what SurveyMonkey has to offer. Find out more about our agile market research platform and get started on your company’s journey to success.

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Get started with your market research

Global survey panel

Collect market research data by sending your survey to a representative sample

Research services

Get help with your market research project by working with our expert research team

Expert solutions

Test creative or product concepts using an automated approach to analysis and reporting

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