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Market Research tips please

(9 Posts)
kellykettle Wed 15-May-13 08:03:41

Well, maybe more than tips. I'm looking at starting my own business - seeing a business advisor next week. I have an idea for a product for pregnant women which I think would be popular. I need to ask some pregnant women if they'd buy it.

I planned to carry out market research but I need to ask the right questions so that's its not a waste of time and so I don't have to re-do it because I missed something.

I contacted a market research company to ask for a quote for them carrying it out but they replied saying they would struggle to target enough pregnant women.

So I've decided to do it myself. I have access to lots of pregnant women who might happily click through to a survey. I am still stuck with what to ask.

Does anyone have any resources, links or advice on how to make sure I ask the right things?

lovefreelance Wed 15-May-13 08:24:51

I have observed market research several times in the past for work (though never conducted it myself), and not knowing what your product is or what you specifically want to get from your research, these are the type of questions that I would probably ask:

Is X a problem for you? (identifying the problem/gap you want to solve/fill)
How do you currently resolve it?
How would you like to be able to solve it?
Does X sound like a good solution? (outlining the concept behind your idea before unveiling it?
If yes, why?
If no, why?
If no, how could it be better?
<then outline or unveil your product/idea>
Does this solve your problem?
How could it be better?
What do you think about it?
How do you feel about it?
Would you recommend it to friends?
Where would you buy it?
How much would you pay for it?
etc, etc

There are lots of great online resources to help you devise a market research questionnaire (that will probably be much better than my suggestions!):

On a side note, if you're starting a business, you'll also find lots of helpful information here:

kellykettle Wed 15-May-13 09:50:06

What a brilliant reply! Thanks lovetofreelance!

I'm at work just now but will check that all out this evening.

lovefreelance Wed 15-May-13 12:18:46

No problem! And good luck smile

cakeaddict Wed 15-May-13 13:32:51


I do a lot of market research (both freelance and previously in paid employment). I can't tell you what questions to ask without knowing your business, but some general guidance would be:

- Be clear about what information you need to take your business decision before you start. That way you won't be tempted to ask lots of pointless questions that won't give you relevant information to your business decision.

- Don't ask leading questions - this is quite tricky to do, particularly if it's your own product you're asking about. You can quite easily skew the results. With apologies to lovetofreelance, I'd rule out a lot of that list - for example, in the list above the first question is "Is X a problem". Well, by asking outright you've just increased the chances that people will suddenly think it is. For a genuine idea of whether or not people think X is a problem, try asking something like, which of the following problems have you experienced: A, B, C, X, Y, Z - then see how many think X is a problem. You'd probably get different answers.

- Also, be careful about confusing whether or not people like something, with whether or not they will actually part with their cash for it.

- And I don't know how many pregnant women you have access to, or what your relationship is with them, but response rates for surveys can be very small, so you do need a fair number to get anything like a decent number of responses back.

- Do bear in mind that market research doesn't have to be a survey - phoning a handful of pregnant women to have a discussion about your idea could, done correctly, be just as illuminating.

If there's any more specific advice you need, do let me know.

lovefreelance Wed 15-May-13 14:05:16

No problem cakeaddict smile I've had a few brilliant ideas die in badly conducted research groups so it's really important to ask the right questions!

BIWI Wed 15-May-13 14:12:58

Are you looking for numbers of people to respond to you (i.e. so you can quote statistics - 67% of pregnant women said _ ) or are you looking for opinions as to how to develop your product better?

If the former, you're looking to do a survey - you can set something up quite cheaply, or even free I believe, using survey monkey

(I'm a researcher, but I'm a qualitative researcher, not a quantitative researcher, so I can't help you much more with this I'm afraid!)

If all you need at this stage is smaller numbers of people, to give you their opinions, this is qualitative research. And you would be able to post on here - you will need to pay MNHQ their fee, which is £30-50. There ought to be plenty of pregnant women on here!

If you have any real budget for research, and you wanted to run something a bit more formal than just a thread on MN, I will willingly help you grin.

kellykettle Thu 16-May-13 18:58:14

I do have access to lots of pregnant women nationally which is why I thought I could attempt it myself through survey monkey or something. I'm just apprehensive about what to ask. Yes - leading questions. I want the info to inform my decision to make the product(s) or abandon it as a bad idea and also to tailor it so I get it right.

I can't face putting it on MN, I think I'd be scared of a public panning of my brain-child grin

Cakeaddict I hadn't actually considered qualitative stuff. I was just thinking of yes/no answers. I suppose I'd have to chat to a lot of pregnant women to get an idea if it has demand but I could give it a go. I do like the idea of quoting % in my business case though.

BIWI I will PM you, I don't have a budget for this at all but I'd like to FOS out more.

BIWI Thu 16-May-13 19:02:12

I'll happily help you if I can.

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