Are you good at digging up information or conducting research? If YES, here is a guide on how to get market research reports for free and make money selling it.

A market research is one of the most important steps in starting a new business enterprise and even running an existing business, and as such its use and relevance cannot be overestimated. Logically, it is impossible to sell goods or services that no consumer wants and still make profit off it. This is why every business that is into production of goods and services must understand what their consumers want, when they want it and how they want it packaged or delivered.

What is Market Research?

Market research on its own is any organized effort to gather information about target markets or customers. It not only involves gathering the information but analyzing the information in order to help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price. This is a very important component of business strategy which is why market research companies keep gaining prominence among business people.

What is a Market Research Report?

A market research report is a report that offers a detailed analysis of a specific market within a particular geographical location in a country. The report contains certain vital information like market shifts due to social, technological and economic changes.

It should explain market opportunities that exist and how they can be properly harnessed for the betterment of the business. It also provides insight on organizational alignment, business processes, capital structure et al.

How Market Research is Conducted

Market research can be conducted by the business itself or by a specialized third party company that focuses primarily on market research. While big businesses can afford to hire experts and specialists to help them carry out market research for them, smaller business are closer to their customers and as such, they tend to have a better sense of their customers buying habits, future needs and as well as trends. The test subjects of market research usually are compensated with product samples or they may be paid a small amount of money as compensation for their effort.

Market research companies conduct market research in various ways depending on the demands of their clients or the kind of results they intend to achieve. Some of the methods market research companies utilize in carrying out their research include; focus groups, product testing, online and phone surveys, face to face interviews and mystery shopping.

  • Online or phone surveys: here, participants get to answer a series of questions about a product, brand or service through a website or by phone
  • Face to face interviews: participants are asked to attend a short meeting to answer a series of questions about a product or service
  • Mystery shopping: participants get paid by the market research company to test out a service and tell the company how the staff treated them. This information is then analyzed and relayed to the client that hired their services.
  • Product testing: here, participants are given a free product to try out (e.g. a new hand cream), and they are asked their opinion about it.
  • Focus groups: here, the participants are asked to discuss their opinions about a brand or a product in a small group of people.

How Market Research Help Businesses

Through market research, a business is able to access how viable a new product or service will be in the market. This will help the business to get a feel of what the consumer wants and also know the target market that will be most interested in what it has to offer.

  1. It helps in gathering business information quickly: a detailed market research report will help any business to gather information quickly so as to be able to make informed decisions.
  2. It validates internal research: market research reports can be used to research best practices, prepare RFP’s, get ready for client meetings as well as create content. Market research report also helps to save the time of the business owner by providing insights to questions they may have but do not have the time or resources to get.
  3. It helps the business to get a holistic view of the market: market research reports can help businesses to stay up to date on the market as a whole. With the aid of these reports, a business will be able to have a holistic view of the market and also allow them to benchmark all the companies in the industry.
  4. It helps the business to use objective data to make informed decision: another important benefit of market research report is its impartiality. Most a times, third party reports are unbiased and as such, they provide a better picture of what’s really happening in the market. With a properly conducted and detailed research report, a business will be able to have a sound understanding of the issues that will affect the industry in the future and how to best position specific brands. Ultimately, it will lead to better decision making.
  5. It strengthens credibility and reputation: with the aid of objective analysis, a business will be able to make informed decisions and as such develop better business strategies. It will help the business to improve its reputation in the field and help others to have more confidence in your conclusions.

How Market Research Companies Make Money

It should be noted that market research companies carry out services on behalf of their clients. When the research has been done and results collated, the market research company gets to submit its findings to their clients after which they get paid.

Market research companies usually do not get paid a certain determined lump sum for every research they undertake as the various research methods differ and some do involve more logistics than the others. Generally, market research companies make money or get paid through question development, managing focus groups, per question asked etc.

i. Question development: market research companies get to make their money from developing questions to administer to research groups. This method is usually used where the company only wants the research company to create appropriate questions to fit the research situation, but may not be needed to administer the questions. The company can then take the questions and conduct their own surveys while paying off the market research company.

ii. Managing focused groups: A focus group is a gathering of deliberately selected people who participate in a planned discussion that is intended to elicit consumer perception/reaction about a particular topic or product or service.

During a focus group, a group of individuals – usually 6-12 people – is brought together in a room to engage in a guided discussion of a topic. Market research companies sometimes utilize focus groups when carrying out market research. Market research companies get to bill their clients for organizing focus groups on their behalf because participants in focus groups always get paid for their time.

iii. Through billing per question asked: some market research companies have been known to make money through billing their clients per questions asked.

iv. Research analysis: market research companies have been known to bill separately for research analysis as against submitting raw data to their clients. Research analysis is predominantly part of the marketing research package, but some companies prefer to bill it separately.

How to Make Money Selling Market Research Reports

To effectively sell market research, there is need that you must first market the importance of having this report to your potential clients. Firstly, you should ask yourself “is there a large demand for this particular market research that I have made? How many people will be interested in the solution that this report will provide?

Secondly you should consider the benefits of having the report that you have prepared. Does it save time, energy or money for your potential clients and if so, by how much? Then lastly, you should ensure that your market research report is unique and one of a kind. Make sure that it is original and also contains elements that will set it apart from reports that are already available at the moment.

It is a lot easier to sell market research reports if you already have a network of professionals that have the problem that your market research report can provide a solution to. You can also seek out potential businesses that you think may need your report but it will be a lot more difficult than the aforementioned option.

Also, to make money selling market research reports, you can make use of a freelancing website like Fiverr, Upwork or SEOclerk. With these websites, you can either sell existing reports that you have conducted in the past, or you can offer your services as a market research expert and help businesses conduct their research and then write a report about your findings.

Alternatively, there are many companies such as market research and statistics that offer their platforms for selling market research reports.

Ajaero Tony Martins