Steps to a Successful Market Survey

By Machyo Leonard –Malana research consult, Feb 23 2019.

  1. Set a clear goal.

Start by setting a clear objective when starting your market research and survey.

  • Why are you doing the survey?
  • What do you want to find out?
  • Is it for product improvements with an existing audience?
  • Are you looking to launch a new product into the marketplace and therefore need to know if there’s sufficient demand.
  • What people are prepared to pay for it?

Be precise about the outcome you’re seeking in order to get the answers you need for your marketing plans moving forward.

  1. Know what target market to survey.

This starts with knowing which market you’re targeting.

Identify parameters for potential customers such as people living or working in a certain region, size of the market  or those that fit a particular demographic.

Use Data from the national bureau  to attain precise information about the target audience whose data you need, and narrow it down to support your ultimate goal.

If you want to build on your customer offering by introducing a priority service, for example, you may just want to gather information from people living in a certain area or earning over a certain amount.

  1. Know what you want to investigate.

This will be informed by your marketing goals. If you’re launching a new product, for example, you may want to investigate what the demand is, how aware people are of it, if they currently buy from a competitor, and how frequently they buy.

Knowing what you want to investigate will help you identify what sort of information you need.

Whichever you choose, the aim is the same: to quantify consumer perceptions, behaviors and attitudes in the most informative way possible.

Uncovering consumer attitudes towards a brand, for example, or current frustrations with existing products, could reveal some invaluable insights that will guide your strategy from end to end.

  1. Get help from the people who know surveys.

This means getting access to an established panel. By turning to the experts in market survey data, you can ensure you ask the right questions to the right people, and get a sample size that gives you the most accurate insights.

By leveraging this panel with the help of in-house experts, you can be sure you gain insights you need within the right timeframe.

  1. Consider the best way to get your answers.

No longer exclusive to phone surveys and focus groups, surveys can now be carried out either via an interviewee or an online questionnaire.

Market surveys can also be carried out in groups or on an individual basis. Once again, the optimum approach for your brand will depend on your goals and the information you’re trying to capture, as well as your target population  market potential and their overall preferences.

If you want to gather in depth information from mums of toddlers in a particular town, for example, face-to-face interviews in the vicinity of a play area might work well, allowing the interviewee to do the hard work and ask follow up questions that dig a little deeper.

Using quantitative panel data to back this up, market researchers can come away with powerful insights and market analysis you know you can trust.


  1. Administer the survey effectively.

Once you’re clear about your goals, the data you need, the people you need to talk to and the best way to gather this survey data, it’s important to maximize the sample size.

This means reaching people at the right time, setting a realistic timeframe for them to share their thoughts, and identifying where they’re likely to be.

Once again, think about your target audience. If you’re physically interacting with people, think about the places they’re likely to visit and at what times.

If it’s an online market survey, understand which websites or social media forum they are likely to hang out on, and at what times they tend to be online.

Data analysis ahead of the survey can help make the survey easier to reach the right audiences with.

  1. Conduct a thorough survey analysis.

Once you’ve gathered the market survey responses, this need to be analyzed thoroughly to pull out key trends and findings and to allow you to draw actionable insights from the data.

  • Examine qualitative answers for telling quotes and detailed feedback about attitudes and behaviors.
  • Interrogate quantitative answers to calculate averages.
  • Compare results against global and local data with large-scale market surveys.
  1. Uncover the wider implications.

Conducting a market survey is invaluable to brands, but when carried out in isolation, can lack the real-world relevancy to action results with confidence.

To get more from your analysis, large-scale market survey data allows you to compare your findings across multiple data points. You can cross-reference with local subgroups and compare against global averages, to see clearly where the value truly lies.

Use case: Identifying affluent consumer behaviors on social media

Here’s a hypothetical example. Let’s say you sell a luxury product. You’ve identified from your own survey results and analytics that social media is prominent in your customers’ lives.

But you need more detail to target high-earners on the channels where they’re most active.

By using a deep data set to dig down into their activity on social media, you can uncover exactly where they spend their time:

Market surveys are pivotal to success

Market surveys can be used in a variety of ways to help a brand focus more on its target audience and take a more people-based approach.

From getting a better understanding of the perceptions around your brand to testing the appetite for a new product; from finding customer demographics and purchasing power, to getting under the skin of a new audience to knowing how to market compagin perception

Data holds the answers you need to achieve almost every business goal.

But data is powerless without effective analysis. And without effective analysis, no insights can be drawn. So it pays to have the third-party survey data sets at your disposal to contextualize your findings.

A skilfully planned market survey that catches customer feedback and experience will deliver findings that could spell the difference between success and failure in a marketing strategy.

Stay tuned for additional tips on how to carry out  market research surveys  . Malana Research consult International is a market research firm located in Kampala Uganda –East Africa. If you are interested in carrying out market research services in East Africa, please contact the Research Director, at or by calling +256787303399 or by whatsapping +256779129446.

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