132 Market Research Questions to Ask

75 Market Research Questions to Ask

Market research sounds so formal. Yet it doesn’t have to be. It can be part of your daily marketing activity if you adopt one of the best and easiest techniques: simply ask questions.

Asking market research questions can yield new insights to boost your marketing to the next level. One example of market research involves gathering competitive information to inform your new product and service development.

Another market research example involves creating clear pictures of your ideal customers — called customer personas –for precise targeting. Other market research examples involve gathering feedback from existing customers to measure customer satisfaction.

The key to success, however, is knowing which questions to ask. Below is a list of 132 market research questions to use as templates for your own questions. Use them to ask questions internally to your team, or ask prospects and clients directly.

Types of Market Research Questions

Market Research CategoryDescription
Target Audience DescriptionQuestions focused on understanding the size of the target market, customer personas, and key consumer trends.
Customer Survey QuestionsInquiries directed at customers to gather feedback on their experience, preferences, and satisfaction levels.
Pricing and Value ResearchQueries aimed at assessing pricing strategies, value proposition, and competitor pricing in the market.
Product or Service QuestionsQuestions aimed at understanding product uniqueness, value proposition, and competitive offerings in the market.
Online Visibility QuestionsInquiries focused on assessing the online presence and visibility of the business in search engines and online platforms.
Reputation ManagementQuestions aimed at monitoring and managing the business's reputation by addressing reviews and customer feedback.
Messaging and AdvertisingInquiries focused on understanding customer needs, emotional triggers, and advertising effectiveness.

Market Research Questions

market research questions

A good way to start your market research is to size up and describe your target audience. Gather primary and secondary research to assess the following marketing parameters:

  • What is the size of our target market? How many potential customers are there?
  • Do we have a good set of customer personas developed, to understand ideal target customers?
  • Demographic questions: gender, age, ethnicity. Include annual income, education and marital status.
  • Firmographic questions: size, industry. Include annual revenues and other relevant factors.
  • Psychographic questions: habits, preferences, interests.
  • What key consumer trends do we see?
  • How do we identify new target segments? How do these new segments differ from those we already have?
  • Which neighborhoods and zip codes do we get most of our customers from today?
  • Which geographic locations are growing? Are the demographics of growth markets similar to those in which we already operate? If not, what should we change?
  • Is online commerce or online service delivery a growth opportunity? Are our competitors doing business online?
  • Can we find marketing partners to expand our reach?

Related: How to Conduct Market Research

Questions to Ask Customers

market research questions

Use the following as survey questions, either post sale or as post-support surveys. Or use these market research questions to conduct a focus group, interview individual customers, or engage potential customers during the sales process.

Make it a point to include respondents who are less than thrilled with your customer service. You learn more than if you only talk with happy customers. Ask:

  • How did you hear about us?
  • What made you choose us?
  • What features do you like most about our product or service?
  • Is our product or service easy, fast, convenient to use?
  • What do you wish our product or service did that it does not today?
  • Are you aware that we offer _________?
  • Were our personnel courteous in all dealings?
  • Did we answer all your questions or solve your support problem?
  • Can we help you get started using our product or service?
  • Were you satisfied with our promptness and speed?
  • Would you be willing to tell friends, family or colleagues about us?
  • How do you rate your experience with us?
  • Would you buy from us again?
  • Why have you decided to leave us / not renew?
  • How likely are you to recommend our product/service to others on a scale of 1-10?
  • What is the primary reason for your score?
  • Can you describe a situation where our product/service exceeded your expectations?
  • What changes would most improve our product/service?
  • If you could change one thing about our product/service, what would it be?
  • How do our products/services fit into your daily life or routine?
  • What other products/services do you wish we offered?

Related: Tailoring Survey Questions for Your Industry and Best Practices for Surveys

Pricing and Value

market research questions

The following are pricing research questions to ask. Small business owners and marketers may want to assign someone to do a competitive analysis, such as gathering data from competitor websites and putting it into a spreadsheet.

Doing research may also require you to gather information internally. For example, meet with Sales to discuss feedback they receive from possible customers.

You could also ask Customer Support to start tracking when customers give price as a reason to not renew. Here are sample market research questions about pricing:

  • Does our team have a compelling sales pitch based on value, not just price?
  • How do we create more value to justify our prices?
  • How can we position our product as “premium”?
  • What are our competitors charging? Are our prices higher, lower or about the same?
  • Are our prices allowing sufficient profit to stay in business?
  • How often do sales and support staff hear pricing objections? And how often do they overcome them?
  • Are we identifying enough people who can afford our products and services, or who want to pay what we ask for?
  • Can we more precisely target prospects by income, neighborhoods and other factors to isolate a target audience receptive to our price point?
  • In the case of B2B, are we targeting the right industries with needs and pain points we can solve?
  • Are we targeting the right job title? Does the target executive have sufficient budget authority?
  • How does our business model compare in our industry? Are we missing opportunities?
  • What kind of promotions are our competitors advertising? Bulk buys / annual subscriptions? Free gift with purchase? Discounts? Sales events?
  • How do our prices compare with the value you perceive from our products/services?
  • What pricing model do you find most appealing – subscription, one-time purchase, pay-per-use?
  • How sensitive are you to price changes in our products/services?
  • What discounts or promotions would encourage you to make a purchase?

Product or Service Questions

market research questions

Ask yourself or your team these market research questions about your products and services:

  • Are our new products or services sufficiently unique compared with what already exists?
  • What exactly is our value proposition — the reason customers should choose us? How can we best convey our benefits?
  • How are customers currently solving the problem that our product addresses?
  • What products do competitors offer? How does our target market view these competitive offerings?
  • How do competitors deliver service? Does their process differ from our methods? Are there obvious advantages such as cost or time savings to gain if we adjust?
  • Customers have been asking for a certain service — do others in the market offer it?  What do they charge?
  • What changes will customers likely want in the future that technology can provide?
  • How do we get feedback about our product, so we know what to improve, and what to highlight in sales and marketing messages?
  • What technology is available in the market to improve operational productivity or cut costs? What solutions are competitors or big corporations using?
  • When considering new product development, do we interview customers to test their interest level?
  • Are there any untapped market segments or niches where our products or services could be a perfect fit?
  • What are the potential challenges or barriers that customers face when using our products or services?
  • Have we conducted customer satisfaction surveys to gauge overall customer experience and identify areas for improvement?
  • Are there any complementary products or services that we could offer to enhance our customers’ experience?
  • How do customers perceive the quality and reliability of our products or services compared to competitors?
  • What are the specific pain points or needs that our products or services address, and how well are we communicating this to customers?
  • Have we explored partnerships or collaborations with other businesses to expand our product/service offerings?
  • Are there any emerging trends or technologies in the market that could disrupt our current products or services?
  • Have we analyzed customer feedback and complaints to identify recurring issues that require immediate attention?
  • What are the future trends and demands in our industry, and how can we proactively align our offerings with these trends?
  • What additional features would you like to see in our future products?
  • How can we improve the user experience of our product/service?
  • What would make you choose our product/service over a competitor’s?
  • Are there any aspects of our product/service that you find unnecessary or rarely use?

Related: How to Minimize Survey Fatigue

Online Visibility Questions

Online traffic is essential to most small businesses, even local businesses, to drive in-store traffic. Market research questions can assess your company’s online visibility. Get answers from your digital team:

  • How much website traffic do we receive compared with competitors? Check free tools like Alexa and SimilarWeb – while not exact they can compare relative levels of traffic.
  • How prominently do we appear in search engines like Google and Bing?
  • Do we appear in search engines for the queries our audience is searching for, using their words? Or do we need to invest in search engine optimization?
  • Which search queries actually send us website traffic? Check Google Search Console or another SEO tool.
  • How does our search visibility compare with competitors? A tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs can give this kind of advanced look.
  • Have we done a gap analysis and identified which keywords our competitors rank for? Do we have a content marketing plan to attract more visitors?
  • Have we claimed business listings like Google My Business and Bing Places, and completed them with engaging content such as photos?
  • How prominently do we show up in Google Maps, Apple Maps and Bing Maps?
  • Do we give visitors something to do on our website to engage them, such as fill out a lead gen form, read the blog, or schedule an appointment?
  • Are our website’s loading speed and performance optimized for a better user experience?
  • Do we have a mobile-friendly website that caters to the growing number of mobile users?
  • Are we utilizing social media platforms effectively to engage with our target audience?
  • Have we analyzed user behavior on our website through tools like Google Analytics to identify areas for improvement?
  • Are we actively monitoring and responding to online reviews and comments about our business?
  • Have we implemented effective link building strategies to improve our website’s authority and search rankings?
  • How do our online advertising efforts compare with competitors in terms of reach and conversion rates?
  • Are we using email marketing campaigns to nurture leads and maintain communication with our customers?
  • Have we explored influencer marketing as a way to expand our online reach and brand visibility?
  • Are we leveraging online customer feedback surveys to gather insights and improve our online presence?
  • What type of content would you like to see more of on our website?
  • How easy is it to navigate our website and find what you’re looking for?
  • Are there any online channels (social media, forums, etc.) where you feel we should have a presence?
  • How do you prefer to interact with us online – through email, live chat, social media, or other channels?

Related: How to Interpret Survey Results

Reputation Management

Customers today have extraordinary power to talk about a brand, and its products and services. Customers can choose dozens of social media sites or review sites like Yelp to share opinions.

A big part of market research today is to find out what customers think and say about your business (and also about your competitors). You want answers to the following market research questions:

  • Do we have negative reviews online?
  • Do we have any other type of reputation issue, such as poor word of mouth in our local community?
  • Are competitors spamming with fake reviews?
  • What can we learn from bad reviews?
  • Do we thank those who give positive reviews and referrals, or do we ignore them?
  • Do we address negative reviews or complaints by trying to make good or by correcting wrong facts?
  • Can we use an app such as GatherUp.com to make it easy for customers to leave reviews?
  • Does our website have compelling testimonials?
  • What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear our brand name?
  • How would you describe our company to a friend or colleague?
  • Are there any misconceptions about our brand that you think we should address?
  • How do you perceive our efforts in responding to and resolving customer complaints or issues?

Messaging and Advertising

market research questions

Assess your current marketing messages. Brands will want to know that their messaging supports their marketing goals. Make sure to also assess advertising to make sure it is in sync with goals and performing well:

  • Have we identified the milestones in the customer journey, and what customers looking for at each milestone? Are we addressing the milestones?
  • What emotions drive our customers’ buying decisions? Fear? Aspirational desire? Does our messaging align with these emotional needs?
  • What information sources do prospects rely on? TV, online digital, social media, radio, newspapers?
  • Which marketing and advertising channels have been our top performers?
  • Have we developed quality content to educate and persuade prospects?
  • What are the best advertising methods and media outlets to reach our prospects?
  • Are we using our advertising spend to precisely target our desired buyer, or is it spray and pray?
  • Where and how frequently do competitors advertise, and what messages do they use?
  • Do we have good assets such as display ads and landing pages to drive prospects to? How do they compare with competitors’ assets?
  • What social media channels does our target market use? Should we boost our presence on those channels?
  • What issues do our target buyers talk about on social media?
  • Do we use heat maps, A/B testing or other measurements to test content and calls to action?
  • Do our marketing messages align with the values and brand identity we want to convey to our target audience?
  • How do our marketing messages address common pain points or challenges faced by our customers?
  • Have we conducted focus groups or surveys to gather direct feedback on the effectiveness of our marketing messages?
  • Are there any cultural or regional considerations that could impact the resonance of our messaging with different segments of our target audience?
  • What unique selling points (USPs) do we emphasize in our advertising, and how well do they differentiate us from competitors?
  • Have we tested various advertising messages to identify which ones resonate best with our target audience?
  • Are we effectively utilizing storytelling techniques in our marketing messages to create emotional connections with our customers?
  • How do we track the success of our advertising campaigns in terms of reach, engagement, and conversions?
  • Have we analyzed customer journey data to identify potential gaps in our messaging at various touchpoints?
  • Are there any specific keywords or phrases that our target audience commonly uses, and how can we incorporate them into our messaging?
  • What messages in our advertising resonate with you the most?
  • Are there certain advertising channels where you feel our presence is lacking?
  • How do you usually respond to our advertising – visit our website, follow us on social media, make a purchase?
  • In your opinion, what could improve the effectiveness of our advertising campaigns?

Related: 9 Strategies to Get More Customer Feedback and When to Use Online Surveys.

These 132 questions and examples of market research should give you plenty to explore. Always come back to the most important question of all: what can we do better? Answering this one question can put your brand well on the way toward long term growth.

Image: Depositphotos.com

Joy Levin Joy Levin has been leading her research firm, Allium Research and Analytics, for 22 years, and recently launched a new line of business, Growth SurgeR, specifically designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs to leverage industry and customer insights. She manages all phases of qualitative and quantitative research studies for a diverse portfolio of clients, ranging from not-for-profits and startups, to enterprises and Fortune 500 companies. Joy is the VP of Data and Insights for the Washington DC Chapter of the American Marketing Association, Market Research/Data Analysis Ambassador for Pragmatic Institute’s PAC community, the Event Lead for the DC/Baltimore chapter of Women in Research (WIRe), and has mentored several other industry professionals.