Market research

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Market research - overview

Get the basics right - our quick guide to the main types of market research and how to get the information you need no matter what your budget.

New product research - overview

Product research is a vital part of developing new products, helping you avoid expensive mistakes. Our overview of what you need to know.

Market analysis - overview

Start here for our quick guide to how to analyse and understand data on your market, customers, competitors, trends and opportunities.

Benchmarking - overview

Benchmarking can help you assess the success of your business strategy and methods. What you need to know to get started.

Sector trends - overview

What particular trends are affecting specific types of business (such as a hotel, or a printer, or a taxi firm)? This overview gives five examples of how seemingly small changes can have a major impact on a sector for years to come.

'Performance' written on blackbaord and measured by a tapemeasure


Even small businesses can benefit from benchmarking - to check how you're doing against your competitors and identify ways to improve. Our guide.

A businesswoman carries out market research online

Using the internet for research

Understanding how to use the internet effectively can help you find the information you want more easily, and be sure it's reliable.

Market research for small businesses

Essential guide to market research

The essential guide to market research for small businesses, covering desk research, field research, qualitative research and quantitative research

Man holding a pen showing market research on a piece of paper on a clipboard

Market research FAQs

Use these handy FAQs to plan your market research, from research methods and costs to finding an agency who understands your needs.

A marketing team review the results of their market research

Q&A: Market research

In the rush to get your product to market, it's easy to get carried away, but you must carry out thorough market research to check there's a market.

Group of employees sat around a table working on marker research

How can market research help me?

Market research can help you to identify your target consumer, find out what they think about your ideas and help you target the right market.

A marketing team analyse the lastest qualitative market research results

What is qualitative research?

Qualitative research is about finding out not just what people think but why they think it, as well as their motivations and feelings.

DIY market research

How to conduct DIY surveys online

For anyone carrying out their own market research online there are a number of pitfalls to watch out for. This article offers some in-depth guidance.

Business partners write their smal business marketing plan

Q&A: Marketing plans

Writing a marketing plan may seem unnecessary for a start-up, but in fact it's a vital tool that can help you focus your marketing activities.

Woman in a light blue top giving thumbs up

Checklist for customer satisfaction

Retaining customers is cheaper than finding new ones. Customers become repeat purchasers because they like your product and appreciate your service.

A man sitting in front of a computer looking at consumer panels online

How to use online consumer panels

If you think that market research has to be expensive, think again. Small firms can now do market research online without spending a fortune.

A viewfinder

Keeping your eyes on the competition

Businesses need to spend more time watching their backs and looking at what their competitors are up to, according to our market research expert.

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New product development FAQs

Apart from a good idea, what do you need for successful development of a new product? These FAQs talk through the process from strategy to prototype.

A green sign against a blue sky saying 'Opportunity'

Spotting gaps in your market

Every business needs to stay fresh to be competitive. This may mean regularly refreshing your products or coming up with an entirely new offer.

Benchmark your business

Why benchmark your business?

Rather than being a pointless exercise in data analysis, benchmarking can help you to identify areas where you can make changes and make your firm more profitable.

Test tubes - Why you must test for success

Why you must test for success

When it comes to product development, you cannot afford to get too personal. To give it the best chance in the market, you need an objective view.

Two business people sitting at desk with 3D printer looking at product prototype

New product development

Once you've come up with the idea for a new product or service, you need to develop it, test it and take it to market. Our guide to the key steps.