Market research involves systematically gathering, recording and analyzing information about end users, potential customers, competitors and the market as a whole. This research can be used to help create a business plan, launch a new product or service, fine tune existing products and services, and expand into new markets. Market research can be used to determine what percentage of any given demographic may be likely to purchase a certain product or service.
Market research falls into two categories: (1) Primary research; or (2) Secondary research. With primary research, one is directly involved with the collection of information and testing using methods like focus groups, surveys, field tests, interviews or observation, conducted or tailored specifically to the product in development. Secondary research involves gathering research compiled from other sources that may be applicable and relevant for your product in development.