Market research is an ongoing process of gathering and analyzing information related to getting your products/services to the consumer. Understanding the wants and needs of your customer and the opportunities in the market is essential for business success.
BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) offers an overview of how to conduct market research. Also check out FedDev Ontario's introduction to market research.
Emphasis in this guide is on resources that are free.
Primary Market Research
Primary Market Research is the data you gather yourself, about your market, your potential customers, and your future business prospects. You must decide what information you’re looking for and how you will contact your target group. The following are resources to learn the various techniques involved in conducting Primary Market Research along with the most commonly used tools. Also check out our topic guide on primary market research.
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- Online Surveys
- Focus Groups
- Product or Service Sampling
- Mystery Shopping
- Generating Responses
- Viral Marketing Techniques
- Other Tools
Secondary Market Research
Secondary Market Research is finding published research material, articles, and statistics, and analyzing it for your market, your business area. For example, find contact details and financial records of companies (e.g., potential corporate sponsors, donors; competitors), find social and industrial trends, learn of new trends. Below are resources that you can access free of charge.
- Ottawa Public Library Online Resources
- Government Services for Entrepreneurs
- Population and Demographics
- Directories of Organizations and Businesses
- Other Free Resources
For a Market Research consultation, book an appointment online.