The 2022 Buyer’s Guide to Market Research Software

Market Research
September 22, 2021

The fast-paced world of market research is evolving. Use this comprehensive guide to discover which features to look for in choosing market research tools for 2022.  

By Kat Cooper, Product Marketing Manager

What is Market Research Software? 

Market research software is used by market research agencies, individuals, and companies large and small to collect and analyze data, so they can make better, data-driven decisions. They package survey building and sending tools together with data reporting and analysis tools, all in one platform. This means researchers can use a single tool to quickly run studies, gather results, and generate actionable insights.  

Market research software is the most important tool a market researcher can have in their toolbox. Without it, companies lose significant insights that drive brand, market, and customer decisions. This is a key reason why agencies are purchasing this technology in droves.  

But choosing a market research software platform can sometimes be confusing. Many options which look similar are built for different purposes and use cases. This buyer’s guide to market research software aims to arm decision-makers with the information they need to make the right decision for their business.  

Market Research Vendor Company Checklist 

The necessary first step in evaluating potential market research software solutions is to evaluate where your current or prospective platform stands in the market. Use these questions to guide your evaluation.  

How satisfied are their customers?  

Why is this important?  

Thousands of satisfied customers are the hallmark of a reliable vendor.  

How to evaluate:  

Check out product reviews on sites like G2, Capterra, and Software Advice to see how satisfied each vendor’s customers truly are. Read customer testimonials and be on the lookout for endorsements that highlight the speed of implementation, ease of use, cost, and features.  

What is their standing in the market?  

Why is this important?  

Working with the market leader is your greatest guarantee for long-term product and vendor success.  

How to evaluate:  

Ask each of your prospective market research platforms about their paying customer list and enterprise deployments. Engage your peers with familiarity in the space to see who they believe the market leader to be, and why.  

Have they helped customers achieve measurable, meaningful success? 

Why is this important?  

Having more bells and whistles is meaningless if they don’t move the needle. Many factors contribute to meaningful success with a market research software platform, including a fast implementation, strong support channels, and steady new and improving feature releases.  

How to evaluate:  

Check out a case study or two for each prospective market research tool. Is success with their platform quantifiable with improvements in metrics or greater ease of use?  

Must-Have Feature Checklist 

Survey Tools  

What is it?  

Survey tools offer a way for market researchers to collect feedback from research respondents through questions.  

Why is this important?  

Market research software relies fundamentally on this functionality. Survey builder tools allow researchers to compose surveys with a variety of question types that suit the feedback they aim to receive. Question types range from basic to advanced, enabling market researchers to collect anything from the most simple feedback (using radio buttons or checkboxes) to sophisticated responses (using tools like image heatmaps or open card sort).  

Be sure that your market research software platform includes plenty of options that make it easy to ask any type of question you’ll need. Some of the more basic platforms offer only 10-20 question types, while truly powerful market research platforms will offer 40+. Going with a software that includes more question types will ensure you never say no to a potential market research client simply because your technology tool limits your ability to handle their needs.  

Some question types to look for in a market research software platform that will indicate advanced capabilities:  

  • Image Heatmaps 
  • Audio and Video Sentiment  
  • Open Card Sort  
  • Max Diff  

Advanced Analytics 

What is it?  

Analytics are the insights derived from data (the feedback collected through survey tools).  

Why is it important?  

Analytics are key in helping market researchers discern trends and patterns of statistical importance. They empower research firms and their clients to make business-driving decisions. Because of the large amount of data that firms collect, it’s important that they use a market research software platform that can powerfully and quickly run different types of analyses.  

Some reports and exports to look for in a market research software platform that will indicate advanced capabilities: 

  • TURF Reports  
  • Text Analysis  
  • Conjoint Analysis  
  • Private + Profile Reports  
  • SPSS Exports  

Real-time Reporting  

What is it?  

In 2022, reporting and insights will need to be immediately available to users. Fortunately, powerful cloud-based market research platforms offer the speed necessary to generate real-time insights today.  

Why is it important?  

Real-time reports are important to agile businesses because they allow users to stay up to date on results and insights. Graphs, tables, and filters will immediately populate so that market researchers can share reports with necessary stakeholders and ensure the information is as current as possible.  

“Table Stakes” Feature Checklist  

These are the features that should be included in market research software at the most basic level.  

  • Essential question types (checkbox, open text, radio buttons, single image choice, textbox, etc.)  
  • Data exports (CSV, PDF, PPT, XLS)  
  • Report segmenting + filtering  
  • A/B Split Testing
  • Advanced logic + piping  
  • Data cleaning tool  
  • Survey legend 
  • 24/7 Community Forum  
  • 24/7 Email Support
  • Phone Support  
  • Customizable surveys  
  • API Access 
  • Integrations (Salesforce, Google Analytics, Google Spreadsheets, etc.)  

Final Advice  

Thanks for reading this guide. We hope it has helped you make more sense of the features necessary for purchasing a market research software solution for 2022.  

See how market researchers ranked the best survey solutions for Market Research on G2.  

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