GuidesMarket research5 compelling examples of research projects

5 compelling examples of research projects

Last updated

3 April 2024

Reviewed by

Jean Kaluza

Creative and innovative minds dream up big ideas that build the trends of tomorrow, but the research behind the scenes is often the secret sauce to company success. Businesses need a way to learn how their products or services will resonate with the market and where to invest their marketing efforts. 

Research projects offer a way for companies to gather measurable data to work toward attainable goals. Research projects may be conducted to identify target markets, test product usability, fuel company growth, and more. However, developing a research project can be intimidating. Learning more about different types of research projects can help inspire you to take the leap and launch a market research project of your own. 

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Research project examples

Data collected from research products can help you verify theories, understand customer behavior, and quantify KPIs for a clear picture of how to improve business practices. 

Many types of research projects can help businesses find ways to fuel growth and adapt to market changes. These five examples of market research projects highlight the various ways businesses can use research and measurable data to grow successfully and avoid poor investments.  

Example 1: Competitive analysis

It's important for businesses of all sizes to understand the competitive landscape and where they stand in comparison to direct competitors. By identifying your competitors and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, you can find ways to position your company for greater success. 

Competitive analysis can be used to better understand the market, improve marketing methods, and identify underserved customers.

The goals of competitive analysis may include:

  • Identifying your company's position in the market

  • Uncovering industry trends

  • Finding new marketing techniques

  • Identifying a new target customer base

  • Planning for new product innovation

Competitive research is conducted by identifying competitors and analyzing their performance. After identifying your direct competitors and gathering data about their products and services, you can dig deeper to learn more about how they serve customers. This may include gathering information about sales and marketing strategies, customer engagement, and social media strategies.

When analyzing direct competitors, organizing information about your competitors' attributes, strategies, strengths, and weaknesses will help you reveal themes that give you greater insight into the market.

Competitor analysis templates

Example 2: Market segmentation

Every business relies on customers for success. Researching your target audience and your potential position in the market is essential to developing strong marketing plans. 

Market segmentation can be used to plan marketing campaigns, identify ideal product prices, and personalize your brand.

The goals of market segmentation research may include: 

  • Identifying the target audience

  • Planning for new products or services

  • Expanding to a new location

  • Improving marketing efforts

  • Personalizing communications with customers

  • Improving customer satisfaction

There are many ways to collect and organize data for market segmentation research. Depending on your products and services, you might choose to divide your target population into groups based on demographics, location, behavior patterns, lifestyle aspects, etc. Organizing such data allows you to create buyer personas and test marketing strategies.

Example 3: New product development research

According to a McKinsey study analyzing revenue and profit over three years, more than 25% of total revenue and profits come from the launch of new products. However, over 50% of all product launches fail to hit business targets. 

Companies must invest significant time and money into the development of a new product. Product development research is an important part of promoting a successful launch of a new product. 

The goals of product development research may include:

  • Forecasting the usage of products

  • Identifying accurate pricing

  • How products compare to competitors

  • Potential barriers to success

  • How customers will respond to new or updated products

Product development research includes studies conducted during the planning phase all the way through prototype testing and market planning. Research may include online surveys to determine which demographics would be most interested in the product or how a new product might be used. Advanced studies can include product testing to gather feedback about issues customers are having or features that could be improved.

Example 4: Customer satisfaction

According to the CallMiner Churn Index 2020, U.S. companies lose $168 billion per year due to avoidable consumer switching. Customer satisfaction leads to loyalty and repeat purchases. Furthermore, happy customers leave good reviews and act as natural brand ambassadors. 

Findings from customer satisfaction surveys can help companies get a better understanding of the customer journey and develop new processes.

The goals of customer satisfaction research may include: 

  • Understanding overall customer satisfaction

  • Finding bottlenecks or points along the customer journey that decrease the level of customer satisfaction

  • Measuring the level of likelihood to recommend to others (Net Promoter Score)

Measuring customer satisfaction may include surveys to determine satisfaction with the company, opinions about the sales process, or about a specific process like the user-friendliness of an app or company website. This can be achieved by organizing data derived from customer interviews, customer satisfaction surveys, reviews, and customer loyalty programs. 

Example 5: Brand research

No product or business is without competition. Establishing your brand in the market can help you stand out from the crowd. Brand research can help you understand whether your marketing campaigns are reaching their goals and how customers perceive your brand. 

Some goals of brand research may include:

  • Positioning your brand more competitively in the marketplace

  • Measuring the effectiveness of brand marketing

  • Determining the public perception of your brand

  • Developing new marketing campaigns

  • Tracking brand success on a regular basis

There are a variety of ways to conduct research about how consumers perceive your brand. In-person focus groups can help you get an in-depth view of how your brand is perceived and why. Surveys can help you gather data surrounding brand preference, brand loyalty, and what people associate with your brand. Ongoing research in these areas can help you build your brand value over time and find ways to share your company mission and personality with consumers.

How to find ideas for your next research project

Successfully running a business requires you to be well-informed on product development, branding, customer service, industry trends, marketing, sales, organizational processes, employee satisfaction, and more. 

Various research products can help you stay informed and up-to-date in all these areas. However, determining where to focus your efforts and invest your capital can be challenging. These actions can help you find ideas for your next research project.

Identify problems or issues

Remember, research is conducted to satisfy a question or reach a goal. Identify problems that impact customer retention, sales, or company performance. Use these problems to determine which types of research topics are most likely to help your company achieve greater success. If performance is low, consider a research project to determine employee satisfaction levels and identify how to improve them. If sales are low, consider research into sales processes or customer satisfaction. 

Confirm the potential for a new idea

New products or services help companies grow and attract more customers. However, they require a big upfront investment from your organization. You can prove that your next big idea will be a hit by developing research projects around the need for a new product and your target customers. Solid data is often needed to convince company leaders and stakeholders to invest in a new product or service.

Check out the competition

Where do you stand in comparison to your competitors? If you're unsatisfied with your position in the market, learning more about what your competitors are doing right can help you determine how to improve. 

Characteristics of a good market research idea

Shallow or vague research topics can lead to lackluster results that don't really add value to your studies. To conduct a successful research project, it's important to develop a plan that will yield productive data. When choosing a topic for your next research project, look for these characteristics. 

  • The topic is relevant to your current position

  • The idea is manageable (research can be conducted with your resources and budget)

  • The project has a specific and focused goal

  • You can clearly define and outline the scope of the project

  • The subject matter isn't too broad or narrow to yield useful results

While research can be science-based or for academic purposes, market research is conducted for a variety of reasons to help businesses grow or reach new levels of success. Understanding market research goals is the key to developing highly effective research projects that yield useful data. By examining examples of different research projects and your organizational goals, you can more easily decide where to focus your efforts.


Which topic is best for a research project?

There isn't a single topic that provides the best research project for every researcher. The best research topics serve a purpose like gaining a deeper understanding of a specific phenomenon, solving problems, improving processes, generating ideas, etc. Finding the best topic for research requires an investigation into what type of research project is likely to yield the most effective results.

How do you structure a research project?

The structure of your research project should clarify what you will investigate, why it is important, and how you will conduct your research. To get funding or approval for a research project, researchers are often required to submit a research proposal which acts as a blueprint and guide for a research plan. Any formal or informal research plan should include these features.

  • The identity and position of the researcher

  • An introduction of the topic and why it's relevant

  • The objective of the project and why you think the research is worth doing

  • An overview of existing knowledge on the topic

  • A detailed list of practical steps for how you will reach your objective, including gathering data and how you'll gain insights from the data you obtain

  • A clear timeline of the project and the planned project budget

What's the difference between a project and a research project?

A project is a planned set of activities with a specific outcome, while a research project is the investigation of data, sources, and facts to reach new conclusions. In a business context, a project may be the development of a marketing campaign, planning a new product or service, or establishing new policies. Research projects use relevant data to fuel business projects and activities.

What are some examples of practical research topics?

Practical research projects can range across a variety of subjects and purposes. Research is often conducted to further medical knowledge, change and adapt laws, address economic changes, advance academic studies, or improve business success. Here are a few examples.

  • How eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables affects advanced Crohn's disease

  • How to improve customer satisfaction by 20% in six weeks

  • The impact of increasing voter turnout by 25% on the presidential election

  • The percentage increase of new customers with the addition of online enrollment for banking services

  • The most effective way to improve employee retention in a company with 1,000 employees

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