Market Research For Product Development
In this blog, I’m going to introduce you to three free market research tools. These are the tools I use to conduct market research for product development.
Market research and product validation is the most important step in launching a business or product. Without it, you are going in blind and throwing darts at the wall hoping something sticks.
Spoiler alert, it never sticks. Trust me, I’ve learned from experience.
So, let’s talk about market research for product development and some free market research tools that you can use to determine your target market’s pain points and the likelihood of paying for your business’s product or service.
Survey: The Best Market Research Method
The best way to conduct market research is by talking to your target market. The best way to talk to your target market is anonymously through a survey.
By leaving the survey anonymous, it allows the participant to speak freely and say what they truly feel without worrying about hurting your feelings. Even if you get a few rude respondents, that is okay. Better to hear rude, harsh, and critical feedback right now while you are still in the research phase. I would much rather receive critical (but honest) responses that help me learn. These are the responses and insights that can save you months of wasted time and wasted money developing a product that no one wants.
In addition to the anonymity, makes sure you are only collecting feedback from people in your target market. Don’t send this survey to Grandma. Grandma, and your friends and family, are going to love your idea, tell you how brilliant you are, and how they would pay millions of dollars for your amazing product. That’s not the feedback you want. You want feedback from a total stranger that’s not scared to tear you down. If total strangers give you anonymous feedback saying they think you have a good idea, then you’re probably onto something.
Free Market Research Tools (to find survey respondents)
There are three free market research tools that I use. These are the platforms that I post my market research surveys to, in order to find survey respondents and collect insights on my new business ideas:
- Survey Swap
- Survey Circle
I will detail each of these free market research tools below.
Reddit (Samplesize Subreddit)
Reddit.com/r/samplesize is the first place I go to conduct market research for product development. This is my favorite of the free market research tools discussed in this blog. This is an entire subreddit with over 200,000 participants dedicated to taking surveys. It’s the easiest way to find survey respondents for free.
How to use r/samplesize
To post and start receiving feedback all you need to do is create a Reddit account (it’s free), go to reddit.com/r/samplesize, click to create a post, title your post and include parenthesis to note who you want to take the survey, and follow the posting instructions in the right sidebar (where it says r/samplesize rules).
That’s it! Post it and you will start receiving survey participants.
It’s important, when you make your post, to include the criteria of your target market to ensure that only qualified respondents take your survey. For example, if I was posting a survey to determine the biggest pain point of entrepreneurs, my title would be something like “What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur? (For all entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs)“
That’s it, then include a link to your survey in the post and people will pop in and answer your questions and provide you feedback on your product or service.
Give it a week or so, and then you can come back and repost your survey again (because your post will get buried by all the new surveys that are posted during the week).
Surveyswap.io is my second favorite place to post surveys. This is a platform where other people are posting their surveys, and you are essentially trading survey answers for survey answers.
The reason this is my second favorite place to post my survey (with Reddit being my favorite). Second favorite only because you do need to do a little bit of work before you can get responses to your survey, whereas Reddit takes no effort at all.
With SurveySwap, you need to answer other people’s surveys to earn enough credits to get respondents for your survey. Basically, if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours. That is the way the platform works.
How to use Survey Swap
The way it works is you earn credits by answering other people’s surveys. You earn one credit per minute of survey that you respond to.
When you click to take a survey, it will give you an estimate of how long the survey will take to complete. For example, in the screenshot below, one of the surveys is noted as “5 min” – if you complete this survey you will earn 5 credits. That means you can now spend five credits to “pay” for someone else to take your survey.
To get started, create a free account and upload your survey to the Survey Swap platform. When you post your survey, you need to tell Survey Swap approximately how long the survey will take for the respondent complete. This is how many credits you will need to “pay” for each survey respondent you receive. So, if your survey takes two minutes to complete, it will cost you two credits every time somebody answers your survey.
The trick is to pop in here occasionally, while you are sitting around watching TV, and answer a batch of surveys to collect some credits. The more credits you get and the more surveys you answer, the more Survey Swap will push your survey out there for others to answer.
One final tip on how to use Survey Swap: to collect the most responses, it’s best to have a quick survey. Each time somebody answers your survey, you will pay with your credits. So, it’s better to have a shorter survey between 1 to 3 minutes, to maximize the number of responses you can collect.
Make sure to properly fill out the title and description when you post your survey. This is how the platform ensures that you receive qualified responses from your target market.
That’s it! That’s how to use Survey Swap. Then sit back and the responses will start to pile up. Survey Sway is another way to find survey respondents for free.
Survey Circle follows the same principles as Survey Swap. Take surveys to earn points and move up the “rankings” to get more visibility for your survey.
How to use Survey Circle
Here is how it works. After you create your free Survey Circle account and post your survey, go to the “Survey Ranking” page and participate in surveys. You will earn points for each survey you complete. The higher-ranked surveys are worth more points.
The more points you earn, the higher your survey will climb in the Survey Ranking. The higher your survey climbs in the survey ranking, the more attractive it becomes for potential participants – and the more people participate in it (because it will be worth more points to participants the higher it is ranked).
That’s it! Survey Circle is a great way to find survey respondents for free. It’s a bit more work compared to r/samplesize and Survey Swap because you need to participate to climb the rankings, but once you climb up the rankings a little you will get a lot of replies.
Conclusion: Free Market Research Tools (to find survey respondents)
This is how you do market research for free. This is how you find survey respondents: r/samplesize, Survey Swap, and Survey Circle.
I highly recommend these three free market research tools. These are the best free tools to conduct market research for product development. Use them all. If you use all of these platforms, you will get a plethora of responses to your survey.
I recommend you target a minimum of 100 responses in your market research. The more the better. This will help you gather enough insight to make the proper decisions in your business.
For help constructing the perfect survey to maximize your research, see our product validation hub.