Market Research Blog

Market Analysis – the Macro and Micro Approach

In working with industrial clients on their market research we quite frequently meet overseas parent company market analysts that visit South Africa to carry out investigations on behalf of their local offices.

Methods of Market Research

Businesses conduct market research to gather data and understand the opportunities and threats in the market which ultimately helps them to make informed business decisions.

Leading Marketing Research Company South Africa

If you need to make use of the services as offered by a marketing research company South Africa, look no further. George Klein and Associates CC (GK&A) is a leading, experienced, and specialised marketing research company South Africa focusing on the commercial and industrial market sector.

Market Research vs Marketing Research

Is there a difference between marketing research and market research?  Within the research industry these two terms are often used interchangeably. Technically this is not correct, there is a difference between marketing research and market research however there is such an overlap of the two that either can be used in practice dependent on the objectives of the research. 

Benefits of Conducting Market Research

Market research is an integral part of every business and can help you make informed business decisions.  On-going market research offers the following benefits.

Consumer versus Business-to-Business Market Research

Is there a difference between business-to-business market research and consumer market research? These disciplines of market research employ similar tools and techniques, yet the requirements, methodology and skills involved differ considerably.  

Market Research Process

Most businesses understand the importance of conducting market research, but to get valuable information from market research you need to follow the correct process. Below we briefly outline the key elements in the market research process.

Why Market Research?

Why Market Research?

Many companies and business do not conduct market research as they do not fully understand the benefit of a well thought out and executed marketing research project.  Below we discuss how market research can help your business thrive.

DIY vs Independent Researchers – Customer satisfaction surveys

There are various advantages and disadvantages for a company doing its own customer satisfaction surveys vs. outsourcing the job to an independent market research company. We believe the pros and cons of taking either route are as follow.  Note that there is a possibility of combining DIY surveys with outside assistance.

Market Research in 2017

A recent survey by a market research company in the United States, Pulse Empowering Insights, uncovered some interesting reasons as to why companies conduct market research, what factors influence the hiring of a market research company as well as some of the main research methods they use.   Even though the research is based on the US market there are some findings that can be applied to marketing research in South Africa

Sensitivity Analysis

Many marketing research enquiries are directed at asking customers and potential customers whether they would buy or use a particular product or service.  And the answer can be “yes”, “no” or “don’t know” – a simple answer to a simple question.  However, a well known phenomenon of human nature is its inaccuracy in answering anything clearly, concisely and irrevocably.  Quite apart from the hesitancy of the answer at the time of the market research interview there is the fickle nature of the respondent, who can quite easily change his mind when actually faced with the purchase decision.

6 Common Mistakes of Market Research

We have previously highlighted why you need to conduct market research for your business. In this brief article we discuss some of the most common mistakes made when conducting market research. 

Choosing the Right Marketing Research Company: Some Important Questions

Finding a professional market research company that produces accurate research results is a critical element in conducting market research for your business.

Market Research in South Africa

Large corporate businesses are continually looking at opportunities to grow their profits.  With a limited customer base and increased competitors locally, more and more companies are looking to expand into new countries as an option.  South Africa as well as the rest of Africa is seen as a massive market for companies and as globalisation increases its pace, the allure of Africa’s foreign shores is ever growing.

Market Research South Africa

This international expansion has a number of implications regarding how market research is conducted and interpreted. 

Below we briefly highlight some of the important considerations when executing business to business market research in South Africa.

What Is Market Research?

Market research, also referred to as marketing research, is valuable for all businesses. Well executed market research offers critical information and findings on customers, competition and market size as well as other valuable information for the specified industry. 

Qualitative vs Quantitative marketing research

Market researchers often talk that there are two types of market research – qualitative and quantitative (qual & quant).  Some swear by the one method and others by the other.  The market researcher’s preference is normally dependent on whether he is numerate himself or merely a verbal type of person.  Numerate people frequently can’t read (figuratively speaking) and verbal people feel uncomfortable with numbers.

Briefing a marketing researcher – Do’s and Don’ts

What must a marketer do to ensure that the market research he/she commissions will produce useful results?  In answer to this question, the following list of some do’s and don’t’s was compiled.  It assumes that the survey is to be carried out by a Marketing Research company, although most of the comments are true for whoever carries out a survey:

Market Research Questionnaire design

The questionnaire is one of the most important links in the chain of information that starts with the interviewee (the respondent) and ends with the reader of the Marketing Research Report.

Who or what is a customer?

Spend a few minutes defining a “customer”.  Then ask your marketing colleagues to write down their definition of a “customer” as he relates to your company.

Major areas of marketing research

The two major types of market research are Consumer market research and Business to Business (B-to-B) market research.   The easiest way to define the division between the two is to identify the type of end user of the product and not in the product itself.  Take computers as an example - these are found in offices and in the home.

What is Corporate Image?

In simple language we can call it the 'opinion temperature' of a company.  The 'opinion temparature' is in fact a composite of all the experiences, impressions, beliefs, feelings and knowledge that people have of your company. If we talk of an opinion temperature we imply that we can, in fact, measure it - temperature can be measured by a thermometer, whilst Corporate Image can be measured by an Image Study.

Market size vs Market potential

As part of a market research study we often need to establish market size and, in fact, this is often the prime objective for doing a market survey.

A Marketing intelligence system

The Need:

A company has two basic information needs for the running of its short and medium term business activities.  Both needs are served by gathering, recording and analyzing marketing information.  These needs are for:

Research methodology – Product clinic

The product clinic is an ideal method for obtaining a quick market reaction to a new product or a product modification.  Many industrial products are too large, bulky and heavy to be taken around on interviews.

Marketing Methodology - Industrial shopping

There are several recognised methods for carrying out marketing research and many more strange and unrecognised methods – like the manufacturer who hires a helicopter once a month to hover over his competitors’ yards to take photographs of the heavy equipment they have produced.

Pricing policy market research

Most pricing strategies for industrial products have been set somewhere back in the supplier’s history and have been adjusted periodically to counter competition and to allow for the ever pervasive erosion of inflation.

New orders and lost order analysis

New customers are won and the glow of success permeates the sales department. Sights are set to add even more names to a customer list that continually grows in length mainly because nobody bothers to prune it of inactive accounts.

Corporate versus product advertising

Industrial advertising divides itself clearly into product type and corporate type advertising.  Large companies often indulge in corporate advertising where exciting, colourful, highly conceptualised artwork intertwines and blends with clever words.  Smaller companies cannot afford the luxury of corporate advertising and therefore confine their media exposure to product advertisements which are generally regarded as boring by the agency’s creative team.  Boring or not, the advertiser and his agency must take a critical look at how the target market wants to be communicated with.

Marketing of services

A question raised by a student at the Advanced Diploma of Marketing was – what difference, if any, is there between the marketing of services and the marketing of manufactured products.

Cure for baldness - Market research proves that castration is the only cure

This startling headline appeared in the Marketing Research column of Cosmetic World News. It describes the results of a market research study carried out by the Australian Consumer's Association  -  that only eunuchs never go bald. They conclude further that despite almost universal acceptance of the futility of trying to prevent or cure hereditary baldness charlatans abound offering medicaments and treatments. Usually the only hair raising thing in these offers is the price. Modern preparations have not progressed much further than some ancient recipes.

Market evaluation

Market evaluation implies measurement; consequently, we are talking of precisely measuring the market you are in through its past, present and future performance. Measurement of the past and present is not too difficult but you have to be able to measure the future and that is a whole lot more difficult.

Industrial advertising - the unsubtle approach

Industrial buyers and specifiers lack culture and manners. They tear open trade journals that arrive on their desks and snort through the pages at a rate which presumes they cannot read. They look at the pictures and will only stop their boorish behaviour of tearing pages apart, usually on the wrong side, when confronted with a picture of a frontend loader or the latest in compressors or a new drill.


Whenever the subject of forecasting occurs at seminars or association meetings the room is packed with marketing men and women who view the meeting with the same hope and fervour as those attending evangelical service.  The speaker’s task is an unenviable one because he usually does not have advice to suit everyone.  Invariably delegates come away disappointed because they still don’t know how they should forecast the demand for their products.


A hairy looking Character wearing a kaftan-like tunic, a canvas satchel and no shoes, walked into our offices and announced that he was carrying out market research and he wished to interview the Manager.  I thought that the Archangel Gabriel had arrived following my comment on the end of the world in a recent Market Research Brief.  Fascinated that one of our competitors was employing such exotic individuals I immediately agreed to be interviewed.

Ranking and scaling

Ranking and scaling techniques OR "Would you please rank these 50 factors in order of importance to yourself."

Interpreting Marketing Research Information

The art of analysing and interpreting marketing research information

The use of questionnaires to gather marketing research information is standard practise among professional researchers. The design of a good questionnaire also happens to be fairly standard throughout the market research industry, because sooner or later, questionnaires of all types fall into market researchers' hands and they are able to pick up certain obviously good ideas to incorporate in their next questionnaires.

Technocrats and Marketing Research

Many Directors of manufacturing engineering based companies are technicians – Engineers, Chemists, Architects, ex-Machine Operators who successfully run their own companies.

Marketing Research: South Africa's Best

In terms of marketing research in South Africa you can draw on the expertise of specialist marketing research companies like George Klein & Associates CC.  When it comes to marketing research, South Africa offers unique challenges and opportunities and you need a research partner that is active in both the industrial and commercial markets.  

Market Researchers Role Vital To The Success Of Your Business

Any company which does not utilise experienced and industry-smart market researchers is simply not going to operate at its maximum potential. Why?  Because market researchers are the people who effectively keep their finger on the pulse of both your business and the industry in which it operates, ensuring that at the end of the day what you are offering is in demand - and is purchased - by a particular segment of the market. 

Concept Testing

Marketing Research Terminology

In Marketing Research terminology, Concept Testing usually relates to the testing of an advertising concept before launching the campaign; However, any idea that needs to be put to a test basically follows a similar research design.

Sensitivity Analysis

In marketing research many enquiries are directed at asking customers and potential customers whether they would buy or use a particular product or service.  And the answer can be “yes”, “no” or “don’t know” – a simple answer to a simple question.  

Research into marketing research practise

The Association of Marketing Research Organisations (AMRO) conducted its own survey of marketing research usage among to advertisers. Some of the findings were indeed interesting:

Many faces of market research.

The term “Market Research” means different things to different people.  To one it may mean following his competitors’ trucks around to discover where they are delivering.  To another, it may mean taking photographs of crates of equipment being offloaded at his competitors’ gates.  

Industrial journals that look and sound alike

The large number of journals offered to South Africa readers has resulted in considerable confusion among readers as to what, in fact, they are reading.  Some publishers, competing with each other in a limited market, follow others by using similar titles, similar layouts and similar articles. Others may opt to purposely initiate changes to make their journals look different.  

Corporate image and your own staff

As companies grow older and larger they increasingly become concerned about their company reputation or “corporate image” as market researchers tend to call it.  What do customers - past, present and future, think of the company, its staff and its products?  What do they think of the company’s main competitors?  Is the company seen as producing good quality products?  Is it socially responsible in the current climate of equal opportunity?  Is it seen as increasing market share?  Is it seen as truly South African or is it being influenced by overseas pressures? etc. , etc

Company Reputation Studies

All companies, like the people that run them, have an image, a reputation, a style that is all their own and that belongs to no one else.  In a world where product differentiation is becoming less pronounced a company’s reputation and that of its staff and service is becoming increasingly important.

5 Market Research Companies in South Africa

There are a number of market research companies in South Africa with each specialising in certain markets and industries. Below is an overview of 5 market research companies and what area of research they specialise in. 

What is Market Segmentation?

What is Market Segmentation?

Dependent whether you are in a business-to-business market or a consumer market, segmentation can be defined differently.

Benefits of Market Segmentation

Hasty business decisions can sometimes work out for the best, but more often than not uninformed business decisions can have unintended consequences.  The correct approach is to have all the facts and information available in order to make a more calculated decision.