Market Research: A Guide for Brands, Game Developers, and Beyond

market research


Market research is a non-negotiable for businesses, no matter what industry you’re in. It provides vital information about your market and your business, as well as how you are perceived by your target clients and customers. Not only that, but market research gives you a leg up on how to best connect with those ideal clients and how to shine brighter than your competitors. 

From basic information about brand research to specifics for the video game industry and the app development industry to using mobile to elevate your market research, this guide will clarify the benefits of market research so your company can create a plan of action that will take you to the top. Let’s go!

The basics of brand research

The best way to learn how your customers feel about your brand is by asking your customers. There are many different ways to gather that feedback, with one of the most time-tested, convenient, and reproducible being surveys. How you craft those surveys matters, not only because it determines the quality of the data you receive, but also because it influences how quickly you can get it.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating market surveys: 

  1. Understand what you are looking to learn from your customers. Their attention won’t last very long, so make it count. Get specific and stay away from broad questions that won’t provide you with helpful information. 
  2. Word your questions carefully. Have multiple people take a look at the survey questions before sending them out. If your questions are confusing, awkward, or too long, participants are more likely to check out or skew your data. 
  3. Target the right people. Having a big enough sample size is crucial, but even  more important is ensuring that it contains enough of the target audience for results to be relevant.  
  4. Offer rewards. Different methods of surveys will appeal to different audiences, but just about everyone likes feeling appreciated. Rewarded surveys have high response rates because they offer a value exchange. The respondent takes some time out of their day to answer questions and in return, they get a reward, typically in the form of in-app currency. Everyone wins!

If you’re looking for more information on brand research and surveys, read the article Brand Research: A Primer for Marketers.

Market research in the video game industry

The more competitive the industry, the more important market research becomes, and it’s hard to think of a space more competitive right now than video games. Consumers are drowning in options no matter what kind of games they enjoy. As much as we’d like to believe that all a game developer needs to find success is having a good game idea, that’s not really true. Doing strong and thorough market research can provide the advantage you need to edge out the many, many other developers hoping to grab the attention of gamers.

The principles of brand research hold true for video games, but there are some special considerations to know, as well: 

Step 1: Segmentation. Traditional segmentation is important for your marketing strategy (think things like age, gender, etc.), but when it comes to video games, you need to get more specific. This is a unique industry that necessitates unique attention. 

Here are some segments for your market researchers to consider tapping into:

  • Platform
  • Genre
  • Size of publisher
  • Type of player
  • Monetization strategy

Step 2: Gather data from similar games. Once you’ve segmented your audience, you will have an easier time comparing your game to competitors to see how yours stacks up. Take a look at sites like Metacritic to get the opinions of some of the top critics in the industry. And take a look at resources like Sensor Tower for mobile sales data. 

You also don’t want to forget about social media to get your finger on the pulse of what people are saying about you, and what they may want that you aren’t giving them. 

Step 3: Ask the right questions. As we mentioned above, surveys are a reliable way to get information on what your target audience thinks about games. There are a few different approaches you can take to this, including an external survey site, Twitter’s built-in functionality, ads, and more. 

To gain more insight on market research when it comes to video games specifically, read the article Video Game Market Research: How to Get Insights for Console, PC, and Mobile

Market research in the app development industry

The importance of market research increases based on the size of the market in question, and when it comes to app development, that size is gargantuan. Nearly 65% of all digital media in the United States comes from mobile apps. We’re on our phones all day, every day. But as is the case with video games, the marketplace is flooded and the competition is fierce. For your app to stand out, you’re going to want a handle on what your audience wants — and what they don’t. 

Identify audiences. The most crucial part of your mobile app market research strategy is learning who your product is for. Here is some of the information you want to gather to help you paint the picture of your customers:

  • Demographics
  • Education
  • Career
  • Income
  • Spending habits
  • In-app behaviors

Analyze competitors. Chances are good you aren’t the first person to ever create an app like yours, so look to competitors to see what their strengths and weaknesses are, as well as their business models so that you can find potential gaps that your company can fill.

Conduct a SWOT analysis. Take a look at your app and find its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This shows where your app currently stands, and where it may be headed.

Ask the audience. A common theme in market research is turning to your target audience to get the information you need, via surveys in particular.

For a deeper look into mobile app market research, read the article Mobile App Market Research: What Developers Need to Know in 2022

The benefits of mobile market research, and how to do it

Now that you’ve had the opportunity to learn some of the reasons why market research is so important and some of the benefits of using surveys, it’s time to take a look at why mobile market research is especially important. 

As you likely guessed, mobile market research is the use of mobile devices to gather information about consumer preferences, behaviors, and more. The reason why this form of market research is so important is, first and foremost, because people today are living a large part of their lives on smartphones. 

But the mobile approach comes with other advantages, including:

  • High engagement
  • Accurate results
  • Comprehensive audience coverage

It’s important to also understand the unique features of mobile research that give your company a lot of power:

  • In-the-moment feedback
  • Location-specific outreach
  • Multimedia responses
  • In-depth ethnographies
  • In-app rewards for their time

Learn more about mobile market research by reading the article What is Mobile Market Research?

With this information in your pocket, you’re ready for the next step. Tapjoy’s MobileVoice®  is the largest mobile panel on the market and gives you the customizability you need to create the best surveys and gain the insight your business needs. Get in touch to learn more!

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