Basics of Marketing Research in Singapore

Basics of Marketing Research in Singapore

Are you looking for tips on how to do marketing research in Singapore? This article will help you do that successfully. Singapore has one of the most vibrant digital marketing industries in the world. High internet and smartphone penetration coupled by the need to conveniently shop for products fuel the growth of the industry.

As a company planning to venture into the country, it is imperative to carry out extensive marketing research. The research will help you understand the market better and provide you with real data that you can use to make informed decisions in business.

Here are the basics of marketing research in Singapore.

Marketing Research is an Ongoing Process

One of the main objectives of carrying our marketing research in Singapore is to get information about the wants and needs of the target customers. With the ever-changing society, we live in and technological advancements, consumers’ needs are very dynamic. Research will help you to identify trends and patterns in the market and come up with robust ways of responding to each of them.

As you embark on marketing research in Singapore, understand that this is an ongoing process. You also need to focus on not only the customers but also competitors if you are to succeed in managing your brand well.

Ignore Opportunity Costs

Just like the conventional opportunity costs in business decisions, market research has its own fair share of similar costs. The benefits that your Singapore business might have got by implementing an alternative policy or action or conducting new market research might have more impact on your business than the benefits you are currently enjoying without doing any marketing research at all.

Do not allow the opportunity costs deter you from carrying out extensive marketing research in Singapore. The benefits that you will get from it supersede the time and resources that you will use to do the research.

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Avoid Short Term Research Methods

The beauty of modern technology is that it offers countless market research tools and methods. No single method will work for all your research projects in Singapore. Sometimes, you will have to use multiple research tools to achieve a particular objective.

The point we are trying to put across is that you should not limit yourself to just one marketing method or tool. Multiple courses of action such as reviewing secondary data, focus group, and social media surveys will sometimes yield more accurate results than a single strategy.

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Define Your Objectives

Just like any other business venture that you undertake in Singapore, your marketing research in Singapore should be guided by a set of objectives. Before you even embark on selecting research methods, outline the objectives or the goals that you want to achieve from the research.

List down questions that you want answered by the results of the research to avoid straying away from the main goal. The goals will help your market research team to stay on the task and cushion you from spending money on the wrong initiatives.

The bottom line is that as you conduct marketing research in Singapore, the questions and objectives should be at the back of your head. They should be the blueprint of your research.

Study the Customers

The first thing that you need to note is that it is not possible to understand your clients’ needs and expectations from your brand by simply tracking their purchases. We human are emotional and cognitive beings. Therefore, your clients’ emotions and actions need to be fully understood if you are to succeed in giving your Singapore business an upper hand in the market.

As you conduct marketing research in Singapore, take a closer look at their rational thoughts and emotional drivers. What motivates them to purchase the product? Why do they choose your brand over other companies offering similar products?

Understanding your customers will help you come up with better Singapore marketing strategies. Remember, running a digital marketing campaign such Instagram marketing in Singapore is an expensive venture so any mistakes can lead to loss of thousands of dollars that would have been invested in other aspects of your Singapore business.

80/20 Pareto’s Principle

Contact the wholesale distributors and big retailers and request for the buyer for your product category. Connecting with them will give you a clearer perspective of the market and help you make informed decisions for your Singapore business.

Understand that most of them may prefer doing business with a company that is already established and has multiple products to increase their margins. Explain to them that you understand this sentiment and show that you are willing to do everything possible to ensure they also benefit by marketing and distributing the product through their existing networks.

Research Trade Displays and Expos in Singapore

Every month, multiple trade displays and expos are scheduled in Singapore. The events give businesses an excellent opportunity to show their products to potential customers. One also gets a chance to interact with customers who visit the stand to learn more about the product.

Use the internet to know the dates, location, and registration process of upcoming expos and trade displays in Singapore. Be sure to register early enough to get the best spot in the event. Your interactions with potential customers during the events will give you a chance to not only pitch your product but also get insights about the product. You might get an idea on how to improve your product and inbound marketing strategies in Singapore.

More importantly, you can attend the event and become a mystery shopper. That is, pretend you are a customer and visit your competitors’ stands to know their product better as well as pricing.

Discuss the Research Results with Co-Workers and Business Partners

Now that you have collected enough data from the target market in Singapore, the next step is sharing and discussing the research results with business partners and co-workers. Prepare a report and share it with all of them to kick-start a discussion.

Schedule a meeting to discuss the results openly and take note of their suggestions. A brainstorming session after conducting marketing research in Singapore could also help you come up with new products, improve on existing ones, or create new marketing campaigns.

Top 10 Market Research Tools for 2021

Conducting proper market research will help you understand the target customers better and make the right decisions in digital marketing and lead generation. Unlike in the past, where marketers would manually collect and analyse data, there are tools that you can use to achieve the same goal more efficiently and effectively.

Here are the top 10 market research tools that you can use to understand your ideal customers better.

1. GrowthBar

GrowthBar is a market research tool marketed with the tagline “Make it 10X easier to get more customers”. The tool is designed to help digital marketers and business owners get leads through search engine optimisation, Facebook advertising, and search engine marketing.

Basics of Marketing Research in Singapore 1

One of the highlights of this tool is that it provides users with access to data about the competitors to create better campaigns. That is, you will get insider information about the keywords the competitors are ranking for and the growth channels they rely on to scale up.

It comes as a Chrome extension that you can install in your browser to research as you do other tasks online efficiently. The social signals will significantly help you improve your social media marketing campaigns and promote brand awareness efforts.

Other data you will get by using this tool include top paid keywords, domain authority of any website, page authority, top backlinks, organic traffic data, and many more.

Pros Cons
  • It’s easy to use as you only need to input the target URL or keyword to the search bar
  • Available as a Chrome extension to help you conduct research conveniently
  • 100% free
  • Monitoring of backlinks is fundamental
  • Does not provide keyword difficulty scores
  • It only works with Chrome

2. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey provides accurate and essential insights about the consumers to generate more leads, increase conversion rate, boost customer retention rate and bottom line. It does this by presenting custom surveys to the customers. Unlike other tools, it seeks to get a clearer understanding of your products by requesting customers for their perspective about it.

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Pros Cons
  • Ability to create custom surveys for every segment of customers quickly
  • Surveys are responsive -customers can access them on mobile and PC
  • Compatible with a wide array of platforms and software
  • Robust reporting features
  • Some users may encounter challenges formatting the surveys
  • Survey customisation features are limited
  • The interface is not adequately interactive

3. Gartner

Gartner is another brilliant market research tool that you can count on to give you insights into different customer segments. It’s powered by Magic Quadrant, a technology that enables it to fetch and present accurate market data and identify weaknesses, strengths, trends, and opportunities in the market. The data is presented in easy-to-understand reports that are generated on the fly.

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Pros Cons
  • Powered by Magic Quadrant technology
  • Use comprehensive questionnaires to collect information
  • Leverages visualisations to present reports
  • The free version has limited features
  • The paid version is expensive

4. Tableau Public

Tableau Public is a new generation tool that is designed to help marketers publish data visualisations that are interactive on the internet. As a marketer, you can use it to embed data to blogs, websites, and other online platforms that the target customers frequent.

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This business intelligence tool has, over the years, revamped the marketing industry by providing unlimited access to research data to the public whenever they need it. The tool is free, but to access the premium features, you will be required to pay.

Pros Cons
  • Interactive and clean dashboard
  • Many menu options to help you organise the data as per your preferences
  • Visual representations of data
  • Compatible with Google Sheets, Text Files, and Excel
  • Users using the free version cannot save the workbooks
  • Privacy concerns since the product is public

5. BuzzSumo

Content marketing is crucial to the success of any online business. BuzzSumo is designed to give your content creation direction by providing information about the most trending content types and topics in a particular niche. You can use the tool to analyse content to know what Google other search engines rank high.

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BuzzSumo will also give you an idea about the type of content the competitors are using to outrank you in search engine results pages. The main focus of this market research tool is backlinks and social footprint. Using it to do research will increase your content’s chances of getting the much-needed attention from the target audience, getting backlinks, and going viral.

Pros Cons
  • Easy to use – all you need to do is input the keyword in the search bar and hit enter to get content suggestions
  • Many filtering options to help you find the best topics fast
  • Intuitive and fluid reporting features
  • Content and social media insights
  • Ability to personalise the reports and notifications
  • Robust social media analytics
  • Spam filters for web mentions are not effective
  • No provision of competitor advertising analysis
  • Not possible to integrate it with Google Ads Keyword Planner

6. Social Mention

As the name suggests, Social Mention is a market research tool specifically tailored for social media platforms. You can use it to know the number of times your brand name or products are mentioned on Facebook and other platforms.

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By just copy-pasting the target website URL to the search bar, the tool will scour the web and present the site’s mentions from all social media websites. This information will gauge how the target customers are interacting with your brand on the platforms. You can also use it to analyse your competitors and determine which strategies to use for social media marketing and brand awareness.

Concisely, Social Mention will help you know your social media footprint and make informed decisions on how to target customers who are fond of using the platforms for research and interaction. You will get information about the keywords, sources, and hashtags related to your brand used by competitors to connect with customers.

Pros Cons
  • Tracks and present data in real-time
  • Ability to predict future performance
  • Scorecard to help gauge your branding efforts on social media
  • Results are presented in a user-friendly dashboard
  • Limited filtering options, especially for specific items
  • Presents data from old campaigns that are no longer relevant

7. Survata

Survata is a marketing tool that relies on access to an expansive digital network to collect data from millions of potential customers in just a few clicks. It achieves this goal by distributing your custom surveys to websites that your target customers are likely to visit. The users have to answer the survey questions to gain access to the website.

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It works like the conventional Google Survey; the only difference is that it provides you with more control over the data. The information is presented on a user-friendly dashboard in real-time. Here, you can analyse the data to get a clear perspective of your brand’s customers’ needs and expectations. For instance, you can use the collected demographic information to segment your customer base.

Pros Cons
  • Enable marketers to create different buyer personas
  • Innovative reporting feature to help analyse the data
  • Data is collected from a multitude of customers
  • A broad range of reporting tools to help you explore the information accurately
  • The survey can be invasive to some of the users, thereby compromise your brand reputation. This is because the targeted users MUST fill the survey to access the website.

8. Statista

Statista is a popular website or an online portal that helps conduct market research by aggregating data from more than 50 countries and 600+ industries. The data is already in the database, and all you need to do is type in keywords related to your niche to retrieve the data.

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Over the years, this website has helped researchers and marketers save time that would have been spent conducting the research independently. The data is readily available, and it’s presented in blue charts and graphs for more straightforward interpretation.

Unlike other similar sites, Statista also offers a brief explanation of the report under the graph. It’s the go-to platform to learn more about your industry market size, trends, current growth rate, projected growth rate, and customers’ behaviour.

Pros Cons
  • Data is readily available for retrieval
  • Many advanced reporting tools and feature for data analysis
  • Ability to download the data in multiple formats
  • Graphs and blue charts are visually appealing and easy to interpret


9. Zoho Survey

As the name suggests, Zoho Survey is a tool that uses surveys to collect market data directly from the target customers. It’s relatively new but has already garnered massive popularity in the digital marketing space.

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With a free account, you can create a survey with ten questions and receive a maximum of 100 responses from the customers. For customisation purposes, Zoho Survey offers more than 250 templates that you can use to create professional-looking surveys.

Pros Cons
  • Ability to create a unique survey for different groups of customers using the templates
  • Easy to use
  • More features and flexibility in the paid version
  • You can integrate it with Zoho Analytics, Zoho CRM, and other Zoho mobile applications
  • The themes and layouts are not stellar compared to other similar platforms
  • Interface is monotonous
  • It’s difficult to fetch individual responses

10. Hootsuite

Social media is one of the best platforms to conduct market research since it has billions of users. Hootsuite is best known as a social media scheduling tool. That is, marketers use it to schedule posts on various social media networks.

Basics of Marketing Research in Singapore 10

It also functions as a tracking tool that you can use to monitor the number of times your brand name, products, or services are mentioned. With the free trial plan, you can manage up to three social profiles and schedule a maximum of 30 messages.

Pros Cons
  • Navigation is super easy for both new and experienced users
  • Dashboard is well-organised
  • Transitions smoothly from the mobile application to desktop and vice versa
  • Accurate analytics page to help track brand social mentions
  • The additional features such as analytics tool and team function are expensive
  • Data from Instagram is limited

Smart Tips on How to Segment Market Data

Market segmentation is refining and dividing the collected market data into groups or categories based on several factors (we will discuss them later). The above ten marketing tools will help you to gather enough information about your target customers. However, without proper segmentation, you will not be able to capitalise fully on the data.

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Here are four smart tips on segmenting market data as you prepare to start doing digital marketing. Make sure that you read this section to the end to get maximum utility from your preferred marketing tool.

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Method 1: Demographic Segmentation

Demographic market segmentation is perhaps one of the most common and popular ways of organising market data. It is done by considering some statistical data from the customers such as;

  • Age
  • Income
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Ethnicity
  • Annual Income
  • Family
  • Education level and many more

The above factors are instrumental in helping group B2C customers. Still, a brand can also use them and other factors such as industry, job function, and company size to segment B2B market.

Unlike the other segmentation strategies that we will look at, this form of segmentation is relatively straightforward because the demographic information is factual and statistical. You can decipher the market and understand the ideal customer’s needs and expectations from your brand.

For instance, a vehicle manufacturing company that sells high-end cars is more likely to focus on customers in the high social class or high-income category. A B2B company that sells superior email marketing software can decide to only target companies with a given number of employees.

Such segmentation helps the brands to come up with marketing campaigns that match the customers. It cushions them from spending money and time on marketing campaigns that are not focused on the customers.

Method 2: Psychographic Segmentation

Psychographic segmentation is based on the unique characteristics and personalities of the customers. Some of the factors that a brand may focus on when doing this form of segmentation include;

  • Attitudes
  • Lifestyles
  • Personality traits
  • Motivations
  • Priorities
  • Interests
  • Psychological influences
  • Conscious and subconscious beliefs and many more

Unlike the demographic factors, it’s not easy to identify the psychographic factors, but software can pinpoint them during research. One of the challenges is that the factors are not based on data, and you have to carry out extensive research to understand the customer at a deeper level.

For instance, the high-end vehicle manufacturing company may decide to target customers who are optimistic and value the fine things in life. The B2B marketing campaign may target business owners who are self-motivated and focussed on increasing the team’s leads and productivity.

Identifying such personal traits requires specialised software and expertise. The content used to market the products to the customers identified has to be specially crafted to evoke the desired positive emotions. If the content doesn’t achieve this goal, the customers are less likely going to convert.

Method 3: Behavioural Segmentation

As the name suggests, this is a form of segmentation that focuses on the customers’ unique behaviors. That is, how do the customers interact and engage with the brand before converting? Understanding the ideal customer’s actions helps brands create custom marketing campaigns that align with their intentions when they visit the website or click on an ad.

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Examples of factors that are considered are;

  • Spending habits
  • User status
  • Brand interactions
  • Purchasing habits

To accurately do this form of segmentation, you need to understand the customer’s actions clearly. As you can see from the four factors listed above, how the customers interact with the company determines the type of ads or the campaign used to promote the product or service.

Using the same example of the vehicle manufacturing company, the marketers can decide to target prospects who purchased high-end cars in the past four years. The B2B marketing company can choose to narrow down to only customers who have signed up for one or more webinars.

Method 4: Geographic Segmentation

Geographic segmentation is simple since it focuses primarily on the location of the customers. Customers in a particular country are targeted with ads that are in a language that they understand. Some companies also have a responsive website that changes the language based on the website visitor’s location.

By doing so, companies provide personalised user experiences to their customers, which, in turn, results in high conversion rates. Note that the language barrier is one of the factors that hinder companies from expanding to new markets.

Examples of factors used to segment the market include;

  • Climate
  • Zip Code
  • Country
  • County
  • Rural or Urban

Geographic market segmentation can also be defined as the geographic boundary grouping of customers. Concisely, the customer’s location determines the products and services they get and the pricing.

The vehicle manufacturing company may decide to only market its luxury cars to customers residing in regions with warm weather conditions if they are not equipped to withstand snow and icy weather conditions. The marketing company may decide to only focus on businesses that operate in urban areas.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Market Research

Now, you know the best market research tools you can use to learn more about your target customers. We have also discussed how to refine the data collected into segments or groups for more manageable and laser-focused digital marketing. The next thing that we need to look at is the common mistakes brands make when doing market research.

Not Knowing Which Factors to Look For

As discussed in the market segmentation section, each segmentation method is governed by several factors. Before you start doing market research, you need to know which factors you should focus on to understand your customers better.

For example, if you intend to only market to customers in a particular geographic region, you need to make sure that your research methods are wired to capture that information. If not, you will end up with a ton of data that will take you days to analyse, and you won’t achieve the set goal.

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Assuming the Market is Static

The market is subject to countless factors that often inform the customer’s buying decisions. Assuming that the market will remain the same throughout the year is counterproductive. You will end up applying the wrong marketing strategies and expecting to get results.

If the last time you did market research is three months ago and you have started noticing a significant drop in sales, the chances are that the market has shifted in the opposite direction. Move with speed to do new research to know the changes and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Follow-up surveys are great and can help you get the feedback you need to restructure your campaigns and improve your products or services. More importantly, it would help if you did not rely on random data available in online portals to make decisions – do your research.

Ignoring the Competition

Work hard and smart every day as if other brands are trying to knock you off your current market position. As you conduct market research, you need to keep in mind the competitors to develop campaigns that are better than what they are using to get customers. Learn how they set their products or services apart from yours and other brands in the same niche.

All this information will help you develop campaigns that are robust and capable of getting you to the top. Most of the tools, such as Social Mention, can help you do this when preparing to run a new social media marketing campaign.

Final Thoughts

The above basics of marketing research in Singapore will help you get a clearer perspective of the market. Allocate enough time to the process to collect as much data as possible. The analysis should be done in a rational and holistic way to benefit your business. Market research is and should be the pillar that holds all your digital marketing campaigns together. Be sure to compare the features and functionalism of each tool reviewed in this article to find one that resonates with your brand and the kind of information you want.

Get in touch with us for professional digital marketing services in Singapore. Consider contacting MediaOne Marketing for stellar digital marketing campaigns that are crafted based on accurate market data. We will help you run the campaign and monitor the results until all the objectives are achieved. We will create a campaign that is based on the market data you collected. More importantly, we will work with your team to ensure the expected results are achieved.






About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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