KNOWLEDGE BASE Market Research In The UK
The information on this page was current at the time it was published. Regulations, trends, statistics, and other information are constantly changing. While we strive to update our Knowledge Base, we strongly suggest you use these pages as a general guide and be sure to verify any regulations, statistics, guidelines, or other information that are important to your efforts.
January 31st, 2020 Update: On March 29, 2017, UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, which formally started the process whereby the UK would leave the European Union. The original plan was for the UK to leave the EU on March 29th, 2019 but on October 28th, 2019, the EU agreed to push the extension deadline to January 31, 2020.
The council agreed to conclude the withdrawal, and it took effect at midnight on January 31st, 2020. After this date, the UK is no longer an EU member state. This will obviously shift how business is done in the UK. We will keep updating this page to reflect these changes.
Learn more about Brexit here.
Market Research In The United Kingdom
Identify the areas where you will need to do research
Before we start developing a go-to-market strategy for the United Kingdom, it’s important to answer some fundamental questions about the UK, your company, product and prospective market.
Who are your prospective customers in the UK?
As you know, the UK is made up of several countries with unique markets and within each country there are also unique markets of consumers especially when comparing city dwellers versus those in small rural townships. The UK is a very interesting mix of traditional, deep-rooted in culture, modern, sophisticated, and multi-cultural people groups.
The Globig Knowledge Base and support resources have a lot of information about UK culture that’s important to consider prior to identifying prospective customers. Who are the influencers that UK customer groups admire and pay attention to?
Once you’ve identified your target market or at least what you believe is the best people group to develop a plan around, you’ll also want to identify the influencers for those groups. Globig Connect has influencers broken out by a number of categories and additional influencers are added based on your industry regularly.
Who are the influencers that those customer groups admire and pay attention to?
Once you’ve identified your target market or at least what you believe is the best segment to develop a plan around, you’ll also want to identify the influencers for those groups. Do your research to identify which influencers are the most likely to help get the word out about your product or service. If you are not familiar with the ways in which influencers can help you, you can learn more about Influencer Marketing in our section on that subject. Globig Connect has influencers broken out by a number of categories and additional influencers are regularly added based on your industry.
What pain or problem do you solve for your target market in the UK?
For products or services that are familiar to a market, you must have a much better product and be more remarkable than what is already being used as a solution. For unfamiliar products and services, such as concepts that never existed before, it’s best to undertake some product testing to determine if the solution you’re offering is something this new market will embrace. You can also work with influencers first to get them using your product and services. An example of new unfamiliar product categories are Airbnb or Twitter prior to the existence of those products. It would be hard to know how people respond prior to testing in market and getting influencers on board to talk about the brands.
Do people need or want your solution? Find out what they think about your product or service.
There are several ways you can test how well your product or service would be received and perceived, if there is confusion around it, if your product is sufficiently localized for this market, and even how much you could charge for your product and service.
Market research options
There are several ways you can test how well your product or service would be received and perceived, if there is confusion, if your product is sufficiently localized for this market and even how much you could charge for your product and service. The UK is an important test market for many companies, there are several options for implementing product research in market.
Online surveys and opinion polls
There are both self-serve options for surveying targeted groups and full service research firms to consider. Your budget, time frame and level of depth required will all impact the cost of the research.
For do-it-yourself quick and lower budget surveys and opinion polls, several online survey companies offer targeted consumer groups in the UK, such as Mturk.com, Cint.com, HarrisPollOnline, Ask Your Target Market
In order to recruit survey takers, you should assume you’ll pay $80-$200 per person to give you feedback.
Full service local research firm options include:
Depending upon the prospective customer group, the day of the week, time of day, and traffic, it can be hard to get people to show up for focus groups. Focus groups can be very effective way of doing market research in the UK, though, for understanding the people and culture more. It’s also important to remember that different cultures will assign meaning to things in a different way and may have dialects and words with meanings that vary from culture to culture. You should expect to pay $80-$200 per person to get qualified focus group attendees to your sessions.
We recommend working with a local research group with experience recruiting and running focus groups in the UK instead of doing them without assistance. It would also be good to get different perspectives from each country if your target market is throughout the UK.
Research firm- http://www.focus4people.com/
Product testing and sampling in the UK
For physical products for which you would like to get customer feedback, there is a variety of ways to test your product. One is to work with influencers such as bloggers that have an audience you’re interested in and ask them to give away some of your product and get feedback. Another is to set up sampling events in key areas. Many research agencies can assist you with this or, you could work with specialty retailers that might be interested in selling your product if customers really like it. You’ll want to make sure that you have a small team of people ready to manage everything if you’re not working with an agency to do it for you.
For most products to gain access to the UK, which is part of the EU until they complete their formal withdrawal, you will have to have CE marking on your product and extensive testing to meet EU standards prior to market testing. Globig also provides more information on CE marking.
Here are some additional resources to consider:
1. Product testing in the UK
2. Free sample sites for consumers to product test in the UK
3. Eye tracking and shopper studies resources in the UK
KNOWLEDGE BASE Market Research In The UK