Market Research in China

Our Research Methodology
Our researchers utilize both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to gain insights.
China Market Research - Research Methodology
When a project started, the crucial first step is to search for any available information that is applicable to the effort. Secondary data analysis, a group of articles on a topic, demographic or statistical data and our internal research incorporate our research project's previous findings.
A secondary research review can help to provide preliminary answers to questions about the scope of the research, previous attempts to address the problems as who’s the probable target audience, How’s the competition landscape in the Market, What’s crucial information about the potential market?
Although secondary research is usually the least expensive type of research and may have the easiest access, it may be less reliable than primary research as the information obtained was not developed with any particular problem or specific market in mind.
Therefore, primary research is the key stage in China market research. We will carry out various methods according to our clients’ requirements, purpose of market research and characteristics of the selected market object.
Qualitative Market Research
1.Focus Group
A focus group consists of about 6 to 10 people who strongly represents the target audience are selected to be monitored in a room which will be fitted with a unidirectional mirror. Under an experienced coordinator’s direction, the subjects will discuss issues about consumers’ needs and demands. The coordinator would observe and evaluate the psychology and behavior of the test subjects. This will help us to understand consumption pattern and hence set the foundation for future quantitative research.
Conducting focus groups is a good way to uncover new information that cannot be obtained through other research methods; we speak the language, understand the culture and have the communication modus operandi for optimum results for you. Furthermore we will be able to find out how to market your product in China by uncovering consumers’ preferences, understanding their brand awareness and their perspectives towards the usefulness of your product.
2. In-depth Interview
An un-structured interview allows the researcher (or executive interviewer) to explore issues in detailed. In the process, an experienced interviewer will develop a deep understanding of the subjects through certain questions. By observing their facial expressions and body languages, the interviewer would be able evaluate the responses given. In-depth interviews are often an initial part of the China market research process as they allow the researcher to have a deeper understanding of their target audience before planning any marketing strategies.
3. Delphi Technique
In this method, we will constantly seek experts’ opinions through objective analysis. Initially, we will invite and seek the different opinions of industries’ experts. Thereafter, we will present the feedback to our team of expert for evaluation. This process will be repeated until constructive opinions have been obtained. According to different demand of different topics, the Delphi technique will be applied for about 3-4 turns.
4. Projection Technique
As projection technique method is more indirect and unstructured, respondents may feel more comfortable in the process. This method does not entail the interviewee to explain their consumption pattern but the behavior of other consumers. By responding towards other consumers’ behavior, the subjects will be giving out their own response. This includes the association technique, the completion technique, the structure technique and the performance technique.
Quantitative Market Research
1. Phone Survey
 Telephone is the main medium which data are collected. Interviewers carry out their work in a fixed time at one location. Phone survey is only suitable for simple surveys where the session will not last more than 10mins. Carrying out a long survey on the phone would bore the respondents and thus resulting in a low response rate. Phone surveys do not require high operating costs and they reduce discomfort when interviewees are facing unfamiliar places. There are basically two types of phone surveys: the traditional and the computer aided.
1)      Traditional phone survey
The traditional phone survey method would only require the use of a normal telephone, a printer and a pen. A well trained surveyor will use a dialing method, a questionnaire and some filters to select their targeted interviewees. Thereafter, the answers to the questionnaire will be recorded down.
2)      Computer aided phone survey
Computer aided phone survey requires the use of an electronically designed questionnaire. The interviewee will be asked in a procedure fixed by the computer. With the aid of a computer, the surveyor would take down the responses by using codes to represent certain responses. For example, ‘Y’ indicates yes and “N” to indicate negative response.
2. Face to Face Interview
Face to face interview requires the surveyor to have direct interaction with his subject. This will include door to door, interception and the mysterious type.
1)      Door to door
After selecting their target audience, field workers will carry out the surveys by going door to door to their interviewee’s residence.  Thus, the interviewees and field workers are in direct contact with one another. Although this method is random in nature, the surveyor will still have a set of rules to follow. With this direct contact, surveyors can observe the attitudes and facial expressions when the subject answers the questions. This stringent sampling method can also ensure the sample representation to be more accurate and hence obtaining a more effective response rate. The surveyor will have to attempt to clarify with the interviewees at the point in time if the answers do not tally with the questions. The surveyor can also get the answers to open-ended questions.
2)      Interception method
There are basically two ways in which this can be carried out.
The surveyor will stay in a designated area and according to certain procedures; they have to gain the interviewee's consent before proceeding with the survey.
The surveyor will rent a place with heavy pedestrian flow i.e. shopping malls, and based on the research requirements; they may even have to place certain products for the interviewees to feel and see the product. After gaining the interviewee's consent, they can proceed with the interview.
The advantage of this method in China market research lies in its efficiency, accuracy and quality of the survey which can be controlled by the surveyor and it saves on sampling time and expenses.
3)      Mystery Shopping/Mystery Customer technique
Mystery shopping or a mystery consumer is measuring quality of retail service or gather specific information about products and services. The mystery customer is an observational methodology where the field researcher would assume the role of a customer unknown to the establishment she/he is evaluating to collect data on the "customer experience". Customer service personnel would not be aware that their behavior is being monitored. The data collected would be error-free compared to those that occur in self-report or traditional surveys as they are unable to observe behavior as directly or rely on secondary accounts and self-report. Mystery customer surveys are common in service industries such as fast food franchises, hotels and airlines as a staff training and performance appraisal method.
4)      Mail Survey
In a mail survey, the questions will be mailed to prospective respondents. The respondents would have to fill them out on their own and returned to the field workers by mail. There are basically two ways in which this could be done: the retained questionnaire survey and fixed sampling survey.
5)      Returned Questionnaire Survey
The surveyor will go door to door and give a brief explanation of their purpose. They will then leave the questionnaire with the interviewees and collect the questionnaire back either by on a pre-agreed date or providing them with postal envelopes. By facing the interviewees directly, the interviewees can clarify any doubts when presented with the questionnaire by the fieldworker. This will result in a high return rate as there is sufficient time for participants to ponder over the questions and not be influenced by the surveyors.
6)      Fixed Sampling Survey
In this method, an area or the whole nation will be sampled. After getting the consent from the participating household, the company will arrange for the questionnaire to be mailed to them regularly. In order to prevent the sample from getting outdated, constant adjustments to the samplings will have to be made. As the scope or area covered will be sufficiently large, the sampling will not be limited by the area and the sample size will be larger compared to other research methods. Thus for China market research, this would be an efficient method.
In-depth China Market Assessment
Market research is a type of business intelligence that supplies a large amount of data which is worth analyzing fully and intelligently. Having a good research analysis would give you a clear vision of Chinese market. We will then use multivariate statistical processes to interpret the results in more depth to serve our clients better. The following are the common multivariate statistical analysis that we use:
(1)       Regression analysis
Regression analysis studies the dependence of a single, interval scale variable (such as sales) on simple or multiple variables. Regression analysis can be used to predict or explain the value of one quantitative variable based on the value of another variable. It can also predict or explain the value of a quantitative variable based on the value of more than one other variable, and determine which of those other variables has the strongest influence on the variable being predicted.
(2)      Factor analysis
Factor analysis is an analytical tool that helps to reduce a large number of variables into a more manageable set. It does this based on correlations within the data by
a.         Identify the number of factors
b.         Define the factors as functions of the measured variables
c.         Analyze the factors which have been defined
The factors produced can show what judgment patterns lay behind people’s image evaluations of the products in our China market research analysis.
(3)       Principal component analysis
Cluster Analysis uses several techniques to classify people, objects, or variables into more homogeneous groups. It can be used to identify market segments, develop typologies and find target markets in China market entry. For example, with the help of different cluster processes we can find out what the customer segments in the sector are and how attractive it is to process the segments according to their willingness to purchase.
(4)       Cluster analysis
Cluster Analysis uses several techniques to classify people, objects, or variables into more homogeneous groups. It can be used to identify market segments, develop typologies and find target markets in China market entry. For example, with the help of different cluster processes we can find out what the customer segments in the sector are and how attractive it is to process the segments according to their willingness to purchase.
(5)       Discriminant analysis
Discriminant analysis examines how two or more groups of respondents differ from one another based on a few predictor variables. It is practical for
a.         Discovering variables (i.e., a discriminant function) which are the distinguishing factors
b.         Understanding differences among groups
c.         Forecasting market behavior based on demographic and psychographic variables. For example, we would be able to measure the average percentage increase in sales per month since advertising on the TV has started.
(6)      Conjoint analysis
Conjoint analysis is used to evaluate preferences and tradeoffs that buyers are willing to make for their desired product. We need to find out what kinds of products are complementary or substitutes for one another. The techniques are thus effective tools for developing bundling of product or service offerings, optimizing product configurations, and diagnosing competitive strengths and weaknesses in our service of China market entry.
(7)      Correspondence analysis
China market research frequently involves categorical data. With a contingency table, this method allows us to differentiate any relations between two or more categorical variables. This analysis could help us answer the questions: who our customers are? who else our customers should be? what new products we should create? etc.
(8)       Multidimensional preference analysis
Consumers’ preferences for goods are based on various factors. However, these factors are not often defined in the Chinese market. Thus, a multidimensional preference analysis will be able to analyze such data by using a data matrix whereby the columns represent consumers and the rows represent products. By analyzing the data matrix, we will be able to find out patterns of consumers’ preferences and better marketing strategies can be formed.
(9)       Multidimensional scaling analysis
This method is used to find out what products are substitutes or complementary of one another. Thus, we will be able to find out how do consumers perceive your products and what products could affect the sales of your products.
(10)    Benchmarking analysis
In order to understand what level of comparable services the competitors are supplying, we could combine the benchmarking analysis with best-practice and relevance analysis. We do not just show where competitors are possibly performing better, instead we analyze in which areas it is worth being better. The benchmarking analysis shows how performance leads to good positioning in China market as consumers increase the purchasing intentions.
Through statistical analysis and our professional experience, we are able to perform comprehensive market assessment, which may include:
1.         Assessment of market supply and demand.
2.         Assessment of market competition.
3.         Overall efficiency of the industry.
4.         Strength and weakness analysis of the products.
5.         Opportunities and threats related to the industry.
6.         Assessment of market potentiality.
7.         Assessment of the overall marketability.

Our Strength
Reliability: Our China Market Research – Data Quality control
The quality of data will determine the objectiveness of your decision thus data quality builds the foundation of our China market research. To our clients, good quality findings will provide the correct information for the next step in their decision-making process of China market entry. Whereas, findings that are of undesirable quality will have a negative impact on how their policies and decisions are made. Therefore, to ensure our clients make the right decision of China market entry, Huaran Investment Consulting has a set of strict quality control procedure that enables the collected data to have a true projection of China market.

Preliminary stage
1. Questionnaire Design

By applying our vast experiences over the years, we have formulated questionnaire templates that are of professional standard. As different projects have different requirements, our researchers will edit the template accordingly. Before we carry out the surveys, our clients will have to revise the questions and pilot interviews have to be made. Any problems occurred during the pilot interviews will be reviewed and amended to the satisfaction of our clients.
2. Project Training
To make sure the surveyors understand the various way and principles of sampling, the purpose of China market research and the surveying techniques (which includes projecting and asking of questions), our surveyors will undergo strict and in depth foundation trainings. Surveyors will be given extra trainings that pertain to the requirements of the questionnaire in every respect and be arranged for simulated survey.
3. Simulated Survey
After the completion of the trainings, we will undergo a simulated survey. A simulated survey will prepare the trainees on how an actual survey would be carried out. The people supervising the simulation will be those who had been through the training and are very familiar with the whole procedure. The simulation will occur at a time period not shorter than what the actual situation requires. Those who fail to meet the requirements for the simulation will be rejected and any problems encountered during the simulation will be reflected to the management so that the simulation process can be further improved on.

Survey Execution
On the spot quality control includes:
The surveyor must follow strictly the structure of the questionnaire, when asking question, they will have to comply with the requirements and the questionnaire must be completed without omission.
When conducting the survey, the surveyor must not provide any suggestions or subjective explanation or change the phrasing of the questions. The surveyor would create biasness as the subjects may change their opinions when the question is asked from another perspective.
The surveyor must promptly report to his/ her supervisors when any problems encountered so that their supervisors can provide them with assistance.
Surveyors will have to submit their questionnaires within the designated period. The surveyors are not given their next assignment until the QC department has checked and validated their questionnaires.
A routine meeting will be held to discuss the project progress and existing problems with the project.
Our clients will be consistently updated with our project progress and situation.
The project manager has the responsibility of making sure that the projects progresses as planned. Should there be any deviation, the project manager will have to find the root of the problem and if the deviation will affect the progression or quality of the project, they will have to come out with immediate remedies and then report to the department's head. After the project has ended, the project manager will have to evaluate the surveyors and thereafter, save into the surveyors' profile.
Questionnaire Verification
For verification, the Quality Control department will examine the questionnaire (independent of surveyors) for at least twice:
Firstly, questionnaires with incomplete or inconsistent answers will be picked out. The Quality Control department will also scrutinize the open-ended questions.
Next, any problematic questionnaires will be reexamined by contacting the interviewee again.
At the same time, 40% of the questionnaire will be taken out for reexamination. Should there be any dubious part of the selected questionnaires; more proportion of the questionnaire will be taken out for reexamination. If there are problems with the surveyors, they will be deemed void and the equal amount will be replaced by other surveyors.
Report verification
As part of quality assurance service of our China market research, all reports that are submitted to our clients will have to go through our panels of project managers, experts and senior consultants. The process includes verification of language, data and content of the reports so as to ensure that our clients will receive the highest quality.


Why us?
Over the past years, we have developed a practical and systematic approach to help our clients reduce these risks and maximize the return on their investment in China. With our global vision, local experience and network, we can assist our clients to acquire valuable market information, undertake comprehensive market analysis, draw up appropriate entry strategy, establish best distribution channels and expand our clients' business effectively in China, below are the services we are able to assist our clients:
1.       China market research: in-depth market assessment.
2.       China market analysis: this will answer two basic questions:
          Are your products marketable in Chinese market?
          If yes, what is its potential?
3.       Market entry strategy: identification of the best distribution channels.
4.       Establishment of sales channels: implementation of market entry strategy.
5.       China market expansion: growth and increase of market share.

As a professional full-service market research consulting company in China, we are able to conduct high quality customized China market intelligence, which includes industry research, products survey, competitor study, consumer research, study on sales channels, due diligence and investment investigation etc.
For every project we take on, we work closely with our clients to ensure that they receive the exact information they need to make smarter decisions in China. We deliver research that is customized, comprehensive and discreet, and have direct experience with many sectors of the Chinese economy.