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Market Research Key Performance Indicators and Metrics

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A market research KPI is a performance measurement that is used to monitor, analyze and present survey results in an efficient way. These measurable values cover market research studies concerning product innovation, brand analysis and customer satisfaction etc.

Thanks to professional market research analytics tools and techniques, agencies and businesses can gather quantitative and qualitative data in real-time and visualize it all together in a modern market research report that can be easily automated. Like this, large quantities of consumer data can be summarized and presented in a clear and interactive way. To help you in this quest, we put together a list of critical metrics to help you maximize your research efforts. All these indicators can be carefully put together in an interactive market research dashboard that will help you finding new actionable insights.

Here is the complete list of the most important market research KPIs and metrics, that we will discuss in this article:

Unaided Brand Awareness: Measure the active brand recall

Aided Brand Awareness: Evaluate consumers’ ability to recognize a brand

Brand Image: Find out the impression consumers have of a brand

Celebrity Analysis: See which celebrity is associated with your image

Customer Age Groups: Understand your clients age distribution

Customers By Gender: Track your client’s gender share over time

Customers By Education Level: Learn your target customer’s education level

Customers By Technology Adoption: Discover your consumer’s innovativeness

Usage Intention: Get insights on a new product potential

Purchase Intention: Forecast future customer purchasing behavior

Willingness To Pay: Analyze the price range of a future product

Net Promoter Score: Evaluate customer loyalty and satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction Score: Measure the customer satisfaction

Customer Effort Score: Track the customer experience with a brand

visual example of the market research KPI unaided brand awareness

Unaided Brand Awareness

Measure the active brand recall

To evaluate the degree of brand awareness of your company, you can perform surveys over a sample large enough. On our example, we have n=1333 people answering the question “what brands come to your mind when thinking about outdoor products?”. That is a direct, non-aided brand awareness survey that requires active thinking from the people interviewed, who will tell all the names that come to their minds without help. The advantage of open questions is that you don’t get biased answers by presenting specific names straight away. It gives an idea of where each label stands in the mind of people and how visible they are to the average consumer, passionate about the product category the brands stand in or not.

Performance Indicators

The most people naming your brand by themselves, the greater the awareness.

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visual example of one of the most important market research metrics: aided brand awareness

Aided Brand Awareness

Evaluate consumers’ ability to recognize your brand

After asking an open question to measure the number of people expressing knowledge of a brand by themselves, comes the aided brand recognition. It is important to ask this question afterwards so as to have the least biased answer on the first one. This KPI asks the surveyed sample if they have heard about well-known brands within a product category (bottled water, cleaning aids, outdoor accessorizes, etc). In this type of survey, the percentages of people knowing a certain label will always be higher than for the previous KPI, as it does not require active thinking from them but recognizing brands among others.

Performance Indicators

If people can recognize some brands more than others, it means that they have paid attention to their campaigns.

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chart which visualizes the brand image using Aaaker's brand dimensions framework

Brand Image

Find out the impression consumers have of a brand

The brand image is the consumer’s perception of a brand, reflected by the adjectives and ideas he or she associates it with. It can be measured using Aaker’s brand dimensions framework. It describes the traits and profile of a brand using five core dimensions that each have several facets. This model is easy to understand and makes an analogy with humans’ personality traits. The five core dimensions that each have several facets are: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication and ruggedness. To measure these traits, you can use a five-point Likert scale, from 'totally agree' to 'totally disagree'. On our example aside, we see that the biggest traits of this label are ‘outdoorsy’, ‘comfortable’, and ‘down-to-earth’, that are related to the facet’s ruggedness and sincerity.

Performance Indicators

Analyze and compare your brand image with your competitors and evaluate if consumers see your company like you try to present it with your marketing campaigns.

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data visualization of a celebrity analysis for the brand image

Celebrity Analysis

See which celebrity is associated with your image

A pretty easy and straightforward market research KPI is the celebrity analysis. On the same sample of consumers, you only need to ask who, among a list of celebrities you have picked, do they associate with a brand’s name and image. You can also leave it as an open question so as to see who comes first to their mind. It provides you with valuable insights on what type of public figure and personality people affiliate with a company's work. You might have surprising answers, and that can also give food for thoughts on whether their campaigns were rightly made and had the results expected. As a brand, you may then consider partnering with one of the figures that got the higher percentage, if you believe they are in line with your brand image and ethics strategy.

Performance Indicators

Celebrity endorsement is one of the most popular and efficient tools for advertising when done correctly: it is a good opportunity to use these insights.

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data visualization of the perecentage of customers by 5 age groups

Customer Age Groups

Understand your customers age distribution

Moving on into demographic metrics, we have the customer age groups. This straightforward indicator provides a percentage breakdown of your clients age ranges and it allows companies to segment them in order to provide targeted experiences that will boost loyalty and sales. Once you know your clients age range you can also classify them by generation and have a deeper understanding of their preferences. For instance, Baby Boomers might prefer to buy from physical stores while Millennials, the most targeted and largest demographic group, might prefer online shopping. The age of your target client is increasingly becoming one of the most important demographic metrics. The older your client base, the smaller it will get in time. Therefore, you should always aim at targeting new age ranges with interesting offers and products.

Performance Indicators

If you want to enter new markets in other countries or continents, looking at the age range of your client base will allow you to compare them to the ones from the markets you want to enter and define how viable it is.

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chart showing development of customers by gender

Customers By Gender

Track your client’s gender share over time

Next, we have another demographic metric, this time tracking the share of customers by gender over the past 5 years. Just like with age groups, gender demographics is an important indicator to track as it allows you to understand your clients on a deeper level to provide them with a personalized experience and boost engagement. For instance, a retail store needs to clearly define the way they will market female and male clients. Both groups have different purchasing intentions and resonate to different messaging. In the image above, we can see that the rate of females for this brand grew exponentially in the past years reaching almost 50% in 2022. This means there is a growing interest in this product or service that needs to be looked into.

Performance Indicators

Take your gender monitoring a bit further and include other diverse groups that don’t fit into the male/female category. This way you ensure you are not leaving any of your clients behind.

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customers by education level high, medium and low

Customers By Education Level

Learn your target customer’s education level

Next in our list of insightful market research metrics, we have the education level of your clients. Just like our two previous demographic examples, this indicator is very useful to segment your clientele. However, its calculation it’s a bit less straightforward than the others. The education level is a metric that is defined by specific criteria previously imposed by the business. Therefore, it can vary from company to company. The importance of this metric will also vary depending on the industry. While technology companies selling expensive products might need clients with the purchasing power to buy them, other companies selling cheaper products might be more interested in other demographic insights such as gender or age.

Performance Indicators

Tracking this metric over time can tell you how the education level of your clientele has evolved and adapt your strategies accordingly.

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customers by technology adoption cycle

Customers By Tech Adoption

Discover your client’s innovativeness

Our next metric tracks the rate of clients by technology adoption group. The technology adoption cycle is a segmentation technique that groups users into different categories depending on their willingness to adopt innovative technologies. At the top of the list, we have the innovators, being the ones most eager to try new technologies. On the bottom we have the laggards, being the ones more reluctant to change. This indicator is especially useful for companies selling technological goods such as smartphones, computes, camaras, among others, as they need to rely in their client’s innovativeness to buy their products. That said, it is important to monitor this indicator over time as it can tell you if your strategies to attract innovative people have paid off.

Performance Indicators

The technology adoption KPI is also useful when it comes to evaluating new product launches. It provides insights into your client’s behaviors and allows you to provide them with a valuable experience while boosting your revenue streams.

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see rich examples of interactive real-time kpis in datapine view our live market research dashboard
data visualization of the usage intention for a new product

Usage Intention

Get insights on a new product potential

The usage intention is a market research KPI that focuses on a specific type of product and the relationship consumers have with it. It is a metric asking about their intention to use it in place of another similar product but with a different characteristic. On our example aside, the specific characteristic is the novelty of the product: 41% of the target group would rather use a new-generation item than an older one, or than a competitor’s one. Marketers use this metric to estimate potential future purchasing from consumers, but also to get a feedback on a new product or service and the enthusiasm it triggers. If people are eager to use a new product instead of an old or a competitor’s one, it means that it has an added value.

Performance Indicators

The more people willing to use it, the better. However, don’t base a whole product development solely on these results.

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data visualization of the purchase intention for a new product

Purchase Intention

Forecast customer future behavior

This market research metric takes the consumer’s intent a step further, by positioning them in an active state of potentially acquiring a product. It is often used by marketers as an input to make decisions on already-existing and new products or services. They are used to predict future sales, but should not be relied on so much - it remains an intention and does not always translate into future sales. Sales rely on many other external factors you cannot control on the moment of purchase: time, money available, tiredness, product or advisers available in store, long queue at the cashier, etc. On our example aside, 47% of the target group are interested in buying the newest product; and the top new products are then ranked by purchase intention.

Performance Indicators

The higher the percentage, the better, as it means that the market responds positively to it. However, don’t take it at face value as many other factors are involved on the purchasing moment.

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measurement of the willingness to pay (wtp) inspired by stoetzel

Willingness To Pay (WTP)

Find out the price range of a future product

The willingness to pay (WTP) represents the higher and lower price limits a consumer would pay for a product. It gives you a range on which you can fix the price of a product, and more specifically, the costs that should not be exceeded if you want to make profit on it. It is important when it comes to pricing decisions or a new product development. The scale used for this KPI is inspired by Stoetzel, who would ask customers directly their maximum and minimum price for a product taking into account other aspects like the quality of the product. If it is too low, there might be distrust towards the quality and long-lasting potential of the product.

Performance Indicators

Push the analysis further by providing a price and evaluating the reaction towards it: is too high, too low, and in which proportions?

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gauge chart visualizing the market Research KPI Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Evaluate customer loyalty and satisfaction

This is a trans-disciplinary metric that is used in many different departments – and especially important for the customer service. It measures the likelihood of customers to recommend a product or services to their friends and relatives. The question simply asks to grade, from 0 to 10, how likely they would recommend the brand. Their answers should then be classified as follows: 0-6 are detractors, 7-8 are passives, and 9-10 are promoters. You can then evaluate your score by subtracting the percentage of detractors to the percentage of promoters. Set yourself a target you want to reach and measures your NPS on a regular basis to be sure you are not falling back.

Performance Indicators

NPS highly depends on the industry. Find a benchmark of your competitors' scores and try to exceed them.

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visualizing the customer satisfaction score (csat) with a 5-point-likert-scale measurement

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Measure the satisfaction with a product or service

Studies show that over 90% of unhappy customers won’t do business with you again: that’s a figure you certainly don’t want to be applied to you. This is why surveying and asking regularly how your customers feel about your products and service is essential to get direct insights and not lose touch with reality. There are many ways to perform such survey, whether by email, live on the phone or at the store, within your company’s app, on your website, etc. Simply asking how satisfied they are, providing a 1-to-5 scale, will already give you a good idea of where you stand. Customers also feel their opinion is valued and taken into account, which plays in your favor.

Performance Indicators

The more satisfied, the better of course! This is a score you can show on your website, along client testimonies, as today everyone searches online reviews before engaging with a business.

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gauge chart to illustrate the customer effort score (CES)

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Measure the customer experience with a brand

The customer effort score (CES) is measuring how fast and simple customers find their interaction with your business. It is very useful to spot any bottlenecks and frictions in the customer experience, and can predict future purchase behavior. You can measure the CES after a specific customer support interaction, after purchases, in meetings, live chats, etc. There are several ways to measure it: as a simple average of the grades given after answering “on a scale from 1 to 10, how much effort did you put to get the help you needed?”, or with a NPS-style approach like on our example aside.

Performance Indicators

The lower your score, the better. Reducing frictions and enhancing the customer experience is a must to see them coming back.

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