Common Market Research Methodologies in Healthcare

Common Market Research Methodologies in Healthcare


Although healthcare is a unique entity in the consumer market, it relies on market research as much as any other industry. Market research helps connect caregivers to patients and provides crucial insights into each patient’s needs. There are several ways to go about this research, each with its own advantages.

The Most Common Healthcare Research Methodologies

Researchers employ several market research methodologies, depending on their goals and available participant pool.

Quantitative Surveys

Quantitative surveys are a simple way to connect with large numbers of participants. Users are asked to fill out information surveys about their preferences and experiences, generally intended to capture the ‘voice’ of the customer and gain broad insights into issues.

Focus Groups

Conducted in-person or online, this methodology brings small groups of participants together to answer questions in a moderator-led discussion. These responses tend to be more in-depth than survey answers and provide important contextual information on specific user segments.

Online Bulletin Boards

Bulletin board research allows participants to log into a web portal and answer questions in a public forum, usually conducted over a several day period. This strategy is flexible in nature, ideal for reaching participants who can’t attend in-person meetings due to physical restrictions or scheduling conflicts.

Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic studies leverage observational research alongside direct interviews to learn more about how participants use products, services, or technologies. Researchers monitor activities and combine their insights with user-provided data to formulate insights into trends and patterns.

One-on-One Interviews

Ideal for high-value participants who may not participate in group sessions (such as surgeons, C-level executives, or other time-restrained professionals), one-on-one interviews provide the most in-depth information of any methodology. They allow interviewers to probe deeper on issues while protecting each participant’s privacy in a confidential setting.

Data Reviews and Content Analyses

The above methodologies describe different ways to collect user data, but the collection is only the first step. Researchers must be able to review data and determine how to derive meaningful insights from the content.

Brooks Group’s approach to analyzing qualitative data differentiates us in the research market. We apply content analysis techniques and procedures that compress long-form data (as might be taken from a one-on-one interview or detailed survey) and break it up into smaller message categories. By doing so, we’re able to sift through large volumes of interview data quickly and efficiently.

In our experience, this is the best way to understand nuances among user responses, identify trends, and gain an empirical basis for monitoring changes over time.

Tools to Support Your Healthcare Research

The Brooks Group offers three products to help facilitate healthcare market research:

  1. Voice of the Customer – Customer-driven feedback process that evaluates account managers on custom metrics relative to their competitors.
  2. Equity Scan – Assessment tool designed to benchmark attributes and capabilities in key customer segments.
  3. Level III Analysis – Detailed assessment process consisting of account manager skill assessments, gap analyses, and long-term strategies for skill development.

The Brooks Group is a leader in providing training, market research, consulting, and instructional design services to healthcare organizations. Visit our site to learn more about the value of implementing a structured methodology to your healthcare enterprise.

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