15 Books & Courses That Will Make You a Better Researcher
A new year means new opportunities to get a better position at work, a new niche in the market. When everybody watches TikTok, upgrade your skills by watching or reading something useful during a holiday/weekend time. For example, marketing research is a vital part of any business decision.
At Dashly, we’re big market research fans. Previously, we’ve published a series of articles devoted to customer development, interviewing, fast ideas testing. But this time? We’ve crowd-sourced the list of top courses and books on marketing & product research from the Dashly team.
Now keep scrolling to see the 20 must-read books taking up prime real estate on our bookshelves (and that you should add to your holiday shopping cart) 🤓
Nine books on Marketing & Product Research
If you are new to marketing research, here is a list of books to start.
Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques
Authors: Anselm Strauss, Juliet Corbin
The book is devoted to everything about researches. It describes how a simple talk grows into valuable theories. It provides a step-by-step approach to doing research and building strong hypotheses from a formulation of the initial research question. Here you’ll find various systems of coding and analysis, techniques of writing & speaking on the research topic.
Perfect for novice researchers, an academic who needs to study the intricacies of GT.
Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research
Author: Elizabeth Goodman, Mike Kuniavsky, Andrea Moed
This is an ultimate guide on user experience research. The book presents 13 user experience research techniques that will provide a basis for developing better products. It’ll help you «walk in the shoes» of your product’s users full of practical examples and advice.
Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights
Author: Steve Portigal
With a focus on an interview as a part of the research process, this book explains why it isn’t just a list of questions to ask. Here you’ll find interviewing techniques and tools that enable you to conduct informative interviews with anyone. This book guides how to move from gathering data to uncovering powerful insights about people.
Lean Customer Development: Building Products Your Customers Will Buy
Author: Cindy Alvarez
This is a detailed instruction on how to validate product and company ideas through customer development research. A killing combo of open-ended interviewing and fast research techniques helps understand your prospects’ behavior, problems, and goals. The book offers hypothesis validation, customer interview, and user research insights on creating truly great products.
If you already have some research experience, you asked how to do them more in-depth, faster, and cheaper. There is a list of books for mid-level researchers to find these answers.
Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User Research
Authors: Jeff Sauro, James R Lewis
Want to quantify, qualify, or justify the collected data? This book will guide you on using the advantages of a powerful duo ─ quantitative & qualitative research methods.
In addition to the detailed guide on how to use statistics to solve common quantitative problems that arise in user research, authors prepared for you:
- usability questionnaires;
- concrete solutions with Excel formulas and links to their web calculators;
- engaging discussion on the statistical reasons why tests work and how to effectively communicate results;
- case studies.
Useful for everyone involved in UX researches and statistics.
Games User Research
Authors: Drachen, Mirza-Babaei, Nacke
People love playing games, having fun, competing. Thus, business and marketing are obsessed with gamification, but only a few of them do it right. This book will tell you the secrets of testing creatives in game dev. It will be useful for everyone working with interactive elements.
In this book, dozens of veterans share their wisdom and best practices on how to:
- Plan user research;
- Obtain the actionable insights from users;
- Conduct user-centric testing;
- Which methods to use when;
- How platforms influence user research practices;
- And much, much more.
The Lean Product Playbook. How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback
Author: Dan Olsen
This book will guide you on how to create successful, innovative products that customers love. This is a detailed instruction of Lean Startup method implementation for PMs and CEOs. The author tells how to define your target audience, find their interests, and create a successful product strategy, MVP and test it with clients.
Read it to understand the entire product development process from problem validation to ideation to development to UX to analytics.
Strategic Market Research: A Guide to Conducting Research that Drives Businesses
Author: Dr. Anne E. Beall
If you embrace market research as a facilitator of change, this book will tell you principles, theory, and the author’s unique approach for its conducting.
Here you’ll find how to:
- Identify the strategic questions to boost your business growth;
- Answer these questions with the right research techniques;
- Reach the insights level of the research analysis;
- Read the respondents’ nonverbal communications;
- Understand the emotional aspect of their behavior;
- Conduct statistical analyses to understand market drivers;
The practical part is full of real-life examples illustrating the application of these concepts in various scenarios.
Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins
Author: Mark W. Schaefer
The breakneck speed of digital marketing making, confusing consumer trends, the unrelenting pace of technology can make you feel irrelevant and lost. Mark Schaefer provides an achievable and realistic framework for staying ahead of the breathtaking rate of change in the business world.
This book will teach you:
- How cataclysmic consumer trends are a predictable result of a revolution that started 100 years ago;
- Why human impressions are at the core of business growth;
- What you need to know about customer loyalty change;
- How to promote your brand via customers, etc.
Singular insights, new research, and inspiring case studies will help you adopt the practical part of business growth.
Marketing & Product Research Online Courses
Another way to upgrade your skill of marketing research is courses. Useful information from real pros + certificate = powerful combo for beginner researchers. There are some you may like:
Research Proposal: Initiating Research
A well-prepared basis is a big part of future success. The same rule works in the research. The better you know the foundation of this field, the better results you’ll have.
This course will help you to define market research and identify the necessary tools used in the industry.
Market Research Specialization
Another way to succeed in something new is to use a comprehensive approach while learning. This course is based on it, so here you’ll find out:
- How to initiate a marketing research project;
- Methods of researching multiple datasets and modes;
- How to analyze research data and deliver its results;
- Perform specialized researches;
Market Research and Consumer Behavior
The first part of this course repeats the previous. It is a theory on how to initiate research, create a plan, interpret the collected data.
We’ve included this course into this list for its second one ─ which is focused on the consumer decision-making process. It highlights what happens (in their hearts and minds) from identifying a need to buy and consuming a product.
A Complete Introduction to Online Market Research
This course focuses on online market research, where you collect data through mobile or web-based surveys.
In addition to standard theory on market research types, you’ll learn how to:
- Unpack your research objective;
- Design questionnaire;
- Build a survey;
- Conduct a fieldwork;
- Clean and process data;
- Interpret the collected data.
Niche Market Research Mastery: Find Profitable Niches Online
Whether you are a startup or an experienced player on the market, finding a profitable niche is a crucial part of reaching long-lasting success online.
The author guarantees that you’ll have a reliable process for doing niche research that you can use again and again by the end of this course. In fact, in 30 days, you will:
- Know how to do laser-targeted market research;
- Understand the advantage of a niche market;
- Discover the elements of a profitable niche;
- Learn how to offer niche & market research as a service;
- Analyze if your niche idea is profitable;
- See how to test your new niche.
- Know how to do quick domain & brand name research
- Bonus: 10 Point Ideal Niche Checklist
Market Research Made Simple: Study Your Target Audience
The customer-centric approach is a trend that has become a must-have part of product marketing strategy. To better understand what truly motivates your consumers, you need to analyze the right information. You have to:
- Know what motivates your customers;
- Understand the decision-making process of buying a product or service like yours;
- Know where they find those products;
- How they came to your website.
This course will help you to learn:
- How Market Research Benefits Your Business;
- The Types of Information You’ll Gather;
- How to Perform Market Research in 5 Simple Steps;
- How to Run Customer Feedback Surveys, and much more!
Have we missed some course or book? Share your fav one in the comments, and we’ll add it to the next list!
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