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10 best market research tools for startups in Africa

Market Insights
September 14, 2022

In a world of increasing competition, understanding your target market is vital.

Conducting thorough research on a market or your past, current, and prospective customers helps you uncover essential insights.

  1. Validate a business idea
  2. Improve your product or sales motion
  3. Create more effective marketing campaigns

Unlike before, acquiring these insights isn’t hard anymore. Businesses no longer have to rely on conventional techniques like field research surveys or focus groups and annual reports (slow and expensive) because of new tools and data sources.

Utilising market research tools will help you understand your audience and market more thoroughly and quickly.

Ready to find out exactly what your audience wants?

Here are 10 of the best market research tools you can use today!

Want more? Here’s our full list of 35 market research tools for finding information

Benefits of Leveraging Marketing Research tools

There’s good reason why the market research industry has seen its global revenue reach more than double since 2008 (it is currently valued in excess of $76.5 billion) - is has been shown to come with a heap of benefits. Any business wanting to improve their product or launch a new marketing campaign would be at a significant disadvantage without it.

In a world of data, Market research has crucial for business growth, which is why its global income has more than doubled since 2008 and is now estimated to be worth over $76.5 billion. Without it, any company wishing to enhance their offering or introduce a fresh marketing strategy would be at a serious disadvantage.

Whether the decision is major or little, market research keeps your target audience at the forefront of every business decision. You can adjust everything, from your product, target customer and marketing methods, to fit your customer if you genuinely comprehend their requirements and goals.

In using market research tools and techniques, you’ll also de-risk market expansion and products

So, here are our top 10 market research tools in a nutshell.

10 of the Best Market Research Tools

  1. Apollo
  2. Yazi
  3. Sparktoro
  4. Statista
  5. Ubersuggest
  6. Similarweb
  7. Twitter advanced search
  8. Getlakta
  9. Typeform
  10. Sprig

1. Apollo

Apollo is a sales and prospecting platform that enables you to search over 250 million contacts at over 60 million companies. It is one of our all-time favourite tools because of how simple it is to find contacts or businesses in a particular space. The free tier is also incredibly valuable.

Apollo enables you to do bottom-up market sizing by telling you how many potential customers there are for you based on certain filters.

Application

A startup wants to calculate their Service Addressable Market (SOM) by calculating how many customers they could sell to. Their product is a CRM software tool for small accounting companies working off Xero. To calculate their market size using Apollo they search the following keywords:

  1. Keywords: Accounting
  2. # employees: 0 - 50
  3. Location: South Africa

They find 1,553 accounting businesses and can acquire the contact details of the businesses listed.

Look how well it works!

Screenshot 2022-07-28 at 09.00.46.png

Pricing:

Free (Basic features, LinkedIn Extension, Email Open, Click, Reply & Meeting Tracking); $49/mo per user (200 Email Credits, Advanced Filters, Uncapped Sending Limits with Sendgrid); $99/mo (A/B testing, Dialer, Call Recordings).

2. Yazi

Yazi is Africa's fastest and widest reaching market research tool which uses WhatsApp and other chat applications to survey people and gather insights from conversations. With an audience of 8 million people across 7 African markets and up to 800 data-points on each person, Yazi is one of the best tools to understand the African consumer.

Choose the audience you want to research based on pre-loaded audience attributes and additional screening questions, write the questions you want to ask in Yazi’s platform and get the data back in 2-3 days.

Although mobile penetration in Africa is on the rise, unfortunately, data affordability and phone storage is still a major barrier for many other market research companies operating in this space. Traditional online market research companies in Western countries connect businesses to consumer panels through mobile apps. Yet, many African people will not make use of these because they do not have the phone storage or data to download the app and use it.

However, WhatsApp is the one app in Africa that people actually do use - it has the highest penetration rate and with WhatsApp data bundles being widely available, this is your quickest route to connect to potential customers.

Application:

  1. Market validation survey - Discover how many people possess a certain behaviour and calculate an approximate market size.
  2. Product concept test - Find out if people would be interested in using your product (hypothetical or not)
  3. Consumer discovery - Discover what an audience thinks or feels about something, expose pain-points or quantify behaviour
Audience selection.png

Pricing: Free 30 respondents; $3-$5 per B2B respondent; $5-$17 per B2B respondent.

Check out this article if you're not sure which types of questions you should ask.

3. SparkToro

SparkToro helps you find the websites your customers visit, social accounts they follow, hashtags they use, and even more. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right?

It aims to help entrepreneurs, marketers, and product managers to discover and uncover the publications and people that have an influence on their target audience(s). The SparkToro dataset contains 70+ million public web and social profiles - that’s a lot of profiles to do market research with.

Application:

  1. Audience finding - you can work out where your customers or competitor customers are hanging out online in order to work out how you can market to them.
Screenshot 2022-07-28 at 09.09.21.png

Pricing: Free (5 searches/mo);  $38/mo (1 user, 50 searches/mo, Top 30 social results, Top 15 text insights); and $112/mo (5 users, 300 searches/mo, Top 100 social results, Top 100 text insights).

4. Statista

Statista is a data visualisation website that takes data from reputable reports across the web and makes them easy and digestible for researchers, marketers, and product creators just like you.

It helps you find even the most specific data relating to your industry. Are you planning to launch a new mobile app in Sub-Saharan Africa but you’re not sure how big the market of mobile app users is? There’s a chart for that.

Find statistics, consumer survey results and industry studies from over 22 500 sources on over 60 000 topics on this statistics database.

One neat aspect of using Statista is that the same chart is updated as the years pass. Say that you want to allude to the value of the beauty market in your proposal. If your investor accesses that same graph a year from now, it will reflect updated numbers, as Statista always finds the most recent research to update their visualisations.

Note: Statista doesn’t carry out original research.

Application

  1. Bottom-down market sizing
  2. Industry trends
Screenshot 2022-07-28 at 09.35.05.png

Pricing: Free; $39/month (billed yearly); $1,950 (one-time 30-day access)

5. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a simple research tool for doing keyword and content research. You can input a phrase, and Ubersugegst will create a list of keyword suggestions. One of the best features of Ubersuggest is the Google Chrome Extension which allows you to see top performing articles and keywords from your google search or right from the website you’re on. Great for in the moment competitor spying!

This tool is useful for market research because you can see who your top competitors for keywords are, how often your product is searched for, and whether there’s enough space in the market for the type of product you are launching.

You can also find out the questions your target audience asks in relation to the product and keyword. Each of these questions can then be be turned into a blog post that can inform your audience, increasing your brand authority and driving conversions.

Alternatives to Ubersuggest include: Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMRush.

Application:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Web traffic

Pricing: Free; $29/mo (Individual); $49/mo Business); $99/mo (Enterprise / Agency).

Screenshot 2022-07-28 at 09.06.19.png

6. Similarweb

Similarweb helps you find the web traffic and source of websites (the free version only shows websites with above a certain amount of traffic). It shows you where the traffic has come from (which other websites) and; where it goes to, the regions it comes from and, top pages (with the most traffic).

Key statistics:

  1. 100m+ websites
  2. 190+ countries
  3. 1b+ search terms

Application

  1. Competitor Spying - see if their traffic is increasing or not. This can offer be a market indicator - is the market getting bigger or smaller?
  2. Understanding digital behaviour - Getting a view on the traffic of certain websites may help you understand how consumer trends are changing. You might see that people are spending more time on Tiktok than Facebook, for example.
Screenshot 2022-07-28 at 11.31.17.png

Pricing: Free (Limited access to historical data); $199/mo.

7. Twitter advanced search

Although it is still one of the smaller social medias, Twitter possesses tons of valuable and insightful content and opinion that, if mined correctly, can help you make much better business decisions. For B2B businesses, Twitter is incredibly powerful.

It is estimated that the average income of a Twitter user far exceeds that of Facebook, Instagram or Tiktok, making this the right place for B2B market research.

Twitter Advanced Search - Filter hashtag or user data by number of RT’s or Likes:

  1. Including words: Include all the words: type at beginning of search, Including an exact phrase: Use quotation marks "{{This exact phrase}}", any words from a few words: separate with OR - ({{Any}} OR {{of}} OR {{these}} OR words)
  2. (#hashtags), From account: (@pepsi)
  3. Engagement: Min replies: {{min_replies:5}}, Min favourites: {{min_faves:5}}, Min retweets: {{min_retweets:5}}

If you want to understand what people think about a particular topic at hand, Twitter is the place to go.

Application:

  1. Consumer sentiment towards a topic or news event
  2. Understand the general consensus (potential target audience’s thoughts) on a topic/industry/product or news event
Screenshot 2022-07-28 at 08.50.19.png

Pricing: Free

8. Getlakta

Latka SaaS database has A LOT of private SaaS company data which could be very useful to those doing a deep competitor market research dive. This data tends to includes very private information, such as companies’ Revenue, Customer count, Churn and Customer Acquisition Cost.

If you’re looking to do some competitor research that is really detailed, this is the place to go.

Application:

  1. Finding out the estimated revenue of private businesses
  2. See company metrics
Screenshot 2022-07-28 at 10.07.02.png

Pricing: Free (Revenue & deal transaction data); $79/mo (SaaS metrics, save lists, 100 export data results per month).

9. Typeform

Typeform creates forms and surveys that people actually want to fill in. This is because the platform offers a conversational nature that gets more answers out of respondents. Like many SaaS platforms, Typeform is not overly prescriptive in how their users interact and use their product. Instead, they provide loads of example projects that ultimately direct their users, by highlighting various use cases.

Typeform is set apart from its competitors because of its beautiful, easy-to-use interface. It lacks a few of the robust reporting capabilities and question features of the more research-driven SurveyGizmo and SurveyMonkey but it could still be a great choice for researchers who want sleek and easy to build surveys without a lot of complicated features.

Application:

  1. Survey existing database - Survey employees and customers to gauge Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) or Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  2. Achieve quantitative data (statistically significant) - when data of this kind is required from a primary source (instead of 3rd party reports).
Screenshot 2022-07-28 at 11.26.17.png

Pricing: Free (10 questions/survey, 10 responses/mo);  $30-$35/mo (100 responses/mo, Unlimited surveys & questions, 1 user); $50-$60/mo (1,000 responses/mo, 3 users); and $96/mo (1,000 responses/mo, 5 users).

10. Sprig

Use Sprig to capture research insights from your users/customers in-context, so they can make customer-informed decisions, frictionless products, and experiences that matter. Their user research platform enables teams to evaluate their product's user experience in-the-moment, test new product concepts, and recruit research participants from their existing user base for longer studies. Sprig makes it easy to customise and launch in-product research studies with minimal engineering support and cuts down on hours of tedious research tasks with open-text response analysis.

Sprig’s new browser-based Concept & Usability feature allows you to test ideas, designs, and prototypes in minutes, no matter if you’re a solo designer, founder, small team or large enterprise.

Application:

  1. Unmoderated user testing feedback - get scalable product feedback before building a product with Figma prototype link
  2. In-product surveys - Learn and get insights from users whilst they use your product
Screenshot 2022-08-12 at 10.11.52.png

Pricing: Free (1 shareable link (non-integrated), 1 concept test), Starts at $3,500 annual license

Although there are so many wonderful options for market research - we think these are the best 10.

We hope this helped you find your ideal market research tool, suited to your requirements!

Want more? Here’s our full list of 35 market research tools for finding information

FAQ

How can startups effectively integrate these market research tools into their business strategy?

Startups can integrate these tools by aligning each tool's capabilities with specific research objectives, ensuring a structured approach to data collection and analysis within their strategic planning.

What criteria should startups use to select the most appropriate market research tool from the list?

Selection criteria should include the specific needs of the startup, such as budget constraints, the geographical reach of the tool, the type of data needed (quantitative vs. qualitative), and ease of use.

How can startups balance the use of multiple market research tools without overlapping functionalities or data?

To avoid overlap, startups should map out their market research objectives and identify which tool best meets each objective, ensuring a complementary rather than redundant use of tools, and adjust based on results and feedback.

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