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Market Research In Japan | Digital Marketing For Asia

How to carry out research on the Japanese market

If you are thinking about entering the Japanese market with your business, it is essential to conduct market research as part of your marketing plan and strategy. In fact, it’s on our list of things you should know before launching in the Japanese market. Even if you are already selling your product or service in Japan, research can be a useful tool in helping to understand your customers and finding ways to improve your product and marketing strategy. Research can also play an important role in your understanding of the market, identifying your competitors, finding new options for promotion and advertising, plus determining your target audience in Japan. Here we will introduce four ways you can carry out research on the Japanese market.

1.  Use social listening to learn about trends in Japan

Social listening is a branch of social media marketing that tracks and analyses what is being said about a company’s brand on social media. In this digital age, this research method has become a crucial part of audience research. In fact, social listening is not limited to learning about your own brand but can extend to information about your target market and target audience using carefully selected keywords and hashtags. 

If you don’t have the time to manually sort through all the search results on each social media platform, there are powerful digital tools that you can use which allow you to track conversations about your brand and industry. This is a great way to find trending topics and audience information, such as demographics, that will help you shape your marketing personas and promotions.

Social Listening | Digital Marketing For Asia

2. Conduct quantitative/qualitative surveys in Japan

A more direct and traditional way to learn about the Japanese market is by conducting surveys. You can work with local market research firms to receive feedback on your product, service or brand. Using social media, however, can be an easier, cost-effective way to conduct surveys. For instance, Twitter, which is very popular in Japan, has a poll feature that can be used to collect feedback from the Japanese audience.

As a LINE advertiser, there is an option to distribute ads using “Reach & Frequency” which allows the advertiser to send out brand lift surveys. This is a great way to learn how your PPC advertising on LINE is performing and how to improve them in future campaigns.

3. Interview existing customers

Conducting surveys is a great way to come up with a hypothesis about your audience. However, the best way to get feedback on your product or service is to speak to your actual customers. You can create a questionnaire and distribute it to your client list or prepare a list of questions to ask during an interview. Ensure to take note of the differences in customer feedback between the different markets and see how you can implement a customised solution for the Japanese audience! 

4. Hire an agency to do the research

There is an array of marketing agencies and market research firms who can conduct the research on your behalf. Professional marketing insights may be well worth the investment in terms of the quality of reports taken from a wide range of data signals. However, it is important to find an agency who both understands the Japanese market and can communicate and report effectively in English. For guidance, take a look at our compiled list of what to look for in an agency for Japanese digital marketing.


Ready to start your research in Japan? At DMFA, we employ Japanese digital marketing specialists – some of whom are experts on social listening. We also offer consultation to help businesses create bespoke strategies on how to enter the Japanese market successfully. Contact our bilingual team for your free initial consultation.

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