Some time ago a hotel manger in Hawaii had a sense his customers were too polite to give unvarnished feedback when asked directly about their room and the people they encountered during their stay.
His ingenious method for gathering real data about how his hotel was perceived is a text-book case.
His solution was ask the taxi drivers who ferried people back and forth from his hotel to the airport about conversations on the way back to the airport after a stay, He surmised this would be when his clients would let down their guard of politeness.
Once a month he'd buy donuts for the cab drivers on his route and show up after a shift to quiz the operators about the conversations in their vehicles. The data he got was just what he was looking for: raw and candid. This form of gorilla research was very effective.
Talking to people directly gets you one level of data. General information about your industry is easy to get on the internet, in online chat groups and with keyword research. Specific information about your product or service is another matter.
It helps to have a third party asking specific questions about your product or service.