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A Straightforward and Effective Approach to Market Research

Approaching market research

Market Research is where all successful sales and marketing strategies are born.  It enables businesses to set the direction for their web marketing campaign, draft prospect personas, prepare their sales playbook and draft a clear marketing message just to mention a few.  Needless to say, it is crucial to take the time and actually get it done right – trouble is that this is where a lot of web marketers often black out.  Are we to approach marketing research with costly focus groups with online marketing experts and isn’t that how the top guns do it?

Now focus groups behind two-way mirrors may indeed be the approach that the top guns are taking but keep in mind that we all have access to something a lot better – the Internet!  Yes we can all get this type of research done with lower cost and across a wider scope.  Let’s check out a simple and straightforward approach to go about it – if you are looking for specific tool and strategies you may want to check out our recommended tools for online market research.

Getting Market Research done

Now prior to getting into the strategies and tools that you can look into for getting market research done, there are several things that you need to consider which would help you approach the task with a straightforward and effective methodology

Determine exactly what information you are looking to unravel – identify the specific things that you need to know for effective web marketing. Don’t try to get it all answered in one go.  Otherwise you are not going to find out anything meaningful.  Here are a couple of things that you ought to figure out while breaking them down into specific categories relevant to your business:

  • The competitors that you’ll have to deal with
  • Are you trying to solve a real issue that people are really dealing with?
  • Any dissatisfaction people are having in the kind of products or services that they offer?
  • In what way do your targeted prospects usually prefer to communicate or lookup information?
  • How much money people are willing to spend for the products or services that they offer
  • Is your product or service enticing or interesting enough?
  • Psychographic and demographics

Come up with questions and think about how they are going to be answered by prospects – determine what questions you need to ask to get a comprehensive data (including follow-up questions).  There’s nothing worse than having marketing research done only to realize later on that you’ve missed out on some logical questions that would have helped you understand your market better and having to do it all over again. Take the time to go through hypothetical conversations and prepare all the questions that you will need to ask before starting your research.

Seek out the individuals that are best suited for your market research – research in online marketing can be targeted towards buyers instead of leads or online users in general.  If this is the case, you need to consider key characteristics that these people possess.

The best approach to asking questions for your research – What is the best and most effective way to ask your questions among online marketing prospects?

  • Surveys
  • Twitter – do you have a large number of Twitter followers?
  • E-mail – do you have an email list that presents suitable contacts for your marketing research?

Analysis – of course to make sense of all the information you’ve collected, you’ll have to analyze it and this has to be properly done according to the kind of information you’ve been gathering which could either be qualitative or quantitative in nature.  For instance, let’s say you are looking for quantitative data about how much interest is out there for the product or service that you are offering, you need to look at the number of people who responded positively versus those who’ve responded negatively or otherwise had shown indifference in order to decide whether to push through or scrap the project.  In the case of qualitative data, you may want to consider the qualities that most of your target prospects find most valuable or the number of ways they are actually making use of your product or service and seek out new means of utilization that you overlooked to consider as well as identify issues that people are having regarding your product or service and how to rectify it or further improve it!

One needs to think of market research as a consistent and on-going process.  The insights and information you acquired will likely yield more interesting questions that have to be asked.  Take every opportunity to communicate with target customers and find out all that you can about their needs and what you can do to best address it.