Obviously, market research for a marketing agency is an everyday matter, but what about for smaller and emerging businesses that are still relying on their own marketing efforts to grow their companies? It’s perfectly possible to go it alone in marketing in the early days when you have more time and energy to dedicate to it, but that doesn’t mean it’s all a simple matter.
Below are some tips for doing better market research that will help your early marketing efforts garner greater success.
1. Learn About Data Analysis
To start, learning how to read and understand your market research data is the best place to start. Many in business are focused on some of the big metric numbers like hits on a website, or number of likes or shares on Facebook, and don’t know how to really dig down into the numbers and analyse the true implications of their current position.
Taking the time to learn about marketing data analysis, such as how to read Google Analytics data, is a great way to get started on your journey to being a better market researcher. Anything you can do to acquire new skills on data analysis will be helpful to boosting your business and in particular your marketing strategy and results.
2. Study the Competition
Understanding what your competitors are doing will also give you some insight into your own market research and how to better target your ideal customer base. In particular, take time to look at those companies that are offering a very similar product or service to yours. Who do they appear to be targeting in their marketing? You can learn a lot about your own target audience just by looking at how your competition seems to be trying to make their own product or service more appealing.
3. Survey Your Existing Customers
If you already have a handful of customers, even if it’s fewer than 20, you can make huge progress in improving your market research just by surveying them and getting to know them better. It’s fair to assume that the customers who have found you this early on are a good sample of what your target market is. Therefore, creating an effective customer survey to gather additional data on them can help you learn about what types of customers you are currently attracting.
You might find that your existing customer base is different from the one you originally set out to capture, but that’s ok. Either you can stay the course and continue attracting the same type of customer, or you can use what you know from this research to make changes to your wider strategy.
4. Be Clear on Your Objectives
If you want to do good market research, then you need to have clear objectives in your marketing from the outset. You should reflect on what it is you want to achieve overall. Who is your target audience going to be? How many products do you need to sell, and in what time period? What is the budget and purchasing power of your target market? How many competitors do you have?
Based on these you can set yourself realistic targets and objectives. For instance, as a new entry to a marketplace with a new and innovative version of an existing product, you might expect to be outselling at least 2 of your main 5 competitors within the first 18 months. You might hope to gain 100,000 followers on social media within the first year. Create clear objectives and your research path will naturally present itself.
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