There are thousands of How-to technique’s and methods for researching your online marketing business. Actually, if you do a Google search on Online Marketing Tools, there are 67,300,000 results that are available to glance through. Yes, it would probably take way too much time out of your day to find exactly which one would be most optimal for your specific online business. But if I tell you that there is a way to figure out what marketing research really is all about along with a few quick steps on how to properly approach it, would you believe me that it’s not that hard to come up with a strategy for doing it?
Without market research, there are thousands of valuable opportunities that are missed. To be a productive online marketing entrepreneur, you have to do your homework‒ plain and simple. So many business owners skip over this little detail and it causes them lots of pain and suffering in the long run. Success comes from trial and error, mostly trial, but that includes accurate and timely information.
- First, think about what it is you are looking for and what you want to attain with your online business. This helps businesses seek the correct information from their research.
- And second, gather and monitor all the information that could possibly help you because all successful business owners must know their markets, competitors, and customers’ wants and needs.
Think of your market research as being in categories. You will have your primary research that is the data-gathering, patterns of your viewers, usage, and their likes and dislikes. This provides insights to the collected data for your consumer’s trends… like what they like to look at on your website, what product is most sought after, and how much they spend on average while making purchases from your online site. You can also gain more information and data by breaking this down into yet more categories such as:
- Conducting Online Surveys: This is such a great way to gather information about your consumers.
- Questionnaires: Some rules to follow with questionnaires is to limit your questions so your survey is 5 minutes or less. Keep it simple with yes-no questions or a scale system.
- Audience Research: This studies the profile of your audience to see who is watching, listening, and what type of media.
- Brand Analysis: Ask customers the reasons they love the brand, service, or product.
- Customer Feedback: Your customers love to share their insights, preferences, and likes or dislikes‒ and all you have to do is ask them.
- Focus groups or group interviewers are more costly. This usually ends with an incentive to do the study, but also effective and produces results.
The work we put into finding information about your competitors and customers will help you to gauge the market, your product line, and other areas that may need attention. Having all of the key information regarding your marketing environment can save you thousands of dollars at the end of the day. Secondary research can be found by:
- Researching data gathered by other companies in the same trade and industry. This pertains to demographics and statistics on population, tools, economics, age, gender, etc.
- Find out what type of advertising makes the most impact on customers.
- Gain a general feel from other websites/profiles when available.
- Online search engines, Chamber of Commerce, state or local agencies, and colleges or universities are great sources for information.
Marketing research is an invaluable tool to have. Some of the things to ask when considering a survey or questionnaire:
- Who is your target audience?
- What message are you trying to convey to your target audience?
- How will you get your product or service to your customers?
- Who am I in competition with?
- What can I emphasize or promote to get your target audience to take notice?
Since you will be doing this marketing research on your own, it’s important to find the what, where, when, and how’s about your business. This is the time to determine your research needs and set goals to obtain answers that will build, strengthen, and grow your business.
This process is not something that will happen overnight. Remember that it takes time to glean information and data, but it is information that will help you achieve an overall insight of what your end goals are to be.
The Internet is a huge resource. If you don’t feel like you can pull off your own marketing research, there are tons of available online research companies that will do the work for you. But regardless of who does the research, the outcome of knowing the information regarding your market and business is the insight that will lead to success.