How To Do Market Research – Market Research 101

compass

Introduction – Unveiling the importance of market research in your business, and introducing the common pitfalls many fall into when doing market research.

Market research acts as a compass for business success, yet shockingly 90% of companies are doing it wrong. Why tempt fate without it? Businesses that dismiss market research as too confusing, boring, costly or time-consuming do so at their own peril.

The reality is brutally simple: no market research equals wasted time, money and effort. So why do so many companies fly blind?

Common excuses range from finding market research too theoretical or outdated, to believing they can accurately guess customer needs. But talk is cheap. Assumptions sink ships.

Market dynamics shift constantly. Companies that fail to course-correct risk crashing on the rocks. They lose touch with target audiences. Offerings miss the mark. Messaging falls flat.

Bottom line: dynamic businesses cannot afford to “wing it.” Savvy leaders make market research a priority. They uncover buyer truths and trends. This hard-won knowledge guides strategic decisions and fuels growth.

Skim ahead to discover:

– Why market research is non-negotiable
– The root of ineffective (and non-existent) market research
– Damaging consequences of market research mistakes
– Debunking misconceptions about market research

Let’s dive in to unveil better ways to tap this compass for success.

The Right and Wrong Way of Doing Market Research

Avoid these outdated market research techniques — and why they fail:

Focus Groups: Once considered the gold standard, focus groups now sport glaring flaws:

Expensive. Recruiting and compensating 6-12 participants grows costly fast. Facility fees, moderator expenses, refreshments, video production services, travel expenses for out-of-town groups, and more drain budgets.

Moderator Bias. Even an ethical, experienced focus group moderator struggles to remain 100% objective. Subtle cues in their phrasing, body language or tone of voice can sway participant opinions.

Example: “So tell me — would you rather drink our new health beverage or be submerged in molten hot lava and burned alive?” Not exactly an impartial question.

Limited Scope. With only 60-90 minutes and multiple participants vying to be heard, focus groups fail to deliver depth. Complex topics get short shrift.

Surveys: On the surface, surveys seem an affordable, scalable way to extract data from customers. But they come with traps for the unwary:

Poor Wording. A simple switch from positive to negative framing sways responses. Leading questions elicit skewed reactions. Descriptions used to introduce the survey prime respondents to give certain answers.

Faulty Interpretation. Reading accurate insights from data requires advanced analytical skills. Well-meaning amateurs often draw wildly incorrect conclusions.

Case Studies & Reports: While some research reports offer keen perspectives, many prove too theoretical. Jargon-filled language rarely translates well for real world application. By the time findings see print, data has often grown stale.

For companies in fast-changing spaces, outdated info proves useless — even dangerous. They require real-time market insights.

Agile organizations couple smart frameworks with the latest online tools to unearth accurate, actionable data.

Let’s explore essential elements to tap this motherlode and leave competitors in the dust.

The Essential Elements of Effective Market Research

Conducting accurate market research rests on mastering three core competencies:

1. Define Your Target Audience

Granular clarity on ideal customer demographics proves mandatory. Segment by:

Demographics: age, gender, income, education level, marital/family status
Geographics: neighborhood, city, state, country, climate
Psychographics: attitudes, values, interests, habits, pain points

Example: High-earning California suburbanites with 2+ kids, eco-values and active lifestyles.

Many entrepreneurs fall prey to vague personas like “women ages 35-45”. This wide net catches no fish. Laser focus your efforts instead.

2. Learn What They *Say* They Want

Now discover your audience’s self-professed hopes, fears and aspirations. These shape marketing messaging and offers.

Miracles: wishes, dreams, goals they’d love to achieve
Miseries: frustrations, anxieties and pains they want to avoid

But stated desires don’t always align with actual behavior. Which brings us to…

3. Uncover What They *Do* vs What They *Say*

Talk is cheap. Observe real-world actions to reveal truth:

Web Searches: Google suggests & ads tools show actual queries
Amazon: best selling items in your niche demonstrate purchases
Ads: Facebook/Instagram ads show competitors’ top offers

This trifecta delivers tangible intel to guide strategy and campaigns.

In summary, accurately defining your audience, learning explicit wants and observing implicit behavior forms the research holy trinity.

Master these, and unlock precision marketing that converts.

The 5W Market Research Framework That Wins

Beyond defining your audience and researching desires vs actions, a simple yet effective framework provides an easy-to-remember system for conducting watertight market research from start to finish.

I call it the 5Ws:

Who is your target audience?

We covered this already – laser focus on demographics, psychographics and geography to precisely define your ideal customer avatar.

What do they want?

Uncover explicit needs and desires through tools like Google Suggest and social listening. Learn their “miracles”.

When are they most receptive?

Identify events, triggers and cycles that make audiences more likely to engage or buy. Know peak demand seasons or days.

Where do they spend time?

Find the digital and real-world habitats your audience inhabits via social media analytics, forums and offline ethnographic research.

Why does your offer resonate?

Align core benefits with audience motivations and deeper psychological drivers related to identity, status and more.

The 5Ws framework delivers a simple mnemonic device to incorporate the market research fundamentals we’ve covered at each step of the process.

Internalize this model to effortlessly organize the customer intelligence you need to build high-precision campaigns with laser targeted messaging that converts.

Now get out there, do the work and prosper!

Tap Online Intel For Laser-Focused Marketing

Beyond surveys and focus groups, an arsenal of digital tools offers invaluable market research capabilities to build high-precision campaigns.

Let’s explore key web-based assets for extracting customer intelligence:

Mine Search Engine Suggestions

Google autocomplete results provide explicit insight into user intent and demand trends. Simply type your core keyword into the search bar and scroll through the dropdown to uncover related queries.

You can take this a step further with Google Keyword Planner to view monthly search volumes and keyword difficulty scores. Filter and export ideas into targeted lists.

Dissect Amazon Best Sellers

People vote with their wallets, so analyzing Amazon reveals truthful demand signals beyond what surveys suggest.

Start by searching your main keyword. The autocomplete dropdown exposes popular search themes and actual buyer intent.

Scroll the first page results, noting best selling products, ratings, reviews and any gaps or opportunities. The most successful listings indicate viable markets.

Spy On Competitor Social Ads

Facebook and Instagram ad libraries offer a goldmine of competitive intelligence to model and outflank.

Simply search your niche or brand names, then visit pages and click “See All” ads in the transparency section.

Study ads with high relevance and engagement. Replay value correlates with performance. Steal what works or improve on flaws!

Turn Insights Into Campaigns

With precise audience insights, pinpointed opportunities and battle-tested creatives, you hold the full strategic brief to execute high-converting campaigns guaranteed to outperform the competition!

Master Market Research to Fuel Business Growth

Market Research is the Lifeblood of Success

The proof resides in the data. Astute market research illuminates everything from ideal customers to product viability, guiding strategic decisions that make or break businesses.

Those ignoring research fly blind, risking wasted ad spend, misguided offerings, and preventable failures.

Traditional Tactics Fall Short

While once innovative, focus groups, surveys and outdated reports no longer deliver actionable insights needed to thrive in fast-changing markets.

Carefully worded questions and unbiased interpretation prove challenging. Results skew theoretical rather than practical. The moment findings publish, they decay in relevance.

Cutting-Edge Techniques Connect

Advanced web-based tools provide real-time understanding of customer needs, wants and behaviors from authoritative sources.

Search engine suggestions uncover explicit demand signals based on user intent. Ecommerce analysis exposes actual spending patterns. Competitor ad spying reveals battle-tested messages and creatives.

Wield Web Intel for Growth

The digital toolbox hands over the keys to your total market, eliminating guesswork and empowering data-backed decisions that outperform dated tactics.

Growth flows from the tap of online intelligence. Our framework, tools and techniques equip you to extract and activate insights for the results you deserve.

Research right, and your business can’t help but thrive!

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