Why is market research important for your business?
Market research is a crucial component of your small business marketing strategy. Yet many business owners that I meet in Perth, skip this step, when building their marketing strategy and plan, as they don’t fully understand the importance of conducting market research.
In this blog I will outline how to conduct market research and competitor research, and how to use your research findings.
What is market research?
Market research is any organized effort to gather information about target markets or customers. It is a very important component of business strategy. – Wikipedia
There are many ways to conduct your research, but for this purpose of this blog I will share with you how to conduct market research via phone interviews, to uncover information about your ideal client and how they make purchase decisions, that you want to influence.
Who do you research?
I recommend selecting ten of your existing clients and ten potential clients, when you are planning your market research, this will give you a good idea of why a client and potential client choose your business, or choose to go to another supplier.
So have a look in your CRM and identify your list of names that you would like to research.
Requesting their participation
Next I would suggest that you phone or email each of the candidates that you have chosen to research, and book in a time for a 10 – 15 minute phone call, and agree their buy in to participate in the research.
Preparing for the research call
I suggest that you draft some questions for your call to uncover the following information:
- Background – Where do they work, their age, where do they live, size of family etc.
- Media consumption – Find out what magazines, newspapers, books, blogs, tv, radio, Netflix, Stan etc. they consume.
- Social media use – Find out which social media channels they are using. How do they use each channel?
- Search – When they are looking for a product/service where do they start their search? And what does success look like?
- Content – What content/website information are they using to help them make their purchase decisions and how do they make their final decision on which product/service to purchase?
When you have completed your 10 – 20 calls, then you need to go back through all of the call transcript notes that you have typed up and look for commonalities, and themes, and patterns and trends and start to build your research findings about your ideal client.
What do you do with the research findings?
Then once you fully understand how your ideal client makes purchase decisions, and how they search, and where they search, you can then begin to build a marketing plan, with activities to reach your potential clients.
By using your market research findings, this will ensure your are using the right marketing channel mix to reach your ideal client, and help them to make their purchase decision, by providing the right content, in the right format at the right time, in their buying journey.
How to do competitor research for your small business
The next step after you have completed your ideal client market research, is to research your main competitors.
I’d recommend that you look at your top 3 competitors in your industry and niche and research the following:
- Do they have any paid ads running? If so that products/services are they promoting? You can use a a great tool called SpyFu to see what Google Ads they are running and how they are performing, and what are their most profitable keywords.
- If they are running Facebook/Instagram ads, what is their content offer? How are they capturing email addresses? Are they running static image ads or video ads?
- Look at their social media pages to see what content is getting a lot of engagement and why.
- Look at their Google Review and Facebook Recommendations to see what commonalities and gaps you can find.
- Look at their website to see what services they are offering and how they are capturing email addresses.
- And if they have a media section on their website see which publications they are writing for, radio interviews and podcast interviews etc.
Once you have uncovered all of the above information you should be able to identify gaps on how you can serve your ideal client better, and also identify ways to improve your business and paid ads, social media etc.
If you need assistance with building a marketing strategy and plan for your business, get in touch we’d love to help.
iStock Image Credit: RossHelen
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