Market Research DIY

Market research is expensive and time consuming. It is, however, fundamental to any marketing process and can make a big difference in the success of your marketing plan. Unfortunately, market research is frequently one of the first things people cut from their marketing budget.

It doesn’t have to be expensive if you do it yourself (DIY) and you know what to search for. Below is a five step blueprint with helpful tips to get you through each part of the job.

1. Define The Problem

Before beginning your marketing research, you need to define what the problem is you’re trying to figure out. In this first phase of the process, you need to establish your research objectives. By developing questions that lead to clearly define the problem you are investigating will be very helpful during this phase.

2. Develop Your Research Plan

Once you know what the problem is you’re addressing, it’s time to develop and design the research plan. There are many methods you can incorporate in your research plan. To keep your costs down, consider the following techniques for conducting your research:

  • Interview prospects and customers. This may be a bit intimidating at first, but it will start to become second nature to you. The best feedback is received by using this tactic. Nothing gives you the information you’re looking for like going straight to the source.
  • Conduct a survey.  There are several online tools for this, that work really well and are economical to use.
  • Run tests on your website. You can learn a lot from simple testing and reviewing your analytics such as Google’s or other analytics. Simple A/B tests can go a long way, depending on the issue you are investigating.
  • Research online. The basic takeaway of just going with your standard Google search is to ensure that whatever sources you’re using are credible. Be careful, you can’t believe everything you read online.

3. Collect Relevant Data And Information

Make sure that the data you collect is valid and unbiased. Use a mixture of the methods mentioned above to get relevant data from all angles. The ideal type of information to gather would be analytical as well as scientific, emotional data are also valuable. It is something that you cannot get from looking at a graph. In our experience, personal interviews can give you a lot of the insight into what you’re looking for.

4. Analyze Data And Report Findings

Once you’ve gathered the information, it’s time to interpret the data. When doing this, it’s important to look for trends as opposed to specific pieces of information. When you are analyzing your data, be open minded. Don’t try to find patterns based on your previous assumptions, prior to collecting the data. It’s okay if your initial hypothesis is wrong. That’s why you do the testing and don’t go with assumptions. Just make sure you don’t twist the results to show that you were right all along if you weren’t. This is not ethical and won’t lead to any beneficial outcome.

5. Write Your Report and Take Action

Congratulations! Your research is complete. It’s time to present your findings and to take action. Start developing marketing campaigns. Put your findings to the test and get going! The big takeaway here is that although this round of research is complete, it’s not over. Your research should never be over. You should always be analyzing your data on a regular basis to see where you can improve. Trends can change over time. Just because you found a pattern doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way forever. Always be doing your research. The more you know about your buyer personas, the market, industry, and companies involved, the more successful your marketing efforts will be.

Some people include additional steps in the marketing research process, but these five core steps are all that you need to get you started.

 

Top Level Marketing Research Articles

Since my college years I have known about the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and consider it a great company in the market and marketing research fields. All their work is top level and BCG is considered one of the world’s leading advisors on business strategy. BCG’s most influential ideas about business strategy include the experience curve, the portfolio concept, time-based competition, and segment-of-one marketing.

What a Difference a Word Makes

Inbound Marketing is a word that has become quite promoted since 2007, mainly by a company called HubSpot. But the more we study Inbound Marketing, the more it becomes evident that it is only a well promoted and clever commercial use of Content Marketing.

However, digging deeper into the situarion, Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing are both special cases of Digital Marketing. Researching all three terms with the help of Google Trends, the situation is as follows:

In the Digital Marketing world, the growing popularity of Content Marketing over Inbound Marketing is evident. For more details, please click on the Google Trends link, under the graph.

Importance of Shopping Malls in Africa

Africa is urbanizing incredibly fast. In 1990, just over a quarter of Africans lived in cities. By 2025, more than half of them will live in cities, this is a population of 700 million people. At the same time, Africa has the world’s fastest growing middle class. At the confluence of these two trends are malls. Retail is the hottest investment area in Africa right now, surpassing even natural resources, forever the continent’s main investment draw. Hundreds of shopping malls have opened all over Africa in the past couple of decades.

Here is the Manda Hill Mall in Zambia, an example of the world class shopping malls now present all over Africa.

Search for Similar Websites

Sometimes you need to find similar websites to the one you are researching. There is a free tool for doing this, in a fast and easy way. It is called similarsites.com, and here are the two search possibilities it offers:
A – Search by the URL:
Simply type in the name of a website in the search-box and hit enter. You will see up to 25 results showing similar websites.

B – Search by Topic (or Keyword):
Type in the Keyword or topic of your choice into the search-box and hit enter. This will show you a list of up to 10 results, showing the most relevant websites contained in the search engine´s database.

SEO Tips

You probably get many offers for SEO services in your mail-box. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and it is a very important topic in Internet marketing. The first thing you should do is go and evaluate their website. What is the page rank? Do you like their website? Search for reviews about the company. The next thing is to check and find some information on SEO. You can start by looking at this video by Matt Cutts and then visiting the SEO page:

Social Signals and Market Research

Internet market research has evolved and changed, separating itself from the traditional market research practiced in the off-line world. This is a very logical response to the current changes social networking has caused in society.

Social Signals are the human element in search. They consist of things like Facebook likes, Facebook shares, tweets, re-tweets and pins.

The age of Social Networking may seem like the first time we are encountering social signals, but this is not the case. Word-of-Mouth, the office water-cooler chat, and the town-crier were the beginning of social signals. The Internet and its current developments has caused a big revolution in everybody’s lives. Watch the following video by Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Center:

Google Trends for Market Research

Market Research is changing and its drop in popularity in the Internet is made evident by the Google Trends graphic shown below. This drop in Internet should be analyzed and explained. Our hypothesis is that Internet market research has evolved and changed, separating itself from the traditional market research practice used in off-line projects.

Market Research Tools are a must if you wish to get good results fast. For digital market research, Google has a wonderful tool for researching search volume trends over time. When we looked up the trend for “Market Research“, the results were a total surprise. Here below you can see why:

There has been a down trend since year 2004 in the search volume for the subject: “Market Research”. From the Google data, in March 2004 the index was 100%. Today, in September 2013, the search volume is only 22%, in relation to the original figure. This means that today only a fifth of the people are interested in market research per se, as in 2004. This phenomenon is very strange.

Hello to the market research world!

Welcome to Market Research Today. This is the new blog for the All About Market Research website. We also have another blog related to Inbound Marketing news, the talk of the town about online marketing and social media. Let’s get started, no time to loose!

Two definitions, approved by the AMA:
Marketing:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. (Approved October 2007)

Marketing Research:
Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information–information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications. (Approved October 2004)

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