Do you have a useful, needed product but can’t seem to reach the right customers? Your market research must be falling short. You need to improve your analysis and strategies.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you. Find your customers by using the best market research methods explained in this guide.
Here we share the most productive ways to collect actionable customer and industry data. Keep reading to reach your ideal customers and improve your business as a whole!
1. Who Is Your Target Customer?
First thing’s first: do you understand who your target customer is? Usually, a business (especially a young business) does not.
The answer to that question is not “everyone” or “all young people.” Those responses are too general, making them ineffective. Not understanding your ideal customer could be the cause of your market research problems!
A “true” target, or ideal customer, is the optimal person you made your product for. Who is your product or service meant to serve?
When thinking about your product/service, its uses, and your goals, answer the following questions about your ideal customer:
Understanding these aspects of your ideal customers help you know what they’re looking for, why they need your product, and how best to reach them.
Now, can you confidently answer these follow-up questions:
- Who would pay for my product/service?
- Who would NOT pay for it?
- What feedback have I received?
- How will my ideal customers find me?
Your company should answer all of these questions. The last question might be the most vital one: How will my ideal customers find me? Let’s delve into that.
2. How Do Your Ideal Customers Find You?
Every good company knows that to catch a customer, you have to think like a customer. How and where do they look for your kind of product?
Most companies nowadays understand the power of the internet, but in case you’re at all in doubt, check out this info:
Did you know that 75% of smartphone users first use a search engine to meet their needs? Whether they have a question they want answered or a product they want to buy, millions of people turn to Google or Bing.
Google receives 63,000 searches per second. That’s two trillion a year! You can use that remarkable platform to get your brand’s name out there.
Maybe you’re convinced by the power of the internet, but not quite by social media platforms? Don’t underestimate apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat!
Did you know that Instagram currently has more than 77 million users? And more than 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business account?
This should convince you that businesses are not lost or ignored on social media platforms! In fact, they are a central way more than 77 million people are finding businesses and buying products.
Remember: it should be easy for your ideal customer to find you. If it’s not, you lose them. The future of your company relies on you meeting them wherever they go.
Don’t make them scour the internet for you. If you want to help future customers find you, look into complete social media marketing and management!
3. Primary Research
There are many market research strategies that help you find and reach your target customers. They’re split into primary and secondary research. Let’s start with primary.
Have you ever conducted an interview or survey for market research? What about a focus or user group? If so, you’ve done primary research.
We’ll go over the details of the following primary research methods:
- Surveys & Questionnaires
- Focus Groups
Interviews are valuable because they’re the most in-depth form of market research. They are one-one-one and up to a half hour long.
Interviews are great for receiving a customer’s observations about your product. You can ask important questions and get detailed, insightful responses.
These responses are vital for narrowing in on blind spots in your product. Those blind spots could be why your product isn’t selling the way you expected or why you aren’t reaching your ideal customers.
Isn’t that crucial information worth conducting interviews for? They may seem time-consuming and expensive, but they can be well worth it.
Surveys & Questionnaires
Surveys are helpful because you can test a large number of customers. They’re great for understanding brand awareness.
This method helps you find out how aware your target audience is of your brand. They can also tell you if they understand what your brand is/does and whether they view it as valuable.
Questionnaires provide you written customer feedback. A good questionnaire asks only open-ended questions, like, “What was missing in our product/service?” These types of questions give you substantial feedback that can go toward specific improvements.
If you’re a part of the business world and enjoy networking, there’s a good chance you’ve been in a focus group. They’re nothing new to market research.
Focus groups are valuable because they allow you to test pricing and advertising. For example, if your product is an app for potential home buyers, you can get together a focus group to try it out.
After trying it, they give honest feedback about what they liked and didn’t like. Features it had that they didn’t need and features it didn’t have that they wished it did.
Most importantly, what would they pay for your app? This feedback is priceless in your product’s development, improvement, and marketing.
An effective focus group is selective, diverse, and purposeful in choosing members. This ensures wide, fair, and accurate results.
The great news is that you don’t have to engage these methods yourself. If you’re anxious about hearing feedback on your product, you can use a research marketing service.
We’re a full-service digital marketing company that specializes in primary and secondary research, allowing you to focus on other things.
4. Secondary Research
Here’s some good news for your wallet: many publications with valuable market information are free and easy to access! Government statistics like the US Census are online for everyone to see and use.
You can pay for commercial data, and that can be valuable, but don’t overlook free sources. Articles, sales numbers, statistics, and customer feedback are available online at no cost.
Sites like The World Bank are widely used for their broad, well-researched reports. Free sources like these will benefit your research.
Competitor Reference Points
Competitor reference points, or “benchmarks”, are the most common form of secondary research. Finding and using competitor benchmarks means comparing your costs and sales against those of similar companies.
You can compare your margins to those of products like yours in your market with similar target customers. Are your operating costs higher than your competitors? If so, how can you stay competitive?
Is their profit margin greater than ours? What are they doing differently? Do they get more sales than we do using a specific platform?
These benchmarks help you find out if you’re making or losing money relative to other companies. Without any competitor reference points, it’s hard to find this information. You can’t call your competitors and ask them, can you?
When customers buy your product or service, don’t forget to look in-depth at your sales data.
Where are you selling the most product? Do your customers buy your product in stores or online? What brought the customer there?
For example, let’s say your business is smart enough to have an Instagram account. This social media platform has features that allow business to see each post’s activity. This includes viewership and engagement.
Did most users just scroll past your post or did they pause to check it out? Were they engaged enough to like/comment? Did they swipe up or follow an embedded link to your product?
This information shows you which platform gives you the most traffic and sales. You’re able to track where your customers are coming from and how they’re finding you.
Remember when we talked about “going where they go”? This is how you do it!
Examining sales data allows you to see which marketing strategies are working and which aren’t. You can then put your time and money toward platforms, sites, and advertisements that work.
Market Research 101: We Can Help Discover Your Customers!
If you’re reading this, it’s because you want to grow your business. You want your product or service to see its full potential. That goal is in reach!
Successful, lasting companies understand that effective market research is key in finding and retaining customers. Many companies and products fail simply because they don’t understand how to do market research and how to apply it.
Contact us at Brandlume for all your marketing needs. After all, we’re the only all-in-one online shop for complete digital marketing, branding, and website development services in the world! Let us help you find your ideal customers.