People Or Data
The first thing you need to consider is how you are going to gather your research. You can study the habits of people, whether it is the television shows the watch or the food they eat. You can call people for a survey, mail it to them at home, or stop them on the street to ask them questions. This type of marketing is called primary research. You can also study the reports made on market trends or the increase and decrease of sales of a certain product, or the change of a demographic in a certain region. If you are more comfortable looking at the fluctuations in data than speaking to people directly, you might choose secondary marketing.
Watching Your Clientele
One method of primary research is observation research. You gather information for marketing purposes by stepping back and watching people and their habits. This gives you a chance to see how consumers act normally when it comes to certain situations. You can invite subjects into a controlled setting and study them under certain parameters to get your data. You can watch from a distance in a public space like a shopping mall and see how they would react in a normal setting. You can also insert yourself into the situation and see up close how they behave in a certain situation. This can help you narrow down your target market and pinpoint who you need to reach out to.
Asking For Opinions
To get an in-depth look at how your customers feel, you can issue surveys to get their feedback. There are many ways to do this. You can speak to someone face to face to get their feedback. You can reach out on social media and offer a variety of questions to be answered. You can have a set of queries added to the end of a customer service call for a customer to answer when their issue is resolved. Another common form of survey is added to the end of a receipt and offers a reward to the person who completes it such as a free product. Once these are completed, you can compile the results and determine what changes you need to make to your marketing program. Hosting an event to promote your company would also give you an opportunity to poll your potential customers to see what they opinions are on your particular market and what they would like to see offered in the future.
Watch the Competition
One of the best ways to determine how the market is for your brand is to see how customers react to your competition. You can analyze market reports for those companies that compare to yours to see what their sales are and the general demographic that utilizes them. You can research keywords that you share to see if they lead you to any online feedback that would be useful to determine where to spend your advertising dollars. Studying the comments and concerns left by clients on your competition’s social media sites can show you where you need to exceed and what you can do to make those same customers happy.
Poll the Internet
There are many companies online that can put together packets of data with the market data that you are searching for. These websites can identify the fluctuation of trends and report what might be popular now in comparison to what you sell. You can search the internal workings of your own website to see which pages gets the most attention from internet shoppers then use this information to streamline which items you should market and which ones you might clearance. You can look at websites that show the traffic of your website as well as the websites of your competitors to see if you need to adjust anything to enhance your online presence.
Shopping for Answers
A unique way to research the market is to hire secret shoppers to frequent the stores to give their honest feedback on what they find. You can have them stop by your own store to work with your employees. They can give input on the customer service they received or how they feel the layout of the store affected their experience. They can also tell you which products they liked the most so that you can promote those items more and potentially bring more clients in. You can have them shop your competitors and see what they have that is comparable to what you sell and what they felt of their shopping experience there. Once you have all the information, you can compile it and make changes to your marketing structure.
Reach Out to Your Customers
Producing a newsletter or regularly contributing to a blog on a website can determine the interest that your customers have in your company and product. You can also use these mediums to introduce new concepts and gauge the feedback readers have to it. If you get a positive reaction, this might be something to devote advertising dollars to extend your reach in the market. If your newsletter or blog has a low level of participation, you might need to find ways to promote your company’s image better so that you attract more clients to your business.