How to Effectively Do Market Research

Marketing / 22 Dec 2021

How to Do Market Research Effectively?

Clients can be a conundrum. They’re a puzzle you think you’ve figured out until something changes and you realise you were wrong all along.

That’s why market research is essential for every business’s digital marketing.

Understanding your ideal clients, how they make their decisions, and why they choose to buy from you is crucial, strategic information you need to succeed.

Knowing your audience is imperative. It permeates so many different aspects of your marketing activities. Think, key messaging, defining your USP, your business tone of voice. It even forms the basis of your social selling strategy.

Without this information – that’s readily available at your fingertips – you’re effectively flying blind, chasing your tail, and grasping at straws. Not an ideal scenario for a savvy business person like yourself.

However, help is at hand. In this blog, we’ll talk about what you need to know before beginning your market research, where to start, and what methods to use.

And, if you’re still not convinced at the end of this article (we very much hope you will be), read our blog about the importance of market research.

What to Think About Before Beginning Market Research

Before cracking on with the details of your market research planning, there are some foundational steps to take to make sure everyone is on the same page.

There are different stages and types of market research for a reason. There’s primary research that targets your customer base. Then there’s secondary research that casts a wider net on your industry or sector at large. Exploratory research helps you form hypotheses within small segments of your target audience. In contrast, specific research tests those hypotheses across a larger group.

You’ll base crucial decisions on your aims and goals, such as which research methods will be most valuable and appropriate. It’s important to get these details ironed out first to avoid disappointment and wasted resources down the line.

First things first, you need to ask yourself and your team exactly what you’re trying to achieve through your research:

  •     Are you trying to understand your ideal client or identify segments within your target audience?
  •     Are you assessing your key competitors to inform your marketing strategy?
  •     Are you assessing brand awareness on a general level or following a particular marketing campaign?
  •     Are you scoping ideas for future projects, products, or services?

Begin by formulating some clear goals and intentions to focus your mind on the research methods you decide to use and the metrics you use to measure your data.

Where to Start with Your Market Research

Once you’ve defined the scope of your research and what you want to achieve, the next decision to make is whom to target.

Chances are you’ll have several client avatars or buyer personas at your disposal. If you don’t yet have any, check out our helpful blog post on creating a client avatar. If you have more than one particular client avatar – choose one persona to focus on in your research.

Next, you’ll need to engage a representative sample of people (comprised of clients and non-clients) that fit this profile and possess the characteristics of your ‘ideal’.

Our top tips would be to choose around 10 participants per persona, which will give you rich, representative data to work with.  Also, ensure your selected sample has had a recent experience of your business, ideally within the last 6 months. Their experience of making a purchase from you, buying from a competitor, or not making a purchase at all must be fresh in their mind. You’ll be asking them about the considerations they made that led to their purchase decision. If they can’t remember because it was too long ago, they’re not the right person for the job, and the data you collect won’t have much value.

Which Methods Should You Use?

There are many different market research methods. Which is most relevant will depend on your overarching goals for the project. Some of the more common methods include:

1. One-to-One Interviews

Excellent for exploratory research, asking open questions enables you to get valuable, detailed insights into the inner workings of your ideal client’s psyche.

2. Focus Groups, Observation, and Usability Studies

A facilitator pitches a product to a carefully selected group of around 6 people. They may invite them to see a prototype, view a demo, or try out a product in exchange for detailed feedback about their experience.

3. Surveys

An incredibly versatile research method, you can use surveys to assess anything from customer satisfaction, opinions on pricing, and future products. They help determine whether views or opinions expressed in exploratory research represent more significant numbers of clients.

4. Secondary Research Methods

Don’t forget to make use of what’s available to you in the public domain as well as talking to your clients directly. Trends or state-of-the-industry reports, government statistics, and reports commissioned by research agencies are detailed data sources that are obtainable freely or for a fee.

5. Internal Data

Don’t forget your sales and website data. Revenue per customer, retention rates and website behaviour data are rich sources. You can use them to form hypotheses and test the efficiency of your marketing activities.

What to Do Next?

Market research is often an illuminating exercise. No doubt you’ve gathered some cracking insights from your clients and non-clients alike, and you can’t wait to put them to good use.

Here’s the rub. Gathering the intelligence is only half the puzzle. Deciding what to do next is something else entirely.

Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ll take a look at your data and help you construct a killer marketing strategy that guarantees results. We’re here for you, primed and ready to spring into action. 

So, book your discovery call, and let’s get started.