A – Z of Marketing: Research
As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to your business and attracting customers. A large part of carrying out effective marketing involves carrying out research and gathering information on everything from new techniques to your competitors and customers.
We truly are spoiled today because getting access to useful data and information is easier than ever before. The internet and the willingness of companies to share valuable data and insights as part of their content marketing campaigns means that we have no excuse not to know our marketplace inside out.
So, as a business what kind of research should you be carrying out and where can you find this information? The team at Ketchup have put together their top tips.
- Competitor Research
If you don’t know everything that you can about your competitors then you are potentially missing out on vital opportunities. Knowing your competitors inside out not only allows you to stay one step ahead, but what your competitors are up to can give you access to the next big idea for your marketing. Focusing on what your competitors and the market leader are doing well and then improving on that is the best way to remain a key player in your marketplace.
How do I find out more about my competitors?
- Websites – if your competitor has a good website then the likelihood is that it will be full of useful information about them as a company and the products and services that they offer
- Social media – social media platforms are a fantastic way to find out more about what your competitors are saying and how the marketplace is responding, take time to monitor their most active accounts on a daily or weekly basis
- News and alerts – setting up Google Alerts for your key competitors will show you how they are being talked about on other platforms, for example, are they guest blogging and getting positive results, are customers writing good or bad reviews about their products or services, are they receiving positive or negative press etc…
- Customer Research
How can you provide your customers with the right products and services and craft the right marketing messages if you don’t know who your customers are and what they want. We can’t be everything to everyone no matter how hard we try, so identifying your ideal customers, finding out exactly what they need from your products and services and the most effective ways to communicate with them is the recipe for success. A key ingredient for that recipe is customer research.
How do I find out more about my customers?
- Internet research – once you have identified who your ideal customers are, take the time to find out where they hang out online, what blogs do they read, websites do they visit, events do they go to etc… The internet can be a great way to build up a more complete picture of your target market.
- Surveys – if you want to know more about what your customers want and need from you, ask. A short online survey is a fantastic way to get direct answers to your questions both from existing and potential customers. There are a wide range of free online survey tools out there to help too, it’s never been easier to get feedback.
- Interaction online/building a community – businesses across all industries need to build a relationship with their customers and potential customers to be successful. Much of this comes from interaction and building a community, whether that’s a company’s online presence, offline, or a mixture of the two. Posting regular useful content across your social media channels is a great way to build and nurture this relationship, and our email marketing agency can help support this too. Regular contact and useful content are key. The better the relationship you build, the more you will find out about your customers.
- Social media – honestly, social media platforms are information gold mines when it comes to finding out more about your customers. They can also spark marketing ideas based on exactly what your customers are saying that they want. Follow trending hashtags and topics that are appealing to your target market to find out more about what they are saying.
Taking the time to research your competitors and customers can pay dividends in terms of increasing sales and becoming a front runner in your marketplace.
If you would like some support in understanding your market, the team at Ketchup Marketing can help. Contact us today on 0330 088 9277, or complete our online enquiry form.