When your marketing activity fails to attract a significant number of new audience members and to nurture them towards sales-readiness, the first impulse is to blame either the quality of your traffic or the funnel workflows. The fact is, however, while these two elements are surely important, they’re useless unless you’ve first achieved product-market fit.
Related Post: 7 Types Of Market Research And How To Use Them
If you can create a core offer that your audience can’t refuse, then every other part of your marketing strategy will be all the more likely to succeed. The only way you can create an offer that your audience won’t turn down, though, is by first figuring out what they want.
This is where market research comes into the picture. While market research helps to validate who your ideal audience is and what their pain points are that your product might or might not address, your findings will also be useful for informing the way you structure your funnels and traffic acquisition tactics, allowing you to boost sales further.
Here’s a simple guide for getting started with market research. This process is mainly for marketers, but you can also use it for creating a pre-launch business plan.
Spy on your competitors
The easiest way to formulate a high-performance marketing strategy is to keep tabs on what your biggest competitors are doing. They may have spent hundreds and thousands of dollars on marketing strategies until they found one that works.
You can start by doing a visual assessment by visiting their websites and reading their copy to see whom they are targeting with their marketing. You might also want to sign up for their email lists and buy their products to understand their email marketing strategies.
When you visit these websites, they will also start retargeting you with ads, especially on platforms like Facebook and YouTube. As you frequent these platforms, you can start to figure out their advertising game plans.
You can then get analytical and use a market research tool to find more information. You might start with some SEO research to see which keywords they rank for and how much they are bidding on keywords they don’t rank for. You can also use the data provided to see which landing pages they send the most traffic to and how much they spend on this traffic.
If they are spending a lot of money to send traffic to a specific page, you might do well to create a similar page and promote your products on it.
Survey your customers
Spying on your competitors will unleash a good amount of data, but this alone won’t suffice. You need to accompany this aspect of your market research with a survey of your target audience.
You can create a simple one and ask questions like what their biggest challenges are, their gender, location, income, etc. This form of first-party research will help you gather details your competitors might have missed.
Make sure you promote this survey to your list of email subscribers, social media followers, and existing customers. You can also reach out to people personally, buy ads promoting the survey and use services to tap into research panels.
Surveys will generate some good data, but they don’t beat interviews. In interviews, you can follow the answers with more questions and get more specific information.
You can also study the expressions of the people you interview to see the emotions they go through when they provide these answers.
You can do these interviews in person or online. Try to interview six to ten people at least if you’re tackling this type of qualitative research as a finite batch, but many experts recommend doing it on an ongoing basis.
Create empathy maps and personas
The next step is to compile this data in a presentable form for your entire team. They should be able to use the data to picture your audience and create the marketing strategy that will generate the highest ROI.
First, start with an empathy map. This will help you picture the emotions your audience is going through. You might also want to create a market map to accompany the empathy map.
After this, you can create a persona that includes all this information. You can give the persona a face to make it easy for your team to picture your ideal audience. If you are targeting an especially diverse audience, you might want to create multiple personas and create different marketing strategies for each audience segment. Make sure you label the brand you created the persona for if you have multiple brands. You can simply add the brand name or logo for this.
No matter how much effort you put into your market research, you won’t get the best results for your marketing the first time.
This is why it is essential to conduct a lot of tests and figure out what is working and what’s not and then slowly tweak your offers, marketing strategy, and funnels till the conversion rate improves.
When you do this research, make sure you rely on paid strategies instead of free ones, as it can take a while to generate enough organic traffic to learn from your experiments. Using digital ads, you can quickly generate the most relevant traffic.
Whether you are creating a marketing strategy, a business plan or a strategy to boost employee engagement, market research should be the first thing you do. It can be a tedious undertaking, but it will also help to determine the success of your company. So make sure you allow sufficient time and resources to get this right.