The Value Of Market Research In Business, Part 2

Quirks Marketing Research Review, January 2013

Several weeks ago, I wrote “Part 1” of this blog.  It’s a little misleading as I often times blog about the value of market research.  However, this series of blogs are inspired by an article I read in January’s Quirk’s Marketing Research Review with the article Research as a profit center? It’s closer than you think, written by Kathryn Korostoff, president of Research Rockstar LLC, a Marlborough, Mass., provider of market research training.

Now in the article, Kathryn Korostoff talks about one path, Market research online communities (MROCs) as sales incubators.  In that portion of the article, she writes about the fact that many MROCs are already blur the line between pure market research and sales.  The example she references is a company that test the effectiveness of coupons, bundling and discount offers by testing them with their MROC.  She continues on indicating that these MROCs could be claimed as revenue for the company.

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4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Starting Market Research

Market ResearchI am a big promoter of market research in all forms and in all types of businesses.  Research can help in start-ups, small companies and large Fortune 500 type companies.  Although I am a big proponent of using market research, I am a bigger proponent of using market research wisely.

Why?  Because I have seen money wasted in the name of market research when the company did not know what they were truly trying to understand.

Here are 4 tips to think about when starting about market research in your business.

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Merging Website Design and Market Research

Website DesignSo you have a business or, maybe, you are working for a new company or start-up.  What’s the first thing you know you need to promote the new organization?  A website!  True, every company really needs a website.

But, before it gets designed and developed, how should you go about making sure it is as good as it can be?  Research!

It is estimated that right now there are 644 million active websites on the Internet according to Netcraft.  So how do you make sure that your website will be appealing to readers and search engines?  Research!

Search engine optimization (SEO) is such a critical component in website development.  How do you make sure the keywords are the right ones?  (I think you know where I am going with this.)  Research!

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Don’t Forget To Evaluate Marketing

MarketingMost of the business I talk to, they each worry, consciously or unconsciously, about two things, sales and marketing.  Now, they may worry about other things within their business, as well.  However, they all seem to worry about these two.  Nearly a year ago, I wrote two blogs about using market research to improve marketing (you can check them out here and here).

In these two blogs, I wrote about about using market research to evaluate your marketing program.  However, in those discussions, there was an assumption that companies are actually evaluating their marketing.  It is said that companies know that 50% of their marketing budget is ineffective, however, they do not know which 50%.

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Evaluating Your SWOT Through Competitive Shops

mystery shopper

Every good business plan has a SWOT analysis, a honest evaluation of the company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  Without an evaluation of these elements of your business, whether it is a new business or one that has been around for several years, the plan is really not complete.

While developing or revising a company’s SWOT analysis, a complete look of the competition is necessary.  By preforming competitive shops you can make sure that you are taking into account the companies that are trying to take your customers and your sales.  Now, I have blogged before about competitive shops before (take a look here and here), and I have specifically mentioned developing a in-depth SWOT analysis.  However, you cannot have one without the other.

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The Differences Between Data, Information, and Insight

Data-Information-Insight Tweet

January 23, 2013 started like every other ordinary Wednesday. I was doing a quick scan of my Twitter feed and I saw this gem. You can get the full article here.

Then the skies opened up and a choir of angels began to sing. OK, not really. But you get the idea.

The comment was so insightful that I ended up sharing it during a lunch-and-learn I had last week The event was talking about market research basics with a group of entrepreneurs and people who worked with or for start-ups. One of the comments I had in the presentation is “what is NOT market research”. My comment was just doing a survey or have millions of lines of data is not market research in of itself. However, it is a means of getting market research completed.

So what is the difference between data, information, and insights. Well, here is my perspective:

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How To Segment A Target Market

PeopleOne of the tings a new business needs to focus on is determining who their target market is.  Although when most people think about a target market, most think of a consumer target market, like 25-35 year-old women.  A target market can be segmented in multiple different ways, not just demographically.  There are both consumer based segmentation as well as business based segmentation.

Lets take a look at a few ways to break out both B2C and B2B target markets.

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The Value Of Market Research In Business, Part 1

Quirks Marketing Research Review, January 2013

One of the great things about the advent of the internet, and specifically social media, when it comes to market research is the ability to follow and “virtually” meet just about anyone.  This is true for being able to connect up with customers, do market research on perspective buyer groups, or socially listen to current customers.  For me, one of the things I have found to be most beneficial is to follow and read from thought leaders within the market research industry.

One of these though leaders, and someone I have mentioned before, is Kathryn Korostoff, president of Research Rockstar LLC, a Marlborough, Mass., provider of market research training.  Whenever  I see her name on something, I always make sure that I take the time to read it.  This came true again in this months Quirk’s Marketing Research Review with the article Research as a profit center? It’s closer than you think.  In the article, she discusses four ways how market research can be a value add and profitable, just not a cost, and the implications of these on the industry as a whole. Read more of this post

Have You Laid Out Your Market Research Plans For The Year?

Market ResearchThe first month of the year is almost half over.  Have you laid out your market research plans for the year yet?

In a blog post I wrote about a month ago, I stated that then was the best time to plan for the research projects for the new year.  Now should be the time to implement these.

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A Different Way To Use Demogaphics

demographicsLast Friday afternoon, I sat in a room with a group of entrepreneurs who were all talking about issues in their business that were seeking advice from other entrepreneurs.

One of the people in the group was talking about their company and discussed the expansion opportunities in their business and it was mentioned they looked at expanding into some “smaller” markets.  Even though the markets were smaller, there was a college presence in these markets, which seemed to be their initial target market.

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