One reason why companies choose to avoid market research is because it has long been considered a pricey endeavor. That isn’t always the case, however. While we have tools available to us to dig into consumer online behaviors and competitive marketing tactics, we also advocate using free tools available to everyone. A few tools you can activate now include:
Want to know more about your customers? Go find them online. Then go find others that hang out with them. On social sites you can learn a lot about how someone interacts in their daily life, the things they care about, the sites they choose to visit and the conversations they’re having.
Associations and Clubs
A great way to get to know your customers is by joining associations or clubs they’re a part of. Think beyond Chambers of Commerce and other industry associations. For example, if you notice that a lot of your consumers are interested in financial wellness, are their groups or discussions taking place online that can shed some light?
Magazines and Online Content
What does your target market read? Start reading those publications. If your industry has its own set of niche publications, become avid readers of those too as those magazines are usually on top of consumer trends before it becomes mainstream.
Sometimes we find our biggest competitors where our consumers are looking. Whenever we perform competitive analysis, we always include an SEO review because more often than not, we find new competitors that our clients weren’t paying attention to. Just because we don’t see them in our immediate threat zone doesn’t mean they aren’t taking our consumers.
Through social channels, email lists, associations and clubs you can run your own survey to identify insights. Keep questions simple, short and to the point to yield greater results.
These are just a handful of the affordable tactics you can engage when trying to learn more about your target market, the market landscape or your competitors. Now, disclaimer…while these tools are free you will be spending those savings with your time. Don’t rush this process, be an explorer and allow yourself to be open to new insights as you uncover them.
Need an extra detective on the team? We love performing this kind of research. Reach out.