As small business owners, we are less likely to have the budgets or energy that big brands have to spend on experimenting with marketing campaigns. Therefore, we must establish a solid foundation in our marketing strategy to be more intentional and purposeful with how we channel our marketing efforts. This post explores why market research should always come first and how it forms the foundation for marketing and content creation efforts.
Market research is your best friend when crafting your messaging, creating your offers, and, ultimately, making sales in your business. By asking the right questions, you can learn who your ideal client is, what they’re really looking for and what they’re willing to pay. It also helps gather data to create the strategy of your overall marketing strategy.
We believe that the best way to approach market research is by first establishing your purpose or reason for conducting this research. Are you currently crafting a new offer? If so, what are you trying to learn or what insights are you trying to gain? Who do you need to connect with during the research process? We use market research to understand the struggles and desires of your ideal client. We also use it to gauge responses to your offer or determine how your audience perceives your brand. Ultimately, the goal is to collect data that allows you to be more strategic in your business.
There are multiple ways of conducting market research. This section will give you an overview of some of the most common ways.
You can send surveys through email or social media platforms, or any avenue to connect with your audience. With this method, it is important to send questions directly to your ideal clients or to have qualifying questions to identify the non-ideal clients versus your ideal clients out of all responses. When creating your survey questions, one key tip is to make them non-biased in nature. Don’t write “leading questions” where the wording or phrasing could lead the respondent to answer in a particular way.
You could also analyze second-party data–which is research conducted by someone else, but still relates to your ideal clients. You can find research results easily on Google and various Industry Report & Data sites.
One very powerful way to conduct market research is through group or individual interviews. It allows you to build a personal connection with your ideal client and to ask questions based on how the conversation is going. Plus, it’s always helpful to hear how they speak, and the words they use and to observe their responses in real-time.
Once you have all the data, it’s time to put it to work! There are, again, multiple ways of leveraging market research data in your business. Keep reading for an overview of a few of our favorite ways.
Market research can give you all the data you will need to develop a new offer that excites your audience (or to improve an existing one!) For example, if you are a designer looking to start selling social media templates, you might want to understand what is your target audience’s struggles & desires when it comes to content creation. You might also want to find out how much they are willing to pay for a bundle of templates. Depending on the answers, you might want to consider whether you want to structure your new offer as a template shop, a monthly subscription service, or something else entirely. You might also think about adjusting what you initially were going to set for your prices to meet the rates your audience is willing to pay.
Market research is a great way to craft your brand messaging. It gives you insights into your target audience’s lives–how they think, how they speak, and what their day-to-day looks like. By doing this, you will be able to develop a “picture” of what their lives are like and how your offers can fit into it – and how to connect with them through effective messaging. This information helps you be more intentional and formulate your messaging in a way that they can understand and connect with.
Do you have an idea of who you would love to work with? If so, market research might just be what you need to connect with them! By doing your own market research, you will be able to learn the wants and needs of your target audience. This is your chance to find out what challenges they are facing and how you can address those challenges. You can leverage this knowledge to create educational and valuable content for your target audience!
You will be viewed as a trusted authority within your niche as you answer their questions and support them through valuable content. This means you will be top of mind when someone in your audience reaches the stage of their buyer journey where they are seeking a solution (you!) to their challenge and are ready to purchase.
Check out Marketing & Sales 101 in the Business Backpack for more support! In this workbook, we’ll guide you on your journey from market research to content creation to making sales.