How to do Market Research

Jun 17, 2022 | Marketing

Learn how to do market research to best define your target audience.

The advent of the digital age has given consumers far greater power than they used to have. With just a few clicks or finger taps, consumers are able to research companies to compare products and services side-by-side before making a purchasing decision. They’re also far more likely to consider the opinion of other people online rather than taking a company at its word.

These changes have led to a significant shift in who – and how – companies need to appeal to in order to get the most out of their marketing dollars. And if you haven’t updated your ideal customer profile in the last few years, chances are you could be wasting money by targeting the wrong consumers. 

Having a deep understanding of who your customers are, what your market is like, and what helps make consumers make a purchasing decision are all key in building the right ideal customer profile. So what is the best way to do market research to figure all of these details out? Let us help you learn more.

Define Your Buyer Persona

Before you start digging into how consumers in your industry make their purchasing decisions, you need to first understand who they are. This is why we highly encourage building buyer personas, which are general representations of your ideal customers. A buyer persona helps you to streamline communications, visualize your audience, and build your marketing strategy. Some common components of a buyer persona include:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Profession
  • Income
  • Family size
  • Common challenges

Many businesses find that they don’t have just one persona, but instead have multiple – and that’s fine! The main idea is to build targeting around the people most likely to buy from you, in order to best inform your marketing strategies.

Engage with Your Persona Group

Going right to your existing customers for help in conducting market research is one of the easiest ways to get this task done. This helps you to better understand their characteristics, challenges, and buying habits. Aim to find 10 participants per persona group, but try to ensure you have a mix of people. 

You can build your group by reaching out to prior customers via email or putting out a blast on social media. Having trouble getting enough participants? Incentivize them by offering a special deal or coupon for participating. 

Prepare Your Questions in Advance

The best way to ensure that you get the most out of your market research group is making sure that you prepare your questions ahead of time. A discussion guide will ensure that you touch on all topics that are relevant. Make sure all of the questions are open-ended so that you aren’t leading people to one conclusion or another, and give you more than simple one-word answers.

Make a List of Your Competitors

This isn’t as simple as listing everyone in your immediate area with the same business. Instead, you should focus on businesses that are a comparable size (or larger), with significant overlap in ideal consumers. This can even be a specific division within a larger company. Take a look at what kind of advertising they are running, their blog, social media pages, and the like. See where they are getting engagement (and traffic), and how it stacks up against your efforts.

Bring it all Together

Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to bring it all together. Putting all of the information that you’ve gathered into one report means it’s easy for anyone within your company to reference the information when working on marketing efforts. Whether you go for a standard text document or a powerpoint complete with tables and charts, what matters is having the information all in one place, in a format that anyone can read and analyze.

Still not sure how to build the most effective marketing plan? Bring in the experts.

Whether you don’t have the bandwidth to conduct market research, or simply aren’t sure what to do with the data you’ve collected, we are here to help. Gulf Coast Web has decades of experience in managing digital marketing campaigns for businesses across all industries. Our staff consists of highly-trained web design and digital marketing professionals who are both passionate about their jobs and excel at what they do. And unlike many other design agencies, we have a content writer with over 10 years of experience on-staff to handle everything from website copy to blogs to social media posts. Contact us today to book a consultation with our team. We look forward to outlining exactly how we can help you grow your business with our digital media agency services.