Marketing research is essential for your marketing strategy because it gives you inside knowledge on what your audience wants and exactly how to reach them. Without any data or insights to base your ideas on, your marketing strategy will be a shot in the dark.
Let’s clear up a common misconception. Often market research and marketing research are used interchangeably. However, there are some key distinctions. Market research assesses whether the marketplace is a viable environment for your service or product to be successful. Marketing research, on the other hand, is ongoing and much broader.
Marketing research helps to inform your next steps in the marketing process by gaining valuable insights about your audience and industry. You could investigate:
Essentially, marketing research helps to establish what your audience is looking for and needs to know. Then, you can adapt your messaging to communicate more directly with your target audience.
You might be thinking ‘why should I spend hours collecting data and research when I need to be doing other marketing tasks’?
Marketing research is one of the most important things you can do to set your business up for success. Some marketers dismiss the need for research and then wonder why their expectations have not come to fruition. Basing your ideas on data and evidence is much more reliable than giving it your best guess. Research provides an estimate of what your customer really wants, rather than what you think they want.
Without data or insights to back up your ideas, you won’t know if you’re going to reach your audience. The marketing material you’ve spent hours producing could fall as flat as a pancake. Why take the risk? With all the researching tools and resources we have these days, there’s no need to base your strategy on assumptions.
Let’s take content marketing, for instance. Research done well can identify key patterns and topics of interest, based on a deep understanding of the customer’s needs. Combining this with compelling content can boost engagements, support SEO campaigns and generate leads.
This not only adds value for your audience but protects you from wasting precious time and money on something that may not be worth your while. Marketing isn’t foolproof, we know, but with a thoroughly researched plan, your efforts can be less of a gamble.
There are many different approaches to conducting research; some formal, some informal. While surveys, focus groups and interviews are all valid forms of analysis, technology has transformed marketing research beyond these traditional methods.
The internet lends itself to research in a way that is more reactive and versatile than ever before. Tuning into Google search queries, conversations, news trends and opinions can provide unique insights to help you to understand your target audience.
There’s a whole host of technical marketing tools out there that gather data about different metrics, from search listening and social listening to SERP analysis and keyword research. Then it’s a matter of digesting this information into conclusions and tangible ideas.
How you interpret the data is up to you. Marketing research can lead you in all kinds of directions depending on your specific marketing or business goals.
Different types of research can fuel your marketing projects and campaigns. It’s a lot easier than trying to come up with ideas from scratch. Here are five examples of when the researching process comes in handy:
Research finds areas where content is lacking, giving you the opportunity to fill these gaps. This can give you an edge against your competition. Take note of what your competitors are doing and why it might have worked for them, then adapt the components that might resonate with your audience.
The aim here is not to mimic your competitors, but to find golden opportunities to differentiate your brand. There might be hundreds of similar businesses to yours, so research is a great way to learn from them (and their mistakes) to find the best way to promote your niche.
It’s important to revisit your marketing research regularly. It might take time but, trust us, it’s worth it. Paying close attention to relevant trends, conversations and opinions helps you to stay in touch with your audience and makes it easier to spot marketing opportunities.
Research is a core part of what we do at LikeMind Media. In fact, it comes before anything else in our marketing process. In order to produce a successful marketing campaign, we need to truly understand you, your business and your target audience. We use this initial knowledge and understanding to deliver the best possible results for your business.
The five steps of our LikeMind Media Method are:
Whether you want to generate more leads, increase brand awareness or promote a new product, our insights and skills will get you there. Have a chat with us to find out how we can support your marketing goals.