When launching a new business or product, you might feel lost and have no idea who your customers are. It is not a good idea to spend thousands on an idea without completing your market research and fully understanding your target market. If you would like to play safe and make sure that the product or service you spend long hours and a lot of money developing will not flop, you have to take advantage of the tools at hand. The good news is that you don’t have to employ a database analyst company or a statistician; there are several applications freely available on the Cloud computing system that will make your job easy, and deliver easy to interpret data. Find out more below.
Once you have started a blog or commercial website, you will need to check whether it is relevant to the industry and the search terms people use to find products or services similar to yours. You can choose from several website analysis software. Some will check your ranking and competitiveness in the global marketplace, while others will focus on search engine optimization and content. You will have to maximize the reach of your site, but also ensure that you are targeting the right people. If you are a small computer shop in Georgia, you don’t necessarily want visitors from India and Bangladesh.
2. Market Research
Before launching any product or service, you will have to check the market for risks, competition, and upcoming trends. You can order a market research report from a professional company focusing on your industry, or create your own surveys on SurveyMonkey and distribute the questionnaires to people who are likely to be interested in what you are planning on offering. No matter which method you are using, you need to make sure that you are meeting the needs and expectations of your potential customers.
3. Customer Research
It is also important to find out as much about your existing customers as possible. If you want to bring a new service or product out, it is best to ask people who have already bought from you what they think. Create a free sample or a review copy, and distribute it among your existing customers. This way, you can carry on improving your idea until it is almost irresistible to your customers and your target market. Once you have completed this step, you can make safer investments, and ensure that the risks are eliminated.
4. Monitoring Feedback
If you already have a business running, and want to focus on continuous improvements, it is important to collect feedback from your customers. There are several ways you can do this. First, you can send out an email to your customers asking for comments. Second, you can seek feedback on the content on your site. Third, you can check what your customers are saying about you on social media, by signing up for alerts, or searching for your company name.
5. Review Sites
Many website owners and small or medium sized business managers tend to forget about the importance of review sites. While maintaining the reputation of your brand through your own pages and accounts is important, you should also keep an eye on media that is out of your control. Anyone can set up a social media account in your name, and you will not know about it, unless you claim it. Likewise, if your business is added to Yelp or other review sites, you can start getting feedback that can be useful when you are trying to understand your potential customers better. Keep an eye on review sites, and collect feedback to adjust your strategy to your market’s needs.
6. Social Media Connections
If you want to know where your most loyal fans are, you need to look at the followers of your existing social media business pages. To truly understand the person behind the purchase, you could ask questions or find out more about them using social media analytics tools. If you have a Facebook business account, for example, you can check the demographics of your page visitors, and even find out about their income and location. Don’t underestimate the value of this free tool when you are trying to improve your knowledge about your potential customers.
7. Intelligent CMS
One of the automated ways of collecting information about your current, past, and future customers are implementing an intelligent customer management system. The software will allow you to gather demographic information, feedback, and other information provided that you are complying with the relevant privacy law. A customer management system can be a great source of information on your customers’ behavior, and help you identify the reason for abandoned shopping carts.
8. Post Analytics
If you need more insight into customer profiles, you could get a post analysis software that will allow you to keep an eye on your website visitors’ comments, questions, and even social media posts. You can find out what they like, what they disapprove of, and what makes them tick. You should, however, always make sure that you comply with data protection regulations, and don’t abuse the trust of your customers. If you are in doubt, you should get in touch with a social media and online marketing expert who can help you integrate information analysis in your market research in a legal and ethical way.
9. App Integration
Getting your own app developed is another great way of finding out more about your customers’ behavior. You will not only see sales and visits to your company website, but also downloads on your app, and the different features your potential customers like using when using your software. You might even learn what your target market’s favorite device is, so you can adjust the offers to your visitors’ needs, and make sure that the content is displayed in the best possible quality.
10. Buyer Personas
Once you collect enough information about your existing customers and potential buyers, it is time to create your own buyer personas. This is not a hard task, as you will simply need to use the information provided by a software or application you have integrated in your customer service, website, or app development. You might have more than one customer personas, based on different products and services. For example, cupcakes can be appealing to business owners, who want to impress their visitors, also couples, party organizers, and young mothers holding a baby shower.
11. Big Data Analytics
The greatest challenge you are likely to encounter when trying to make sense of the information is structuring it in a way that it gives you actionable information. If your software doesn’t provide you with diagrams and charts, you might need to get in touch with a big data expert, to help you interpret the meaning of the numbers, so you can adjust your corporate strategy according to the information collected. You don’t have to become an expert on statistical analysis; some companies will create an easy-to-understand report for less than you would think, so you can turn information into knowledge.
12. Visiting Forums and Blogs
If you want a full insight into your customers’ and potential clients’ behavior, and don’t mind spending a few hours researching, you could visit forums and blogs related to your industry, products, or services. If you are in the wedding planning niche, for example, find out what the most popular blog posts about weddings are, and read the comments on the posts. Check the highest ranking sites and magazines, and find out what type of content people are likely to share on social media. This way, you can create a content marketing plan that will appeal to people who are ready to buy and need a solution to their urgent problems. You might also try to visit different question and answer sites, such as Quora, to learn about the most urgent questions your potential customers might have.
13. Google Analytics and Google Alerts
To keep an eye on your target market, your website visitors, and your corporate reputation, you could sign up for a few free online services provided by Google. Integrating Google Analytics into your website will help you monitor traffic, the most popular searches and keywords, as well as the best-performing pages. You can learn where your visitors are coming from, and find out more about referring sites. You might want to sign up for google analytics email reports to get the information delivered to your inbox automatically.
If you want to find out what your current and potential customers are saying about your brand, you could also sign up for Google Alerts. Simply type in your search phrases and your company name, and get an email whenever you are mentioned in blogs, forums, or social media posts.
The technology of the 21st century offers several ways of keeping an eye on your reputation, finding out more about your potential customers, and understanding feedback. Integrate them into your market research strategy, and you can better tailor your products and services to your customers’ needs.