How much market research do you engage in?
Researching and discovering what people need and want and/or the terms they use to talk about or describe your products or services help determine how to market your product/service.
Traditionally, a business would hire a market research firm to do telephone or in-person surveys as a basis of understanding a market better (including all the points noted below).
However, I’ve observed a shift among some clients who consider all that is needed nowadays is keyword research (even from clients who don’t do much keyword research).
Keyword research is invaluable and should be a component of any market research and campaign planning.
However, additional points of market research would include:
♦ How is your market segmented? (Are there divergent types of buyers? More men? More women? Specific demographics?)
♦ Competitive Research, including pricing, specification, qualitative, and positioning differences. (How is your product/service positioned? If it is positioned as a boutique, personal service, is that true? If it is positioned as a low-price leader, is that accurate?)
♦ What are the existing trends? In addition to more readily observable seasonal trends, what are the longer-term trends? (For example, if you’re a technology company, you would want to monitor the horizon to be aware of anything new that may render your entire business model obsolete.)
♦ Of course using analytics to measure the effectiveness of your past and current marketing endeavors is arguably the most important market research in terms of what is effecting your bottom line today. This comprises the continual testing, comparing and refining of your promotional efficacy.
In short, market research is about gaining useful information about your target market, your customers, your competitor, your products, your competitor’s products and other related products/services and an accurate and ongoing measurement of your own marketing effectiveness.
Market research certainly includes and encompasses keyword research, but keyword research is only one piece of the larger pie.