The Internet has revolutionised the business world over, every single operational element of businesses has been affected by it. Marketing too has not been left untouched as we see it moving over from its conventional form to the digital marketing route. However, Market Research still and never will go out of fashion
Keeping their brands relevant has never been as daunting a task for every marketer in an ever-growing marketing arena, than in today’s times of the digital market. It is easy to fall into the trap of spreading oneself too thin in your efforts because of your need to address all the people every time in every part of their world.
Any business would want to know where its customers spend their time, what triggers them to buy, and what holds value to them?
Consumer research answers all this and corrects our hypothesis that we apply about what our consumers want from our brand of product and services.
Further selling today has become more personalised in practice, therefore market research and analysis have turned into inseparable & vital elements of digital strategy. In my humble experience spreading over two decades I can vouch that the guiding principles for any Digital Marketing Strategy should be 2 things:
- Data and
- Consumer Research.
Data is its advocate, it spells out the success or failure of our efforts in the past and benchmark against our new initiatives.
Before we move any further and understand how the statistical data helps in determining useful business insights. Insights that become the nucleus of short-term as well as long-term marketing strategies and developing any business. Let us understand
What Is Marketing Research And Analysis?
History has it every business required market research of their products that how many customers liking their product??? And how many are not???? And why???? Required changes in their products or facility were made following the customer’s preference.
Before the importance of digital marketing research makes sense to you, you need to know what it is. Market research isn’t about a particular method or activity, it’s just what businesses name their efforts to gather in-depth information about their target customers.
It’s easy to reject the importance of market research. After all, spending hours on market research would be the last thing on your to-do list when you first hit upon a business idea. Most of us would rather commence making and selling products right away instead of devoting time to market research.
Be it any business, need for market research is real. Small businesses need it even more where the first few months can be deciding. New businesses need sales and customers from the very word go, and market research can ensure that those sales and customers don’t stop coming.
Market research has gone mobile
Conducting market research was time-consuming, not to mention expensive too, but it was, not today. Market research from pen-and-paper surveys, one-on-one interviews, and focus group discussions, has evolved into something more mobile, instant and convenient. All thanks to the internet
Widespread usage of smartphones facilitates Mobile Market Research, to ask questions, distribute polls, and analyse product usage. Social media too enables Market research in collecting and analysing millions of posts across various social networking platforms. Enabling you to find newer trends and draw up more information about consumers.
The easiest way to Conduct Digital Market Research for your Business can be summarized in answering the following few questions
- Who Are Your Customers? -Identify them in terms of age, occupation, income, lifestyle, educational attainment, etc.
- Where Do They Live? Identify where they live, it may be rural or urban.
- What Do They Buy Now? Identify their buying habits relating to the product and service, including quantity they buy and for how much they honour supplier’s selection.
- Why Do They Buy? Puzzle best solved by customer’s mind only.
- What Is The Right Platform? Identify the right platform which they most engage with. Social Media Optimization could be the key (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube).
However, to arrive at the clear roadmap for conducting digital market research can be divided into the following steps
Design customer avatars
Commence your digital market research by designing customer avatars. Determine what your target audience looks like. An avatar will also help you formulate effective advertising for them by knowing which social media platforms they frequent and spend money on.
The more you will analyse more you will be helped to create your content and come up with better products that will fulfil your customers’ needs and solve their problems. Tabulating a detailed profile of your ideal customer will yield the maximum returns for your investment with sufficient data to prove how they’ll respond to the right product at the right time.
Use social media to research leads
Facebook is very easy to use cost-effective digital market research tool that unearths user engagement to help you determine how your target audience behaves.
With a business account, you can even access the audience’s demographic page and customize your research by gender, age, page likes, location, activity, household, purchases, etc. So you can assess different paradigms for different target audiences, allowing you to do even more precise detailing of your customer avatars.
You can even draw custom audiences by uploading your email list segments to Facebook and it will find your customers’ profiles on the site.
Keep a tab on the competition’s doing
Your business competes with other companies that is it shares the same audience, so once you complete a full customer avatar and get a better glimpse of who your actual customer is.
Thereafter you can research what strategies your competitors are applying in the market and what have been their efforts to meet out the needs and the desires of the customer. Here is the list of some user-friendly online tools you can utilize to see your competitors’ site behaviour and how they’re using their tools for optimum results:
- Ahrefs: Helps you know how your competitors rank on Google. Features like competitive analysis, keyword research, backlink research, content research, rank tracking and web monitoring too are the parameters at times on which you get information
- Buzzsumo: With a keyword or domain of their competitor business can determine how to generate more leads, create optimized content and identify other influencers online.
- Moz Open Site Explorer: Lets you create an account to download a comprehensive report on any competitor’s URL. It reveals spam scores, competitor backlinks, and broken links on your site, and it also helps you find opportunities for link building, lets you analyse anchor text and more.
- Sprout Social: Opens up the secret of how to best reach, engage and measure your audience’s behaviour on social media.
- SimilarWeb: A market intelligence solution that helps businesses in arriving at better decisions based on strategies, improving performance in their sales funnel, analysing competitors based on investors, and more.
Examine how experts are managing
Learning at the expenses of others is another great way to conduct market research. Knowing what other businesses did to get to where they are today can only guide your efforts to a certain extent already. Case studies and research reports of many larger companies have been printed and made available for distribution by themselves only. This market research provides an insight into how to best target your audience. Google Scholar can be your good bet for finding comprehensive scientific case studies and research conducted on businesses.
How can market research improve digital marketing?
If you want to promote your brand digitally, the power of market research just can’t be ignored. Research and digital marketing complement each other to adopt the best ways to monitor, collect, analyse and interpret data to boost business’ understanding of their target markets and effectively customizing their strategies. These strategies can now be revisited and redrawn in ‘real-time’ as results of their effectiveness are fed through swiftly – making campaigns more flexible and reactive than ever before.
And because the digital landscape is rapidly changing, consumer research is vital to all your marketing efforts. Without it, businesses can be become lost. Even your business can become hung up on the new trend or what a competitor is doing. More so, we can become prisoners of our assumptions.
Consumer research is what keeps your business even truer to its cause. It identifies your key areas of action so that you take guided steps to advance your brand and ultimately create more customers. Your Digital Marketing Success Depends on it as it does the following to your digital marketing effort
Improvement of the tuning in Market:
Through digital market research, you can improve your business’s tuning with the people on a social media platform and other digital media very easily. You get the full information of the platform where consumer gathers and can identify and create buyer details and analyse for the future.
It Aligns Your Business Strategy with Consumer’s Needs:
Understanding how to position your company at the intersection of what you do well and what your customer wants becomes much more attainable through consumer research. There is a simple way to learn what customers think about your brand. It is by simply asking them. The information collected from consumer research will point out gaps in your marketing strategy or even highlight opportunities you’re not capitalizing on.
Your Digital Efforts Will Become Laser Focused:
Yourconducting some level of consumer research early in the project is vital to its long term success. In the absence of consumer research, assumptions begin to raise their ugly head and misleading us to question our efforts.
Consumer research has its impact on everything right from the site architecture, to how content is written, to what messaging we create, and even what colours we use in the design. It brings us nearer to the insights we need to know what will speak the language of our consumers and address their need
Makes Brand’s Approach to Digital More Flexible:
Consumer research is becoming ever more important because your audience’s habits are changing more rapidly as technology continues to evolve.
It guides you in staying ahead of the curve and know what measures your brand needs to take to avoid being irrelevant. It answers the question where should your brand exist digitally? Will a website alone would do for your business or are you missing out on your consumers just because your social media presence is missing even on a single platform?
It Translates Your Data into creating long-term branding strategies for businesses:
Data is incredibly valuable, but without consumer research, it is at times difficult Consumer research puts the data into perspective and gives us tangible ways to implement the information gathered.
An in-depth study and thereafter a thorough analysis of targeted consumers, their demographics, shopping behaviour and preferences, as well as competitor analysis, empowers digital marketers to comprehend what would yield results for them. This ideal understanding serves them to be right and confident of formulating a performance-oriented long-term branding strategy for the business.
Market research and analysis, therefore, is an integral part of a futuristic digital marketing plan . It is so because it influences both short-term and long-term survival and success. It provides an error-free code of operations for marketers and cuts down risks and uncertainties to a larger extent much larger. Market research becomes the guiding light for drafting a futuristic digital marketing plan as it catalyses both short-term and long-term success.
Easily understand the needs of consumers:
Deep Digital Marketing research can help you to understand the needs and taste of your consumers. Every business needs deep-rooted ties with their customers to function effectively. This will become a reality only when the seller has a detailed and complete understanding of the taste, preferences and behaviour of the consumers.
Digital marketers interpret this information and tailor their efforts per their consumer’s preference. Thus creating better experience that will enable customers to visit their business or website regularly.
Identify the changing marketing trend:
The market researcher also identifies the latest trend that flows in the market. Businesses, when they follow up the latest trend, can have maximum customers attracted to their product and services.
Digital Market research can help digital marketers to discover important indices such as
- where the potential customers are,
- their preferences are,
- what are their dislikes,
- what they think about competitor’s product, etc.
Work as a tool for digital marketing:
It provides various information about the market; therefore, it became easy to target audience. Marketing research helps a digital marketer keep a vigil on the behaviour of the customers. It facilitates the process of data collection at primary research (Monitors the customers directly) as well as secondary research (Collection of already published data). Market research complements digital marketing as its tool which provides necessary data about consumers and eases the work.
Direct interaction with customers:
Personalisation is the key to successful selling in the competitive market today. A brand without forging strong bonds with its consumers can never achieve its peak performance output. The quest is to match rather exceeding in giving them exactly what Consumers want. And this is possible only if the seller of their preferences, needs, and behaviour.
Consumer research and analysis helps sellers to understand their consumers well and customize their products and services accordingly. Similarly, digital marketers can use consumer information to tailor shopping experiences that are in sync with the consumer’s preferences. This would include aspects such as website design and content. Also personalised offers and notifications that are meant to influence targeted consumer groups.
Increase growth Influencing growth by learning from competitors:
Marketing analysis does not constitute only understanding consumer data related to one’s target group of audience. But it also includes getting familiar with your competitors as well as studying their marketing strategies both online and offline.
While continuing marketing research takes care of the offline part.Whereas keeping a tab on the social media activities of competitors gives a fair idea about their digital marketing research-led approach. Digital marketers must track their competitors’ moves like normal followers, gain valuable insights, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of their strategy by making a comparison.
You can analyse your competition and try to work better or you try giving your best to take the lead. It will usher growth for your brand to become a leading brand. And you will always try to work better than your competitors or try to give more benefits or advanced facilities to your customers. Further this will make you stay ahead of your competition. And thus, market research helps digital marketing to nurture the growth of your business.
Now we have a fair idea of market research and its impact on digital marketing. The above read puts market research as an absolute necessity for every field even digital marketing. Market research is vital for understanding your market, your customers’ preferences, and behaviour to run your business efficiently and smoothly.
Market research has a big impact on Digital Marketing as well . It provides direction to digital marketers that how to work by which you can provide maximum benefits to the customer. It opens up new business opportunities and makes them aware of changing market trends.
Market research teaches you to keep a watchful eye on the market and an open mind to accept changes and challenges that will come with the ebb and flow of customer engagement. The trick is to never get discouraged and to know how to use all of the available tools to experience the growth beyond expectations.
- What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is promoting a brand, a product, or a service through one or more than one forms of electronic media. Which could be the Internet, mobile phone, instant messaging, SMS, podcasts, social media and mobile apps.
Digital marketing empowers businesses to analyse their marketing campaigns in real-time and figure out what works and what could be improved upon
- How Digital marketing research differs from Market research?
Market research is the more encompassing/broader concept of understanding the market environment in which your business would be competing. On the other hand digital marketing research is the study specific to consumer needs and behaviour on social media.
- Does social media affect market research?
Social media provides a handy tool to market researcher for conducting surveys, understand the target audience and constantly compile data. … Social media sieving allows a researcher to continue to monitor what people are talking about. As long as the consumers continue it, you will have plenty of data to extract information from
- What are digital methods of market research?
When a brand, a product, or a service is promoted through Internet, mobile instant messaging, wireless text messaging, podcasts, mobile apps its termed as digital marketing and using these mediums for collecting consumer information is Digital Market research
- How do you do digital market research?
- Consumer segmentation: Be it email, display ads, or social media, most advertising channels allow for some sort of audience segmentation. For example, segment by age income and industry. …
- Always personalise your message: Be specific to your audience as possible in your messaging.