Market research. An essential element to improving, evolving and truly crafting products and services that customers both need and want. Today there are ever more tools than ever, both free and premium that boast of streamlining market research and providing invaluable consumer feedback. Amongst these are inevitably the good, the bad and the out and out useless. Here we begin with the first group: the
effective market research tools that every business should be aware of
1. Google Keywords Tool
The Google Keywords tool acts as a window into the behaviour of consumers when searching online for products or services such as yours. To use this you’ll need to create a Google Adwords account (it’s free however) and it’s also advisable that you read a couple of introductory articles to the tool and making the most of it.
Questback is a premium service that bridges the gap between your company and your target market. It can undertake in-depth research on your behalf and provide invaluable feedback quickly and efficiently.
Need to build a solid reputation quickly? Then you need to know who the key influencers are in your market; from this you can then approach them to partner up, gain an avocation or learn from their successes. For this there are tools such as Clout, Ked and Peerindex.
KeySurvey is a tool that allows for the creation of your own online questionnaires, you are however required to source your own participants.
Whilst not technically a wider tool providing market research in its entirety, Google Analytics can provide feedback as to how your customers are behaving whilst on your website. It may show you which products many view, but few buy (or vice versa) and it can illustrate what social media channels your customers are responding to, amongst many other insights.
6. Market Data Websites
BizStats is an online tool allows you to filter through financial information of every industry imaginable, providing information of annual spends as well as other insights into marketing to these companies. Similar UK based websites include Mintel, Brad Insight and Kable.
FreeLunch provides worldwide data across a range of demographics and industries, however it is most beneficial for companies targeting the USA, providing everything from comprehensive demographical breakdown, to insights into wider patterns of spending.
Social media is now more important than ever and accounts for a medium that could potentially make or break a brand within a matter of viral minutes. Staying abreast of all that is happening in relation to your industry on social media is now both more important and, thankfully, easily than ever. Websites such as Social Mention provide a single place to search for terms that are relevant to you. It also allows you to see what’s more generally trending at any given moment.
Google Trends is relatively similar to Social Mention, however it has the added benefit of additionally factoring in data gathered from its search engine. The result? An instant snap shot of consumer social media and search behaviour, coupled with the latest news and opinions from your industry.
Does your company content market? If not, you should… fresh content is an invaluable tool both in establishing your company as the go to expert it is, as well as providing Google with plenty of reasons to re-visit your website regularly. To help you with this there is Soovle, which will provide up to 15 smart keyword suggestions based upon your keyword phrase.