After receiving great feedback from subscribers on my last post, How to Market Your Startup’s Newsletter, many of you were curious about how one should go about tailoring their content market strategy (i.e. newsletters) to match their target audience.
Herein lies the importance of market research.
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, Market Research is the process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market.
Conducting market research, while tedious to some, allows you to properly tailor your marketing efforts (content marketing especially) in a way that will satisfy the needs of your consumer.
Need more convincing? Just think of this scenario:
A radio DJ experiencing low ratings on his radio station asks his listeners which music they would prefer to hear. Upon playing the favorite music songs of his listeners, he then experiences an increase in his station ratings because the music he plays (content) is satisfying the desires of his listeners (target audience).
Marketing to the needs of your consumer should be a two-way dialogue. It’s not enough to market to the audience you think is there. You need to speak to the audience that is actually there and identified (by market research). Not the audience you wish were there.
One of the best components that performing market research has is that it provides such detail on potential consumers who you’ll be looking to sell your products and services to. This same information can then be used to hone in on your buyer and reel him or her in.
There are so many ways to effectively conduct market research that doesn’t end with going door to door asking questions. Such as:
- Analyzing site analytics to know which content was the most popular
- Recording the time of day certain posts were read
- Analyzing audience demographics of your blog/social media platforms
- Performing Twitter Polls to see which topics your followers wants you to vlog about.
One of my clients that I am consulting for is concerned with successfully marketing their online courses for businesses. Well, it’s very difficult to know how to market this online course to businesses if you don’t know what a business is looking for in an online course for their employees.
How would one go about designing the curriculum? Or the advertisements to market these courses?
With all of these questions in mind, my client thought to assemble a 10 question questionnaire for local businesses and their employees to answer.
A questionnaire is a wonderful, non-evasive marketing tool to use when trying to get a feel for your consumer. For one:
- It’s Anonymous
People are most likely to answer truthfully than if you knocked on their door to ask them the same questions face to face.
You can also find out a lot about your consumer by how they answer the questionnaire. Perhaps they don’t even speak English. As a result, you know to craft your marketing materials in way that will accommodate their language capabilities i.e. ads with Spanish translation.
Per result of my client’s questionnaire, as a consultant I am:
- Able to focus on aspects which matter to the consumer, whether through marketing materials, of future site content
- I also have first-hand data from the target consumer to refer back to when it comes to making future branding decisions for my client
As a result of my clients choice to incorporate a questionnaire in their market research, they are now able to tailor their online course curriculum (content) to include topics that interest the businesses that they are trying to reach (target audience).
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Cover Photo: Harvard Business School