Hamilton Business Operations: Marketing Research
Effective market research, can help determine the need, estimate a product's likelihood to fill it, determine target-market demographics, even define optimal retail locations. This type of information can be uncovered a number of ways: online research, focus groups, even counting competitors' customers. This work can be done by pros, sometimes at signficant cost, or done yourself ("bootstrapped") at a modest investment of time, effort or money.
What's market research? And why must you do it? Here are two articles that offer a general overview on the topic.
- Sources and Techniques for Your Strategic Planning Efforts know your competitors (Inc.com)
- Hitting the Market know your potential customers (Inc.com)
- Introducing New Products having a successful launch (Inc.com)
- High Concept: Tapping a New Market features and distribution for success (Inc.com)
- Target Market Research Questions
Some low-budget research strategies:
- Market Research on the Cheap students can bootstrap research (Inc.com)
- inexpensive market research techniques by Guerrilla marketer Jay Conrad Levinson (Inc.com)
- How can I find an affordable market research service? quantitative and qualitative primary research for less (Inc.com)
- A Do-It-Yourself Customer Panel (Inc.com)
- Will They Bite? Shoe case study (Inc.com)
- Every Click They Make data from server logs (Inc.com)
Develop a thorough knowledge of whom your target market includes.
- Grist: Don't Read the Business Pages what the newspaper tells you (Inc.com)
- The Six Costliest Mistakes You Can Make in Marketing to Women (Inc.com)
- Getting the Dirt on Your Market (Inc.com)
- Community Profiles (Stats Canada)
- Canadian Census data (Stats Canada)
Snoop around competitors' stores, websites and customers.
- Competitive Intelligence on a Shoestring with online research (Inc.com)
- The Dirtbag Demographic clothing case study, using competitors' websites (Inc.com)
- Spies Like Us with mystery shoppers (Inc.com)
- Get a Local Look at Your Competition many techniques (Inc.com)
CEO insights into market research mistakes