Are you preparing to start a marketing campaign for your new product or service? Stop where you are a take a moment to read this first.
Before a marketing strategy is assembled, a great deal of time and research must go into the planning. There is a key process to follow that will ensure success and send your business in the right direction.
Do you want to gain the upper hand over your competitors? Start doing your research! Learn more about how to complete this marketing research process with these 5 steps!
1. Identify the Problem
Before any other steps in the research process, you must determine the problem you are trying to solve with your marketing campaign. It can be an issue your product solves for the customer, how you will reach your target market, or the best way to engage with potential clients.
Ask questions of yourself and your team that will point out obstacles and opportunities that require a solution. This can often start as a vague statement but should be revisited with each step to improve and narrow it down. A clear problem identifies the goal of the marketing research and makes it easier to know what information is needed by the end.
The objective should be written down and visible to all parties involved in the research process. Everyone on the team should be aware of what they are trying to accomplish each day, so their actions are geared toward achieving that goal.
2. Make a Plan
Once you know the problem at hand, even it isn’t fully clear yet, it’s time to start planning how your team can answer these questions and come to a resolution. This is where delegation becomes vital to the success of your marketing research process. It won’t be effective to simply send everyone out on their own to try to find their own version of answers and ideas.
Instead, take some time to step back and provide specific assignments designed to put together the puzzle pieces. This plan should include precise details on both the collection and analysis of the information. All assignments should be focused on gathering data that is relevant to the objective.
A major part of the planning process is determining the means to collect specific details. This can include customer surveys, client interviews, search engine research, and more. There will be costs involved with some of these market research techniques, so you will need to budget for whatever tactics you decide to use.
3. Do Research
Now you have a problem to solve and a plan on how to solve it, so it’s time to start your marketing research. This will often be a combination of facts, opinions, numbers, and other statistics. Make sure you are getting an even spread of data, to prevent the emphasis on too many opinions without enough facts to back them up.
Google will become your best friend during this stage of the marketing research process. It’s also important to recognize the authority of the resources you are using. Collect information from established companies within your industry and determine a website’s domain authority by using tools like Moz in your marketing process. This will provide more prestige to your research and give you a better chance at a successful campaign.
It is also essential to have a practical means of recording the information you collect. As you compile your data, make sure you keep it organized and easy to understand once it comes time to analyze and report on your findings.
4. Review the Data
Next up is the bread and butter of the entire marketing research process — data analysis. While some dread this part, others look forward to it more than any other step. It’s crucial at this point to take personal assumptions and ideas out of the equation and focus on the facts and opinions found in your marketing research.
Take the time to identify and list the trends and outcomes found in your studies. Create a detailed summary of the process and end results that can be organized into a formal marketing report, if needed. Use all available reporting tools at your disposal including charts, graphs, and other visual comparisons.
If you made any guesses or assumptions that were proven wrong during your research, include how that helped you determine new ideas to improve the planned marketing approach. It is good to prove yourself wrong at this point, so you can recognize the new knowledge and share it effectively with all necessary parties.
5. Use It
Lights, camera, action! It’s time to take everything you have learned and put it to use. If you completed this market research for a client or stakeholder, it’s time to present your findings and develop your marketing strategies.
Whether you are showing this information to a customer or a manager, ensure the details are clear and that you have a straightforward plan to accomplish your intended actions.
The most important part of the action step is to realize there are still things to learn and ways to improve these marketing campaigns. Come back to review how successful your tactics have been so far and make changes as necessary. The world’s problems are changing every day, leaving marketers with a constant need to adapt and modify their plans.
Ready to Start Your Marketing Research Process?
Now that you know the steps in the research process, it’s time to do them on your own project. Come back to this article for reminders on each piece of the procedure and use the tools mentioned.
Be sure to check out our blog for more details on the marketing research process and other secrets for new entrepreneurs.