Creating a business involves a lot more than coming up with a good idea. In fact, your company’s service or product actually plays a very small part in whether or not your organization succeeds. While many new business owners are excited to launch their company, few realize just how vital conducting market research actually is to creating a successful company. If you don’t understand what your clients need, after all, how can you show them your product will meet that need?
Conducting Surveys Through Email
Start conducting research by utilizing your email list. Even if you’ve only used your mailing list for marketing efforts, you may be surprised at how many clients are willing to participate in a survey. Get even more responses by offering a giveaway. If someone completes a survey, for example, you could enter their name in a drawing for a gift certificate. Make sure the value of the gift certificate is worth enough to motivate your clients to complete the survey.
Your survey should include questions that provide insight into what your customers need, as well as what they want. Your customers might need a baby stroller, for example, but they might want one that comes with a lot of storage space. Your clients might need help editing their book, but they might want one-on-one consultations, too. The feedback you receive from a mailing list survey is invaluable. Make sure you read each response and look for similar trends in what your clients need and want.
Social Media Data
Another effective method of collecting market data is to talk with your social media followers. You can conduct a poll or a survey on Facebook, Twitter or even Pinterest. One of the best reasons to use social media to conduct market research is that you won’t be limited to your current clients. While email survey responses can be valuable, most people won’t forward the survey to their friends and family members. On Facebook, however, many clients will share your post, which leads to responses from a wider group of people.
In order to solicit responses from social media users, offer a coupon or promo code clients can use on your website. If you found that offering a giveaway was effective in collecting responses from your mailing list, you may find the same hold trues on social media sites. Ask users to respond to your questions, but also to share or retweet your post. This will quickly help you gather more responses to your questions, but will also grow your fan base since many users will “like” or “follow” your sites.
Once you’ve gathered enough information, it’s time to start analyzing trends. Take a look at the responses you’ve received. Begin by sorting the responses according to demographic. If you’re specifically wondering what young parents need, for example, you’re going to want to look at responses in your target demographic before you expand your research. While all of your responses can be valuable, it’s important to first focus your efforts on meeting the needs of your target clientele.
Once you’ve sorted your responses, begin asking what common trends you see. Are there any similarities when it comes to needs? What about desires? Do your clients want to see more of something specific? Are they happy with what you currently offer, but want more variety?
Take some time to evaluate all of your responses before you begin implementation. If necessary, consider sending out a follow-up survey with more specific, targeted questions. Chances are that your first round of research may have been fairly vague, but a second survey can help provide even deeper insight into the needs of your customers. Once you’re satisfied with the responses you’ve received, you can begin moving forward with your plans to provide even better products and services for your customers.