Stories about companies that do not conduct market research are all too common. In the nineties, for example, a refreshing drink was introduced in which small gelatin balls floated. Sounds appetizing – not! Called Orbitz, the product is said to taste terrible. It started with an incoherent marketing campaign about the arrival of another planet. Not surprisingly, the product was bankrupt.
Marketing experts investigate such errors and try to learn from them. The point of many lessons is: If only the company had done its market research. Maybe some focus groups or blind taste tests were held. Then the company could have saved its money.
Market research is only a good business step. Research minimizes risk and enables companies to use valuable resources wisely. Choosing the right market research tools saves time and money for startups and small businesses. A good market research tool makes it much easier to collect critical information for decisions such as estimating the size of the market opportunity, pricing products and services, the brand name to be used or the response from advertising messages to customers.
The best market research instruments must be considered here.
The Pew Research Center has extensive data on social trends, technology use, science and many other current topics. Register and get access to records and reports with great charts. Pew does a great job and explains the methodology behind his studies. Good demographic breakdowns are helpful for marketing teams. Pew data can help you identify new opportunities and understand your target market.
Living Facts is a sister site to the Pew Research Center that can provide marketing information to potential customers. The site says it's about "Americans today – who we are and how we live." The website contains colorful image infographics, videos and tests and is easy to use. For your marketing plan or campaign, get an overview of consumer trends, demographics, beliefs, health, work and other topics in American life.
The US Census is a top market research tool. Census Business Builder is a source for conducting market research that targets a single region. Browsing census data is helpful to segment customers by demographic. The US Census Bureau also offers Data Gems, a collection of videos to better explain how you can access census data for your business. Other instruments for US government market research include:
One of your best bets is to conduct surveys to ask people for information or to collect customer feedback. Survey Monkey is one of the most popular tools. It has been around since 1999 and the product is mature and robust. The basic plan is available free of charge and offers you 10 questions per survey with up to 40 answers per survey. If you need more, you can upgrade to a paid plan.
Price: Free and Paid Plans from $ 32 / month
Zoho Survey is a relative newcomer to the survey software industry, but has quickly become a rival. Zoho Survey offers a free version that allows you to answer 10 questions and get up to 100 answers per survey. Zoho has over 250 professional templates. You may need a paid version to get the flexibility and features you need. Additional plus: A full version of Zoho Survey is included in Zoho One subscriptions at no additional cost.
Price: Free and paid plans starting at $ 20 / month.
The Keyword Surfer Extension by Surfer SEO is a great tool for content marketing. You install this cool tool in your Chrome browser. Then when you search Google, you can view the volume of monthly searches for different keywords. The information is right there – you don't have to do any keyword research with another tool. With Keyword Surfer, you can see what terms your audience may be looking for, so you can tailor your web pages to meet customer expectations.
SEMrush is an SEO tool (search engine optimization). There are many SEO tools out there, but SEMRush is popular with marketers and content creators, not just SEO professionals. The Keyword Magic Tool is a powerful way to analyze a broad topic and identify niche subtopics. In this way you can analyze your online presence. You can also run a gap analysis that shows which keywords your main competitors get search rankings for and how you compare them. SEMrush is a bit expensive, but extremely helpful for researching your digital presence.
Price: Starts at $ 99.95 / month
Google Trends gives a picture of what people are looking for on the web. It is one of the best tools to examine market trends and track the search volume for products or services over time and by geographic location. You can also get insight into related topics and related searches to identify patterns and identify the terminology that the user is most likely to use.
Social media is another important place for market research. Hootsuite has a reputation as a social scheduling tool. The tool also serves as a way to track your brand's activity related to social mentions and various search terms on channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The free plan is very limited with 3 social profiles and 30 scheduled messages. Most small businesses and marketers who take social media seriously need a paid plan.
Price: Starts at $ 29 / month
If you use Facebook for marketing purposes, Facebook Audience Insights is one of the best market research tools. Use this option to track interaction with your content. You can use to learn about the demographics and behavior of your social media fans or other Facebook pages. With Insights, you can view the page views on your Facebook page, the reach of posts, page likes, actions taken on the page, and much more. You can also use the "Pages to Watch" feature to identify the performance of your page and compare it with others in a similar niche.
If you need a tool to track your social mentoring and engagement activities specifically on Twitter, try Twitonomy. You can also search for activities that involve other users and hashtags. You simply register for the basic service free of charge by connecting your Twitter account. Of course, Twitter also offers analysis tools for your own account. So if you don't want to authorize any other app, you can try Twitter Analytics at any time to research social media.
Price: Free and paid plans starting at $ 20 / month
Do you need to track small business recruitment and employment? Two tools are useful for market research of brands that offer employment-related products and services.
Every month, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) publishes the Small Business Report. The report identifies trends and plans for small business spending. The Small Business Optimism Index is part of the report and measures owner optimism. Therefore, it can be a great resource for market research for B2B companies that sell to small businesses. This enables small business owners to get a feel for how their colleagues think.
You can think of Yelp as the place to post reviews about your own business. But it can also be one of your top tools for researching competitors. Find out what other customers like about your competitors – for example, to identify products or services that you may want to add to your range. And just as important is figuring out what customers dislike about your competitors and making changes to avoid similar problems.
TripAdvisor is the primary review site for the tourism industry. If your small business is a tourist destination, you can follow the reviews of your own business on this website. You can also do market research on competitors. You can research companies similar to yours in other cities and even in other countries. Read these reviews to find out what items you can add to keep customers interested in businesses like you. If your company is connected to the hotel industry, this website can be used to conduct market research on what is important for people in travel destinations and when traveling, or to identify potential partners who appeal to an audience similar to you.
When you launch or produce a software product or service, there are a number of websites that post reviews of competitors.
It's a great idea to see what people say about your competitors – not just what customers say about you. You get different opinions when you check all websites. Providers can pay for premium services, but you don't need that to do market research.
For information on export opportunities for your small business, see International Trade Association Export Solutions. The sections contain information on learning to export, exploring foreign markets, finding potential customers and partners, and more.
For small business owners operating a franchise – or small business serving franchisees – the International Franchise Association maintains a research area for the franchise industry. Use this tool to conduct market research on various aspects of the franchise industry.
The National Retail Federation is recognized for research in retail. The research area includes a monthly economic review with a consumer confidence index. The NRF also has a section called Retail & # 39; s Impact with retail statistics broken down by state.
The Small Business Statistics Center for Small Business Trends is an important resource for understanding small businesses. There are statistics on the number of small businesses that are broken down by state. It also includes information about the percentage of small businesses, the number of employees, the average number of employees in a small company, and statistics by industry and population group.
Do you need quick feedback on a new product name or a marketing copy? Then PickFu is the right choice for you. PickFu says it connects you with consumers in the United States who provide valuable feedback on your business ideas, product photos, marketing copies, and more. PickFU doesn't have a free version, but you can interview an audience by either asking for their opinion or asking them to vote for their favorite option. There are also many different demographic variables that you can choose from, so you can reach almost any audience that suits your product or service.
Price: Starting at $ 50
We hope you find this list of market research tools helpful. It has never been easier to compile competitive information or collect market research. As you can see, a lot can be done online today.