Has this ever happened to you?
You’re thinking of rolling out a new product.
And because you think you’re pretty smart and that your opinion about things matters, you don’t take time to find out whether your market wants it or not because you just know…
You’re certain that you can rely on your vast experience, just guess, or maybe trust your intuition to guide you…
So you barrel forward, invest a ton of resources, money and time into your next great idea, and…
Believe me, there is a better way. It’s called research, and there are many ways it can be used, all of which will make you more money.
One of the coolest things about the Internet is that it has taken a lot of traditional research tools and made them so much easier and cheaper to use. That goes for primary research, where you “talk” directly to customers and potential customers, as well as secondary research, where you study other people’s primary research.
Here are ten things you can do with market research.
1. Understand what people think of you. Use research to gage you or your company’s reputation among your customers, prospects, bloggers and other opinion-setters, and anyone else who has influence on your future.
2. Know how consumers compare your offer to similar offers from competitors. Think it would boost your sales if you knew which parts of your product people thought were not as good as someone else’s?
3. Figure out what features will most appeal to your potential customers. This little gem tells you where to put your product development energy and which parts of your new service should be left out.
4. Determine what should go into creating the ideal offer to your market, including price, terms, benefits, format, delivery mechanisms, sizes, features, packaging, bonuses, sequence, and so on.
5. Use research to create the best messages to sell your products and your services so that you can get people’s attention and keep it all the way to the close.
6. Research can help you define your target market or niche. Are they men or women? Old or young? Small businesses or medium ones? Rich or super-rich? Industry? Job title? Hobbies? Experience? Getting these factors right – and many more – can make the difference between a hit and a flop.
7. Interestingly, you can use research to figure out what language appeals to your buyers. Moving toward or away? Fear versus greed? Pain or pleasure? You can identify which kinds of words work best.
8. Zero in on what products or services people want from you and are most willing to pay for. It can’t guarantee a slam-dunk, but it can get you much closer than if you guess. This simple use of research, which can be anything from a 1-question survey on your webpage to something much more elaborate, can save you a fortune in lost labor, and can identify opportunities you’d have never thought of without help.
9. Clarify what part of your marketing is making the greatest difference so you can use the good parts and improve the parts that aren’t helping.
10. Position your business perfectly in the minds of your prospects. Even great marketers often have trouble selling themselves. Research can tell you why your best customers ARE your best customers and what things about you they find most attractive. Then all you have to do is tell other people those same things and you’re golden.
There’s no limit on how you an use research to dig into the collective mind of your market. These ten are some of the most important ones, and they will make you money if you use them.
Let me know how you use research, or any other thoughts you’ve got below.
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