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Ep.1: Understanding Market Research

Welcome to the first episode of our THE IMPORTANCE OF MARKET RESEARCH FOR DIGITAL MARKETING series!

I would be offending the gods of blog writing if I didn’t start by explaining what we mean when we say “market research”. Just to be on the same page.

At its core, market research is the process of gathering, analysing, and interpreting data related to a specific market, industry, or target audience.

This information is then used to help inform marketing strategies, product development, and overall business decisions. In our never-stopping realm of digital marketing, this research can involve the same high-level insights you would normally associate with it (surveying the target audience on pain points, desires, barriers, drivers… in short: their consumer behaviour), but also your run-of-the-mill digital analytics like website traffic, studying user behaviour on social media, or your ad result metrics.

No matter what you do, you must know who to talk to

A key aspect of market research is identifying the target audience, which is a critical component of any successful digital marketing plan. By gaining a thorough understanding of who my ideal customer is, I can better tailor my marketing messages, offers, and overall online presence to appeal to those individuals.

Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck into a sort of catch-22 where on one end you want to talk to people to figure out what are their problems so that you can create a solution and sell it to them, but on the other end you want to know what people think of the product that you probably already built.

That’s why it’s fundamental to constantly check, revise and therefore improve your ideal customer profile.

When it comes to describing the audience in detail, there are several ways to identify their characteristics, which include:

  • Demographic analyses: Examining factors such as age, gender, income, and occupation
  • Geographic analyses: Studying locations and regions with high concentrations of potential customers
  • Psychographic analyses: Investigating personal characteristics like values, interests, and lifestyle preferences
  • Behavioural analyses: Exploring how people interact with brands, products, and services on and offline

Most of those will require careful research design and execution.

Careful, we’re not alone

Another crucial facet of market research is monitoring and analysing my competitors. By staying up-to-date on what others in my industry are doing, I can gain valuable insights into the strategies that are working and the areas where there might be gaps in the market. Tracking competitors involves:

  • Reviewing their websites and social media profiles
  • Assessing their presence on search engines
  • Identifying their unique selling points (USPs)
  • Analysing their pricing strategies and product offerings

A third factor to consider when conducting market research is determining the most effective communication channels for reaching my target audience. As a digital marketer, I have access to a wide range of online channels, including email marketing, social media platforms, search engine optimisation (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. By determining which channels are most likely to resonate with my target audience and provide the best return on investment (ROI), I can allocate my resources more effectively and maximise the success of my digital marketing campaigns.

Market research also helps in identifying current market trends and predicting future trends. By staying ahead of the curve, I can take advantage of new opportunities and adapt my digital marketing strategies accordingly.

To sum up, understanding market research is essential for digital marketing success. It provides me with the knowledge and insights needed to make informed decisions, develop effective marketing strategies, and ultimately grow my business in the competitive online landscape.

Up Next: Ep.2: The Digital Marketing Landscape
Series index: The Importance Of Market Research For Digital Marketing

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