Mapping out your digital marketing campaign can be tough. If budgeting for your marketing efforts is proving not to be worth the return on your investment, then you may need to rethink your marketing research strategies. But, where do you start?
You may be asking the right questions, but to the wrong audience. Alternatively, you may be asking the right questions, but just not interpreting your audience’s feedback in a way that can provide solutions to their problems. It would be nice to understand these things before starting your marketing campaign, right?
Read below to find some basics of market research strategy, as well as some technologies to help you out along the way.
Do Your Homework
Before you start anything, it will significantly increase the success of your digital marketing campaign, and business sales, if you ask yourself some critical questions to help direct your campaign toward the right people. After all, your customers are the foundation of your business and understanding them is vital to your marketing efforts.
Asking the questions to pinpoint your audience will take you from aimlessly throwing out marketing that won’t stick, to a carefully crafted and lucrative marketing campaign. Understanding who your customers are through demographics such as age, income, occupation, etc., will have a double-pronged effect. You’ll be able to focus your efforts toward your audience’s inclinations better while not wasting time and money on a campaign that is not going to connect with members of your target audience.
With an analysis of what they are currently purchasing and why, you can become more aware of your customer’s buying habits. Finally, you can understand your customers’ wants and desires to be able to design a marketing strategy for your target audience, i.e., what will make them buy from you.
Identify Your Competitors
A study of your competitors can highlight some essential aspects of your digital marketing campaign. You’ll want to investigate points in which your competitors are having success, as well as their failures. Understanding a competing business selling the same products or services to a similar customer base can give you the dos and don’ts of your marketing campaign. It can illuminate what strategies to imitate, as well as ones to stay away from.
For example, if your competitor released a comparable product to your own, pay close attention to the strategies in which they choose to release it. If it is not well received, understanding why it wasn’t favored could save you a great deal of time and money. Maybe your competitor missed the mark on their target audience, or the market may be saturated with that product and it is not needed. Whatever the case, you can take advantage of their mistake and turn it into a success for your business.
Know What Sets You Apart
With an understanding of your audience and your competitor, you can now reevaluate your position in the market. If you ask the same questions above, you now can gain a grasp of what you can bring to the table for your audience that your competitors can’t.
It is common knowledge that a strong marketing campaign is one that is memorable and stands out above the competitors. The digital age brings ample marketing strategies for many platforms. However, this flooding of marketing is causing customers to have a short attention span. Trying to market to everyone with strategies that have been seen and done before is not effective, but crafting a campaign specifically to the interests of your audience will catch their eye and boost sales.
Knowing what sets you apart from competitors gives you the opportunity to show your target audience that you value them. Craft personal advertisements and content that will resonate with your audience and connect with them on a personal level. This personal marketing is highly effective, and you will find that your target audience will buy from a company that cares enough to understand them. Set your business apart from your competitors and give it its own personality while showing your customers you understand them.
Take to Social Media
Social media monitoring and social listening can be instrumental in all your above research. Social media platforms are great places to see how people are talking about you, your competitors, and to craft successful marketing campaigns. It is necessary to market on social media in the current world, but do not take the likes, shares, and comments of your posts lightly, as this social commentary is a direct reflection of how your audience perceives your brand.
To take it a step further, enlist in Google Analytics to track your social media comments, mentions, likes, etc. You can use these to see how successful your marketing efforts are going.
For example, if you created a post marketing a new product, you can gauge the anticipation from your customers based on the likes, comments, and shares the post received. Furthermore, you can read the comments of your audience to address questions and concerns quickly. Social media is one way for you to connect and communicate directly with your audience to understand them better, and in doing so, your company becomes more personable, reliable, and trustworthy.
Revamp Your Branding
If you’ve done the above research, you likely have a strong grasp of your target market. Now is the time, if you are a new business, to start crafting your brand. If you are an existing business, you may find that you need to tweak your marketing efforts a bit to reach your audience. Your brand is your business’ personality, and market research can reveal that your company identity does not connect with your audience.
Create some concept markups of your logo, play around with different color schemes, and do some A/B testing to a detailed understanding of how your customers react to your prospective branding. According to USC’s applied psychology program, something as simple as changing the colors of your branding can make all the difference in sales. Color psychology plays a significant yet subtle role in marketing, and it could help your brand connect more with the people it needs to connect with to successfully attract conversions.
Recent technological advancements have given way to a cost-effective and convenient way to conduct market research. Virtual reality, or VR, opens the door for an innovative approach to answer the questions above when doing your homework. With eye tracking software, virtual store simulations, and virtual focus groups, your business can get a detailed view of how and why customers buy products at your store.
With virtual focus groups you can gauge customer motivations, feelings, and attitudes toward your brand and business. You can ask all the questions you need to in a regular focus group, but without asking your customers to leave their homes. With this convenience, a customer could feel more compelled to participate as well as offer more insight being in a more personal setting.
A virtual store simulation is a new, cutting-edge method of market research. What better way to understand why and how a customer buys your product than to see how they would come across it in an actual shopping setting? By conducting a virtual store simulation, customers would enter a virtual world in which they will be in a store that would carry your product.
They can “pick up” and observe your merchandise and compare it to others. Various simulations can be run to distinguish brand imaging, shelf placement, how customers navigate through a store, and other valuable information about your customer’s buying habits.
Eye tracking software can be used to understand the exact location of where your product should be in a store, what should be on your product and where, and other subtle complexities that other businesses otherwise might not recognize. With eye tracking software, you can determine where a customer looks at your product and using a heat map you can understand precisely where your logo should be in respects to the other information of your product. You can apply the same rationale to a store simulation. By understanding where your customer looks first for a product, you can determine the best shelf, and overall, placement of your product.
VR provides insights from a range of broad questions to very specific psychological tendencies. Understanding and making these changes can elevate your chances to convert, escalating your sales.
You can inform your customers of promotions, new products, and other pertinent information as soon as they enter your store with beacon technology. Notifications can be sent right to your customer’s phone, eliminating their wait to talk to an employee. A customer could come in and know exactly what they are looking for, making a transaction as quick as possible. Additionally, a customer could come in to buy one product, become privy to a sale, and buy something that they normally might have missed out on.
Beacon technology is an autonomous way to keep your customers up to date with your business. It will also save time both for your customers and employees not to have to relay this information and get straight to making a transaction. With just the download of an app on your customer’s smartphone, you can inform your customers of any business activity. Beacon technology can increase customer satisfaction, communication, and overall sales.
Market research is foundational for your digital marketing campaign. If done correctly and regularly, your business will see sales rise and continue to soar. A company who knows their audience, what they can do for them, and why and how they should buy will be at the forefront of their market.
Featured Image Credit Pixabay
Sam Bowman writes about marketing, tech, and how the two merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.