It’s Easy for Your Small Business to Do Free Marketing Research This Way

If you are a small business, you must have a plan to conduct continuing research with your clients or buyers. If you do not know why they choose you, how they navigate your line of products or services, and what will keep them coming back, your business results will be sub-optimal. As the head of an Atlanta marketing consulting firm who has been hired by many of America’s biggest corporations during the last 15 years, I design in-depth market research projects for my clients. And while focus groups, in-home or in-store interviews, and quantitative surveys are extremely useful for gathering the vital information that will help companies make smarter marketing decisions, you can get valuable results, now, with a few straightforward approaches. The first- – and perhaps most difficult- – thing you need to do is to approach your business, your industry, and your audience from a fresh, unbiased standpoint (this is the reason why many companies find it especially valuable to bring on an external resource). After many years of being in the same market, many business owners develop strong viewpoints in regards to what works and why. The problem is that they’ve developed a collection of filters that only confirm what they are expecting to see, and they become blind to data that challenges their pre-conceived opinions. The only real way to fight this is to recognise it and to consciously work against it. The second thing is to pick out your research priorities. What is the most important thing you want to find out more about your customers or buyers? What piece of vital information are...