How to Perform Market Research Without Breaking the Bank

DSM Digital school of Marketing - market research

Whether you’re generating a new product, a new brand, or just launching a new campaign, you possibly want to know what prospective customers think about it before you go all in. However, market research is very expensive and time consuming.

A lot of small-to-medium-sized organisations think that market research is a luxury which is afforded only to JSE-listed companies as well as others with deep pockets. However, thanks to social media and a flood of DIY research and survey tools, audience insights are now much simpler to access, at any price point.

It might sound to be too good to be true, however it is possible to perform cost-effective market research. The trick is to be thinking outside the box and also to evaluate your in-house capabilities. If you are able to DIY the research you need, your digital marketing campaigns will become more efficient, strategic, informed as well as lucrative. In fact, agencies which frequently conduct research are nearly 10% more profitable than those that don’t.

Collect Information From Each Transaction

Every organisation collects data on their customers and not to mention their customer transactions. However, how many companies are using this effectively and are also able to optimise the strategic and day-to-day operations of their company?

Your customer data is a virtual treasure-trove. It can tell you so much about who your most useful customers are, where you are able to find them, what they buy from you most frequently and sometimes even what they are most likely to buy from you the next time around.

However, if you collect it poorly, infrequently or inconsistently, you are never going to utilise it to your best advantage.

The first step is to recognise what you have and collect information regularly. Do you know enough? If not, it is necessary for you to expand the range of what you are gathering from each customer transactions.

Capture helpful information from every transaction, methodically. Don’t be left pondering what might have been.

Don’t Misjudge The Power Of Surveys

Surveys have been around for a very long time, however that’s because they work. There are a lot of available simple survey tools which can help you to gauge the success of your past, present or – alternatively – future campaigns.  If you require extra incentives in order to get people to take your surveys, attempt to launch a contest through storefront signage or a very quick email campaign.

Focus Heavily On Quality

Have a good view pf the quality of your collected data. This is a vital requirement for a small business database. Have you ever heard of the saying, ‘Garbage In … Garbage Out?’ Well, this applies to your customer data.

If you are able to, have your staff at the point of sale asking customers if their details are up to date. If you operate mainly online, you could need to be proactive with organised customer contact telephone calls or email. You are trying for 100% accuracy here … or as near as you can get … so it’s definitely worth investing a little time and effort.

Having a routine set of data quality metrics that you collect on the same day of every month can help you keep track of how well you are doing with keeping the data ‘clean’ (i.e., without missing data, duplicate information or misspellings).

Producing regular data quality reports also helps to inform these processes. These are automatic functions in most CRMs, but you can also use a simple Excel spreadsheet.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

If you would like to learn more about market research, then you need to do our Market Research Course. For more information, please follow this link.

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