Why You Need to Do Research Before You Begin a Campaign
The key to successful marketing is meeting the buyer at the right place, at the right time, and with the right messaging. Of course, brands can't accomplish this three-fold objective through guesswork alone. That's where market research (gathering information related to consumer needs and preferences) comes into the picture.
Marketing Isn't a Guessing Game
The importance of market research is invaluable for companies. A business must keep a competitive edge against industry peers to enjoy more successful campaigns. While marketing campaign research should be conducted regularly, it's especially vital when starting a new business, expanding your current presence, or rebranding your company.
How Does Market Research Help a Business?
The world’s most famous brands depend on market research to reach customers, gain an edge over competitors, and help their businesses grow.
Market research is shown to:
- Build Reputability
- Strengthen Credibility
- Improve brand Awareness
- Help Generate more Informed Decisions
Let's discuss some key reasons you should engage in market research before beginning a new campaign.
How to Identify New Prospects
The first step in the process of market research is to identify your "ideal customer" — in other words, who you should target with your advertising efforts. You need to answer the question: "Who are you trying to reach?"
However, guessing who your ideal prospects are isn’t enough. Knowing and understanding your target market comes from research data. Taking a data-driven marketing approach to understanding your audience will give you precise information to use in your campaigns. You may think your prospects are different than your actual research suggests, so it’s important to analyze data for detailed insights.
Once you know the answer to the above question, you'll be able to build on that foundation and resolve other key targeting questions, such as:
- What specific demographics would be more likely to purchase your product?
- What pain points does your product solve for them?
- What interests, concerns, and goals motivate your target consumers?
With an in-depth grasp of your ideal customers, you'll be able to adapt your messaging to meet their sensibilities.
How to Understand Your Current Customers
On occasion, it would be helpful to conduct market research on your existing customers, rather than just prospective ones. For example, you can seek the answers to such questions as:
- Why did they choose your business over that of a competitor?
- Why do they use your service or product?
- How do they use it?
- What needs does your service or product fill for them?
Digging into these considerations can help you understand your consumer base better and your own business. For example, you may be able to uncover a unique selling proposition (USP) for your brand that you hadn't previously explored.
Another way to reach more audiences like yours is to create customer look-alikes. Customer look-alikes are similar to current consumers, which you can effectively target while keeping marketing expenditures low. To gain insights into look-alikes, analyze your first-party data, customer database, or Cox Site Analysis Tag (CSAT) audience.
Remember to Keep Realistic Goals
When you have a firm grasp of your current and potential customers (especially from first-party data gleaned directly from your end users), it is much easier to set market research goals and determine which key performance indicators (KPIs) to use as well as a measure of the campaign's success.
Of course, you want to ensure that you set SMART goals for your campaigns (e.g., plans that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely). Your goals must be realistic and based (at least in part) on the data gathered from your market research initiatives. When your goals are realistic and attainable, your campaign will have a clear focus, and your overall strategy will be more effective.
Produce More Effective Campaigns
Conducting prior market research can help you to develop more effective campaigns in several ways. For example, suppose you realize that your primary target demographic is aged 50+. In that case, you'll be able to include older pop culture references in your messaging (references that a younger crowd may not get). Then again, if your ideal customers are significant social media users, you'll know to expand your advertising efforts to the most popular platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and so on).
If you want to understand how to improve a marketing campaign, market research can help you pinpoint what works and stick to it. (It can also help you identify what doesn't work and ditch it.) A campaign informed by market research will be more efficient, more comprehensive, and ultimately more successful.
Expand Your Brand With Ease
They say that "knowledge is power," which certainly holds true for marketing. When you have in-depth knowledge about your target consumers, you can make better decisions on expanding your brand — and where to expand it.
For example, an estimated 79% of video marketers use Facebook as a channel in their marketing mix. Why? Because they realize that a large percentage of their target audience uses Facebook, and they want to maintain a strong brand presence on the platform.
The bottom line is that market research can help you test out new markets or channels, roll out new products or services, and ultimately expand your brand effectively.
Leverage Market Research to Grow Your Business
The marketing research process is an important step that you should take before beginning a new campaign. It will help you pinpoint your target audience and understand their specific needs and preferences. It will also help you make well-informed decisions about which goals to set, what kind of messaging to use, and which channels to focus your efforts.
Of course, market research may not be in your wheelhouse. If it isn't, you always have the option of working with an expert digital agency. Their years of experience in market research can prove to be an invaluable asset as you're considering your next campaign.
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