Leveraging Market Research for Great Web Design
Why you should be doing market research.
Business owners and marketing professionals who understand the value of gathering market research are a step ahead of the competition when it comes to making major business decisions (website design, product lines, services offered…). If you want your business’ website to make an impact and be effective, learning how to gather and use market research needs to go at the top of your “to do” list.All too often, businesses talk at customers rather than have a conversation with them. Click To Tweet
5 Key Benefits of Market Research
Market research focuses your attention on your customers
The customer is ultimately your boss and you need to make sure you are meeting and/or exceeding their needs and expectations. This holds true for both your bricks-and-mortar location and your website. When determining what is important to your customer-base, it’s essential to remember that you are the business owner or employee, NOT the customer. Your opinions about what is important, valuable, desirable… may be different from theirs.
Market research keeps you focused
When you use market research, you tap into what is most important to your customers. Having this knowledge will help you to maximize your time and provide insights for how to execute your short and long-term marketing plans and business goals.
Market research highlights the opportunities
Business owners want to grow their business and be successful, but the right path for achieving that isn’t always clear. Market research can help to identify opportunities with the best return on investment (ROI) that fit with your business’ objectives.
Market research directs you toward the future
Utilizing market research allows your business to evolve in a way that meets the long-term needs of your customers. If you aren’t keeping your customers satisfied and staying attuned to what they want and need, another business will!
Market research helps with decision-making
When you use market research to guide your business decisions, you reduce the risk of failure. Changes you are considering can be evaluated based on research that pertains to your business sector, product category, audience demographic, or competition.
As previously stated, using market research helps to give you a competitive edge when making major business decisions – such as making major website changes.Market research is more than helpful; it’s essential for staying competitive online. Click To Tweet
5 BIG Reasons to Leverage Market Research
Developing and refining your online business strategy
Market research can help you to identify where your brand stands in relation to the online competition, what key business metrics you need to monitor, and what your target market cares most about when it comes to your brand or industry sector.
Connecting with your target market by developing market personas
Market research can help you find the best target demographic for your product or service. Developing “market personas” will help you identify each potential customer type including demographic, economic, and emotional characteristics of your ideal customers. When you focus your website’s content on the right personas, you can see enhanced results, greater efficiency, and improved performance from your online and direct marketing efforts.
Refining your online communication strategies
All too often, businesses talk at customers rather than have a conversation with them. Market research can help you to develop authentic messaging that will resonate with your target audience and get the conversation started about your brand and offerings.
Innovating for future growth
Having access to market research will allow you to zero in on growth opportunities for your business that target your customers’ interests and needs. Whether it’s information found in published reports or trade publications, these sources offers a wealth of information about current and projected consumer behaviors, trends and forecasts. In addition, staying informed of changes in your industry will help you stay ahead of the competition and be prepared to seize opportunities or navigate disruptions before they actually happen.
Understanding your competition
Understanding the competition in your marketplace is crucial if you want your business to survive and thrive. Market research can reveal how consumers perceive your competitors’ products and services. Reading social media comments and review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor will also provide insight into what customers are saying. Take a look at both online and offline competitor websites, not only to see what you should include in yours, but also to figure out ways to stand out.
Getting excited about the possibilities market research can bring?
Turning Market Research Into Action
Market research is more than helpful; it’s essential for staying competitive in the online marketplace. When you’re getting ready to make major changes to your business’ website, such as a visual re-design, increasing functionality with an online store, or a complete content refresh, it’s extremely important that credible and authentic market research be used to help fuel your decision-making process. The last thing you want to do is waste valuable time and money creating a website that does not resonate with your target audience!
When you make the committment to use a market research based web design strategy, you’ll not only boost the effectiveness of your business’ website, but you’ll also gain valuable knowledge that can be applied to other business areas such as your physical store-front, evaluating advertising opportunities, and how to best communicate with your target customers.
Fortunately, it is now possible for businesses to conduct their own market research using tools such as Google Analytics, online polls, virtual focus groups, and social media based discussion boards. Here are just a few ideas for small-scale projects that can help your business gain web strategy insights:
- Review the analytics for your business’ website to understand word searches, content usage and pages that visitors exit from.
- Conduct keyword research for market personas. It’s important to consider how your target customers will be searching for what your business offers. Each of your market personas will approach online searches in a different manner, and your focus keywords need to align with those. Once determining your core keywords and phrases, you’ll want to incorporate them into compelling text that will resonate with your market personas.
- If your business has an active blog or social media presence, review the comments regularly for specific questions, feedback and interests that your users have shared with you. It may be a good idea to incorporate some of that “FAQ” information in your website’s content or navigation.
- On the same note, review customer complaints from all available sources (including phone calls or snail mail). Organize the complaints by subject matter and review with an eye for trends. Is there a particular product customers express dissatisfaction about? Do shipping options not live up to expectations? If you use this information wisely, you may discover a way to head off customer dissatisfaction before it occurs and ultimately reduce the number of complaints received each week, month, or year.
In addition to reviewing website data from Google Analytics and customer feedback from social media, blogs, and traditional sources, interviewing customers about their experiences with your business is a valuable way to gather market research and business intelligence. Interviewing key stakeholders doesn’t have to be an expensive or time consuming process, in fact, many of the online tools listed below are free or available at a sliding cost depending on the size of the audience you are connecting with.
Gather market research by connecting with customers:
- Online focus groups – Traditional, in-person focus groups can be expensive and difficult for customers to participate in due to the constraints of time and location. Online focus groups provide an easier way to assemble a group of important customers to provide feedback for products, services or other online behaviors you want to know about.
- Online surveys – Tools such as SurveyMonkey and Google Consumer Surveys offer ways for you to gain insights about your customers as well as access information about specific demographic targets. If you’re thinking of adding or removing a service or product line from your routine offerings, pose a quick survey to your customer base and let their feedback help to inform your choice.
- Pose direct questions to customers when you interact with them in real-time – Asking for feedback from your customers after you have finished speaking with them on the phone, via email or in-person can be an excellent way to build trust in your business. When customers are asked for their honest feedback, there’s a greater likelihood they will come to see your business as one that cares about their needs.
As a business owner or marketing professional, you know your business inside and out, but taking the time to gather market research will help you to see your business through the eyes, hearts, minds, and wallets of your customers – look at it as an investment in your future. Before you start that website project, conduct your market research! Whether your website is selling products through an online store, promoting a subscription-driven service, or driving visitors to complete a lead-generation form, you’ll generate more sales to more customers when you’re expertly targeting their needs and wants.
We Exist to Empower Our Clients’ Businesses Online
At Road Warrior Creative, we offer a variety of digital marketing services including market research and online marketing strategic development. Whether your business needs to create a complex digital marketing campaign or assistance revamping or redesigning your website, just think of us as your in-house digital marketing department both in Fort Collins, Colorado and across the United States, coast-to-coast! Contact us to learn more about how we can help.