As marketers, we are constantly coming up with new ideas for our campaigns and strategies. But how do you know if the ideas you have will resonate with your target audience?
No matter what field you’re in, being able to conduct marketing research will help get buy-in from executives on your proposed campaigns and give you the information you need to make better decisions and improve your results.
In this post, we’ll describe the art of marketing research and how it helps guide campaign strategy and also provide a practical guide to conducting your own research. Let’s get started!
|1. Effective marketing research combines creativity and data analysis.|
|2. Market segmentation is crucial for targeted campaigns.|
|3. Data distillation leads to actionable marketing insights.|
|4. Understanding brand loyalty enhances customer relationships.|
|5. Research guides successful product launches and business ideas.|
|6. The balance of art and science drives impactful strategies.|
|7. Digital tools offer real-time analytics and personalization.|
|8. Creativity in storytelling engages and captivates audiences.|
|9. Continuous learning in marketing research is essential.|
|10. Marketing managers navigate both artistic and analytical realms.|
Speak With Customers
Speak with customers. The best way to understand what customers are thinking and feeling is to speak with them directly by using surveys, interviews, and focus groups. You can ask about their preferences for your product or service, but you should also be sure to ask them about their feelings about your competitors’ products as well.
Be creative in how you approach people for feedback. Not everyone is going to respond positively when approached via email or text message—even if your survey invitation sounds intriguing! If a random person gets an email asking for their opinion on the topic of marketing research techniques (who wouldn’t?), chances are they won’t be very excited about it!
Instead of sending out mass emails or texts inviting people into one-on-one interviews, reach out locally through social media channels like Facebook Groups or LinkedIn Groups where similar audiences may congregate online already—and where they’re likely more likely than not also using those platforms themselves regularly anyway!
Understanding customer loyalty is essential for successful marketing campaigns. Learn how to delve into the intricacies of brand loyalty with our guide on performing marketing research on brand loyalty and discover strategies to enhance your customer relationships.
Conduct Focus Groups
Focus groups are a great way to get direct feedback from customers. You’re able to hear exactly what they’re saying, as well as see their reactions and body language. This can give you a better idea of how they feel about your brand or product.
The important thing to remember when conducting focus groups is that you should never tell your participants what you’d like them to say; instead, let them speak openly about their experiences with the product or brand.
Develop Customer Personas
Customer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They help you focus on the kinds of people who will benefit most from your product, and they can help you identify the problems that need solving in order for those people to buy.
Your customer personas can be as detailed or simple as you want them to be. For example, let’s say you’re selling lawn mowers at a hardware store: “Average Joe” could be one persona, while “Hank Hill” could be another—he’d have his own unique set of characteristics and preferences (and maybe even a catchphrase).
If any one of these characters were real, there wouldn’t just be one way of writing them; different authors would approach each character differently based on their own writing styles, experiences with other characters like this one in past works, etc., so don’t feel constrained by my examples here!
Just think about what information is important when creating these characters—you should try not only describing how someone looks physically but also how he/she acts as well (e.g., does this person prefer watching Netflix over going out for drinks?).
You also want to consider where each person lives and what type of environment surrounds him/her every day; homeowners versus renters; rural vs urban residents…these factors will help guide decisions later down the line when developing a content strategy.”
Data analysis is an art that transforms raw information into actionable insights. Explore our guide on distilling data into actionable marketing insights to uncover techniques for extracting meaningful trends and using them to make informed marketing decisions.
Use Social Media
Social media is a powerful way to reach your customers and get real-time feedback, both positive and negative. It’s also a great forum to frequently remind customers that you exist and build brand loyalty.
The key is to make sure your social media strategy aligns with the goals of your business. If you’re looking for real-time feedback, Facebook groups or Twitter chats are valuable tools; they allow companies to interact directly with customers in an informal setting where the conversation may be more candid than what would be shared in other areas of public interaction such as reviews or forums.
Monitor What People Are Saying About Your Brand Online
The Internet is the best place to find out what people are saying about your brand online. Many companies use social media monitoring tools such as Trackur and Radian6, which allow them to identify key influencers on the web and get a sense of how others perceive their brands.
They then analyze this information and assess how it could affect their business in the long term. For example, if a large number of people are complaining about slow response times from customer service representatives at a company that sells cell phones through its website, its executives might want to invest in improving those services so that customers don’t lose interest in doing business with them in the future.
Collect Feedback From Your Sales Team
While you may have a marketing team that’s dedicated to staying on top of customer feedback, the sales team has a unique vantage point. They hear directly from customers and can provide valuable insight into what they like, don’t like, and how they feel about your brand. To get their input:
- Ask your salespeople questions during weekly meetings (or better yet, have them give you written answers) about which products or services customers are most interested in and why. This will help inform your product development process as well as influence future marketing efforts.
- Encourage them to share stories about their best clients—and not just for bragging rights! The more information about what makes those customers tick, the better equipped you’ll be when it comes time for new campaigns or projects.
Leverage Data From Your Company’s Other Departments
Don’t forget to leverage data from other departments. While marketing research includes a lot of quantitative and qualitative data, there are also other areas where you can find valuable information.
For example, customer service will have call logs that show what customers are calling about most often. Finance and sales can help you understand how much money your company makes on average per order or sale (which is useful for understanding customer lifetime value).
You can also use other sources of internal data to give more context to the results of your surveys and interviews. For example:
- If someone says they’re going to buy something in three months but their credit card hasn’t been used in two years, that’s probably not true! Use internal systems like CRM systems or eCommerce stores to cross-check survey responses with real-world actions.
- If people say they hate something but you see them using it all the time (or vice versa), ask why that might be! It could be a matter of perception—people may think something is bad when it’s actually quite good—or it could be an issue with how your product is marketed or priced (for example).
Effective marketing begins with understanding your audience. Learn about the crucial role of market segmentation in tailoring your campaigns to specific consumer groups and optimizing your messaging to resonate with diverse customer needs.
Analyze Competitor Tactics
Your competitors are not just a source of information about the market, they can be a great source of ideas for your own marketing research. If you’re not using competitor analysis as part of your marketing research and strategy, you’re missing out on a powerful tool.
Competitor analysis is defined as “the process of examining the strategies and activities of other organizations in order to understand how these organizations operate.” It’s important because it helps businesses understand what their competitors are doing, which can help inform their own decisions on what direction to take next.
Pay Attention To Industry Trends
It’s important to pay attention to industry trends. If you want to sell your product or service in the market, it’s important that your product or service fits in with those trends. To find out what those trends are, you can do market research on competitors and products that are similar to yours.
The best way to use industry trends is by understanding how they affect the customer experience: what customers expect from your brand, how they buy from your company, and how competitors sell their products or services in this space.
Launching a new business requires comprehensive research. Dive into our guide on conducting market research for your new business idea to discover step-by-step methods to gather insights, assess market demand, and refine your concept for a successful launch.
Make A Marketing Calendar
Now that you have a better understanding of how to conduct marketing research, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. To get started, we recommend creating a marketing calendar. A marketing calendar is a single document that contains all the information needed for the execution and evaluation of one or more marketing strategies over a given period of time.
Consider including entries such as:
- The date(s) when each stage of the campaign will begin and end (i.e., from launch until closeout)
- The major events during this timeframe (e.g., holidays, conferences/meetings) that might influence performance metrics and/or require special promotions or messaging; these are often referred to as “unexpected events”
- The contact information for key stakeholders involved in executing each stage; include both internal resources (e.g., team members who will be responsible for content creation) as well as external partners who may need access to certain data points during different stages
Understanding Your Audience Better
Understanding your audience better will help you provide them with more of what they actually want. Marketing research is an important part of the process. It’s an art and a science, but it isn’t complicated. Asking questions that are relevant to your product or service is key to understanding your audience better and identifying their needs.
Oftentimes, we’re so busy doing our work that we don’t stop to consider how our customers feel about it—or how they behave around us because of what we do for them! To be successful at marketing research, you have to look at things from the perspective of the consumer rather than just thinking about what makes sense for yourself (as well as any other stakeholders involved).
Conventional marketing research principles remain the foundation of effective strategies. Explore the rules of conventional marketing research and understand how tried-and-true practices can guide your decision-making, ensuring that your campaigns resonate with your target audience.
There’s no magic bullet when it comes to marketing research, but if you take the time to employ all of these methods, you’ll have a pretty clear idea what your customers want from you. I’ve found that the more attention I pay to this phase of planning, the more efficient and effective my marketing efforts become over time.
Explore these additional resources to deepen your understanding of the art and science of marketing:
The Art and Science of Marketing: Marketing for Marketing Managers Short Description: Delve into the comprehensive guide that explores the intricate balance between creativity and analytics in marketing, catering to marketing managers seeking effective strategies.
The Art and Science of Marketing Short Description: Discover insights from experts discussing the fusion of artistic creativity and scientific precision in modern marketing practices, providing valuable perspectives for professionals.
Art & Science of Marketing Short Description: Read about the convergence of creativity and data-driven decision-making, uncovering how this synergy influences successful marketing campaigns in the digital age.
What is the essence of combining art and science in marketing?
The fusion of art and science in marketing involves harnessing creative ideas and utilizing data-driven insights to craft compelling campaigns that resonate with target audiences.
How does the role of marketing managers relate to the art and science of marketing?
Marketing managers navigate the intricate balance of creativity and data analysis, employing strategies that incorporate artistic innovation while leveraging analytical tools for informed decision-making.
How can marketers benefit from understanding the art and science of marketing?
By grasping the art and science of marketing, professionals can create impactful campaigns that capture attention, engage audiences, and yield measurable results based on informed strategies.
What are some practical examples of the art and science of marketing in action?
Examples include using artistic visuals and storytelling techniques while leveraging data analytics to identify consumer behavior patterns, leading to campaigns that resonate effectively.
How has the digital era influenced the art and science of marketing?
The digital age has introduced advanced analytics, allowing marketers to measure campaign performance with precision, optimize strategies in real-time, and personalize content to target audiences.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.