Digital Marketing

The Future is Now: With 9 Best Practices in Market Research for Digital Marketing

The Future is Now: With 9 Best Practices in Market Research for Digital Marketing

A quick read of it is almost laughable today. Yet, the one aspect they were so sure about has become a driving force for businesses in the 21st century. The web was once seen as a distraction, which has turned into the biggest platform for influencers to reach clients and customers.  

Savvy marketers approach their consumers while utilizing newer ways in digital marketing realms, such as leveraging social media, mobile apps, and podcasts. In addition, they are proactive in taking cues from their C-suite peers as a part of market research. It involves using executive dashboards that propose clear metrics to establish the business values of their programs. 

If you've just started with a brand-new website, the research involved in creating an effective business plan is going to overwhelm you.  

Now is the time to understand how the digital market works to structure your business and sustain it in the long run. The C-suite active members, CFO, and CEOs are investing more than 10%+ of yearly revenues in the digital marketing platforms. Now imagine what your business is up against!  

Digital Marketers Have More Data Than Ever to Share Today  

For instance, a brand aims to increase online leads by 5% but is rapidly struggling to draw a clear line that defines market research to lead generation. Let's accept that many digital marketing teams are ill-prepared since they lack insights about analytics and market research skills to measure marketing's value. 

This is the time to go back towards the basics of reporting metrics and take action.  

Moreover, 2021 is about conducting quantitative and qualitative research before the brands drive digital marketing decisions. Now is the time to understand rapidly changing digital markets, along with the emerging trends and competitive landscape. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Conduct Market Research – Before You Devising Digital Marketing Strategy Plan 

1. Get To Know Your Target Audience Better

Without an audience, you don't have a brand. So, before you come up with new product launch ideas, SEO and SMM marketing strategies, and ad copies for a high conversion rate, it's best to start with what the customer wants.  

Define whom you are trying to connect with. Does it involve a specific customer profile that you're overlooking?  

Let's Start With Audience Segmentation 

It will be a sheer misconception if we involve "everybody" in the target audience. 

Understand that even if your company serves daily necessities, such as groceries, consumers will respond differently to every brand. For instance, a considerable part of consumers today prefers farmer's market vendors over the discounted supermarkets, backed up believing that they get a higher quality of products with the least chances of adulteration. On the other hand, some consumers still buy from discounted supermarkets, aligning the best with their lifestyles. 

Segmentation of your audience leads your company towards more informed branding activities. The categories in which your audience should be segmented are:

  • Demographics- Such as age, gender, education level, income level, and occupation.
  • Geography: Aspects such as city, state, country, climate, and language.
  • Psychographics: Personalized interests, values, and opinions. 

What is Buyer Persona, and why should you invest in it? 

Imagine your company or product brand as a living person. Now that you are letting your brand person talk to a specific customer segment, here you can imagine a fictional buyer persona talking back to your brand with questions. To have relevant answers and solutions, you should start working on brand descriptions similar to how an author brainstorms about its character for their novel.  

Here's how you can create a buyer persona:

  • Business and personal background
  • Problems that need solutions
  • Goals and Motivations
  • Overall Lifestyle 

Once you have created in-detailed buyer personas, you would readily have pre-defined brand strategies for accurate and consistent branding. 

Remember, anything that prompts a purchase is worth a shot! 

2. Analysis Of Customer Behaviors  

Once you have understood how your target client base and customers shop online, you can redefine your website for better customer experiences. Every single factor in the buyer's journey affects customer satisfaction and may lead to a lost sale, card abandonment, or missed customer retention opportunity- The Worst-case scenario.  

With market research, you can identify these common deal-breakers points, use your knowledge about easing product discovery, and ultimately derive conversion rates. With the help of social media analytics, you can quickly research people influencing your brand category and approach them to build relationships. For example, remember how we all like to respond to emails and messages only from trusted sources? This understanding would help you shape branding and digital marketing strategies while placing targeted ads, sending individualized emails, and publishing specialized content. 

3. Market Research- Via Internal And External Resources  

The idea of conducting "Market research" may sound lofty, but here are easier ways to ensure its flawless execution:  

3.1. Primary research Methods- It involves your internal resources such as:

  • Google Form questionnaires and other Online surveys
  • In-person interviews
  • Focus groups available online 

Since you are conducting the data collection and extracting actionable business insights out of it, the reliability persists more into this method.  

3.2. Secondary research: This involves using insights and data collected by external tools and parties. 

Some statistics available online contain valuable insights. Here are a few of them: 

  • Government-statistics 
  • Industry statistics
  • Industry reports 

Now that you know the ways, sources, and deliverables out of market research already, let's get started. Here's a quick rundown of essential aspects of online market research, followed by businesses and eCommerce platforms today:   

4. Conduct Keyword Research

Complete keyword research as per your target audience location can help you figure out the demand pattern for your product. Remember that high search volumes don't necessarily suggest profitability on the table. Instead, it can be taken as an indication of consumers' genuine interest to know about and use the product. 

This step plays an incomparable role while defining inbound marketing strategies also. With figure-based research, your brand can identify content opportunities for generating organic traffic with the help of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. 

Here are some popular keyword research tools that you should get started with: 

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Ubersuggest
  • Keyword Tool
  • Ahrefs
  • SEMRush   

Once you have generated keyword ideas, get a few broad keywords to expand your list of keywords. A quick filter applied based on search intent helps to re-group the data into categories such as Informational, Navigational, Commercial, and Transactional.  

5. Eagle Eye on the Competitors   

Once you have a list of top-ranking keywords, look at the websites already ranking high for the target keywords. Figure out who your location and branding-based competitors are and pay attention to their content strategy formats. Start looking for opportunities in which your brand can have the upper hand to the published content and social media posts. Competing with popular brand websites with good domain ratings is the best strategy to start with.  

At the end of the day, the quality leads beat quantity leads.  

For instance, the famous LARQ brand involved in selling water bottles online also gives excellent competition to niche online stores. So Justin Wang conducted in-depth market research to verify that there shouldn't be any direct competitor with a similar brand offering and then planned the launch once its content marketing strategies were finalized. 

Research Competitors' Website: Have a quick rundown on aspects such as:

  • Type of eCommerce platform
  • Loading speed
  • Professional online store design appearance
  • Branding elements involved
  • Flow work for Checkout (field forms and payment methods)
  • User experience 

Here's what you should do next 

  • Do not outright copy anything from your competitors. Instead, re-invent the wheel by picking up the best Digital marketing practices
  • Know what all frictions don't work, such as slow-loading pages, navigation issues, low-quality images, and more so that you don't repeat the mistakes
  • Look for optimization opportunities as you might come across n help you offer better branding strategies and lower price deals.   

6. Research Current Trends  

Tools such as Google Trends help brands uncover the latest consumer trends. Here's how you can plan the content marketing strategies for SEO and SMO platforms: 

Questions to help understand current trends 

  • What makes the consumer interest in this product decline, stabilize or grow? 
  • How to make the best out of seasonal or rare-market growth opportunities?  

Give a time frame to research the latest trends. For example: "artificial plants" and select "Past 5 Years" as the timeframe. For building sustainable and long-lasting online marketing strategies, check your research facts and assumption with Google searches. For example, do you know that the companies like Autograph Foliages have been consistently doing good in selling plants for more than 40 years all across the globe- even before the internet era!  

There's another example of the growing CBD market and its huge range of business profitable opportunities. These CBD-infused beauties and other products are searched for informational purposes before the new consumer enters the market. Look for short-lived fads and long-term trends to differentiate the content strategy accordingly. 

7. Social Media Insights 

Now that you are entering the treasure trove of consumer insights, you'd come across many wishes, complaints, aspirations, and preferences given by consumers. You should not get deep down in the rabbit hole, and stay focused on: 

  • Social media Influencers, while they share their opinions, get live, converse, and get in partnerships with other brands.
  • Use Relevant hashtags as per your products or services category and monitor their use regularly.
  • Reactions to Competitors' strategies and what everyone is saying about their strengths and weaknesses 
  • Text analysis techniques analyze huge data quantities and extract some relevant facts and information out of them.   

8. Move From Theory to Practice- Apply Digital Marketing Strategies and Test the Waters  

Once you've collected enough data, now is the time to apply all the strategies devised and present it to your audience. First, you can pick popular eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, or other options to launch your eCommerce website and marketing along with it. SEO and content marketing strategies are long-term plans that require well-thought plans and time to work. Then, you can put your products and content in front of the target audience to see which your best bet is! 

9. Leverage Customer Feedback and Forums 

Before you come up with a price and launch strategy, it's advisable to get the best scoops with:

  • Online forums - the ones that are most popular among your target audience 
  • Online discussions groups to build the brand credibility  
  • Social media surveys, where you can pose questions and engage the customers in conversations 
  • On-on-one customer interviews 
  • Automated emails for feedbacks 
  • Webinars 

Wonder what works best and all the strategies- Taking direct customer and client feedback to frame action plan ahead. That's even easier to do!

Wrapping Up  

Give up the temptation to think that you "just know"! Online digital marketing works best on "guesstimating," which lays down the research results to derive unexpected results.  

Remember that the brand corporations such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and more were once struggling startups. 

Every business can carve a niche in the industry with the extensive market research in the play. The results help brands precisely uncover an edge that brings a competitive advantage- You are nine steps away to figure that out! 

Neha Sharma
Neha Sharma

The name Neha Sharma stands out prominently while mentioning the Senior Managers- Digital Marketing in the industry! While leading the way through an idea-driven team at Seasia Infotech, she has served brands to tremendous heights with her thorough market research. While she is not working, she loves to expand her knowledge and hold webinars.

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