Market Research – But That’s REALLY Expensive!
And you’re right, it is… if you choose to make it so. As a non-marketer and new business owner, I found it a real struggle to get my head around the concept of market research. I had visions of agencies, marketing consultants, the whole nine yards. I had zero budget and really didn’t know where to start at all including what questions to ask!
So what did I do?
After the initial panic, I started to frame a cunning plan (a Blackadder fan!) based on the fact that I was selling business to business.
Identified what I needed to know a.k.a. does this business idea have any merit!
- Was there are market?
- What was that market willing to pay?
- What were the barriers to entry?
- What were my competition doing…
….. the usual sorts of thing!
Identified who I knew who were in relevant businesses so that I could bounce the ideas off them.
Realised that Twitter and Google could give me vast amounts of market research if I looked in the right places. Twitter you ask? Yes, what are people saying about you market – just put in some key word searches and it’s amazing what you’ll find out.
Setup some 1:1 sessions with the business people I knew to get some information. Casual, non-directive approach to get their take on the market area, their issues etc. Really, really useful and it fed directly into both the product design and the marketing material that we will be using.
Did an on-line survey on survey monkey, pushed it out to everyone I knew of relevance and asked them to push it out further. I went to 50 people and over 132 filled it in within a couple of weeks. Encouragement to fill in the survey was supported by a prize – amazing how much of a difference this made to getting it done quickly.
And that was it. I was amazed at the information I received back – very little was redundant and it cost me about 200 Euro’s in the odd lunch, on-line survey and the prize.
Of course, I am not dismissing marketing experts or research forums at all in this. Their expertise is usually well worth the money being spent. I just wanted to let you know of helpful hints on how to do market research on a shoestring! Let me know you get on.