There are many ways in which online market research can benefit your business. As well as allowing for precise demographic breakdowns, online market research can be invaluable for lowering overheads, and for dealing with time sensitive marketing and customer satisfaction campaigns. Overall, though, online market research can provide you with a wide range of data that can be used to learn more about potential and existing customers.
It’s possible to access a global network of different users online – whether through email queries, or via online test groups and competitions, you can take advantage of the reach of the Internet to focus on very narrow, but lucrative demographics.
Online market research is particularly useful for small businesses that cannot afford the overheads of physical research; queries and forms can be generated and automated to be sent out to large groups of people, and don’t require significant amounts of time to set up.
Another benefit to online market research is being able to get time sensitive campaigns sent out as quickly as possible; you can email out campaigns, while also being able to target users via social networks with a strict time limit. In this context, you may want to get some last minute reassurance over a new product launch, or you may be after some data to reinforce a presentation.
Search Engine Queries
By researching keywords, and by using Google Analytics to see what kind of phrases and search terms directed users to your company’s websites, you can get a better perspective on what customers expect from your brand; doing so can also help to build stronger Search Engine Optimisation campaigns.
It’s worth looking at how your brand is being discussed across social networks and blogs; tools such as Sentiment 140 for Twitter can be used for free, and can provide some valuable insights into how your brand is being talked about. This kind of approach can be combined with other qualitative measures, which might include interviews and online surveys, to help improve the strength of your brand.
The Reach of Social Media
There’s few places where you can engage with so many potential customers than social media – most of the online market research involved with social media relates to qualitative studies; conversations and Q and As can help you to build up a community of loyal consumers.
You can also set up online focus groups that run in similar ways to physical focus groups; online forums and groups can be used to test customer responses to videos and content, as well as to breakdowns of new products prior to their wide release in stores.
All businesses should have a mobile marketing plan in mind, and should be able to use mobile specific QR codes and short surveys to get a better sense of consumer preferences on the go; short online surveys tied to a customer being in a physical store can help to get a more rapid sense of their satisfaction.
Author Bio: Liam James writes about technology, from fibre optics to the latest innovations. In his spare time he enjoys reviewing and testing the latest gadgets.