What Is The Proper Way To Do Market Research?

by tpw
14 replies
In years past, I have always done my own market research from my own perspective. I had always thought that my research was pretty comprehensive and my conclusions about a market were well-qualified.

I never really understood that I was probably doing it wrong until a couple months ago when I was talking to one of my online friends.

I suggested to him that I had a niche market that I wanted to get into, but since it was a physical product, I wanted to hook up with him because of his extensive e-commerce experience.

When he started asking me about the market for that product, and the existing market research, I found I could not answer his questions with any qualified answers.

He told me that one of these days, we would need to sit down and do some real market research to determine if pursuing the sale of that product would be worth our investment of time and money.

That got me thinking about what I did not know about true Market Research and what I should learn about the topic.

For all of the experts in the forum, whom rely upon market research to choose a product niche to pursue, would you be willing to spare a few minutes to share some insight about this most important part of selecting a new product to promote?

Thank you.


p.s. And Merry Christmas to my Christian friends!! To my Jewish and Muslim friends, have a great December's end... And to all a prosperous 2011!!
#market #proper #research
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Bill, I probably don't qualify as an expert either, but there are a couple of things I like to do that have worked out for me...

    > Trade groups and associations spend a ton of money measuring their markets, so I like to tap their research whenever I can. The same goes for government resources.

    For example, I was looking for niches within the fishing market. Trade groups pointed me to research on how big the market was, both in terms of dollars and participants. I found the top 10 states in terms of number of fishing licenses sold, number of man-hours spent fishing, what the most popular species were, what percentage of anglers also owned boats, and a boatload of demographic information.

    It gave me a lot more to operate from than whether there were Clickbank products, or how many people searched for "fly fishing" in quotes on Google.

    > Financial reports can also be a good source of some market intel. Comparing sales figures to marketing expenditures can give you an idea of what effort it might take to penetrate the market and where the cracks are where a little guy can get a toehold.

    As for that PS? Back at ya, my friend...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3069407].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author SingerRinging
    Personally, I have been taught that a Google search will tell you how many people are searching for a particular niche. The numbers never lie. First of all, it has to be something you are interested in...something that Excites YOU. Then, do a search for it. That'll tell you if it would be a profitable product.
    Signature

    Anyone interested in a Music Career? It's Fun, Rewarding, High-Paying, Residual Income! http://dld.bz/moneyNmusic

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3069417].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dean Martin
    Originally Posted by tpw View Post

    He told me that one of these days, we would need to sit down and do some real market research to determine if pursuing the sale of that product would be worth our investment of time and money.

    That got me thinking about what I did not know about true Market Research and what I should learn about the topic.
    I'm not sure that even the big guys know how to do market research.

    Imagine spending thousands of dollars on a truly unique item, pull in several focus groups and because it is so unique they have no frame of reference to compare to and thus have no idea what value it would have or how to integrate it into their life. They all hate it and recommend to stop production. That product is the iPad.

    Sometimes you just know something is right and go for it.

    "The harder I work the luckier I get". Watch how the PPC guys throw a thousand things at the wall and watch for what sticks.

    I've read lots of guru stories (maybe 100 or so) and when you really cut through all the hype a lot of what you see is being at the right place at the right time with the right product and approach. That one success gives them the confidence and cash flow to try 100 other things of which several are successful also.

    Much like the story of the guy walking in front of you being hit by the bus (a split second means the difference betw. life and death) I think the same is often true of the thin line between success and failure choosing a product or niche.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3069512].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Giftys
      Originally Posted by Dean Martin View Post

      I've read lots of guru stories (maybe 100 or so) and when you really cut through all the hype a lot of what you see is being at the right place at the right time with the right product and approach. That one success gives them the confidence and cash flow to try 100 other things of which several are successful also.
      That is basically my story. I had a unique idea and got online 10 years ago. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but I worked harder than anyone I know. I'd love to say it was all me but so much of it was timing. I was one of the first ones to try my particular niche. I built it and "owned" it. And even though I was bidding on thousands of keywords at .01 each through GoTo.com (boy were those the days!), I knew it wouldn't last so I started building my own world online, one website at a time. And as you stated, this gave me great confidence and capital to try other things.

      One important footnote: I don't attribute my success entirely to luck or hard work. I passionately prayed and asked God to help me with it. And I continue to ask him to guide me and help me make good decisions along the way.
      Signature

      WWJD

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3214281].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RichRecluse
    In my humble opinion (I started doing mail order nationally in 1969) determine who you target group is, find a forum they hang out on (with a lot of activity) and ASK them, i.e., do a poll. Simple?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3069540].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Lee Wilson
    I think a lot of it will depend on what you are trying to sell, I'm no expert but the most common method is to use (and pay for) a dedicated research company. In the UK the biggest is probably Mintel, I'm not sure if they are global or not. These data centers can be quite expensive though.

    I don't know about other countries but in the UK we can get limited access to some of this data through the local library fro free. In London, the British Library has a lot information and help like this for small business owners. Even if you are outside of the UK you can probably get a kick start in the right direction from browsing their website.

    Online Databases available in the Business & IP Centre

    That covers market data, demographics etc. More info about a specific product can be gathered from focus groups, surveys etc. If you are looking for an investor they will want to know all of this, including trends. Information can also be included by getting financial information from companies competing in your market.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3069729].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author blackjacker
    Well traditional Market Research has many steps to it - like Focus Groups, Surveys, Testings etc etc...

    However, we're living in the era of the Internet, which makes Market Research way easier without friction.

    What I would normally do is not do any market research, but start real tests myself. The cost for starting up an original website with selling actual products is actually way cheaper than the cost of a full scale Market Research.

    So what I would humbly suggest is start up the website of your product and determine the initial response. Perhaps you could do something like
    1) Set up the full website (cost probably $500-$1,000)
    2) Get targeted traffic to your website (spend probably $200-$300 on AdWords)
    3) Install tracking codes into your website like AWStats or Google's AdWords Tool

    This whole process would probably cost you $2,000 the and gives you real results, unlike traditional Market Research which may cost you up to $5,000 for results that may not even be accurate.

    Just my 2 cents worth
    Signature

    Crack the Facebook Code to Generate $7,000 a month!
    >>Facebook Affiliate Tactics<<

    Are you using Facebook the right way?
    [FREE WSO!] Make $2,000 in 30 days monetizing Fanpages

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3070379].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author smartadvantage
    Bill - The best way to find out what your customers truly care about is double blind market research, which involves a random survey of customers conducted by an outside research firm – neither the research firm nor the customers are told the name of the company who ordered the survey. This avoids any bias – positive or negative – from the customers being surveyed, and it’s a great way to elicit natural, honest, open feedback to give companies a fuller picture of the overall marketplace and their customers’ true needs and interests. If you don’t know what your customers truly value about your brand and your product, you might as well be speaking a different language.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3214144].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JustinBrooke
    The research for "which niche" is already done...

    Weight Loss
    Make Money
    Stock Market
    Fitness
    Real Estate
    Sex
    Love
    Dating
    Blogging
    Network Marketing
    Affiliate Marketing
    All Sports
    All Diseases/Ailments
    Personal Development
    Business
    Time Management
    Debt Repair

    All of them are obvious good markets and if you
    need more just go to Dummies.com. They spend
    millions per year to research markets that will buy
    information.

    From their all you have to do is spend some time
    with the people that make up the niche; Forums,
    Blogs, Twitter, Facebook.

    Find out what they talk about, what do they like,
    dislike, fear, hate. What are the emotional reasons
    they are part of this market?

    What are they trying to accomplish?

    Then just make sure your product aligns with that
    information. For example weight loss people want
    to lose weight fast with little exercising or easy diets.

    Does your product do that?

    Make money online people want to make money
    quickly without lots of hard techy work.

    Does your product do that?

    If your product aligns with what you find the
    market is looking for then you have a winner!

    Now you just have to get the word out...
    Signature

    You ROCK!,
    Justin Brooke

    FREE: spreadsheet of 182 traffic sources (no opt-in)

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3214336].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Giftys
    Great post Justin!
    Signature

    WWJD

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3214500].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ouroboros
    I think it's interesting to note that out of nine replies there has been no mention of the popular paid search engine softwares. Refreshing to say the least.

    I like to go to forums where my customer base hangs out and see what their natural conversations are about. I also like to go to places where people buy things and look at their "most Popular" lists (i.e. ebay pulse, Amazon, etc.)
    Signature

    Need a Simple Product/Service to Market to Offline Clients? Sell Them DFY Custom Videos. https://www.fiverr.com/users/gigsiteguy

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3214518].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JustinBrooke
      Originally Posted by Ouroboros View Post

      I think it's interesting to note that out of nine replies there has been no mention of the popular paid search engine softwares.
      All the paid tools just scrape info from all the free tools

      Sure, a little more convenient but should never be bought
      by the newbies or rookies. They should first learn how to
      make money with the free tools and information before
      investing in paid tools.

      Just my $0.02
      Signature

      You ROCK!,
      Justin Brooke

      FREE: spreadsheet of 182 traffic sources (no opt-in)

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3214554].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Craigb182
    Hi TPW,

    If you like I can have a chat with you on MSN, Yahoo etc. about this. I study business enterprise and business technology and have done a lot of market research in the past 3 years. I have just finished doing some market research for a new potential business of mine. So if you would like to take me up on the offer just drop me a PM
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3214535].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Deegan
    I think it all depends on what your trying to do and how much research you want to do in relation to the time and money you plan to invest in the particular project.

    For me, for the most effective research in relation to time vs results comes from looking at what is already being done by those who are already making money in a particular niche and then doing as much reverse engineering as possible on the niche leaders. If you can determine something is working and why it's working for someone else you give your self a good starting point to move from...but it's just a starting point. From here you start digging into the people side of the market through forums, blogs, related book reviews on amazon, ect.

    At this point you covered things from the vendor side, next you covered the consumer side. If done right you should know the inner language and emotions at least on a surface level of your market. now is when I would try and survey to dig for specifics and find hidden problems or market gaps.

    P.S. Glenn Livingston has some awesome in depth content that covers all this stuff. Big props to Glenn.
    Signature

    ****************************************
    Spy & Track Winning Facebook Ads

    Spy & Track
    Winning Google Content Network Ads
    Spy & Track Winning Bing & Google PPC Search Ads
    â„¢ACP - Click Here For Details
    ****************************************

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3214593].message }}

Trending Topics