If you are studying marketing, you may have been given the task to do market research as it helps to improve marketing skills and obtain practical knowledge. But before you go out to do the market research, you should know what to look for if you want to obtain knowledge in master of business administration.

Marketing research is the scientific process of gathering information about consumers, their buying habits, their lifestyles, and the products and services they use in order to guide decisions about marketing strategy and product development.

The information gathered in market research is often numerical, but sometimes qualitative. It is the process of gathering and interpreting information about consumer’s wants, needs, and behaviors. What is more, it may require some communication skills as you may need to get in touch with representatives to study the subject in details.

Doing a market research is a tough task unless you have experience in microeconomics, so why don’t you let a real expert do it for you?

And below, I’m going to show you three fast, easy, free, but incredibly effective market research strategies that you can use right now. In today’s hyper-competitive world of business, making market research is one of the most important and profitable activities you can do, especially if you start with a marketing plan. So let’s get to it.

Our Top 3 Market Research Tips

I understand this is definitely not the sexiest of all the topics out there. I mean, even the word “research” is baked right into the title, which makes it automatically sound boring. At least that’s how I used to feel until I realized the true power of really understanding your customer, their wants and their needs and their goals and everything they’re trying to achieve, because by better understanding your customer, it means that you’re better able to position your business or your offer as the main the only the core solution to their problems, making your business kind of inevitable that it’s going to be the only logical choice for your ideal target market. And this is hugely powerful, because if you don’t understand and I mean really understand what your ideal target market wants without spending much time, then it’s really unlikely that you’re going to be able to give them exactly what they want, which means they’re probably going to go to your competitors.

But if you understand and you will know how to do this by the end of this post, well, if you do know how to uncover exactly what your ideal target market wants, it’s going to make coming up with irresistible offers, almost effortless, because all you’re really going to need to do is align your offers and align what your services are, what your products are to your customers with exactly what they want. So to figure out exactly what your customer wants, well, let’s get started with Amazon now.

Check Amazon reviews

The reason Amazon is at the top of the list is that it is by far the fastest and the easiest way to quickly uncover pretty much exactly what your customers are thinking, what they’re searching for, and most importantly, what they’re actually buying. You see, one of the biggest problems with market research, at least how it’s traditionally done, is that it’s relying a lot on what people say, and what they say is very rarely what they actually do, which is why actions speak a million times louder than words. This is why I love heading over to Amazon to start my market research, essentially typing in my keyword and seeing what books are available on the subject. And then again, most importantly, seeing what books are actually being bought. You can sort of judge this based on the number of reviews that they’re currently getting.

Another good thing about sorting out your topics and your titles based on a number of reviews is that it’s also going to show you kind of the hotness of the topic or sort of the I guess the interesting factor about like how interesting is this topic that someone is willing to read the book and then comment on it either positively or negatively. And there’s gold in both positive and negative reviews we’ll get to in just a second. So the very first place to start is obviously just taking a look at the book titles themselves. Now, we are taking a bit of a leap of faith here and assuming that the author did some market research themselves before they wrote the book. But it’s probably safe to say, especially if it’s an actual published book, you can buy a paperback or a hard copy version of that. They probably did a little bit of due diligence and they did come up with a relatively strategic title in alignment with their target market. From there, you want to take a look at the reviews. Obviously, the more reviews well, the more people probably consumed the book and more importantly, that we’re interested or engaged enough to leave some kind of content, both positive and negative reviews are going to be helpful here. The positive reviews are fantastic because they’re going to tell us exactly why readers thought this book was valuable, what their most interesting takeaways were, what the lessons were, how it helped them, maybe some stories or some examples of how they applied it in their own lives.

All of this is a goldmine, but the negative reviews are just as useful because they’re going to tell us all the places that the book missed the mark. Maybe the reader had a problem that wasn’t addressed or maybe there was insufficient detail. And another area, well, this leaves the door wide open for you to walk through and essentially solve that problem for the readers. The other beautiful thing about Amazon is that it’s pretty much ubiquitous. Like everybody knows about Amazon, most people have purchased something from Amazon. In fact, if you’ve bought a book from Amazon in the last year, just let me know in the comments section below what book that was. And you’ll start to see really quickly just how popular Amazon really is. But let me know. Really curious to hear. All right. The next tool that I’d like to suggest you take a look at that’s both fast and free and easy is Google Trends. Now, obviously, Amazon is one massive behemoth of data, but another massive behemoth of data is Google. Now, Google Trends is an amazing tool, especially to get that really high level, 30000 foot overview about your market and about different trends and keywords and what’s popular and which direction things are going.

Use Google Trends

Also, Google Trends is incredibly easy to use. You just have to search for Google Trends. Then once you’re there, you just type in your keyword and you’re presented with a ton of information. You can take this information and you can break it. Down based on the country and based on state, based on different timelines, the beauty of this is it allows you to see if your current market or your current topic that you’re searching is either growing in popularity or decreasing in popularity or staying flat in popularity, or importantly if there are different spikes throughout different times of the year. Google Trends will also provide you with related topics and related searches to give you, even more, content ideas. So really between Amazon and between Google Trends, you’re going to be off to a really, really good start in both free, both easy. But that’s not enough. And it shouldn’t be right, because you really want to dive deep into your customer psychology, into their mindset and into their actual behaviors, what they’re looking for and what they’re buying. This is why one of the other tools that I absolutely love is something called Uber suggests Uber suggest is both a free tool and a paid tool if you want to upgrade, but definitely just get started with the free version and you’ll see just how powerful it is. What it allows you to do is do some really deep keyword research into your topic and into the niche that you really want to dive into even if you do research for dissertation writing.

For starters, it allows you to see the total search volume on the keyword, which basically shows how many people are actively searching for the topic that you want to talk about or for your market or for your industry. You can also see the competitive ranking of the keyword, which is going to allow you to really discover, well, how many of your competitors are trying to go out there and capture this keyword or capture this market as well. One of my favorite things, though, is that it shows you the cost per click or estimated CPC of just how much it’s going to cost you if you were to run an ad against this keyword, which allows you again to see, all right, if I want to run ads for my market or for my business, this is what I’m going to need to spend per click. Plus, if you keep scrolling down, it’ll give you additional keyword and additional content ideas. So definitely worth checking out. All right. Moving right along to customer database mining. Now, if you already have a business and you’ve already got a customer list and you are sitting on the absolute target market research goldmine, essentially what you want to do here is you want to go through your customer database and you want to arrange your customers in order from least profitable all the way up to most profitable from there.

What you want to do is you want to really focus on the top 20 percent of your most profitable customers. These are the ones that are providing the most revenue or the most profit for your business. But also keep in mind how fun they are to work with and how enjoyable it is to deliver the service for this group of customers. Once you’ve got this group, you’ve 80-20 on your list, essentially run Pareto’s principle against your customers. Well, you want to focus on that top 20 percent and you want to look for common themes and characteristics and sort of similarities between those customers to see if you can identify any trends that really make them specific to the rest of the customers. For example, is this group primarily women or is it primarily men? Is it primarily people in their 20s to 30s or is it people in their 40s and 50s? Is it people that buy a certain type of product or service or a different type of product or service? Well, once you have this information, it’s time to dig even deeper with something I call customer conversations. What you want to do here is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Just pick up the phone, have a chat with your customers, find out what their problems are and how your business has helped to solve them and really what they’re looking for next.

Use Facebook Ads for your research

All of this is going to give you incredibly valuable market research. All right. Next up, we have Facebook ads now. I appreciate this one is not free, but it can be done for very, very inexpensive, as little as a few dollars a day. And any investment you make here is going to pay off in the long run, but making sure you’re doing the right things for the right people. Essentially, this strategy was popularized back in 2007 with the release of the four-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss, where he advised using Google AdWords in order to split test different book titles and different taglines in order to find out the winner. Well, fast forward to today, and this strategy is just as relevant, if not more. However, I like to do a little bit of a tweak on it and use Facebook ads instead of Google ads. Here’s why. The main thing when comparing Google ads to, say, Facebook ads or even Instagram ads, is that not only can you split test different headlines and different topics and different calls to action and things like that, but it also gives you the opportunity to split test different creative, so different images and different posts and really dial in on exactly what your ideal target market wants and what they’re going to respond to. Plus, Facebook ads in general are a lot easier to get started with for a brand new beginner to an advertising platform, than Google ads.

So if you’ve never run ads before, this is a pretty easy place to start. Anyway, the key here and really what you want to take away from this is that it’s going to give you sort of an amplified or accelerated way to put your message and put your offer in front of your ideal target market in order to test in order to gauge their response and which offer or which message is going to best resonate with them, which one is going to get them to take action. Obviously, this is incredibly powerful because you’re going to be able to get feedback before you have to create a webinar or a sales page or even create the offer itself. You can really just put it out to people and say, hey, do you want this? If they say yes and great, you keep going and if they say no. Well, at least, you know, now at the very early stages, rather than after building out an entire marketing funnel or an entire offer. All right. The next piece of the puzzle is on really mastering those marketing basics. So the next thing you don’t want to do is check out the post I have linked up right here on business marketing basics. So check it out now. I’ll see you in the next episode.