Research

By doing the right degree of due diligence, you can always have an all-seeing eye into what works best with which people. The right research allows you to take any valuable information that you observe and immediately make it actionable for success. The best part of research is that, for the most part, it can practically be done for free. All that you truly must pay is the time taken to learn what’s most important to you before you start.

Aim for Scalability

Research is not only powerful and affordable, but also scalable. If you can make research work at a small tier, the benefits of replicating it at a higher tier can only bring forth better results. With social media added to the mix, you can dive to an infinite depth detail about target demographic information. Everything that you could possibly want to know about what people do is right there in front of you.

Once you figure out exactly what it is that your people want, what they do, and why they do it, you can parlay that into search engine optimization for even more success. You'll know how to frame your content so that it perfectly fits the picture of what you learned about their desires with your research.

Check the Tracking Tools of the Trade

So, what our some of the best tools of the trade when it comes to making research work? For starters, you can do research with keyword searches using WordTracker and Trellian's Keyword Discovery.

Survey with Surgical Specificity

Rather than just refining your own content in a bubble, you can survey competitor links to find out how much they charge for what goods and services. All that you need do is put their URL into Google and you're good to go.

You can either run an independent customer survey or get in touch with a survey company that does the heavy lifting and question-asking for you. Some survey companies that you could commission include KeySurvey and EZquestionnaire.

Do Recon on Customer Reward Programs

You also can easily learn more about brand loyalty program best practices by observing the ways that your competitors reward their most loyal customers. Beyond the ways that competitors reward their loyal customers, you can also research branded products to see how people are using them directly and adjust accordingly.

You can research both consumers’ lifestyle habits and their media consumption patterns. You can even get the help of the Bureau of the Census to get data on the average income of your target market and their habits when it comes to certain purchase records.

Segment by Subtle Differences

Be willing to take the proper time required to get the information that you need, and make sure that your segment your audience carefully. Make sure to use things like your target prospect’s job title and industry position to get the right target at the right time. While mileage may vary depending on your specific audience, a list of general things to make up your target buyer recon targets will likely include the following things:

  • Age
  • Occupation and income
  • Location
  • Education level and expertise 
  • Buying habits
  • Main daily and long-term challenges that your service specifically addresses
  • Trusted sources of information about things related to your industry 

When you've done your homework, you can segment your messages as properly and specifically as possible.

Become Familiar with Brand Familiarity

Your research can show you just how familiar or unfamiliar any market you're targeting is with your brand in the first place. Based on just how much or how little the people know about exactly what it is that you can offer them, you can make sure that what you share with them isn’t redundant or irrelevant.

Ultimately, always make sure to start your research expedition with these three key questions in mind:

  1. What, specifically, is it that you’re looking to learn?
  2. How will you test the validity of what you learn?
  3. When you implement what you’ve learned, how will you measure your success?

When you’ve got the answers you’re after, don’t hesitate to run split tests across all your channels. Test the same thing in two different ways with the same audience and test the same thing in the same way with two different audiences. Every single trial you run to test the validity of your research will bring you that much closer to the truth.

Takeaway Bullets

  • Aim for Scalability
  • Check the Tracking Tools of the Trade
  • Survey with Surgical Specificity
  • Do Recon on Customer Reward Programs
  • Segment by Subtle Differences
  • Become Familiar with Brand Familiarity

Resources of Note