Has your business been going steady, but are you ready for a new growth spurt? Or did you have a refreshing idea for a new business under the shower, and are you unsure if it’s viable?
There’s a solution to it all, and it’s called market research. For example, Conjoint Analysis (What is Conjoint Analysis?) is one of the many market research methods you can look into, just like focus groups or using questionnaires. We’d prescribe it to every business that wants to grow healthy and big, no matter what stage they’re in.
But oftentimes, entrepreneurs or small businesses don’t find the time to shut off the ‘actual’ work and dive deep into their market. They’re too busy running the day-to-day operations to focus on changing consumer behavior or new competitors.
Until one day they aren’t that busy anymore. Why? Because they missed the train. They didn’t keep up with the market, and now they are running behind.
Before it gets to that point, let’s do some real market research. We’ll provide you with eight tools that all focus on different aspects of the market, from your competition to your target audience. It’s up to you to combine them in a way that gives more context to your data.
Why you should be doing market research—right now
Market research is not just a formality. That report shouldn’t just lay on your desk for a year until someone churns out an updated version. Real market research is supposed to be used in decision-making processes.
Several things could drive you to do market research. Maybe you want to test out a new idea, see if it could be profitable. Or maybe you’re pitching to investors soon, and you already know they want to hear about the future of the market.
So, what kind of data could you be gathering?
- Industry trends
- Competitor analysis
- Consumer profiling
- Predicted market share and prices
- Marketing channels
And much, much more. Luckily, there are some incredibly smart tools out there that can help you gather all this information in a heartbeat, so you can act fast. Here are our favorites.
Just ask Attest. Attest is on a mission to re-define consumer research and help you make better decisions regarding your brand and market. They have a set of tools that will allow you to gather data from 100 million real consumers worldwide (49 countries) and test the waters of a new market.
You can use the tool to de-risk market expansion, get accurate consumer profiles, and much, much more. They have survey templates ready for lots of cases, but we think you’ll especially love Attest’s market analysis template, which has ready-made questions to push you in the right direction.
How much does Attest cost?
The price for their Professional package starts at $1.6k a month (billed annually).
Alexa doing your market research? Well, kind of. This smart tool, that yes, was developed by Amazon, is incredibly useful for specific market research that focuses on what your target audience is talking about, and competitive web analysis.
Alexa will show you new ways to reach and convert your target audience by telling you what’s on their minds and in their search bars. Based on the top keywords, you’ll get a great idea of what’s happening in your market.
Also, want to focus on what the competition is doing? Alexa will help you find your competitive edge based on thorough website analyses.
How much does Alexa cost?
Their Advanced Plan offers access to the full suite of marketing tools and starts at $149 per month. Plus, you can cancel anytime.
What are people saying about the brands operating in your market? If only you could search every social media platform to get an idea.
No need to hire a team to keep tabs on hashtags and mentions: Mention does it for you, all automatically. This competitor tracking tool works as a web listening service. You can use it to find out what people are saying about your own brand, but why not hear about your competitors, too?
It’s real-time and shows you where the conversation is taking place, so you know when and where to step in and interact with consumers.
You can create reports and see how the sentiment around your brand and others changes over time to keep track of how well your campaigns are working.
How much does the mention cost?
You get your own listening service up and running for only $29 a month. The bigger plans cost $99 or $199.
4. Answer the Public
What are people wondering about your market, product, solution—or the problem you are trying to solve?
If we have any doubt, we turn to Google. It’s our closest confidence, and it has all the answers. On an average day, there are 3 billion Google searches. 20% of those have never been seen before. Let that sink in.
As a business, it would be incredibly valuable to know what people are typing into that search bar that could be related to your business. You could create content around it, sharpen your SEO or even create better products.
Answer the Public gives you insights into that kind of data. You give in some keywords, in all kinds of languages, and it shows you what people are asking about it. You can even try and put in the names of big brands in your market to see what is happening around them.
How much does Answer the Public cost?
They give away 500K free searches a month, but you are limited based on their traffic. Want more answers, all the time? Their monthly plan starts at $99.
What’s market research without a survey? If you’ve ever been asked to fill out a survey, you know how painfully boring this can be, or in some cases even confusing. You rush through it and tick some boxes, just to get to the end of it.
While it’s understandable, it’s also annoying for the researcher. They get data that might not be as accurate, simply because the survey wasn’t appealing.
Typeform knows that the way you ask can drastically improve the quality of the answers you get. That’s why they created a survey tool that will help you start a conversation with respondents, rather than pulling answers out of them.
If you already have an audience in mind and want to create surveys that are on-brand and super effective, Typeform is for you. They’re great for market research because they have some templates ready for you to tweak. You can also integrate your survey with all kinds of tools to automatically generate reports.
How much does Typeform cost?
To use it for small research, you can go with the plan that’s just $29.
One of the most popular tools out there for market research is undoubtedly SurveyMonkey. It’s a market research tool for surveying panelists and does much more than just create good-looking surveys.
SurveyMonkey offers a global survey panel, so you can reach a large and relevant audience for your business. Need to go worldwide? They also have a survey translation service for international research. In their reporting dashboard, you can instantly see the status of your research and create beautiful reports that will help you make better decisions.
How much does SurveyMonkey cost?
You can start using SurveyMonkey for only $32 a month with their Advantage plan.
SEMRUSH is not only great for SEO, it also helps you track down competitors and analyze the market you’re in.
Using their Market Explorer tool you can identify your competition and see how well they are performing when it comes to SEO. How well are they ranking, and how did they get that high up in the search results? This information will help you close the gaps and create better content for your target audience.
How much does SEMRUSH cost?
Their Pro membership costs $119.95 a month.
Don’t waste time gathering data that is already available.
When doing market research, you might feel inclined to do everything yourself, to get the most relevant data there is. But maybe you don’t have the budget or capacity, let alone time, to perform an in-depth analysis on specific parts of the market.
Statista is a tool that will answer all of the questions you have about a market. Do you want to know how many iPads have been shipped last quarter compared to all tablets on the market? Statista knows. Want to know how much Starbucks spent on advertising? You’ll find it on Statista.
Save time and get incredibly detailed reports from a wide variety of markets, while focusing on the part of the research that you better do yourself.
How much does Statista cost?
The ideal entry-level account for individual users costs only $39 per month.
What do you need to know about your market?
Step out of your comfort zone, your daily brainstorms, and most of all, outside your own business and look at the market. That’s where you can find new opportunities and identify gaps if you only take the time to check in every now and then. What will you be researching next?
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