How well do you know your customers? Many entrepreneurs will answer that they know them perfectly well. The problem, however, is that they base their knowledge of consumers on guesswork or on a one-time study of the target group. Knowing your target group is the basis for effective marketing activities. It should also be remembered that changes are a constant element of business – the needs and preferences of your recipients are also constantly changing, so they should be regularly analyzed. In our article you will learn how to effectively conduct consumer research in internet marketing.
What is consumer research?
Consumer research is the process of collecting data about your target group, it can refer to different categories. One of the most popular ones is research on consumer needs, as well as preferences, behavior and opinions. It is an indispensable element of running an effective business, because it allows you to tailor activities to the recipients. They also help to verify whether the activities undertaken so far have been targeted at the appropriate group. This is not only a hint about business plans, but also an indicator of mistakes made by the company. Until recently, entrepreneurs focused mainly on researching the competition and on being more effective than it. Now more and more people realize that the most important thing is, in fact, the customer.
Why is market research important in internet marketing?
Consumer research is an integral part of online activity. Verifying the preferences of your recipients can translate into every element of the company’s operation – brand promotion, product sale, increasing trust, building popularity. Moreover, properly conducted market research helps to save money. How can you use the knowledge obtained from the conducted consumer research? You can focus on the items below.
Use of consumer research for content personalization
What are your guidelines when planning a way of communicating with your audience? It is difficult to define the tone of voice of your brand if you don’t know who you want to target your content to. Personalizing the content and adjusting it to the knowledge of consumers will allow you to gain their trust, which will undoubtedly translate, for example, into the level of conversion. By conducting market research, you will find out, for example, where your recipients come from, how old they are, what gender they are, what their interests and shopping habits are.
Use of consumer research to reach customers
If you want to increase the reach of your company on the Internet, you should ask yourself how your recipients behave on the Internet. What websites are they most likely to visit? From what pages do they come to your site? Which social media platforms are most often used by people in your target group? Without this knowledge, you will be blindly floating around the web and there is no guarantee that your actions are effective.
The use of consumer research in the optimization of activities
Not every marketing activity will be the right choice for all e-commerce businesses. You need to know how to align your online activities with your business. Make sure that the channels on which you run your marketing campaign are adjusted to your industry and target group. You can gain knowledge about which of your actions are effective and which should be optimized thanks to market research.
Use of consumer research when updating the offer
Unfortunately, many enterprises, gaining a cash cow product, focus solely on it and increasing its sales. At the same time, they do not analyze the changes taking place and do not think about updating the offer in order to better respond to the needs and expectations of customers. Such a mistake was made, for example, by Kodak, who was a leader in the photographic industry years ago. Unfortunately, by ignoring the changes and not adapting to them, the company began to lose its position quickly and collapsed. Don’t you want to make that mistake? Conduct consumer preference surveys regularly!
Ways of conducting consumer research in internet marketing
Conducting consumer research in internet marketing does not have to be complicated. Nowadays, you have access to a great many tools that do most of the work for you. It will be your responsibility to diligently analyze the results and draw appropriate conclusions. We especially recommend the following tools.
Market research with Quora
It is a great tool for people who want to find out about the current situation in the industry. Wora brings together experts from various industries who conduct extensive talks about their activities. Here you will learn what interests users, what topics are currently hot in the industry and what to pay attention to in the near future. If you enter a keyword into Quora, you’ll get a long list of discussions that you can use to grow your business. It is worth knowing that this tool is free and available both for computer and as an application for Android and iOS devices.
Consumer opinion polls through surveys
One of the simpler, and at the same time very effective, ways to find out what consumers think is a questionnaire. A good solution is to send the survey form to newsletter subscribers or to people who have just converted on your website. In this way, you can find out what comments your recipients have on the operation of the store, which should be corrected or changed in order to operate even more effectively in the future. To increase the response rate, you can organize, for example, a prize draw in the manner of the people who complete the survey. Remember that you do not need expensive, fancy tools to conduct such a survey. You can use the free Google Forms tool.
Market research based on the analysis of competitors’ activities
To find out what is currently popular on the market, it is worth analyzing the content published on the website and blog of your competition. Of course, you cannot be sure that what your competitors are posting is based on real consumer needs, but if you see a recurring trend on different pages, it will be information for you to take a closer look at the phenomenon. It is also worth following the authorities in the industry – then you will be sure that you receive up-to-date, reliable information. In the case of experts, it is also worth subscribing to their newsletter, then you will be up to date with what is “hot” in the industry.
Market research based on publicly available statistics
In order to know what changes are taking place in the market, it is worth regularly checking the results of research in the industry. There are many companies that regularly research user behavior on the Internet, and this can help you tailor your activities to a specific target group. For example, Paraphrase.Online carries out a great consumer preference survey, in our annual report “Ecommerce in the World”, for example, you will find out how often your target group purchases online, what devices they prefer and what methods of payment.
Consumer opinion research based on comments and reviews
You do not always have to search for and use special tools to conduct market research, sometimes the simplest solutions are enough. Be open to what consumers have to say. Actively read customer reviews they post on Google, social media, and your online store. Read comments on the blog and on social profiles – then you will get to know the honest opinions of your target group. It is also worth verifying the comments and opinions posted by the competition. Then you will be able to check what frustrates other people from your target group, as well as verify whether a similar situation may happen to you. This competitive analysis can also help you reach new people better by responding to their needs effectively.
Research on consumer needs on the basis of searched phrases
You can check your search keywords by using a variety of tools, both free and paid. As an example of a tool for conducting consumer needs research on the basis of searched phrases, we can use Senuto. There you can verify what phrases users enter in search engines, what products and information they are looking for. A useful function in Senuto will be, for example, “Keyword Database” – by entering the selected phrase there, you will check its visibility, and you will also get suggestions for related words that are searched by customers. In Senuto, you can also check phrases in the form of questions as well as verify dependent words for the phrase.
Consumer needs research with Answer the Public
What are users looking for on the web? You can find out from the results from Answer the Public. It is a free tool that will allow you to find out what information users are looking for on the Internet. You can easily adjust the results shown in the tool to your needs by selecting the country, language, and a keyword related to your industry. Answer the Public will provide you with results in the form of a list of questions that are entered by users in search engines.
Market research with Google Trends
A great way to research the market is to analyze it with Google Trends. It is a tool in which you can effectively verify the current popularity of selected queries. Here you will find out what is gaining popularity, what interests Internet users and how it relates to your industry. Google Trends allows you not only to analyze text search results, but also the results in the image search engine, news, Google Shopping and Youtube search engine. Importantly, in Google Trends, you can get results tailored to a specific topic along with the region, as well as to the selected time period.
How to conduct consumer research in internet marketing? Summary
Knowledge about consumers and the market is the basis for running an effective and efficient online business. There are many ways to gain knowledge about customers, no doubt you will quickly find solutions that are tailored to your business – try our suggestions.