Written by: Cynarah Ellawala
You might, maybe out of pure luck or after many years of practice. However, most companies don’t have the luxury to rely on luck or wait years to get it right. Time and money are scarce resources, even for very large organizations with “big” budgets.
Before launching your brand, product or campaign, it is very important that you have a good understanding of your target audience and what will compel them to take action. The best way to do this is to conduct market research.
Market research forces you to go beyond the demographics and think psycho-graphics, and allows you to build a persona around each of your potential audiences. Here are some questions you need to ask:
- Who are they?
- What do they care about most?
- Where do they source their information?
- Are they buying your competitor’s product(s)?
- Who are they influenced by?
- Where will they be when they come in contact with your brand/product?
- In what context are they receiving your brand message?
- In which device or channel are they consuming your messages?
Becoming intimately familiar with your potential customers requires that you get inside their heads – there’s no better way to do that than by simply asking them. From online surveys, to one-on-one interviews to focus groups, there are many ways to ask them. Other ways include looking at real time analytics, conducting internet research, gathering social intelligence, looking at social media trends, examining other brands that are being successful in a similar space, and see what their customers are saying about their brands.
Having a crisp understanding of your audience and listening to your customers will help hone in on your messaging, provide customers with the best offers, improve processes and allow you to develop better products that are in line with your customer’s expectations and changing needs.
Based on this research, you can also create a customer journey map that allows you to align your customer brand experience with your sales processes.
This first step is crucial to ensure the success of your brand not only at launch but also as it grows. It is good to conduct market research on an on-going basis as consumer opinions and behaviors are constantly changing as a result of new technologies and trends. For any brand to be successful, they need to be customer-obsessed. It’s all about the customer.