Friday, May 31, 2013

Three Critical Areas to Include For Success Market Research System

Having worked in a high-end management consultancy practice for many years (in my previous career), I've discovered a thing or two about market research, and how critical it is to your business success. Whenever we took on a new management consultancy project for a client, one of the very first things we did was to go and speak to their clients and customers about their biggest issues/problems/frustrations etc. Yet as solo service business owners this critical step is very often overlooked - market research is not just for the big corporations, but for every business owner, regardless of size. As a result of not implementing a market research system, business owners are left wondering why: Their product launch flopped. Their program registrations are very slow, or just okay-ish. Clients aren't signing up for strategy sessions, and in turn becoming paying clients. It's all because they haven't done their market research. They haven't bothered to take the time to find out what their clients' biggest issues are; what they want; or what keeps them awake at night. Instead, business owners just put their "thing" out there and provide what they think their clients need, not what they want... there's a very big difference between the two. Creating a market research system is really very simple, and actually quite a lot of fun too! You get to have a conversation with your clients and potential clients, and really get to the heart of what's bothering them. It's a wonderful way to connect with your clients. And once you know what it is that's keeping your clients up at night, you can begin to provide the solutions for them. Your market research will give you: Business ideas and focus. Product and services ideas and focus. Article and blog posts ideas and topics. So today, I'd like to share with you the three key areas that go into creating a complete, and effective, market research system. 1. Keyword Research: This is a great way to start and get a feel for what your clients are searching for online. If done correctly, you'll get lots of ideas to jumpstart your products, programs, and services. And you'll also be able to customize your copy to include the phrases and keywords that your clients are searching on. 2. One-on-One Interviews: This is an absolute must do to get to the heart of your client's issues, frustrations, and problems. However, to do it correctly you need to know what questions to ask, and how to ask them. This is a skill that is very easily learnt, but so critical to have if you want to get the most out of your market research. 3. Online Survey: This is a great way to get a "snapshot" of exactly what it is that is keeping your clients up at night. However, the results are dependent on what's happening in your client's lives at that particular time, so should never be used on its own to formulate your next big offering. You should plan to conduct market research with your clients and customers once a year. And for maximum impact, include all three areas as part of your market research system. The good news... once you've implemented your market research system the first time, doing it again is a very simple process; you just rinse and repeat!