As a startup founder, you need to wear a lot of hats. One day you’re coding front-end, another day you’re assisting with design, and another day you might be helping out with marketing ideas. The least favorite hat for many founders is the “research” hat — perhaps because it’s where less tangible ideas are produced. Marketing research can help refine your ideas without spending more than the bare minimum on what seems like business speak at times. Every startup is different. I’ve worked on more than twenty startups in the past ten years, and have found that every company wants to get similar information, but in a different arrangement. So I’m going to share with you what is typically asked for, and what information I usually start with when speaking with new clients.
Marketing has a lot of moving parts. As a startups, the small details can have a big impact on it’s overall success. One of my favorite parts of marketing is research. Researching content and tactics are critical to having a successful marketing strategy for your startup or business.
Define your target market
First, you have to define your target market. This can be a difficult task for new startups, and it’s important that you get it right. If you’re selling a product to children, for example, you shouldn’t target the elderly. You also need to consider who your customers are and where they live. Do they live in big cities or small towns? Are they more likely to be male or female?
If you don’t understand your target market well enough yet, there are ways of finding out more about them. You can conduct interviews with people from different demographics, or even set up focus groups where participants can try out your products or services and give feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about them.
Your target market is the group of people who are most likely to buy your product.
You need to be clear about who your target market is, because it will shape what you do and how you do it. You may have more than one target market, but you should focus on one at a time.
To find your target market, ask yourself: Who will actually buy my product? Who has the money and interest in buying my product?
Your target market isn’t just made up of people who would use your product—it’s also made up of people who would pay for it.
Understand how people see your brand
How do you define your brand?
It’s a question that comes up again and again in marketing research, and it’s a good one to keep in mind.
You can answer it in many different ways: “This is who we are,” or “This is what we stand for,” or even “This is what I hope people think about us.”
But there’s an important distinction between those answers, because they all relate to how other people see your company—and that’s not always the same thing as how you see yourself.
So let’s break them down:
- This is who we are: This is the most basic definition of your brand, but it also happens to be one of the most important ones. Understanding who your company is at its core—what its values are, what its mission statement is—can help guide everything from your logo design to where you advertise, and can even help inform whether or not you should make a change to those things in order to stay true to yourself.
- This is what we stand for: This definition of your brand will probably look different than any other type of definition because it focuses on how your company wants others to perceive it in relation to other companies or larger entities (like customers). When
The first step in understanding how people see your brand is to know what your brand stands for. What are the values you want your company to embody?
Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to start finding people who represent your brand and asking them questions. You can do this through surveys, interviews and focus groups—or even just by having conversations with people in person! The goal here is to understand what people think about your brand and how they feel when they interact with it.
If you find yourself having trouble figuring out what people think about your brand, try talking to friends and family members who know little-to-nothing about the industry you’re in. They’ll be able to give you an unbiased perspective on things like messaging and tone of voice. Track your progress and learn from your successes and failures. Measure your success and growth by tracking the number of new customers, leads, or followers you acquire. You can also track how many people visit your website and how many social shares you get.
Understand buying behavior
The key to marketing success is understanding the buying behavior of your target market. If you know how they make decisions, where they make those decisions, and what their preferences are, you’ll be in a position to sell them what they want—and get them to buy it.
The first thing you need to do is get out of your office! Go talk to some customers and potential customers about their buying habits. Ask them about their favorite brands, why they chose those brands, and what factors influenced their decision. You can also ask them what kind of information would have helped them make that decision better before making a purchase (or not). By asking these questions from a perspective of genuine curiosity and interest in understanding their needs better, you’ll learn more about how people buy things than any report could ever give you.
After you’ve talked with enough people about their buying habits, take time to analyze the data you’ve collected. What did most people say influenced their decisions? How did different people answer each question? Did any themes emerge? Use this information to inform future marketing campaigns by tailoring content specifically for your target audience’s needs.
Marketing research for startups is vital for understanding the buying behavior of your target audience. This is especially important because you probably don’t have a lot of data to work with, and it’s easy to make assumptions about how people think and act based on your own experience.
When we say “buying behavior,” we mean everything from how people find out about new products to what they want from those products. For example:
- How do people find out about your product in the first place? Are they actively looking for it? Do they read reviews before making a decision?
- What do they expect from your product, beyond its function? Do they look at price as an indicator of quality, or do they care more about other things like design or customer service?
- When you ask these questions, you’ll start to get a sense of the type of person who would be interested in using your product. You can use this information when deciding where to spend your marketing dollars and how best to promote yourself online.
You’ve built your product, and now you’re ready to sell it. How do you know if your product is going to be a success?
You need to do some marketing research.
Marketing research is the process of collecting data about your target customers and their needs, preferences, and behaviors so that you can use that information to develop strategies for reaching them. Your goal is to understand what your customers want from your product—and whether they’ll be willing to pay for it.
The first step in marketing research is asking questions about what matters most to people when they’re buying something like yours. Questions like “What are the top three things you look for when buying a [product category]?” or “How much do you typically spend on a [product category]?” help you figure out which features are most important to buyers, so that you can incorporate those into your product design.
The second step is looking at where these potential buyers spend time online and offline. This helps identify where they hang out before they buy something—so that when they start searching for something like yours, they’ll see your ads and website right away!
Finally, you’ll want to think about what other brands’ customers would say about their experiences with
Knowing if your marketing efforts are effective is the first step to achieving success, so we’ll help you measure your success based on:
-Customer acquisition rate
-Customer retention rate
-Marketing costs per acquisition
Takeaway: Marketing research is an important part of any successful startup.
Being able to make use of the right marketing research is critical for startups to not only increase their chances of success, but also to learn more about their customers. Furthermore, the right kind of marketing research will encourage startups to think outside the box in order to come up with fresh ideas that are likely to appeal to a wider audience. Marketing is a crucial activity for startups, but it must be efficient and cost effective. Data collection needs to be directed strategically when business goals aren’t clear.