The first step to solving any case is research and your marketing copywriting is no different. You have work out who the key players are, what they like and why they like it. You have to scope “the scene” in order to affect it and market research sets the foundations of your project. The better your information is, the stronger your foundations are.
But what if you haven’t got the budget for a fancy market research agency?
Lack of budget is no reason to skip the market research for your marketing activities, so here are 12 low cost ways you can gain some insight or check your assumptions.
1. Compare your approach with your competitors. Write down the ways they are different and ask some of your most trusted customers which they prefer (and why). You might find your way is better after all!
2. Create a customer profile. The information you already have about your customers is GOLD, so use it! Create a profile of your “typical customer” and check your copywriting and marketing is aimed appropriately.
3. Entertain customers to get their input. And I don’t mean card tricks! Don’t be afraid to schmooze your customers to open the lines of communication. In a more relaxed setting, you never know what you’ll find out.
4. Use your email database and social media to ask your customers one question. Just one. Like ‘do they prefer paying by credit card or invoice’… Instant, useful research!
5. Use government statistics and information. Freely available online, government research and statistics can be extremely useful when you’re mapping out potential new markets. Start with the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
6. Observe people using your product. Being a marketing voyeur (or a secret shopper) can give you some really useful nuggets of market research, straight from the horses’ mouth. But don’t be creepy!
7. Use your staff to record trends and changes. Your team is one of the best research resources you have and their knowledge is not just great research … it’s team involvement.
8. Go through your customer/sales records. Get your hard hat on and mine your own business data to create useful reports that will help you target your marketing campaigns.
9. Interview past customers and find out why they left you. But be nice and even send them a thank you of some description. It could even improve the last impression you left with them.
10. Ask your kids. Seriously! Taking time to get down with young people can help you get ahead of the next big thing. How are they communicating with each other? What is it that everyone’s talking about?
11. Survey your customers. Apart from sending them a one-question email, use free survey tools like Survey Monkey and your Social Media pages to get a bit more detail. But don’t go from “interested” to “annoying” with too many surveys or questions.
12. Look at successful marketing and analyse it. Are your claims impressive or lukewarm by comparison? If your marketing isn’t making a splash compared to your competitors, try and get some ideas from the marketing happening around you.
So there you have it. A dozen ideas to get market research that won’t blow your marketing budget. So now it’s over to you. What can you add? How do you get your market research and keep your accountant happy at the same time?
The Copy Detective