Market Research – 3 Internet Tools For Free Market Research
Imagine sitting across the table from a single individual that embodies the characteristics of your marketplace. When you post in your blog, or write an article, imagine holding a conversation with this audience of one.
Discover Your Super Power & Dominate Your Niche
The better you understand the people in your marketplace the more intense your "super power" becomes. The stronger your "super power", the closer you will be to dominating your niche.
Your Super Power in this context is the ability to know your market so well that your side of the conversation is specifically targeted to a marketplace you understand. It's as if you are communicating with one, or at the very least a few who represent the commonalities of your clients and prospects. It is in the understanding of your "audience of one" so well, it's as if you are reading their mind that you demonstrate your super power. Your super power draws clients to you giving you the advantage among competitors who do not know or understand the customer or prospects as well as you do.
The better you understand your ideal customer; The better will be able to define your marketing message. Your marketing message should be so well defined that your customers stop in their tracks and say to themselves, "Whoa! It's like he / she is reading my mind! This is what I call your marketing "Super Power".
There are many sites that aggregate and give statistics so that even the small business owner just getting started can begin to provide customer solutions, and develop customer relationships like a "Super Hero".
Here is a few of my favorite Super Hero Laboratory Tools. With each tool listed is my own private interpretation of what they are and how I use them.
A website where people that have a common interest come to share questions & answers and participate as experts & newbies. Forums tend to be more open and invite all that are interested in the topic and desire to participate with a relevant contribution. That's the simplistic definition. In the way of market research I find forums to be useful to observe what questions are being asked and what answers are given.
Groups are very similar to forums except, my observation is that groups tend to be less about a topical interest, drawn together on many broad interests yet defined by another commonality. Groups often tend to be more private and exclusive. I observe groups much the same way I do forums, with the exception or addition of also observing "the how and the why" of the group being together.
Social Networking Aggregation Sites
There are sites that allow users to create a collection of their own RSS feeds, which creates a stream of conversation from where they are active on the Internet. Followers are allowed to freely subscribe to the feed of others. Friendfeed is one example of such a site. The market research value that I find in Social Networking Aggregation sites is that I follow or friend potential clients to observe and anticipate their needs. The other benefit is to follow the feed of thought leaders in my industry and learn from their conversations and activity.
Shopper Aggregation Sections of High Traffic E-commerce Sites
I'm not sure I have labeled this correctly, but the sites that fit this category for me are the sections of high traffic sites that provide information on what their shoppers are buying and searching for. Paypal, eBay and Amazon are top site tools for this observation. The market research that I find useful on these sites are top products being sold or viewed or the largest stores on the site.
When using these tools and websites, customer relationship management comes from a living thriving organism rather that a dead structure of a database. One could literally "peer into" a social networking group just to observe the "living" going on within the network and make valuable business decisions based on these observations of relevant social networks.
The material that is observed and gleaned are attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles of the participants. Once you observe the attributes as they refer to your area of ??expertise you have begun to discover the essence of your Super Power.
Once you discover the essence of your Super Power you must engage in conversation often and in many different ways. It is these conversations that will help you to lead your field.