Online Market Research

online market research

Online Market Research: What Is It and Why Is It Important?online market research

Online market research is a strategy companies use to gather data and information that allows them to evaluate how well a product or service is performing among online consumers. This research is conducted via the Internet, hence the term market research online. By conducting a thorough market analysis online, companies can identify popular trends in the market that in turn helps them create a marketing strategy that will produce better results and higher revenues. Additionally, target consumers are more identifiable when companies use marketing research online techniques.

Target consumers are tracked by measuring their online behavior. An online researcher who studies trends in behavior will know where to target emails and other promotional materials. With online marketing research, a company can study the market trends itself or it can choose to hire a market research firm that specializes in investigating the online market and creating effective campaigns and actionable market research reports.

Online Market Research Benefits Your Business

Conducting online market research, when performed by a marketing research firm, generates better results and increases revenues. Market research reports also yield additional advantages to your overall success, including:

  • Identify and understand more business opportunities
  • Pinpoint specific obstacles or problems
  • Benchmark and evaluate past and current successes
  • Make advantageous marketing decisions
  • Maximize profits
  • Target your precise market
  • Survive and surpass the competition


How to Conduct Marketing Research Online

There a variety of ways to begin your market research. It comes down to understanding the questions you have about your marketing strategy, your target audience and more. Research usually precedes strategy, but your company’s fundamental goals should be in place to give your research focus and direction.

The following steps outline the basic approach and key areas of focus most companies use to conduct their research:

  1. Determine your target market. Identify those who are liable to buy your product and to cater to their needs. This should not prevent you from investigating other possible audiences, but a clear first step is to create an ideal client profile and to then use that profile to begin your online research. Some preliminary market research may be required to determine key demographic criteria such as your target market’s average age, gender and job position to begin with.
  2. Collect a market research sample. There are several tools and methods available to collect a market sample, including online surveys, interviews, post-service satisfaction questionnaires, brand research and keyword research. These are explored in the next section on marketing research tips and tools.
  3. Analyze data. Whether through your own marketing research team or with the help of a market research analyst, the data from your market sample should be scrutinized for patterns in prospective clients’ demands, habits and behavior.
  4. Collate findings in a market research report. A market research report sample is used to provide clear tactical data and recommendations derived from the data on future marketing activities. From various market research reports online, you can see how the visual representation of complex data can often aid in breaking down your findings and presenting them in a concise manner. A market research report example can be located online or generated by your marketing team or your marketing research firm. Be sure to pick a market research report template that leaves room for not only current recommendations but also provides opportunities to suggest questions and problems introduced by the current data set that should be addressed by future marketing research.
  5. Use the research intelligence to reach out to prospective clients. A sample marketing research report is only as good as the intelligence it produces and the results that come from implementing that intelligence into marketing campaigns. This implementation will likely make other challenges clear, or may reveal future target markets to be explored. This is why research and data collection should be an ongoing process.


Online Market Research Tools and Tips

Researching your precise online niche can be difficult. At Sprint Marketing, we’ve identified a few critical tools and tips to get you started in mining worthwhile marketing data:

  • Use keyword search. Analyze what keywords you are ranking for and research the common keyword strings that your target client would use to locate your service. A keyword search will often reveal how much interest there is in specific terms and may provide insights into the keywords your competitors are targeting. Some popular keyword research tools are Google Adword’s Keyword Tool, WordTrack and Trellian’s Keyword Discovery.
  • View your competitor’s site and links. The simplest, yet most effective, competitor research can be done on your competitors’ own websites. Scout out their pricing, identify how they have optimized their website and observe what marketing strategies and promotional campaigns they use.
  • Conduct online surveys. Online surveys are a cost-effective way to research whether a product or idea will prove appealing to consumers. The quality of your survey relies on the quality of your questions. Many companies opt to create their own surveys, but often recognize that they have missed out on opportunities or asked the wrong questions once the survey is complete. A market research firm brings a level of experience to any survey, allowing them to identify the holes in your marketing strategy. They can then craft straightforward questions that produce insightful information.
  • Perform product research. Naturally, product tests directly relate to how the product is used. An example of product research is taste testing, which is used to pick popular flavors. Another example is a consumer test of a vehicle or device to see if there are any flaws in the features or designs.
  • Analyze your brand. Brand research asks, “What is my brand’s appeal?” and: “Who uses my brand?” It is an in-depth analysis of both your value proposition and your target audience. It also can help understand consumer behavior, such as why a consumer decides to switch brands or stick with the one they already use.
  • Complete post-sale or consumer satisfaction research. This is a great online market research tool for finding out whether a customer was satisfied with the product or service. This helps companies to compile a market research report that outlines the research’s findings. Post-sale research also helps your company build a rapport with your clients.


Get Your Own Free Leads Analysis to See How Sprint Marketing Can Help with Your Online Market Research Today

Sprint Marketing conducts expert comprehensive online market research, including online industry research and B2B competition research in order to boost your marketing intelligence and increase your web leads. Contact us today for a free leads analysis and discover how we can improve your online market research.