We have already discussed the differences between Marketing vs. Advertising. You can look up our previous blog post by clicking here.

Today we are writing about how small business owners might go about implementing a plan for market research. While we focus more on the advertising campaigns at LG Designs, we know just enough about the marketing process to be dangerous. ;-p

Marketing is the process of:

  1. identifying your target market and understanding what need of theirs you are fulfilling with your products and services,
  2. creating a closed-loop marketing campaign and advertising plan for getting feedback from your clients,
  3. measuring the results and
  4. delivering quality products, services and content customized for their exact needs.

This can be accomplished in several different ways. Since we work with micro and small business owners at LG Designs, we will discuss options from our experiences.

1) Focus Groups – Focus groups help you get feedback from a small sampling of your target audience. According to the Business Dictionary a focus group is defined as a

Small number of people (usually between 4 and 15, but typically 8) brought together with a moderator to focus on a specific product or topic. Focus groups aim at a discussion instead of on individual responses to formal questions, and produce qualitative data (preferences and beliefs) that may or may not be representative of the general population.

2) Surveys – Use a tool like www.surveymonkey.com to create surveys and polls for your clients. You may embed the forms in your website, send them via email or even incorporate them into your newsletter service. Collect a sampling of at least 200 responses to gather quality data from your target audience.

3) Studies and Research – No sense in re-inventing the wheel. There are probably lots existing studies out there to help gather market research about your target audience. For example, here are some resources you might want to use for researching data about your target market:

  1. Census data
  2. City, County and State Records for New Businesses and Active Businesses
  3. Chamber of Commerce – Many local organizations will offer free member directories
  4. Demographic reports
  5. Research whitepapers and contact the companies
  6. Government websites with public data about your products and services. For example, one of our clients, DriveSafe Mode, uses: http://www.distraction.gov to look up valuable statistics to support their product, which is directed towards preventing distracted driving
  7. Assessor records
  8. Public housing records

Want to learn more about how you can get better results with your business’ social media strategy by closing the marketing loop? Get a free report of your online presence by contacting us at 702.900.3419