Define Your Audience
Market Research Agency
The foundation of an effective marketing strategy is market research. Smart decision makers will realize a much higher return on their marketing investment when they start with market research.
At FiG, a Denver market research agency, we do more than just administer digital marketing tactics like national, regional, and local social media, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and search engine marketing (SEM). We perform complete brand exploratory-audits. We examine your company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT), your industry, and your competitors. We delve into your audience and discover who they are and what they want. We do this with primary research, which includes surveys, interviews, and focus groups and secondary research which utilizes the best reports and intelligence available in the market.
During a brand exploratory (also known as a brand audit), a market research agency such as FiG will uncover how your brand is perceived by both internal and external stakeholders. We’ll study your product line and services, your current market position and your target markets. We’ll also look at your industry and your competitors. At the end of our brand audit, you will have a clear picture of where your marketing efforts need to be focused.
Without understanding how your competitors are positioning themselves, you don’t have the means to differentiate your product or services. Our research dives deep into the online and offline messaging of your competitors so that we can discover how to position you more strategically in the marketplace.
Target Markets and Buyer Personas
Too many companies guess at who their target markets are, or they just keep delivering the same tired messages to the audiences they are already reaching. Without conducting research into your target markets, you are leaving money on the table. There are often new markets who would be receptive to your product or service that you aren’t aware of. And frequently, through FiG’s market research, we can determine better ways to message the audience you currently serve.
What is Market Research?
Market research is the first step in creating a marketing plan. It is the foundation from which a marketing strategy is built. Without it, you are relying heavily on trial and error which can get expensive quickly. With market research, you are shortening the time it takes to determine what will garner results for your business.
There are several types of market research. They are qualitative, quantitative primary, and secondary. Qualitative research uncovers the underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations of people. Quantitative research is characterized by the analysis of data collected through polls, questionnaires, and surveys. Primary market research includes surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Secondary research comprises aggregating the findings of research studies.
For example, the U.S. Census is one of the largest secondary research resources available to market researchers. If you go door to door for the U.S. Census, you are performing primary research. If you are a citizen who uses the data from the U.S. Census Report to understand more about the demographics of our population, you are doing secondary research.
Types of Market Research
Primary Market Research
Market Research Surveys
Surveys are one of the most economical forms of quantitative primary research. Their low cost is why you see them all over the web and in your email inbox so often. Survey questions must be carefully constructed so as to remove all bias and not lead the respondent towards or away from a particular answer. When formulated correctly and delivered to the correct audience in a large enough sample size, surveys can be a very accurate and powerful tool. A good survey will uncover the consumer insights needed to make strategic decisions.
Market Research Interviews
Interviewing is a qualitative research technique, used by market research agencies, designed to delve deeply into the thoughts and feelings of your stakeholders. Internal interviews are conducted inside your organization with your core audience of stockholders, employees, and board members. External interviews bring your buyers’, vendors,’ and outside stakeholders’ views into focus.
Market Research Focus Groups
A focus group performed by a market research agency usually includes between four and ten people who are brought together to answer specific questions that the advertiser wants to understand. The people who are invited to participate in the focus group are representative of the target market that the advertiser is trying to reach. The gathering usually lasts between one and three hours and consists of a conversation between the moderator, who is asking the questions, and the participants. Focus groups are a type of qualitative research and are ideal when you are trying to uncover a target market’s thoughts and feelings about a particular topic.
Secondary Market Research
Secondary market research is usually more affordable than primary market research because it doesn’t require administering surveys, interviews or focus groups. It consists of finding and auditing research that has already been done and applying it to the research objectives. It’s rare that a research objective can be fulfilled through secondary research alone. Integrating primary and secondary research helps the market research agency develop a complete picture of your company’s situation. SWOT Analysis Often during market research, and especially when performing a brand audit, FiG’s research includes a thorough examination of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (a professional SWOT analysis). This analysis gives us a picture of where your company sits at this moment and helps us to structure marketing strategies to bolster your entire brand.
The entire research process is geared toward finding key insights, those bits of knowledge that get you into the mind and hearts of your customer, that differentiate you from your competitors, and that help you harness changes in your industry. FiG, operating as your marketing communications agency, can use these insights to develop your brand marketing strategy.
The right insights are like the sparks that ignite a fire. They can power a brand, a campaign, or tactic and supercharge it. They're the difference between moderate success and blockbuster sales, and they only come from thorough research.
Whether SWOT analysis, focus group, buyer personas, or market survey, market research is a sound investment you'll be glad you made.