26 February 2018

Online research: tools and techniques

 
A few years ago, it was no simple task to conduct a market study. Nowadays, thanks to new technologies, it is much more convenient, simpler and faster to research our markets.

What is a market study?

A market study, or market research, provides significant data about a specific sector, its competition, potential clients, etc. All of these data help us to make a series of decisions which include, for example, the definition of a Marketing strategy and how to implement it. It also makes it possible to identify opportunities and reduce risk.

If you have a business idea, the first thing you need to ascertain whether it is viable, is information. This is why it is vital to conduct a market study to gather the information required to ensure the success of your business.

What are the steps you need to take to conduct a market study?

  • These are the steps we consider to be most appropriate:
  • Understand the objective of the research
  • Define the audience (the target group for our offer)
  • Determine the sample
  • Select the persons and/or tools to be used
  • Gather and analyse the information

What are the benefits of conducting a market study?

These are the 9 benefits we consider to be most relevant:

  • Predict the success or failure of our business idea
  • Communicate better
  • Improve market segmentation
  • Establish the key words to be used
  • Identify market opportunities
  • Minimise risk
  • Understand the competition
  • Identify niche markets
  • Understand client satisfaction

There are different techniques to discover the pros and cons of a business idea, such as surveys, focus groups, interviews, panels, etc. These practices used to be very expensive, but thanks to the internet there is now a variety of low cost ways of conducting quality online market research.

investigacio-n-online 

Techniques and tools for an online market study:

Google Trends

Google Trends can help to analyse search volumes and trends for different regions and periods of time. Simply choose the key words that you want to analyse and enter them into the search field. The horizontal axis of the graph indicates time, while the vertical axis indicates how frequently the word has been searched for globally. Google Trends provides statistics from 2004 through to the present date.

Google Key Word Planner

The objective of this tool is to help us to identify the most frequently used key words and establish their search volume. We can also filter the search area and language. This tool can help in finding new ideas for the key words of your business, website, etc.

Semrush

This is one of our favourite online tools because it allows us to research the key words used by our competitors, as well as who is using Google Adwords and the links that redirect to their website. Apart from researching key words it also performs domain analysis.

Keywordtool.io

This is an alternative tool to Google's key word planner. It is a Freemium tool that helps to discover long-tail key words.

Monitoring tools

There are many monitoring tools that allow you to gather information about the key words that we have selected. This includes, for example, the brand, the competitor's brand, the key words for a market sector, etc. The results provided by the tool make it possible to identify different types of data such as the number of comments on a specific social network, and the people who most frequently mention a particular key word, etc.

Once of the most interesting social media monitoring and analytics tools available on the market is Brandchats. This platform will help you to identify and analyse your brand presence and its competition throughout the network (social networks, blogs, forums, etc.).

Socialbakers

You can use this platform to measure, compare and conduct analysis on social networks, as well as gather statistical data about use, brands and trends.

Tools to conduct online surveys

Surveygizmo is one of our favourite platforms for conducting surveys, although there are many others. Online surveys offer a series of advantages such as the ability to reach a wider audience, dispatch more quickly, include interactive elements, reduce costs and gather data instantly.

Active listening on social networks

The voice of the customer is very important to any business. Social networks allow you to interact with your followers, who provide their ideas, opinions, motivations, etc.

Moz

This software makes it possible to establish where the competition is positioned on the internet, and understand the title, description H1, H2 and authority of the page and domain.

It is very important to implement these online market study or research techniques for our business, since they offer a significant competitive advantage, helping us to anticipate the needs of the market. Combining technological tools with consumer opinion will provide valuable information allowing you to implement a successful digital strategy and provide a favourable outcome for your business.

What are the benefits of an online market study?

These are the benefits we consider to be most significant:

  • Speed
  • Immediacy
  • Cost minimisation
  • Reliability

Don't forget that before capturing the attention of your potential clients, first you will need to understand and discover what they truly want or need. Which tools do you need?

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About the author

Joseph Goodson
Joseph GoodsonDigital Marketing ConsultantSend e-mail

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