Researching the market, you want to advertise in is crucial. Knowledge is power and without the knowledge of how best to approach the market you are working in, then you are not likely to succeed in that area. It is wise, not only to think in terms of traditional research but to think outside of the box. Rather than simply examine information such as the amount of people who buy a certain item or live in a particular area, look for how many people engage with the product on social media, how many use Youtube or other platforms to express their opinion on a product and how this may influence other.
Look at what sort of social media footprint the product has – is it well known and if so what is the image that is has? If there is limited social media exposure, how does this effect the product? Does it mean that there are less people engaged with the product and the brand overall or does limited social media interaction not matter impact on this brand as much as you might think it does? These are all areas which people fail to consider when researching their marketing plan and it is important that you do not leave any stone or area unturned during your research because your research will allow you to find out what type of marketing plan you want and how best to implement it – without the ability to use your research as a guide to the state of the landscape for your product and how best to interact with that product.
This also means examining what your competitors are doing in this particular field. No matter the field, there will be another company or outlet who is offering as similar product or service that could draw away custom from your company. By examining your competition, this will also allow you to understand what potential weaknesses they may be exploiting from your product and the potential weaknesses that you could take advantage that are present in your product. This doesn’t mean that you should simply try and copy your competition; it means that you need to understand both the fundamental flaws in your platform and theirs so that you can properly understand how you can be the best at what you do.
It may also be wise to do SWOT analysis as well as looking at the flaws of yourself and your prospective rivals. Both examining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your business and other businesses in the field you will have a concrete idea as to the ways in which you can capitalise on your strengths, improve upon your weaknesses, exploit your opportunities and ensure that you aren’t too worried about prospective threats. This will allow you to ensure that your marketing plan has the strength that it needs to succeed.
Another way to conduct research is to conduct your own research. This means that you create conditions for an experiment and then record the findings of the experiment. This is typically something like a focus group, which will allow you to understand, first hand what the experience of average consumers is of your product and what they would feel about any potential marketing plan involving it or changes to the brand. This will give you some solid information as to how individuals respond to the proposed plan and allow you to change it is in any way if you have to.
This type of research may seem costly and time consuming, but they will pay off in the results you will get from the particular individuals and the data that they will be provided which will help to influence your marketing work and to ensure that it is as successful as it can possibly be. It may also be wise, dependent on time and costing, to conduct some one to one questioning alongside your focus group activity. As focus groups will generally involve a mix of people, you may not be able to get the in-depth information that you require from your participants and this is why one to one questioning may help to give you more detailed information which you can then use as part of your marketing plan. As much information about potential customers and how they would respond to any change in your product is important to factor into your potential marketing plan as without it your data may be incomplete, and your plan may not have the same accuracy and appeal that it might otherwise have. This is why thorough research into the area you will be producing your marketing plan is so important – it allows you to ensure that your plan will be more likely to succeed.