What most digital marketers think market research means:
– Checking out three direct competitors on the major social platforms.
– Making a list of things they’re talking about that seem to be getting engagement.
– Ignoring everything they’ve just learnt because it was basically nothing and besides, the brand they’re representing is far too special to be following the competition.
– Total time requirement – 1 hour.
– Value – gives them something to talk about in the weekly review meeting.
What market research actually means:
– Making a large list of competitors.
– Checking out available financials via Companies House.
– Creating shortlist of those with strongest revenue growth.
– Using tool like Similar Web and Semrush to see where they’re generating their traffic and spending their money (if they’re throwing cash at a particular channel, they’re almost certainly making cash on that channel).
– investigating the channel activity in depth – for referral traffic that means emailing/calling those websites that seem to be sending traffic to better understand the relationship and if it’s one you can replicate. For SEO this means everything from pages indexed to site speed and link portfolio to use of deep landing pages. For email it means subscribing to every available data capture and drawing up a map of the subsequent email journey they’ve placed you on.
– Calling them up as a buyer – how do they answer the phone? How quickly do they give you pricing information? What information do they send across and in what format? What are the key selling points they seem to obsess over?
– Creating a plan for the next 6-12 months in which you’ll copy the best of what you’ve learnt (you can get “creative” after that).
– Time required – a month.
– Value – almost immediate propulsion to the top division of your market, elimination of almost all guesswork. and 375 (give or take) large bucketloads of cash.