There is already an article here about market research and how to conduct a simple yet effective research project. Here is another simple market research tool.
This market research costs you nothing except for a few minutes of your time, and it can reach a vast number of people.
You may have an idea that has several parts, or an idea that appeals to several demographic groups, or both. This idea allows you to reach out to lots of potential customers and discover the level of interest before spending time, effort and money on something that nobody is interested it.
Take one aspect of your idea and submit a post on that subject to your social media pages. Now obviously you are not going to describe how your new idea actually works – you are going to describe the problem it solves and ask others if they have had similar issues.
What you are looking for are comments – positive or negative – and ‘Likes’, re-posts etc. What you are trying to establish is the level of interest in the solution you have invented. You do that by judging the responses to your description of the problem. The ideal is a dozen or more comments that agree that the problem you describe is real, that it effects many people and that they do not have a suitable solution.
Now repeat that with one or two other aspects of your idea. Don’t cover every aspect since there may be someone who can ‘reverse engineer’ your idea from your posts! Just cover enough so that you know that there are enough people who have the same problem such that there are enough of them to support your new business.
That then paves the way for you to further develop your idea and then announce it (with suitable fanfare!)
The alternative is that you modify the idea and try again, or aim at a different demographic next time, or be more focussed and describe the problem in more emotional terms.
Would you be interested in more information on the nitty gritty of doing this kind of market research?
Around the end of each year, many people start thinking about the NFL playoffs. Fans of other sports are consumed by playoffs at other times. There is a lesson here for everybody in business, even if you don’t enjoy sport!
Think for a moment how passionate the average sports fan is about ‘their team’ or ‘their player’. Nearly all fans are happy to broadcast their allegiance to anyone who will listen (and half of those who don’t!) and consider changing alliances something along the lines of treason!
Imagine if your customers thought about you and your business like that, or better – what can you do to create that depth of feeling?
To answer that we have to look at what the fan gets out of the relationship with their team. In simple terms they experience both the highs and lows of wins and losses. What experience do your clients get from doing business with you?
Can you expect that level of loyal fan if you treat customers merely as profit centres? Most sports people spend time, effort and money at ‘fan days’, and they attend other events that make them accessible to their fan base. What do you (and your staff) do to be accessible to your customer base?
Think of the major sports brands, those that are recognised world-wide. They are from all sports and every continent. What do you think their advertising/marketing or publicity budget is? Would it be second only to player payments? Most world brands promote themselves by events large and small, and not just in the town where they live.
They promote themselves everywhere they have real or potential fans. Do you promote your business everywhere you have actual or potential clients?
Most teams promote themselves in a positive way. Very few describe the opposition in negative values. They may promote a local derby, and emphasise the heightened competition between the teams, but rarely are the opposition insulted. (Yes, sometimes there is a fine line, and some individual players do sometimes stray – though who receives the most negative publicity? The player who made the disparaging remark or the team at which it was aimed?)
What would happen to your profits if your clients thought of your business with the attachment most fans feel?
What do you need to do to create that level of attachment? What might any business do to create that level of attachment?
Everybody is either in business or a customer, or both. Your ideas, comments, questions and perspectives are welcome – as long as they remain constructive! What do you think businesses you are associated with can do to create the same kind of aura as “your team”?