If you have a new startup, you understand how difficult it is in the first year to make sales. In fact, according to a Harvard study, about 75% of venture-backed startups fail. By studying the right market research methods and discovering your target audience you have a much better chance of staying afloat.
Your business will not succeed by being something to absolutely everyone, but it will take off like a rocket ship if you learn how to be everything to someone specific. In other words, if you try and help too many people, you have watered down your business and basically lost its value.
But the problem is, how do you discover your target audience? How do you narrow it down enough so that you do not become part of the 42% of failures that did not understand their market’s needs?
Here are five of the best market research methods for discovering your target audience. Read on…
1. Create a Customer Persona
Knowing your customers and knowing what they want is the number one reason for business success. A target audience is a specific group of people, who have the same specific characteristics, who will be most likely interested in your product. You have discovered their pain, and you are going to be their Tylenol or Advil.
Using demographic information is a vital way to really get to know who your target audience is. Some of the information includes;
- Marital status
- Education level
Knowing these specifics helps you dial in your target market and understand your target audience, who they are, where they hang out, and what challenges they face. Make sure you also research your market, competition, and industry as well.
2. Create An Avatar
After you have done that basic research, it is time to create a customer Avatar. This is basically a spitting image of what your ideal target customer is. This Avatar can be tweaked along the way as you try out the market research methods.
It is important to pretend that this avatar is a real person because it actually is! Create an entire persona based on this person. What is his/her name? What is their goals and ambitions in life? Characteristics? What are his/her biggest fears? What are their hobbies? Favorite books? What do they post on social media? Do they have children?
This has to be extremely detailed, the more fine-tuned you are, the bigger chance of success your business has. Now that you have built an avatar, create a few more based on different segments of your market.
3. Run a Survey
Creating a survey that is directed towards your target audience is key to creating an integrity based relationship with them. This shows them how important they are to you, and how much you value their opinions and well being.
When you are in the development stage of your product, send out a survey to your different avatar clients. The results you receive will tell you if you have fine-tuned your target audience well enough. This will also help you know if your product needs any fine-tuning as well.
A failed product means no customer interest, so doing a survey from the beginning will help gain interest, loyalty, and even possible brand ambassadors as well.
4. Get into Facebook Advertising
One in every $10 in advertising is used on Facebook ads. Using Facebook ads is a powerful tool for creating your ideal customer portfolio. Since Facebook tracks everything its users speak about, you now hold the key to finding those real-life avatars.
Using Facebook, you can fine-tune the ad to locate a customer that purchases kitty litter, drinks scotch, plays soccer and takes medication for hypertension.
Now that’s detailed…
What’s even better, is that the Facebook ad pixels get smarter every time you run an ad. This will help you locate the customers who will actually convert.
5. Launch a Contest
With over 2 billion users on Facebook, how do you filter through and get engagement with the right audience?
Launching a contest is one of the best market research methods and a sure-fire way to increase brand awareness with engagement on your product. This will also help you collect data, as you now know who the interested customers are.
Creating an engaging contest will get shared like wildflowers, potentially growing your brand overnight. A couple ways to really gain engagement in your contests are;
- Ask people to get a picture of them doing something
- Get a video of them performing a certain task
- Your chance to giveaway branded promotional products
This is called user-generated content and can reap in a whopping 6.9% higher engagement than other types of contests.
You can also get people to “enter to win”. Now that you have their information, when you are ready to launch and sell your product, you have some contact information. Then you can send out a rocking email campaign and start getting some sales.
Make sure to make this part simple, as no one likes filling out gigantic forms!
Make sure you do not involve in “like-gating”, this is where you ask customers to like and share to be entered to win a prize. Make your contest so awesome that users engage, like and share because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to.
If you are giving away free branded promotional products, make sure they take a picture of your product and say why it is useful to them. This creates social proof and will help create more brand
Now that you understand the top five market research methods in understanding your target audience, you are probably glued to your laptop and making magic happen!
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