Are your company’s growth numbers slowing down or stagnating? It’s time to refresh your marketing plan; but first, you need some effective marketing research tools. Without concrete data, real-time trends, and reliable statistics, you could drain your marketing budget without seeing the new customer growth that you’re looking for.
However, with a few cleverly designed marketing research tools, most of which are free, you can more clearly identify your target demographic and dig deeper into their lives. Find out how to reach customers effectively using these four tools.
Think With Google
Think With Google is an all-in-one package that helps you make the most of current trends, insights and market research. There’s a Consumer Barometer, which allows you to compare data trends digitally over time. You also can explore charts depicting consumer Internet use, including frequency and type of usage by different age groups, via different devices.
Under Shopping Insight, you’ll see current market trends. For example, near the end of October 2017, hot topics included fidget spinners, Halloween costumes, school uniforms and PopSockets. Think With Google also highlighted another trend: a dramatic surge in Google searches for graphics cards, as tech-savvy consumers looked to maximize their mining of Bitcoin and Ethereum, two popular virtual currencies. With each new month, the available information changes, bringing you the latest trends, benchmarks and stories to inspire your own content creation.
To get the most out of Think With Google, you’ll need to pay the website a visit periodically, perhaps once a month or more often, depending on your content needs.
Pew Research tools
From the Pew Research Center come three incredible tools for market research. It’s all free, which is good news for small to medium-sized businesses looking for inexpensive martech solutions.
The first is the dataset download area of the website, where you can access a whole treasury of datasets from a range of different categories. You can access data about U.S. politics and policy, journalism and media, religion and public life, Hispanic trends, global attitudes, social and demographic trends; or Internet, science and technology. You can discover in-depth data sets that can improve your understanding of your target market.
Another interesting area of the Pew Research website is the Interactives section. Here, you can take quizzes, check political trends, explore global statistics on various people groups, and view portraits of specific population segments within the United States. If you’re trying to gain a better vision of your audience so you can hone your marketing, you’ll find valuable information here.
In the Fact Tank, explore interesting blog posts about various historical events that are affecting today’s audiences. For example, one post discussed the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and linked historical data to current Protestant segments of the population. Religion, culture and background play a key role in your customers’ decisions, so it’s important to understand movements and values that could affect buying choices; and the Pew Research Fact Tank is a great place to find that information. You can find facts about Millennials, statistics about addiction, ethnicity and education, tax brackets, and much more.
Marketing research tools from Claritas
If you have the budget to do some paid market research, try Claritas segmentation tools. Their MyBestSegments program helps you identify your target audience and gain a crystal-clear window into their lifestyles and buying habits. With the free ZIP code lookup tool, you can quickly note the key consumer segments in your area; but to truly dig into their demographic information and other traits, you’ll need to go for the full paid package.
With Claritas segmentation systems, you can use customer profiles and geographic information to find untapped areas near you that are full of potential customers like the clients you already have. If you feel that your business is stuck, without much growth, it may be time to explore a solution like this. With this system, you can break out and expand your business without wasting your marketing money, because you’ll know exactly who to target, where to reach them, and what to say.
Minimalistic and easy to use, Typeform is a clear winner when it comes to building surveys and collecting data. On the website, you can view examples of the quizzes, registration forms, knowledge tests and payment forms that you can make with Typeform. If you want to get to know your customers a little better, Typeform makes it easy and fun.
Build your form from scratch using your own ideas and skills, or adapt one of Typeform’s existing templates, including customer satisfaction surveys, market research surveys, branding questionnaires, post-event surveys, marketing surveys, demographic surveys, lead generation surveys and many more. The crisp white interface feels fresh and open, and the movement of the quizzes and forms is appealing and smooth.
Typeform allows you to use many of its options and form-builders for free. The extra upgrades at the Going Pro level are reasonably affordable for mid-sized businesses. Basically, the Pro-level system makes your Typeforms smarter, allowing you to personalize questionnaires or surveys and provide customized endings based on the users’ input. Hidden fields, uploads, calculations and online payments are also part of the Pro-level package. With Typeform, you can design a whole range of data collection tools that will bring a wealth of information back to you at a very low cost.
Once you’ve gathered all the market research, it’s time to put a face to that target audience. Delivered by HubSpot, MakeMyPersona is a marketing tool that helps you create a visualization of your target buyer or ideal customer.
Click “Make My Persona” and name your fictional potential customer, like “Entrepreneur Ed” or “Hiker Harry.” Fill in the challenges, goals, social networks, reading material, communication preferences and other information for your persona. Then, give MakeMyPersona your email address, and they will send you your customized buyer persona. This isn’t a perfect or fully comprehensive picture of your ideal buyer, but it can help you visualize and clarify your target audience.