Post #1: Marketing Research for Free!

Yes, there is a way to find out what and when customers are interested in something, minus the investment of research.

Based on The New Rules of Marketing, by author David Scott, the key to modern day marketing is being able to engage customers and potential customers in a variety of ways, such as social media, blogs, new releases and online video. However, the key to being successful in these spaces requires that a company first knows what is most relevant to their target market. Before investing in a robust marketing plan, companies must first know what their customers care about and what will provide the most return on investment. This is typically the role of marketing research. Over the last few years, a new source for this information has emerged that allows companies to answer these questions, without having to make a major investment in research. It is the information that is found by reviewing the search logs of a company’s website. …It’s information that’s at a company’s fingertips.

When a customer comes to a website and conducts a search, they’re telling the company what they want, in their words. This provides an unfiltered view into customers’ needs and wants. Search data is a gold mine of information that can be used to drive product, assortment and promotional planning, as well as providing many other insights about customers.  For example, the data could tell a company when customers start looking for snow boots or swimming pools. The data may also reveal that the customer is looking for something that the company doesn’t sell. It also can highlight a major customer service or product issue.

In addition to providing insight to what customers want and when they want it, the data can also suggest the level of demand for an item or topic of information. As a result the information can be used to help a company decide what to focus marketing efforts on or what issues need more immediate attention.  

Similar information can be found through data offered for free by Google. However, the Google data will tell you what customers are looking for in the broader context of the internet. The search data from a company’s website is much more relevant and specific, because it reflects the things that customers are coming to their website looking for.

What’s more exciting is that it’s a source of information available to any company that has a website or mobile app with a search feature. So even a small business can gain powerful insights about what their customers are looking for. It’s marketing research for the masses!

And did I mention it’s all free!  


3 comments on “Post #1: Marketing Research for Free!

  1. Toni Foster says:

    Great info! We are rolling out a new technology service at work and I am going to use this! It will help us understand what they are having difficulty finding from a usability standpoint, as well as what they are interested in. Thank you!

  2. I’m pleased you find the book helpful.

  3. jaebach says:

    This is so cool! Just think of all the data feeds that can be so useful for SO MANY companies. Great post!

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