When marketing your company, no matter how wonderful your product or service might be, there will always be more information you could use to boost your sales. You probably have discovered that when it comes to the consumer’s choice, there are a lot of products or services similar to your own. So how can you leverage research to boost your own brand or business?
Spy on Your Competitors
Studying what your competitors are doing will help you keep track of what they are selling and how they are performing online. Is your competitor running a promotion on a product or service that is just like yours? If so, how will you compete in order to not lose out on market share for that specific service.
For example, let’s say you are a tour operator and are providing zipline tours in your area at the same rate as surrounding competitors. However, company XYZ, just a block from you, is giving discounts to all mothers on Mother’s Day – and promoting this discount with a Facebook ad and Adwords Ad. Who do you think will get the bookings?
With competitive research, you can stay in touch with these details.
- What about indirect competitors. For instance, let’s say you are a zipline tour company, but a local paddle boarding company is also operating in your area. A traveler or tourist will potentially make a choice between booking a tour with you or the paddle boarding company with their vacation budget.
- Knowing what your indirect competitors are doing is critical in staying competitive.
- Completing competitive research gives you insights into your own brand’s positioning and how your brand fits into the industry relative to your competitors. With a little spying, you can also determine where you competitors have succeeded or failed, which can influence your own decisions.
- Using research and educated prediction you can guide your company in making informed decisions in regards to your marketing.
Understanding Your Company’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Every company has something that makes it unique or different than other competitors. Know your USP and leverage that with your marketing materials. Also, understand what your competitor’s USP or differentiators are.
Researching Your Own Brand
Completing research with your own clients can help you get clear about why individuals chose your company, and whether your company made them feel wonderful about doing business with you. Understanding what people like most about your brand can help you use this information in marketing and advertising.
Using surveys can also help you determine what it is about your brand that people like, and what they didn’t think was as important. Having this information at your fingertips, rather than guessing at it, will help you emphasize what is truly important to the consumer.
With this information, you can revise your selling points and marketing messages.
When conducting a survey, first determine who you will target and how.
Secondly, make sure you use your branding voice when asking questions. Ask questions one at a time so that you don’t overwhelm people.
Keep your questions simple and give the ‘survey taker’ enough context to provide an informed response.
Make sure your target sample size is big enough for reliable results. You can use surveysystem.com and their sample calculator to determine this size.
After finishing your research, analyze the information and weigh out what is working and not working for your company. Do people think of your brand the same way you do? What kind of branding messages are you sending with the quality of your website or the imagery? Does everything line up with the answers you received from your survey? If not, how do you plan to remedy the situation?
Best Tools For Marketing Research
- SurveyGizmo – Create, customize, distribute, gather and analyze your online surveys with the user-friendly interface of SurveyGizmo. SurveyGizmo integrates with the following business systems and applications: Salesforce, SAML, SSO, Zapier, Google Analytics.LRS/LMS and Zendesk.
- SurveyMonkey – Dig deeper into the demographics and psychographics of your target audience and collect actionable information through real-time surveys. SurveyMonkey integrates with the following business systems and applications: Salesforce Marketo, MailChimp, HootSuite. Piktochart. Hubspot,, Eventbrite, Zapier, Microsoft Word, CleverReach, Ambassador, Google Sheets, Google Forms, Trello, Microsoft Excel, Active Campaign, Data Cracker, Emma, Freshdesk, DataHero, DiscoverText, Drop Thought, INinbox, OfficeReports, Zendesk, Wise.NET, Syncfrog, Trackerbird, UniSender, OfficeReports, NVivo, Mad Mini, Sympla and Jooners.
- Zoho – An adequate option with customizable templates for companies and organizations that conduct surveys in customer satisfaction and other business aspects. Zoho Survey integrates with the following business systems and applications: Zoho CRM, Zoho Campaigns, Zoho SalesIQ. MailChimp and Google Sheets.
- QuestionPro – QuestionPro is a web-based survey application for small and medium companies as well as large enterprises. QuestionPro’s seamless data integration with Salesforce and robust API give you full control of your data. You can export data and reports to SPSS, Google Docs, Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. QuestionPro integrates with the following business apps: QuestionPro App, SPSS / Excel, Google Docs / Dropbox, Starbucks Rewards,QuestionPro API, Social networks and iBeacon.
- TypeForm – Typeform allows you to make unlimited number of beautiful online forms and surveys. These fun-to-fill forms are cross-device ready and result oriented. TypeForm offers fully-functional integration with Zapier.
- SurveyAnyplace – Focuses on creating fun, mobile and interactive quizzes & surveys. The kind that allows you to engage with your audience and leaves room for your own brand identity or personality. These modern-looking surveys entice respondents, and are easy to interact with, using the latest mobile features–just like your audience. And you get more and better feedback! With Survey Anyplace it’s very easy to upload the contact data you collect into your MailChimp account. As soon as a survey or quiz response comes in, the email address is automatically added to your subscriber list. Allowing you to start with email marketing from the start!
- Wufoo – Wufoo is suitable for beginners without a big budget looking for a multipurpose form builder with 100s of templates to choose from. Integrates with MailChimp but forms cannot communicate with one another and there are limited fields.
- KkeySurvey – Great for large enterprises. Survey building software integrates with: Mobile surveys, Survey design, Logic and branching integration, Data workflow, Product feedback program, Survey management and Data export.
- SoGoSurvey – SoGoSurvey is a robust online survey software that is used by more than 70,000 customers in greater than 75 countries. You can integrate your survey with Google Analytics. Plus, it is easy to publish surveys on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.