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How To Research Your Target Market in 5 Easy Steps

Kelly O'Neil
Jul 13, 2008
Why do so many new products and service companies fail? Usually for many reasons. Companies often are so enamored of their new product ideas that they fail to do their research, or they ignore what the research tells them. It is important in product development to develop products that your consumer¡¦s want, not simply what you desire to produce.

With effective market research, you can determine the need for your service, a product's likelihood to sell, target-market demographics, and desirable store locations. There are numerous ways to uncover this information -- from online research to focus groups. Here are a few simple and free ways for entreprenuers to do market research:

Step 1: Go to www.google.com

Step 2: Identify key words that describe your target market and service/product offering

Step 3: Run a search on each of those keywords

Step 4: Research the top 10 Sites that show up on Google and the sponsored links on the right for the following 7 Key Market Research Questions:
  1. Who is the company and principal of the company?
  2. What products and services are they trying to sell?
  3. At what price point are they offering these products and services?
  4. Who are they targeting? What are the demographics of their target audience?
  5. How are they delivering their product and service?
  6. How are they positioning their product and service?
  7. How are they promoting their product and service?
Step 5: Create a one page document for each company that summarizes the key questions and then one final executive summary of all 10 sites comparatively. Use this information to create and position your own marketing strategy.

Other Ideas
  • Ask your existing customers - Conduct a survey of your target market with Survey Monkey.
  • Invite a group out for lunch and have in informal focus group.
  • Contact a local MBA program and offer an internship to a grad student.
  • Join online forums that talk about your kind of business.
  • Set up a chat room where you conduct your own online focus groups.
Take the time to do the market research upfront. Renegade entrepreneurs may find this task tedious, but I promise you, it won't be as painful as regularly dusting the thousands of dollars of unshipped product you could have laying around your office!

Copyright © 2008 UpLevel Strategies
About the Author
Kelly K. O'Neil, Chief Strategy Officer, UpLevel Strategies

Business & Marketing guru Kelly O'Neil is passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed in business through her Business Mastery Success System. She is the lead author of "Visionary Women Inspiring the World: 12 Paths to Personal Power" (Skyward, 2005) and is writing her second book "Guerilla Business Strategy" with mega-marketing genius Jay Conrad Levinson. Kelly's company received several awards for her exceptional work including the PR Compass award for outstanding Public Relations, The ADDY Award for Branding and recently received the Purple Cow Award acknowledging her company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in America by best-selling author Seth Godin.

For more information, or to subscribe to O'Neil's Arrive! E-newsletter filled with countless tips and resources for creating more profit in your business, visit http://www.uplevelstrategies.com. Please contact UpLevel Strategies at (408) 615-8150 for a Complimentary 30 Minute Strategy Session.
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