Saturday, July 9, 2016

Virtually Free Market Research

David Ogilvy, CEO of Ogilvy and Mather Advertising and one of the legends of our industry, was a steadfast proponent of researching what your market wants and then giving it to them.  George Gallup, the famous pollster, started his career with the Young and Rubicam agency researching consumer desires and motivations before he ever got into politics.

Both of these legendary figures were convinced businesses need to know their customers’ “hot buttons” - the top reasons consumers buy products within your industry and the top reasons your customers buy from you.  If you can get a handle on what they want, you should be able to build meaningful differentiators that give you a more powerful message and a much greater chance at success.

Marketers have written volumes on the importance of research.  This article was written to give you some suggestions on how you can do reasonably accurate research virtually free.

Valuable Research – Negligible Cost

There is a saying I like to quote.  “If you want to know WHY John Smith buys WHAT John Smith buys, you have to see the world through John Smith’s eyes.

Knowing the answer to the John Smith question will help a small business tremendously in identifying what their message should be.  But just how to do it?  And how to do it on the cheap?  Here are some ideas.

1. Ask Your Customers – Just about every small business has a base of good, loyal customers.  Talk to them and ask them to answer two simple questions.  (Cost:  Some Thank You notes and a few “Special Friend” discount coupons)
a. WHY do you buy from us?
b. How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or family member?

2. Ask Your Friends – We all know people who buy in our industry.  Ask a few of your friends, neighbors or fellow church members to a casual get together over coffee.  Ask them what they think about when faced with buying decisions in your industry.  Ask them to tell you the most important reason they shop where they shop.  (Cost:  Even at Starbucks, coffee and cake for five or six people shouldn’t break the bank.)

3. “Ask” Your Competitors – Look at their websites, check out their advertising.  How do they differentiate themselves from you?  Is there something they’re not saying or doing that you can?  Look a their materials in light of the answers you got from your friends.  (Cost: Zero.)

More Marketing Copy writing And Branding Advice

For over 30 years I have been a freelance copywriter, giving branding advice to many businesses.  Thanks to the Internet, I can now offer online copywriting services nationwide.  I love sharing my marketing tips, insights and secrets.  Interested in learning more valuable stuff that could help improve your marketing life?  Go to


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