Sep 23, 2020 2:28:39 PM by Tina Miletich

Save Money, Make Secondary Research First

Digital Strategy, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Advertising Agency
Any product manager, marketer, creative and executive should understand their customer almost as well as they understand themselves.

 

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Through understanding the needs, priorities and concerns of your target audience, you are able to not only design great products for that audience, but you can also develop the appropriate emotionally-appealing messaging that will make them consider your products or services.

Let’s face it understanding your target audience and customers, is key to a successful business. Getting to the core concerns of your audience usually requires Primary and/or Secondary research.

Primary research can take time and a lot of budget to complete and often requires a professional research team for it to be done right. Personally, we love primary research and try to conduct whenever we have the time and budget. This is because there is nothing more beneficial than having a conversation with your target customer or observing your target customers in their environment or try to use your product. You will learn the most when you actually hear the words of what customers need/want from their own mouths.

However, a lot of Small and Medium sized businesses can’t commit the resources to a Primary research project. That’s where secondary research can be beneficial.

We all know how to do secondary research and it’s super cost effective, it just takes the time to do the work and the time to clearly define what information it is that you need to know.

Conducting secondary research is similar to the research that we all learned how to do throughout school – where we were posed a question and had to go to news articles, historical and encyclopedic volumes and statistical databases to form an answer and a thesis.

Doing secondary market research regarding your target audience is the same. You need to learn about the trusted volumes of information and which data you need from them to answer your primary questions that you have about your target audience. These data sources are all now available online either free or through a subscription (we will talk about these in a future post.)

What I do want to outline in this post is how to focus your secondary research so you are being as efficient as possible as a would be researcher. For instance, if you are a marketer and you are given a new “widget” to market. What is the information you must know about your target customer and the widget itself to have a successful marketing campaign.

Here’s what you really need to know: Why would anyone want/need this widget, how much is anyone willing to pay for this widget, and who is the person most likely to buy this widget?

Let’s take each question, one at a time:

        1. Why would anyone want/need this widget?
To answer this question, you need to understand what problem this widget is solving for people.
 
How do you do that?
 
Simply, first, a good marketer would understand what the product does completely. Let’s say that the widget is a blood glucose meter.
 
Second, you need to understand how your widget fits into the category of blood glucose meters. Meaning how does your widget compare to other like products on the market. This research is easy as you can just open an excel sheet or google sheet and make a column comparing different features and functionality of other blood glucose meters on the market.
 
2. How much is anyone willing to pay for this widget?
In that same spreadsheet list out the prices of the other blood glucose meters.
 
Second, you should understand how much it costs to make the widget.
 
Third, you should understand how the customer is going to actually buy the widget, online, in a store, at a dr’s office.
 
3. Who is the person most likely to buy this widget?
Who actually needs a blood glucose meter is your first question to answer this question. Obviously it is for people who need to measure their blood glucose but does that include all people? These are the questions you need to ask yourself and get the answers before developing any marketing plans. 

This is a very simple way of looking at secondary research questions that need to be answered, my point is that you can educate yourself through a little bit of effort about your target customer and for very little money, you can get. It just takes work and the willingness to gather, record, categorize and compare the data that is already available to us through our own efforts.

Get smarter about your product, competitors, and your customers. It will make you a better marketer, executive and/or creative in the end. 

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