How to do Market research for guaranteed success in your small business

By  |  June 11, 2023

The market is the most important component in the realm of business. But what is a market?

A typical example of a market is your target audience and your prospects. Much like you pay for what you need, the market of your product is the people who will give you their money in exchange for something of value you’re offering them. 

But knowing how to identify your market is a tough skill to acquire. For one, the number of people out there selling the same product—wholesalers, retailers, affiliates, and many more—makes it challenging to compete for customers. However, without the market, you don’t have a business.

Knowing how to research your market is an essential part of running a business. By exploring the different types of market research, you can learn how to best engage your target audience and develop products that are a good fit for them.

Understanding market research

Depending on your entrepreneurial focus, your market could be those interested in finance, health, weight loss, personal development, freelancing, immigration, dating, skincare, men’s health, e-commerce, tech, coaching, and so on.

Once you’ve identified your entrepreneurial focus, the next step is to find answers to the following questions:

  • What are the most pressing problems people in this market are dying to solve right now?
  • What pressing problem(s) are you going to solve for your customers?

Take, for example, if you want to sell a product in the health niche, and you’re interested in the diabetes market. The first thing you need to do is do in-depth research.

There are many research tools you can use, and Google is one of them. You’ll get the list of research tools in a minute. But first, here’s how a simple Google search will give you what you want.

Open your Google search tab and type “Diabetes + Forum.” Visit these forums and look for relevant threads or posts on topics associated with your market. Pay attention to the comments to see what your prospects are saying about their struggles.

Next, make sure you find out the kind of products they’re talking about, what they’ve tried before, what they hope the market can give them, and how desperate they are for an immediate solution.

Most marketers focus on the “all” column of the search engine research page (SERP). But the truth is Under the news, images, and videos columns, there’s usually some relevant information available on the topic you’re researching. So you can’t ignore these tabs. You have to click on each one and see what you can find.

How to use keywords for market research

Keywords play a vital role in market research as they help you gather valuable insights and data about your target market. Here are keywords you can use for effective market research:

  • Diabetes + Diet
  • Diabetes + Forum (this is already used as an example)
  • Diabetes + Reddit
  • Diabetes + Challenges
  • Diabetes + New Discovery
  • Diabetes + Scam (Oh yes!!!)
  • Diabetes + Miracle
  • Diabetes + New drug 
  • Diabetes + Ad

Play around with keywords, look deep, and do proper research. This helps you assemble valid information you can use when promoting your product.

Market Research tools

Many business owners depend solely on Google for their market research. But Google is only one of the many marketing research tools out there. Here’s a list:

  • Google
  • Facebook Groups
  • Pinterest
  • Quora
  • Reddit
  • Medium
  • YouTube

YouTube is one of the most underrated marketing research tools. But if you do a little research there, you can get a whole lot of valuable information that’ll help you promote your product in ways that resonate with your target audience.

You can use the keywords recommended in this article for your YouTube research because you’re not interested in watching all YouTube videos, but only looking for videos with relevant details.

For example, if you use the keywords “diabetes + ads,” it simply means that your goal is to look for good video ads targeting people who are struggling with diabetes. 

If you want to determine if an ad is worth your time, you’ll have to take a look at the number of views and the title of the video. This means that you have to narrow your focus to videos with higher views and appealing titles. Paying attention to these details is important so you don’t waste your time on videos that may not have relevant information.

To laser your focus on videos with titles that make you want to watch them immediately, make a list of 10 videos in order of highest views and appealing titles. When you start watching these videos, you need to be mentally alert.

Pay attention to the start of the videos, how they hold attention, the choice of words, how they address the prospect’s concerns, how they introduce the product, how they make the pitch, and how they close.

That’s not all. For every video you watch, go to the comments section, and look for what people are saying. As expected, both good and bad things will be said. So you take notes (of the good and bad). This exercise gives you a clear understanding of how the market thinks.

Plus YouTube might just be your assistant with the way its algorithm works by suggesting similar/better videos on Diabetes.

  • Blogs/websites

For your market research, you can use niche-related blogs/websites (top blogs that publish articles/blog posts discussing topics relating to your market). For example, if you’re selling a health product for diabetes. You can simply search for the blog/website name + topic. Like this . . . ​“Healthline + Diabetes.”

  • Online forums

“Forums are amazing [for research] because they let you “spy” in on private conversations that your prospects are having. You get to hear their stories, learn about their struggles, and discover their hopes and dreams. Plus, you get to know their language patterns and see how they think and talk.” $700MM copywriter, Stefan Georgi puts it in one of his letters to copywriters.

  • Amazon

Amazon is all about product differentiation. The best way to use Amazon for research is to search for products that solve the same pain point as your product. For each of the popular products, go through the Five Star Reviews, and the One Star Reviews to see the likes and dislikes of your prospects.

Their dislikes are objections. So If your product doesn’t have those flaws, Great! You have an edge over the competition. If it does, then you know that when promoting it, you have to address their objections and show them how the benefits of your product can help them achieve their desired results despite the imperfection of your product.

As you can see, the entire research process isn’t optional. You have to do it because that’s what helps you see exactly what you should focus on.

Understanding your market

To understand your market, you simply need to know their Awareness and Market Sophistication level. It’s the next step to take once you’ve figured out a pressing problem that your product can solve.

Levels of prospect’s awareness

There are six major levels of prospect awareness, and you’d find a detailed description below:

  1. She isn’t aware she has a problem despite many people desperately looking for a solution to that problem.
  1. She is aware of her serious problem but doesn’t know a solution exists. So she’s on the lookout for one.
  1. She knows she has a problem and knows​ there are solutions out there, but she’s only interested in the best solution.
  1. She has tried a couple of these solutions,​ been burned a few times, and is irritated that everybody claims their solution is the best despite the scam around. At this point, she’s looking for something unique and different.
  1. She’s fed up with trying different products because everybody is claiming their product is unique and different. The only thing that will appeal to her is a message that takes attention away from the product and focuses 80% on her desired experience.
  1. She has heard it all. There’s nothing new to tell her. At this point, all you need to do is speak directly to her experiences before presenting your product as the most unique, and most effective solution available in the market.

How do you know your prospect’s level of awareness?

You can access this information by going to online forums, Facebook groups, YouTube, Amazon… etc. Use the keyword formula discussed in this article to search for the keywords or content related to the problem your market is desperate to solve.

You’re encouraged to look at the comments sections very carefully. If many people are asking:

Is there a solution to this? That’s level 2 – Problem aware. If many people are asking: What’s the best solution to this? I’ve seen x, y, z but which works best? That’s level 3 – Solution aware but wants the best. If many people are saying: Is there something out there that’s new and different from everything else in the market today? That’s level 4. If many people are saying: I’m tired, I’ve tried everything. I don’t know what to do again – That’s level 5.

Worthy of note

There’s some information you need to look out for when doing your market research on YouTube, Google, Facebook Groups, Forums… etc. They are: 

  •  Pain points – What the majority are complaining about. For example, side effects, no results, etc
  • Objections – What’s stopping them from buying your product?
  • Hopes – What do they wish they had? Or what are they looking forward to?
  • The Competition’s Unique Mechanism – What’s the special component in the competition’s product responsible for delivering results and retaining their customers? 
  • Your Unique Mechanism – What’s the unique piece, part, component, or aspect of your product responsible for delivering results? And how can you create a more compelling case for yours?
  • How they got their Breakthrough – When you hear a person say they’ve struggled with X in the past, and nothing they did worked until they discovered Y. You have to pay attention, because that’s the market telling you how to sell to them.
  • What you should say, and how you should say it to get your prospect to trust you enough to give you their money.

Once you have all the information you need, your product will almost sell itself.

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