The joy of Marketing Statistics – A Small Business guide to Market Research

This week we are delighted to invite our resident marketing research guru Michelle Quickfall to tell us a bit more about how important it is to understand your marketing statistics for a small business, here is what she had to say: 

At Rimu Marketing we talk a lot about understanding and defining your ideal client.  Once you know who they are, what their beliefs are the easier you will find it to tailor your product or service to fulfil their needs and bring continued success to your business.  Understanding your marketing statistics can help you achieve this.

So let’s start at the beginning, what do we mean by Marketing statistics?  Well, the CIM defines Market research as “The process of making investigations into the characteristics of given markets, eg: location, size, growth, potential and observed attitudes.”  The International Code on Market, Opinion and Social Research and Data Analytics defines market research as ”Research which includes all forms of market, opinion and social research and data analytics, is the systematic gathering and interpretation of information about individuals and organisations. It uses the statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied social, behavioural and data sciences to generate insights and support decision-making by providers of goods and services, governments, non-profit organisations and the general public.”

Where to start?

To help better understand your ideal client, a good place to start is to conduct a review of what you think you already know. You may already have a system in place which asks your customers for their opinion, some examples of this are a website review, reaction to a social media post, customer satisfaction card, a referral system or verbal feedback.

How to identify the questions you need to ask

Having conducted a review of the insight you already have on your customer, you will now start to identify some gaps in your business understanding whether it is about customers, your market place, competitors or even legislation connected to your business. We will call these big questions – they could be simple or complex but are usually critical in validating that your business strategy is clear and correct. Create a list of those questions and prioritise them, as they will determine your Market Research requirements and ultimately define the approach you take.

When you start to compose questions think carefully about whether you need Information or Insight.

Put simply information will tell you what is happening whereas insight will tell you why. Depending on what you already know you may need to gather some basic Information before you can decide which areas you want to have more insights in.

What happens next?

Once you have identified what you have and where your knowledge gaps are then you can conduct some market research to fill in the gaps.  There are two types of market research techniques – Qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative research is defined by the CIM as “is market research that does not use numerical data but relies on interviews, focus groups, etc usually resulting in findings which are more detailed and subjectives.”

Quantative research is defined by the CIM as “Market research which concentrates on statistics and other numerical data, gathered through opinion polls, consumer satisfaction surveys, etc.

Your qualitative data can help you engage with a small number of people to provide feedback and identify the important big questions you need to answer for your business.  Once you have defined the big questions then it is a question of going out to the wider audience to verify what your ideal client actually needs.  This can be completed using quantative research.  Learning the size of the opportunity is crucial to help you know where to focus your business efforts, energy and any marketing investment. Through this process you will also understand the best way to engage with your client base as you can learn what is most important & motivates them.

What tools can you use to find the answers to your big questions

The internet makes it much easier to conduct some basic research into a product, market, service or competitor.  You can start by conducting some desk research into what your competitors are doing via social media, websites and online advertising.  Once you know what questions you have then tools such as Survey Monkey or Google Surveys are simple easy to use to help verify your insight.  Of course don’t forget to also ask your existing clients what they think about your business and what the next logical area for you to focus on would be.  It is important to be brave and accept that any feedback is good, whether it is positive or negative, as it may prompt you to review and improve your offer.

Rimu Marketing can help you understand what data you have, what your big business questions are and how to get started, identify gaps in your business or customer knowledge, or acquire and apply new learnings and knowledge to your strategy and offer.  Contact Us to arrange your free 60-minute consultation to help better understand your business.

Sophie Comas

A highly successful self-motivated and results driven, senior marketing professional. My passion lies within developing and delivering marketing solutions which make a difference in today's complex digital market place. A marketeer with a strong academic background and broad ranging level of experience working with small businesses and in the travel and hospitality sector, across the Thames Valley, I love a challenge!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.