Market intelligence in its many forms is something we are passionate about at TMM – and something we are rather good at if we do say so ourselves. Market research to understand who your current customers are, who your target audiences are, what your competitors are doing, and so on, provides a valuable asset for your organisation to utilise in a range of different settings. You can use it as the basis on which to build sales and marketing plans. You can create audience personas so team members have a clear picture of who the business is targeting. You can use it to inform your business’s brand, positioning and messaging. You can test new or updated product and service offerings.
Most people would be familiar with the different tools available to conduct market research. We’ve outlined just a couple of them below and how we have used them to help our clients.
Desk research can unveil population profiles, industry or market trends, competitor positioning and activities and so on. There’s a bit more too it than just Googling around – you need to find multiple, credible sources of information and decipher what the information is telling you – however, it is a low-cost option with time the only real investment required. Looking at your own internal data, such as enquiry information, sales histories, your website’s Google Analytics, etc. are also relatively easy ways to understand your market and your audiences. At TMM, a desk research phase of work underpins every marketing plan we develop, and in many cases identifies a range of potential opportunities in its own right before a full plan is created.
Simple surveys can be built in free or low-cost tools such as Survey Monkey and can be administered via a range of different channels including email, on your website, via your social media and so on. They can often be quickly built and administered, and if you get your sample sizes right, can provide information that you can have a great deal of confidence in. We have worked on surveys in a range of settings including understanding brand health, testing concepts, gathering stakeholder feedback on websites, understanding the impact of COVID in our local region, and many more.
Qualitative research – when we want to understand the ‘why?’ – can range from one-to-one interviews through to full-scale focus groups and most approaches today can be done in an online format as well as traditional settings. At TMM we have done it all – virtual focus groups (even before Zoom was a thing!), face-to-face focus groups (including one at a festival), face-to-face, virtual and old-fashioned phone interviews. If it is out there as a technique, we’ve most likely done it!
Our resident market researcher Jodie Brown has worked both on the client side conducting desk research as well as planning and commissioning research projects, and on the agency side, working directly for a market research company designing surveys and conducting qualitative research.