I am not sure if this is the right question. The question should be what do companies / people want to buy from me? We all get obsessed with the problems our business faces, but most of our problems stem from being able to convert watchers into prospects and prospects into clients. Shouldn’t you spend energy on what the watchers and the prospects want from you?

In the mind of your target
In order to build an effective market research program – first, you have to identify your target audience. Be very specific. The more information you know in order to complete a target profile, the better you will be. Second, document whatever information you know about your target audience. If it is just in your head, then you will have a problem acting on it and so will any other members of your team. Solicit any members of the target audience you know to help give you insight into what they want out of firms like yours.

Ask the right questions
The question is not why won’t you buy from me? The questions need to revolve around them not you. What challenges are they facing? What setbacks do they face? What would help them be more effective? Build your questions around helping them by asking about the difficulties they face, avoid your needs.

Survey tools like SurveyMonkey are incredibly affordable and very easy to use, but the key is building a good survey. You might wonder what makes one survey better than another. A good survey is built from working broad to small and making the questions feed off of one another. Most importantly, keep it simple. How many people will complete a 30 question survey? Think 7 to 10 questions and make them tight. If you send the survey to 1000 people then you can expect to hear back from 100 and no, it will not just be the people that are mad at you. Stay focused and you will get good results.

Focus Group
We all know 10 people that are within our target audience and we all know how to ask questions. Build key questions that are incredibly important to get first hand feedback and ask the 10 people to share their thoughts and opinions. Bring them all together in a neutral setting. Buy them a meal. Most people like to share their opinions and be heard. Agree to share the results of the focus group with them to benefit them in their business. The difficulty in focus groups is remaining unbiased. No one should be able to identify what you want the answers to be and you should not lead them to the answers. Ask the questions and then be quiet. The group can feed off of each other as long as you keep them talking, but don’t start answering for them or you will quickly only have your opinion represented. Our opinion does not matter.

Give them what they want
Hear the feedback from the survey and the focus group. Thank the audience for their feedback. Act on the information. There will be plenty of things to act on so don’t worry about the ones you can’t act on. We all receive feedback that we can’t do, but more often than not we can act on feedback. Give your clients what they want and they will come.

Question: What are the greatest challenges for your firm?  S.J.Hemley Marketing

Five Market Research Takeaways:

  1. Build an understanding of your target audience – be specific
  2. Ask them questions that matter and are focused on them
  3. Build a survey to gain understanding
  4. Conduct a focus group to hear first-hand information
  5. Give your clients what they want

About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.