Do you know your audience as well as you should? Unfortunately, not taking the time to research your market is one of the most common mistakes brands make, and it’s one of the biggest factors that can help turn any campaign from a sizzling dud into a star.
If you think market research is just for your clients, think again. Agencies that do their own internal market research tend to grow ten times faster than those that don’t. That’s a startling stat and one that deserves your attention.
By taking the time to thoroughly research and analyze your current market, you can increase your overall revenue and grow your brand at a rapid pace. Here’s how.
What's the dress code? Formal or informal?
One of the biggest takeaways from market research is the clarity brands gain when it comes to potential customers. By uncovering market trends and underlying purchase patterns, you have an easier time honing your brand voice, cleaning the clutter in your brand messaging, and having an all-around better idea of who to market your services to and how.
While there are plenty of differing viewpoints, we believe the best way to thoroughly research your brand is two lump your efforts into two distinct categories: formal and informal.
For formal research, live interviews tend to yield the best results. This includes everything from phone calls to online surveys and even a few various A/B tests. If you want a no-bullsnot look at how your brand is doing, these types of interviews never fail.
For informal research, it’s best to stick with tried-and-true methods like market research, trend analysis, focus groups, and more.
Your SWOT Team
That said, one of the easiest, fastest, and most effective ways to get a better idea of your brand’s worth is to conduct a thorough internal analysis.
So, you may be asking, what do you do once you gain all this internal research? How do you take these finding and implement them into your business? There are a handful of different implementation methods, but one of the most effective is the SWOT analysis. This process breaks your research efforts down into four integral parts:
By having a more comprehensive and holistic view of your brand, you can help fill in gaps and patch the weak spots in your marketing efforts. Here’s how it works.
Strengths: This area should focus on all the positives of your business. In other words, all the things you do well. This could include gaining new clients, retaining current talent, growing your revenue, and basically anything else you do that rocks.
Weaknesses: This section should focus on all the areas you feel your brand can improve. Be honest, and include as many examples as you can. It may be hard to face up to your brand’s shortcomings, so it’s here where your market research can provide some meaningful insights.
Opportunities: Here you should look at all the potential possibilities and areas that can help grow your brand. As an external factor, this section has nothing to do with your brand’s overall performance; instead, it should be viewed as an opportunity to follow new avenues and adventures.
Threats: Again, this section should include any and all external factors that have no bearing on your current brand. This area should namely focus on your competition (i.e., other brands and trends that are infringing on your market growth.) While it can be hard to come up with clear solutions, this section works hand in hand with the Opportunities area to help you envision realistic opportunities.
By taking the time to research and re-evaluate your brand’s messaging and performance, you’re sure to gain a few key nuggets of wisdom. Plus, it’s always helpful to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. After all, the key to growth is knowledge, and knowing where your brand currently stands is the best and most effective way to take it to the next level.