Know your client (or customer) with research and uncover how you can create more demand
Most people wouldn’t enter into an investment without knowing something about the company they were investing in. For some reason, in the marketing world, people plunk down thousands of dollars without spending a dime on research.
Knoodle, an agency based in Phoenix, Arizona, makes research part of the process when formulating strategy. Whether you are in the market for a marketing firm or you are doing your marketing with an in-house team, there are many kinds of research available.
Research is so incredibly important. And while $5,000-$15,000 for research might seem like a great deal, it pales in comparison to what you save by doing it. With quality research you can learn the following:
- Who is your client?
- What is the size and scope of the market?
- What motivates them to buy?
- What are their unresolved problems?
- What prevailing trends are behind their choice of companies?
- What makes them say “yes”?
Types of research
This digs into what people are thinking and what drives their purchases. It unearths thousands of categories including leisure activities, shopping patterns, purchasing behaviors and media habits.
There are paid services that we use at Knoodle such as Scarborough Research. It’s done by market (so it’s local) and offers hundreds of categories. It’s also done twice a year, so the data is current. In addition, you can build a profile with different criteria to truly customize your sample. Many media companies offer this. Spoiler alert: since they are trying to sell you their media, the sample can be altered to fit their needs in many cases. It is better to go to a marketing company who is “media agnostic” or better yet, go directly to a research company for this data.
How Knoodle used this data to create marketing magic
Knoodle wanted to know if their client, Fulton Homes, was seeing a market shift of their buyer personas after interest rates shot up in 2022.
We built a customized profile that was made up of: Adults looking to buy a home with household incomes above $100k. Previous research had indicated the market was politically conservative, 35-64 and move-up buyers.
The new research revealed the market had shifted. The majority of those looking to buy a home in the next year were women 21-44, politically liberal and had recently moved to the Valley.
Result: We changed all our messaging and media to appeal to this new persona.
There was a time when this effort cost companies $10,000 to host a focus group. Now, however, through the wonders of Zoom, Teams and other virtual meeting options, the dynamic has changed. A virtual focus group can be done for half the price – and include people from all over the country, if necessary. This entails a trained moderator, knowledgeable in group dynamics, a list of good questions and honing in on the right demographic or consumer group.
How Knoodle used this data to create marketing magic:
Knoodle’s client, Encore Communities, was wanting to understand how to attract more adults over 55 into their senior living community with their website. Knoodle hosted a website with eight adults looking for a home for their aging parents. Their current website showed the communities and had an informative tone with beautiful pictures of the picturesque property in the Pacific Northwest.
The focus group recipients were shown the site and were asked questions about their loved ones. Their top fears included not wanting to “warehouse” their parents. In addition, they wanted to see that there was a sense of belonging, fun and engaging activities and a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Result: Knoodle and the Encore team immediately changed the website to include photos with happy seniors and staff engaged, having fun and enjoying each other’s company.
Other research tools:
Online surveys: These can be done with several companies including Survey Monkey, Survey Junkie and Typeform. These can be very helpful in determining target markets on a larger scale.
Personal interviews: This can be helpful in asking current clients, potential clients or former clients what they think.