Before you launch
a web site or any other venture, there are a number of marketing research
techniques a small business can (should) use to find out about its customers.
1) Use the techniques
suggested in Search Engine Ranking
to see what people are searching for on the internet.
2) Commission a
survey to ask people in your target audience (include existing and potential
customers) what they want, how they use the web. You can do this yourself,
you can use online survey collation services such as Web
Surveyor, or commission online market research consultant such as
3) Search and join
suitable News Groups, that relate to your
market or product. Observe what people are interested in, what their
needs are, what they feel about particular topics.
4) You can get background
information on internet use and general trends from Forrester.
Avoid trying to
draw conclusions about customer needs and behaviour based solely on
the appearance and activities of your competitors. Advertising in large
quantities does not mean that people are buying in large quantities,
it may mean quite the reverse.
Once you have a
web presence than you should engage with your customers as widely as
you can to adapt your offerings to their needs. You may wish to begin
with a small web presence solely to invite customer feedback, before
you launch a more comprehensive web site.
You can read more
about customer marketing research in this book: Handbook
of online Marketing Research.
If you would like
to discuss a specific project, and how you could conduct your research
before or as part of a web operation, please contact us .