Monday, February 16, 2009

How to Get Good Market Data

When you start your business, or want to market a product or service, you need to know who your audience is and how to communicate with them. There are several methods of finding this type of information. But, of course, you want to know about free or low-cost methods before paying a lot of money for formal research.

Here are the steps in a nutshell:
  1. Identify your market.
  2. Research the market based on the identity. (Try Google first.)
  3. Craft your marketing message based on what you find.

As with anything we have to start with the end in mind.

What do you want to know, and why?

This question will direct you to where you can get this information. For example, if you want to market to minority business women, you may want to check out associations that cater to that demographic. They often have information that you can use, especially if you choose to join. Also, check out census data on women-owned businesses. What kinds of information can you find here?

Now, if you want to narrow your search to minority business women who work in Charlotte, North Carolina, you can start a Google search for that demographic or drill down through an association that caters to that demographic. Even do a search on the Census site to find out specifics about that city in North Carolina.

What information is useful?

What do they read? What are this problems? Where do they shop? Where can you help them? When you understand these questions, you will have a game-plan to begin marketing to them effectively — from how to market to them, but what to say.

This is just a start. Try it out. See what you find. Hope this helps as a start.

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