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Cheap ways to get market research - The Concern


Q: : I have a great idea for a business. But how can I find out if potential customers find it as compelling as me? I don't have a bundle of money to spend on fancy market research.

A: We hear you. Understanding your target market is vital to starting a business that really sells. Making assumptions about what those potential customers want is a dangerous game, so it’s important to do some digging and hear feedback straight from the source. And happily, you can do a lot of this research with little or no expense, other than your time.


Please remember, all this still depends on how you will use your new found knowledge. When ready to Jump Start YOUR Growth, ask us!



Cheap ways to get market research - The Methods


When planning your market research, include these keys to learning about your target customers:

• Their demographics – age, gender, occupation, household income, geographic location.
• How big the market is right now – your competitors’ annual revenues or, if you’re introducing a new product, how many potential customers you project.
• How big the market is projected to be in five to 10 years.
• If you plan special marketing to specific groups (“segments”) within your target market, what and how big are they?

Now, where do you find this information?
Start by asking your local librarian for help. Then turn to the feds and their massive databanks and information centers. The U.S. Small Business Administration Web site is definitely a great place to start.

After publicly available research, the best tools for gathering invaluable, specific information about your target audience are surveys and focus groups. You can do both for a lot less than you think.

Go to the Web for survey services
Professional help with market research surveys can cost big, but Internet sites such as allow you to set up a small (100 or fewer respondents) online survey for free, or you can plunk down the $20 monthly fee for bigger projects.

You have to decide exactly what you’re trying to find out, so start by clearly defining your business mission. Is there market interest in your kind of product? Are people dissatisfied with current solutions to a specific problem? Also think carefully about your question format. How you ask can shape how you’re answered.

For example, open-ended questions get subjective and anecdotal answers. You won't get real statistical data, but you can gather a wide variety of customer opinions. On the other hand, scaled and multiple-choice questions produce specific and, in most cases, measurable results.


When you are ready to do all this, and Jump Start GROWTH ..ask us!



The Cheap Way to Build the Survey


Clearly map out your questions, and how you plan to gather their answers. Then invite your group for appetizers or lunch – a small price to pay for valuable feedback.
Once you have their attention, clearly present your product or concept, and ask such things as:

• Is the price right?
• Do you love/hate/not care about the product or service?
• Why do you love/hate/not care about it?
• What improvements do you suggest?

Our bottom line
To succeed, you have to know and understand your potential customers inside and out, upside and down. Surveys and focus groups are terrific market-research tools, and cheap, especially using online resources. Be focused, think creatively, and you’ll equip yourself with top-notch data to start up on good footing. Of course, the next step to Jump Starting your Growth is to get Associated Media involved as soon as today!

This is a great beginning! There is MUCH more to GROWING your Company. Ready to Jump Start? ...ASK ASSOCIATED MEDIA!


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