The Niche Marketing Blog

Tools for understanding and reaching your market

Archive for July, 2012

Market Research Techniques – How to Gather Data for Your Business

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Marketing Research (Photo credit: dmhoro)

[Editor’s note: Today’s guest article takes a look at some tied and true, simple, and effective ways of collecting marketing data for you business. Have you tried any of these methods? How did they work out for you? Did you discover any new information about your market or customers? Feel free to leave a comment below.  ~Scott]


Market research is indeed a good step if you are deciding to put up a small business or if you want to improve the performance of your business. One of the mistakes of some businesspeople is to assume that they pretty know their market well and disregards market research as a very good step in knowing what your clients need and want.

Conducting a good research on your market will also help you outwit competitors as this will be a good way to learn firsthand from your target market on what they want, what they prefer so you can conceptualize on the improvements that you want to do with your products. If you are thinking of conducting a research for your business, and you want to explore the market research techniques and methods that you can use, here are some ideas that may be of help.

1. Surveys. Surveys are among the most common and one of the best ways to gather data for your research. Of course, aside from getting answers from direct from the individual, you can also solicit a good and specific answer especially if you can ask follow up questions.

You can however do the surveys in many other ways as well. You can do surveys through questionnaire form and interview the person directly, or you can mail them, although mailing them generates lesser response than doing the interview personally. You can also do it as an online survey or through telephone. Of course, your choice of these market research techniques can be based on the cost, the turnout, as well as the reliability of the data gathered.

2. Focus group discussions. This is also another way of gathering data for your business research. This actually involves discussing a certain topic in a group and collecting their ideas about it. The discussion is then documented, either by either videotaping or by observing. This is also a fast technique to get data as well.

3. Interviewing the respondents personally. Indeed, if you want to know what your market is like and what are their thoughts, you can go and interview them personally. With personal interview, you can also ask open-ended questions that allow you to gather more data. Unlike those with questionnaires, these are usually unstructured interviews. These however may be less reliable than surveys and focus group discussions.

Aside from these data gathering methods, you can also use other market research techniques such as gathering data from free secondary sources and then do the primary data gathering if you think you need more specific data. However, going for the primary data is a good choice in your research especially if you want to outsmart your competitors, as this will often give you good and accurate data on the behavior of your market.

With accurate data, you will also be guided correctly on what to do or improve. Indeed, if you want to move ahead of the competition, do your market research. Techniques, methods and strategies in doing so are readily available and you can even do so with lesser costs as well.

Carolyn Anderson did a market research to improve her business. If you want an easier way to market research, check out faster, easier market research. Also check out Niche Annihilation Method, where you can find tips on how to make money online by having your niche website.

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Brick and Mortar Social Media Marketing

[Today’s guest article takes a look at the role of location based marketing (LBM) services for the “brick and mortar” (i.e. physical) business, and how a business owner might be able to leverage these services to promote their business. Tell me what you think? Have you used any LBM services to promote your business? How did it work out for you? Leave a comment below.  ~Scott]


Brick & Mortar social media marketing is the next frontier in the marketing and advertising space and the next step in marketing for traditional small businesses that have previously used less effective methods of advertising such as print or television ads. Instead of relying on these outdated and expensive marketing strategies, using foursquare for business promotion is the next step for small entrepreneurs such as restaurants and retail locations.

What do I mean by Brick & Mortar social media marketing? I mean old school “mom and pop” businesses starting to use social media and more specifically location based marketing to promote their businesses. I think that the next step for social media marketing and location based marketing specifically is for more mainstream adoption by traditional brick and mortar or mom and pop type businesses.

Social media is currently the playing field for big national brands and tech startups – but a space largely ignored by smaller businesses. Smaller businesses in the restaurant and retail industry specifically will be the next people to start really getting involved more actively in social media marketing. As customers become more familiar with services like Foursquare.

These marketing strategies for small businesses offer a great return on investment and provide a much more effective marketing strategy than traditional small business marketing. Using software like Foursquare for business advertising offers a great way for these small businesses to take advantage of social media. Instead of spending several thousand dollars on an expensive print or TV ad campaign, a simple coupon or promotional marketing campaign using location based marketing can yield huge dividends for a small business for tens of dollars.

The key to this transition is location based marketing. Why is that? Because location marketing is a way for those businesses who may have previously had no interest in social media, twitter follows, or Facebook (as an aside – I think every small business that faces consumers should have a Facebook page) can now use location services to drive customers physically into their store and to track those visits with check-ins.

This is a very compelling value proposition for small restaurant and retail locations – one that I think smart business owners will be jumping on sooner rather than later. Businesses that take advantage of the benefits of location based marketing will have a leg up on their competitors by attracting new customers and keeping their advertising costs down. In this tough economy, these are huge advantages.

Matt Bodnar is a restaurant entrepreneur with a passion for social media. Visit to learn more about location based marketing and download a free how-to guide giving you tips and strategies for using location based marketing.

(C) Copyright – Matt Bodnar. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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Pick Your Niche

English: This is the showroom of Reflex Sales ...

Niche Marketing

[Editor’s note: Today’s guest article focuses on the role of the marketing plan as a means to identifying your niche. ~Scott]


It’s common wisdom that all any service professional or consultants needs to be successful is “passion”. Let it be known here that passion alone can be overrated. When you’re building a practice, you need more than passion. You need more than a high level of dedication and energy to succeed. You need a plan. A marketing plan with a marketing budget to be exact.

We’ve all seen this scenario played out in some form in your hometown. Typically, it begins as some starry-eyed owner rents retail space. The newly minted entrepreneur then spends his capital on cash registers, inventory and store signage.

When it’s time to open the doors to the shop, the owner is tapped out. The new business, struggling along on the thread bare path of “word of mouth” waits impatiently as bills mount and customers trickle in at a painfully slow pace. Within a matter of months, the newly opened store is finally spending some money on marketing, only it’s being spent advertising a “Going Out Of Business” sale.

To avoid the same fate, you need a marketing plan (a part of your overall business plan). Your marketing plan should begin with a thorough investigation into your target market.

* Who are your customers?
* Who is the competition?
* What problems do they have?
* What problems can you solve?
* Is someone willing and able to write a check to hire you to solve the above mentioned problems?

Once you’ve answered the questions above, you can successfully pick your “niche” market. The wonderful thing about niche markets is they are tightly targeted. That means your marketing dollars go further.

Marketing is merely a matter of bringing the solutions your target market is looking for to the attention of those who will benefit the most.

By defining those who will benefit most from your goods or services, you narrow your focus. Instead of “spraying and praying” with your marketing message, you’re speaking directly to your target audience. That cuts down considerably on your overall marketing expenses.

Finally, remember that marketing is not sales. Marketing is focused on the sales you’ll make next quarter and beyond. In sales, the focus is upon the sales to be made THIS quarter. Focusing on next quarter’s marketing will make next quarter’s sales goal a whole lot easier to make!

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