Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

What Is the Best Way to Research a Market for a Start Up Business?

Friday is “Question of the Week” day here at Duct Tape Marketing. Each Friday I’ll tackle a specific question I received via readers or in places where I’m speaking. Submit your question here and if we use it we’ll highlight you and send you a signed copy of Duct Tape Marketing.

data visualization

photo credit: prisonerjohn via photopin cc

Ah, market research, now there’s a juicy topic.

There is an entire industry dedicated to helping businesses try to figure the opportunities that exist for new products and just how to position those products and services in the mind of very specific consumers and buyers.

It’s important stuff to be sure, but few things beat participating in the market and learning first hand in the lab.

There are, however, some new tools that can help businesses and start ups determine the size of the opportunity in a chosen market as well as testing out their messages and models with chosen target segments and finally turning some of that data into visualizations that help make it more digestible for partners, backers and employees.

Getting the lay of the land

Sometimes you just need to know how many potential customers for your ideal target group exist in a certain zip code or how your business idea stacks up against the potential competition in a market. These tools can help you compile basic stats as you formulate your plans and run your financial models.

Asking the potential customer

Researchers have long relied on “panels” of consumers that make up target demographic groups to test all manner of business ideas – remember those Nielsen set top boxes? Today a new breed of DIY tools have come onto the scene that allow marketers to define an ideal client and survey ready made panels of consumers.

Visualizing the data

Once you do your business intelligence and compile some facts, figures and data it’s time to make it look good so it can help you tell your story to investors and potential customers or employees. These tools make data visualization a snap.

There you go, that should keep you busy for a while. Did I miss any tools?

Don't miss a single word!
Complete the form and we will send you articles just like this every week.