Market Research

This is the second article in our series Parts of a Digital Marketing Strategy. Continue to follow along in the coming weeks as we release the various pieces to forming a successful strategy.

Parts of a Digital Marketing Strategy:

  1. Creating Client Personas ✓ 
  2. Market Research
  3. Competitive Analysis
  4. SWOT Analysis
  5. Keyword Research
  6. Content Research
  7. Which Social Platforms to Use
  8. Determining Your KPIs
  9. Pulling It All Together

What is Market Research?

The Market Research portion of your Digital Marketing Strategy will help you learn several different things about your product/service and the people it will help. It can also enlighten you to who your true target market is. You may have created ‘widget A’ to be for men aged 15-25; however, after your market research you discover that women aged 30-40 are just as likely to use your ‘widget A’.

Entrepreneur defines Market Research as “The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present, and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face.”

Two Types:

There are two types of market research: Primary and Secondary. Primary Research is data you collect yourself, whereas Secondary Research is data that has been collected by a third party.

Primary Market Research

Primary market research (data you collect yourself) can be in the form of online surveys, face to face interviews, mailed questionnaires, or really any way you want to collect data! The most economical way for a small business owner to collect data is through an online survey. While you can make these surveys quite lengthy, you are more likely to get participants to complete them if you keep it succinct and to the point. Offering an incentive can also help you not only get more responses, but also build your email list. The incentive could even be an initial discount on your own product/service.

Here are some low cost tools that are out right now (and most have a free option!):

SurveyMonkey – One really cool feature with them is their Audience tool, where you can buy access to an audience that matches YOUR Buyer Persona.

Google Forms – Google also has a survey product you can buy.


Zoho Survey



Some main questions you want to ask yourself when creating your survey:

  1. Who is your ideal customer? You will have this information from your Buyer Persona work you did with our previous article: Creating Client Personas.
  2. What pain(s) do they have? What are the problems they are having that your product/service will help them with. While you are not using this opportunity to showcase your product/service, you can definitely build the question(s) to lead them down the path to letting you know what pains them.
  3. What do they really want? Here is where you get to the root of what they are willing to buy. You can ask things like “Describe what ‘Product/Service A’ would be like in order for you to give it a 5 star rating”. Another good way is to give examples and ask the respondent to rate them. You could even give them 2-3 different phrases to see which they relate to more (this can then be used in your marketing campaigns).
  4. How are you different than the competition? Again, this is not showcasing your brand against another, but it’s finding out what consumers may like most about certain features that your brand or another has. For example, if you are a photographer, you could ask questions like “How important is it for a photographer to have editorial experience?”, if you are considering working in the wedding photography industry.
  5. What are the benefits that your customer will perceive if they use your product/service? Emotions are the biggest driver of purchases. This is why you need to learn what value potential customers will find in your product/service. List several questions in this area where the participant rates how much they agree or disagree with the statement. For example “Having help with my digital marketing will allow me to spend more time making ‘Widget A’, which is why I got in business in the first place”.

Here are some resources for actual questions you can ask:

Top 20 Consumer Market Research Questions

A Guide to Open Ended Questions in Marketing Research

8 Top Market Research Questions

Note that because this Market Research is for your Digital Marketing Strategy, you want the questions to be relevant to that segment of your business. For instance, if you have a Widget A that can be sold online or in a brick and mortar location, you want to ask your respondents if they prefer touching and seeing the item in person more, or the ease of online buying. This will drive whether you want to create online campaigns that will drive traffic into your physical store or e-commerce store.

Secondary Market Research

As mentioned above, Secondary Market Research is data that is collected from a third party. Someone else has done all the work, so typically you will have to pay them for the results. However, this solution could help speed up the Market Research section of your Digital Marketing Strategy.

We have to admit it, we love Hubspot at Chill Digital Marketing. And they really knocked it out of the park with their article 17 Tools & Resources for Conducting Market Research. So we will not reinvent the wheel here. Just take the 8 minutes (their suggested time to read the article), to see their summaries on several different tools for Market Research. On a side note, they do list some more resources for primary market research.

Throughout the process, be sure that the data you are collecting is relevant to your business and the products/services you provide. For example, it does not really matter that a person is a small business owner if that has no influence on whether or not they’ll buy your product. Be sure when collecting Secondary Market Research data that the information ties in with your Buyer Persona. While these sources of data may be useful for Market Research for future development of your business, we are looking at its usefulness in creating your Digital Marketing Strategy.

Now, pull it all together!

Now that you have this big collection of valuable data on your hands, it’s time to pull it all together to make it relevant to your Digital Marketing Strategy. You should now know things like:

  • Where your target market frequents online.
  • What solutions your target market is looking for to solve their pains.
  • What are their buying behaviors?
  • Where are they located?

Create a spreadsheet or document that summarizes all your results (especially if you used more than one method to collect the data).  This will be useful when we get to final steps of this series in creating your Digital Marketing Strategy. 😉


Stay tuned for the next segment in our “Parts of a Digital Marketing Strategy” series.

Up Next: Competitive Analysis.

  1. Creating Client Personas ✓ 
  2. Market Research ✓ 
  3. Competitive Analysis
  4. SWOT Analysis
  5. Keyword Research
  6. Content Research
  7. Which Social Platforms to Use
  8. Determining Your KPIs
  9. Pulling It All Together

*Be sure to sign up for our newsletter, so you get reminders as these topics are published. 🙂 


Until next time…
Chill Digital Marketing



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