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In terms of marketing the right products to the right market, knowledge is power. More importantly that knowledge can be translated into money. Targeted marketing isn’t just for the benefit of the marketer but also the consumer. It’s a waste of everyone’s time to target a dog owner with a cat food promotion and is likely to alienate the consumer. The best promotions will know their audience well enough to have close to a guaranteed result.  There are many ways in which marketers gather their data.

Market research interviews can be done face to face or over the phone. They often take place when expert or in depth opinions are needed.  The expertise of these individuals can be used to gather knowledge of a particular market, potential competitors and any logistical issues that might be faced with a product joining the marketplace.

Focus Groups
The whole point of market research is to discover if a product can be profitable and if it has a potential audience. There is no better test of a product’s potential than to put it in front of real people.  A focus group can act as representatives for key demographics providing qualitative data about all aspects of a product from functionality right down to design. In these sessions, people are free to discuss the products within the group. These can be useful as gathering a small group can prove cheap and effective although for nationwide role outs individuals may be required from different locals.

Online Surveys
Many consumers are enticed into completing online surveys via the rewards they offer. The consumer will have to register with a market research company and they will have the chance to complete many surveys for many companies. To begin with they will be asked some qualifying questions to see if they are in the right demographic for the survey. However should the candidate qualify they will be eligible to receive up to $5 reward for their trouble which can be claimed as a voucher.

Secondary Research
No matter the product it is unlikely that your research will not be the first within the field. Finding data that has already been published can give a strong indication of the existing market, establishing benchmarks and can also be used for competitor analysis. It can be tempting to exclusively use this secondary data however this can be outdated and may miss factors pertinent only to your business.

Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of subjects. This article was written on behalf of Research Now.