Advantage Internet Marketing, Toronto ON



Conducting Market Research Online

Most small Web companies don't earn nearly as much money as they should simply because their owners have never done significant amounts of market research. The time to begin doing market research is before your site's launch. The time to quit doing market research for your site is never. Fortunately, the Web is not only a good sales medium but it is packed with free information for your market research. There are also many companies that will create market research reports for you for a fee. With proper market research, your business plan can be a gold mine. Not convinced that you need to do market research? Take a look at a few of the benefits of good market research:

1. A clear concept of what products and services are in short supply in the Internet marketplace.

2. Knowledge about what high-demand items have high profit margins.

3. Knowledge about what mistakes others have made in your line of business.

4. Information about what those successful in your line of business are doing.

5. An understanding of how your target market thinks.

6. An understanding of what mediums best reach your target market.

Hopefully at least one of the above has motivated you to go into your Web company armed with powerful information to help you succeed. Now that you're motivated, here are a few useful tools that you can find on the Web to make your market research as easy as possible:

1. Search engines are of course the most obvious resource for market research. But don't just go to the search engine and type in "market research." Use the search engine to find your competitors. Analyze what they do. See who appears to be doing the best. If any of them are publicly traded companies, request their financial statements to see for yourself how they are doing and where they are allocating their funds. Make a list of who is linking to their sites. Once you have your company site up and going, you can suggest your site to the sites linking to your competitors.

2. Take advantage of keyword suggestion tools to find out what types of content you should have on your site. Overture and WordTracker are a couple examples of keyword suggestion tools. Take the suggested keywords and go back and put them in the search engines to see what comes up and to look for under served niches.

3. Market research information repositories are more available than ever in history. The governments of most democracies post all of the government funded research they do on the Web for free access to all. If you have never looked at this information before, you will likely be shocked at just how much market research the government funds on a wide scale. Everything from detailed demographics aggregations to sample surveys are done annually, though usually posted a few years late. If you can't find the information you need there, you can also find already completed research projects for sale from private research projects on a wide variety of topics. These usually do not cost very much. Some of the largest research companies sell membership subscriptions. If all else fails, you can hire a research contractor. Or if you just want some specific, uncomplicated information, you can try a desperate college senior looking for a marketing internship at minimum wage or less for college credit.

4. If you're planning on launching a medium sized company, you will want to go beyond the basic information and look into hiring a marketing research specialist to do surveys, beta tests, or focus groups. There are many marketing research companies on the Web offering to coordinate these services. They are probably too expensive for the average person starting a small company, so you will need to do these things yourself if you want to go all out for small company success online.


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