Market Research – Can It Increase Profits?

Increased sales for less cost is fast becoming a business mantra. For any company it is critical to understand precisely why people buy into what you have to offer. In this competitive marketplace research budgets are often first to go in an attempt to save money. Yet some types of research have been proven to dramatically increase profits.

Market research is the systematic gathering and interpretation of intelligence using analytical methods and techniques to gain insight or support decision making. It is really any structured attempt to gain knowledge about competitors, markets or customers.

Yet, the term is commonly, and wrongly, interchanged with the practice of Marketing Research yet, there is an important and distinct difference between the two. Marketing research is the objective gathering and interpretation of intelligence using analytical methods and techniques to gain insight and intelligence about audience purchase habits.

Can you appreciate the distinction? – One gathers knowledge on potential markets, the other gathers intelligence on why they purchase and who from.

The main purpose of this type of research is to understand the purchase triggers of the audience. In short it is the science of understanding how and why customers and potential customers react, or not, to your advertising communications. When done correctly will tell you precisely how to push the buttons that will compel more people respond to your message or proposition. And it will give you that information simply, quickly and cost effectively.

Perhaps that is why, an increasing number of companies are moving away from the ‘soft’ intelligence provided by market research and are moving towards the ‘hard’ information provided by marketing research. In this context, knowledge is generally defined as ‘hard’ when it provides specific, detailed and quantifiable direction for future marketing campaigns. The fact that it is measurable and can directly influence bottom line profitability has caused this sort of research to be called “research for a new business age” by professionals and that “traditional methods may produce findings that are interesting – but who these days has the time and budgets unless there is a quantifiable purpose and payback?”

Whilst some organisations lay claim to offer bespoke solutions, in truth, some are simply variations of their everyday research offering. These rarely provide information that could be used to direct and evaluate marketing campaigns. Be cautious, if your research company suggest focus groups as part of a project as that is usually an indication that they have just adapted their usual offering to fit.

Modern techniques use research methodologies that are adapted from behavioural psychology to gain insights into your situation that are instantly actionable, useful and designed to repay your investment in better results.

So which type of research is best for you?

If you feel you have an understanding of who your audience are; their demographics, how old they are, how much disposable income they have, their lifestyle, etc, then you may not need to spend money on market research. Yet if you need your advertising and marketing to increase inquiries and sales then you are more likely to find marketing research more worthwhile.

Whichever route you decide to take, ensure that you act upon the intelligence you receive as, in these difficult times, it could make or break your company.

The Only Direct Mail Marketing Tips You Will Ever Need

In today’s world, running a business is becoming harder by the day. The economy is bad, the competition is stiffer and the customers are more knowledgeable about their rights than ever before. However, by using the following direct mail marketing tips below, you will be empowered to source potential clients for your business.

Identify and target potential buyers, it does not matter how big your marketing campaigns are, but if they are not targeted to the very best potential clients, it is all in vain. Take as much time as possible in research to learn your target group. By doing this, the conversion rate will be higher.

Offer incentives, offering a gift certificate or bonuses will add value to your products or services and it will either put you above other sellers or even sway the potential client to buy just to take advantage of the discount/bonus.

Track Responses, when you get a response/feedback, note it down and tally them at the end of the month or depending on your preferred time frame and do some analysis to find out how your direct mail campaigns are doing.

Create an opt-in list, do not shy away from asking your clients to leave their name and email addresses. If you have a blog or a website, put a subscription box so that you can send them any offers or newsletters later. People often feel more confident reading mails from the sources they have personally subscribed to.

Reaching clients and potential customers can be quite expensive, especially if you do not have a target group to buy what you are selling. However, direct mail targets a given group of potential buyers hence giving you a good marketing platform. For more information check out offline arbitrage bonus.

5 Direct Response Marketing Methods for Your Business

In this article, I will discuss great ways to market your business and achieve measurable cost-effective results. Image advertising involves paying lots of money, waiting for customers to come, then never knowing what customers bought your product as a result of that advertising. Direct response advertising allows you to measure results and know exactly what your return was for each marketing dollar spent.

Below are some examples of direct response marketing methods-

1) Direct Mail – When a mailing campaign is targeted to a specific group of people, it allows you target the specific market that would have an interest in your product or service. Sending a mailing to every household would be less effective and more costly because many of the individuals are not in the type of market you want to reach. You would also have no results from which to base your next decision.

2) Google AdWords – Google’s service to pay for every click you get on the internet also is a form of targeted marketing. It will only go out to those who type the specific keyword the marketer chooses. The cost is controlled by selecting how much you are willing to pay-per-click and what keywords you want to target.

3) Email Marketing – Email marketing is where a targeted group of people receives an email regarding your topic. Usually, the list is created when people opt-in or subscribe to a mailing list about a particular topic. Emails are sent out to these subscribers on an ongoing basis. There is little cost to the marketer except a little time and a monthly fee for an auto-responder service.

4) Article Marketing – Article marketing is another key online tool that allows you target traffic with keywords. When you write an article you can get traffic from those who read your article and want to learn more. It allows you to track ratios for those who view your article. The best thing about it is that it’s free – except for the time it takes to write the articles.

5) Per Campaign 800 Number – An 800 # normally does not allow you to easily track the amount of volume from a specific marketing campaign because numerous individuals have that number (if only listed in the yellow pages or on the Internet). However, if you tie each marketing campaign to a specific 800 number, it will become easier to know from where you customers are coming and how to track the information. This can be used in conjunction with any marketing method – mailings, radio, TV, billboards, or any other form of general advertising.

When designing your marketing campaigns, keep in mind that only two things really matter – how much does it cost and how much business do I get from the campaign (both current and future business). By using direct response advertising, you can spend less, earn more, and make informed decisions for your next campaign.