What is key information to learn about my clients for market research?
I read everywhere that I need to be sending out surveys and getting to know my clients better in order to improve my product, but what questions are important to ask? There are a lot of templates for buyer personas out there and can't tell what information is relevant to me and my business.
1. Who they are
2. why did they get your product
3. level of satisfaction
4 open question to get free advices for a better service
Read "What to Ask Parents of ADHD Children Before Marketing a Game to Help Them?" It includes a video and a list of potential questions http://ow.ly/yS0io
If you are doing a small survey I think it best to ask open-ended questions. Sounds like you will be sending them out to individuals with whom you have a relationship? If so, then ask them questions regarding their experience with you. If you are doing scale responses (as suggested by Matthew), a 1-10 scale doesn't allow you to do median and mode calculations. 0 to 9 is better. Make sure it's an odd number scale so there is a mean. "What did you like most?" "What did you like least?" are good questions to start. "Would you recommend me/us?" gets to satisfaction.I also love to end with the question-- "Is there anything else you would like to tell me/us?" It's amazing what they offer up! Good luck!
You should also consider researching your ex-clients (why did you stop buying from us, where do you buy from now, why?)
and people to whom you tried to sell but were unsuccessful (did you buy from someone else, why?).
You need to understand your clients as well as you can, but they are clients - if you want to grow your sales, asking some simple questions of ex-customers and not-quite customers can reap rewards almost instantly.
Well, it all depends the kind of clientele you are carrying. Initially you can differentiate your clients based on their volume they are giving back to your company. There can be two or three categories of clients:
A) High End Clients: Exclusive clients giving you value and volume both.
B) Mid-Size Clients: Giving your adequate business but taking the services of competition also.
C) Low End Clients: Not exclusive and not giving adequate volume or value seems to be highly price conscious.
The survey should differ accordingly. Like for High End clients the survey should be targeting towards the value preposition in terms of services or product. They can share better knowledge of existing product or service list.
For Mid Size clients, the information and knowledge of competition is important which gives the direction to further improve the services or products in terms of various marketing mix.
For Low End Clients, we can get the information how the company can target the volumetric business in terms of pricing and rest.
The reason to classify the clients are important. One cannot dispatch the generic surveys to all the client classifications. This is a smart client strategy to be more focused and precise towards getting the right information.
It all depends on what you want to know. Do you want to find out how your product/service is performing? Do you want to know what you can do to improve the client's experience? Do you want to know more about the client's needs and expectations? Before you can create the survey, determine what information you want to find out and build backwards to the questions. I know this wasn't a specific answer but I hope it helps guide you in the right direction. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance!
It depends upon the product you are selling..
If you are into direct consumable produces then feed back from the client as Market Research can help you to be in touch with your consumers.. but if you are vendor to the Industries.. then you should focus on those clients who have rejected your product or pending for consideration, since they will be able to give you a feed back where you lacked and you can improve your product or try to expand its utilities..
There is a motto : Make and make it sell !
You must be sure that your product is the one that your customers or future ones - will ned ! Shelves are full of products that are not sold or not "sellable"!
You must know if there is a place on the market for your product or it's a x+1 product ? which price are they ready to pay therefore ? Test also the buyers of the chains of supermarkets you target !
What are they discipline principles?
What are they discipline thoughts?
What are they discipline actions?
How they building they greatest company to lasting?
What parts of the newspaper do they read regularly? What radio formats do they listen tlo? What kinds of TV shows do the watch? How much time and where do they go on the internet? How many emails do they read and answer a day? Everything media related so you know where to spend your advertising money.
1. What makes them "different and better" than the competition?
2. Why the customer decided to do business with them initially?
3. Who does the customer consider to be their competition?
4. What can they do to provide a "wow" customer experience?
5. On a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being "extremely likely," how likely are they to recommend your client's products or services to a friend, family member or colleague?
6. Why did they give that score?
7. What can your client do to make the customer's life easier?
8. What have I failed to ask that my client should know about why you do business with them?
I agree with Ed.
First off determine whether you have customers or clients. Then determine if your clients fall under the 80/20 rule. That means is 20% of your clients generating 80% of your business. Then determine what clients are generating your highest NET profits. It is entirely possible that you could be generating lot's of gross production that is not very profitable. It is easy to ignore business that is less gross but higher net. Many business owners make that mistake of placing higher value on "bigger clients gross production" vs higher net.
Once you have attained this information about your business, then decide what type of business you want more of going forward. Big gross, less profit, lower gross possibly more profit, just an example. Certainly high gross business could be high profit as well. You would have to carefully measure the time and resources it takes to attain the best profits.
Then once you have made your choice, I would personally visit those clients and determine their real value structure. What makes them tick, why do they do business with you, is it price driven? If so, what else. Are you commoditized? Another words, if it's not just price , but other factors as well, possibly they will refer you to others that share your value structure.
I would then concentrate on that area and pursuing those that fit that company. I am not sure that an emailed survey will get you the exact information that you need vs. a personal visit.
Hope this helps.
suggestions about customer pain points is correct. Then matrix those demand drivers against competitive diferentiators - where you can offer uniquely best functionality that matches core customer drivers = best market messages. BUT, who are youir customers? So often for your niche in ADHD gaiming for executive functioning - it's not the end user but rather the "channel": shrinks, counselors, health-care funders. Find what the $ channels your existing competitors are using to help you determine who your target audience should be for "purchase decision-making". Consider allying yourself with well-know personalities in the field to garner credibility & leverage visibility - Dr. Oz? I think you might be in a complex niche - not just direct to consumer, and templates might be a waste. Coiuld actually be a prime area for social media since there's so much parental chat out there.
The more information you know about your clients the better.
What leads them to your services?
When they are in need of your services how do they find you?
How do they learn about or research you?
You also want to understand what influences your audience in their decision making process.
Something that you want to take into consideration is how often does my customer want to hear from me after services have been delivered. After all they are doing you a favor by completing your survey and you want to be respectful of their time.
1. What are their unique offerings?
2. How does their market share compare to that of their competitors?
3. What stage of the business lifecycle is their company and/or products in?
4. What obstacles do they need to overcome to achieve greater success?
Marketing research is more complex than you may realize. Sorry. Trying to be helpful. There are a number of important strategic philosophies and practices guide Marketing planning, branding concepts and tools, 9P’s of Marketing, Marketing variables, efforts and/or Marketing relationships/partnerships/ alliances. Going back to your initial question: That's a big question that you ask with many subjects/parts/answers. There are thousands of subjects but let's make it easier. Let's start with Planning, plus People or targeting; products; distribution or place; pricing; promotion which of the nine P's of marketing has eight components; presentation; alliances and partners; passion. A helpful resource is at http://nineps.com with the 9P's of Marketing which contain the Marketing Mix. Hope that helps.
Your bottom-line objective needs to be, how can I differentiate my product/service from the competition and become uniquely valuable to my target market. Always keep that in mind.
This article may help:
The better you know your customers, the better you can serve them. The firm that serves them best usually ends up winning the business.
There is no magic formula.
At the very least you should strive to know what customers like (and don't like) about your offerings. What other options do they have to choose from? What is their impression of you and your products? What is the level of accurate awareness? What perceived benefit made them buy? Are they still satisfied with their purchase and your firm? Are there commonalities among your customers - demographics, psychographics? All this can help you identify your best target market groups and the potential message "hot buttons" they respond to.
Surveys, focus groups, hiring researchers and a variety of other methods can certainly help you get a better understanding of your market. The most ignored and often most cost effective method is to start by talking with customers and potential customers. Ask them and listen! Then, build your marketing efforts around what you learned and speak to customers from their point of view - making clear the benefits and value you offer.
Unfortunately, I do NOT agree with what you have been told. Unless you are a major company with a huge budget surverys will not help you one iota. Templates or not, waste of your time and money!
Once you identify your target market, you need to begin to build a profile about your ideal customer. Things you need to know are:
Demographic info: age, male or female, urban or rural, have children, profession, etc.
What problems or pain points do they have
How do you solve those problems
What will make your prospect solve the problem
What results will the prospect see when using your solution
Why is your solution/product different from every other on the market
What makes your firm different from all the other vendors in the market
Where do they get their information to buy the answer to the problem(s) you solve