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Entrepreneurs Love These 13 Tools for Conducting Market Research

Business.com / Entrepreneurship / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

In today's world, market research is essential to you and your brand’s long-term success. Here are the tools you need to do it well.

In today's world, market research is essential to you and your brand’s long-term success. From product planning to customer service needs, assessing what's happening outside of your four walls is essential for your roadmap.

Because the market is in a constant state of change, knowing what makes your customers tick is key to keeping you ahead of your competitors. Market research is the best way to do this.

Entrepreneurs from YEC were asked what tools they liked most for conducting market research. Here's what they said:

1. Google’s Keyword Planner

This free AdWords tool can steer you in the right direction, giving you metrics and informing you where the demand is. You can search keywords and gauge the demand for an industry or service in specific geographical locations. This can be helpful if you are looking to expand; you narrow down the best location with the highest demand for your business. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

2. SurveyMonkey

Use a service that can help you conduct effective customer market research surveys, such as that offered by SurveyMonkey. It will help you create customized surveys to send to your customers in order to get the market research data that you need to make more informed business decisions. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

3. Open Strategy

Open Strategy is a great market research resource. The site compiles up-to-date tools and reports on consumer research, market data, case studies and much more. – Shalyn Dever, Chatter Buzz

4. Ask Your Target Market

Ask Your Target Market (AYTM) is a platform that allows you to create surveys that can be sent out automatically to your email list or to AYTM's community of over 4 million users. It is affordable and allows you to really know who you're speaking to daily, as well as what people react well to and which ones are the most engaged. All of these factors play key roles in our overall marketing strategy. – Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

5. SEMRush

SEMrush is a SEO platform that not only presents a clean dashboard with useful analytic tools, but is also great for competitor research. It allows you to look at the SEO efforts of your competitors and see what everyone else is running, and run key analysis on top of that information. You can view metrics for keywords used, as well as where you place among your top organic search competitors. – Sathvik Tantry, FormSwift

6. Quora

I love using authentic customer feedback to conduct market research, and nothing gets more authentic or as in depth as the answers you'll find on Quora. Want to know what customers love or hate about competitors in the space? Look at Quora. Want to know what questions people have about the problemyou're looking to solve? Look at Quora. It's an incredible, free market research tool to use. – Brett Farmiloe, Marketing Auditors

7. MyBestSegments

I like Nielsen's MyBestSegmentsbecause it provides lots of useful data that can help you do market research for any type of product or service.You can explore different demographics and find out things like where people shop, what brands they prefer and what magazines they subscribe to.You can type in a location or zip code and quickly bring up lots of data for that area. – Shawn Porat, Fortune Cookie Advertising

8. PickFu

PickFu is great because it allows you to get data outside of the current echo chamber you've created with your customers, community and true fans. It's a great way to test marketing messages, tag lines and product names outside of your first-degree network. – Charlie Gilkey, Productive Flourishing

9. Google's Online Customer Journey and Barometer Tool

Knowing your customer's purchase path is critical to engaging them at the moment you can most influence their purchase decision. Googles consumer insight tools are awesome for initial recommendations on what media your consumers are using, and with the Consumer Barometer tool you can understand the customer journey in more detail to understand on and offline purchasing behavior. – Ryan Stoner, Publicis

10. One-on-One Conversations

I believe that we can do a lot of data analysis by reading Amazon product reviews, doing surveys and observing social media, but actually talking to a potential or existing client and digging deeper when they say something is always going to give us more information. That's where the marketing gold really lies! – Nathalie Lussier, AmbitionAlly

11. Google Trends

Google Trends shows you how often a particular search-term is entered -- you can compare volume in different countries and compare terms to see what is trending. It's a great place to start any research campaign. Google is such a powerful data source, and its Trends feature provides information that can be used as the groundwork for any research task. – Jonathan Long, Market Domination Media

12. Customer Case Studies

Once we got our first 25 customers, we engaged with them extensively. Nothing can give you more quality and in-depth insight like talking to people who use your product. After only 5-10 customer interviews, we started noticing patterns of usage. We realized some of the pain points we thought were important didn't matter, and there were other unmet needs we needed to address instead. – Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

13. Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for market research, if used properly. One approach is to contact influencers through direct messages and simply request feedback on your product or services. Another option is to run paid ads, or post content segmenting and showcasing your products (or services) and analyze the response. See which products receive more likes and positive feedback. – Andrew Namminga, Andesign

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