How-to’s of Market Research

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You may have a good sense of your identity, but what about your company’s? How does it talk? What does it stand for? Who does it resonate with and provide value to?

Matt Thieleman, founder of Golden Bristle, explored the power of finding your company’s purpose and creating its culture in our blog. Knowing exactly who and what your company is, lays a strong foundation for finding people your purpose resonates with. Being able to directly connect with those people could lead to more sales with lower marketing costs, and it can be done by utilizing market research techniques, including the market research technique covered in his article.

Market research is all about discovering or uncovering your audience's word choice, references, and what genuinely connects with them. One way this is made possible through creating a Customer Avatar that will act as a guiding light for your marketing endeavors.

Here’s what you need to make your Customer Avatar:

  1. An existing customer base.
  2. A list of data points you need to know about them.
  3. A well-developed survey your customers can respond to.

Review your company’s privacy policy, or consult with a professional privacy adviser to ensure that none of these actions violate any existing laws or require updating your privacy policy.

Once squared away, let's tackle these steps together.

1. Your existing customer base.

These are the people the survey will ultimately go out to. Because they already made the purchase, you know they needed what you were selling, and you want to find more people like them for future sales. By understanding the mindset of those that have already purchased, you can better understand where to take the mindset of potential customers so they will purchase as well.

Here’s an example of how you could get a previous customer to participate: If your sale is done through PayPal you can customize your purchase button to send a confirmation email You can include in the confirmation email that they will be signing up for your newsletter (be sure to add an uncheck option as well), then create an email list that only consists of people that have made a purchase. From there you can begin an email campaign offering a discount for filling out the survey once you’re ready to do market research.

2. Determine what data points you need.

When targeting an audience with ads it costs more to target a larger demographic, but if you’re able to hone in on your niche audience it not only reduces ad costs but also lets you reach people that are more likely to be interested in buying your product/service. Demystifying the unknown and creating clarity in your targeting and ad spend is the key to growing profit margins.

Before creating the survey, it’s best to establish a focus on what you need to learn from it. Don’t think ‘How do I get them to buy?’ but instead brainstorm questions that will hone in on what demographic you can genuinely provide value to. If someone has a need and you fulfill it, while using words that resonate with them, they are much more likely to convert into a sale.

3. Create the Survey

When building traction for your brand you want to aim for low hanging fruit, because it will lead to a higher percentage of conversions per ad view. Keep that in mind as you brainstorm questions that excavate information on your customers. Here are some basic examples:

Age Range - Dialing in the most concise age range will lower your ad costs drastically while increasing the chance that who sees your ad will be interested. This isn’t as simple as it can appear, and can take finesse to navigate. Are toy ads targeting children, or parents? The answer is both—and understanding all the ages you need to market to, while keeping it narrow to fine-tune your targeting, can take thought and time, even after the survey is complete.

Level of Education - With almost two billion active users a day, Facebook is a juggernaut for online marketing. Almost every one of these users lists their education level, and if you’re running Facebook ads then you can decrease ad spend by using this question to further narrow the focus for your Customer Avatar. It may seem unimportant, but if you ask this question and realize 85% of your customers have a college degree, that is information that helps draw your Customer Avatar even clearer.

Home Country - This can be one of the biggest money savers. The most common way to get this information now is to install a pixel onto your website and retargeting ads based on visitor/purchaser country statistics, but because of recent advancements in online privacy laws that may become obsolete. By narrowing ad targeting down to specific countries, rather than the entire world, the number of people you’re targeting drops drastically, but then your ads will be targeting people closer to your Customer Avatar.

As a starting point, you can target ads to ‘Greenlight Countries.’ Because these countries have traffic that’s much less likely to be bots, scams, and/or fake accounts. This will also indirectly increase revenue-per-view by eliminating the ad spend being used to reach accounts in countries that are more likely to have illegitimate traffic.

Your specific product may need other countries or even a specific state in the US for a local store, and in that case, narrowing down your ads to that country or state is also a fantastic way to save ad spend. Here’s a list of ‘Greenlight Countries’:

United States Australia Norway Austria France
United Kingdom New Zealand Sweden Germany The Netherlands
Canada Ireland Switzerland Japan Belgium


These are great starting points, and from there it’s best to think of what your company needs to know.


Gabriel Tierney
Gabriel Tierney is an Entrepreneur, Writer, Musician, and Founder of Tyranny Records.

Hi there! This post exists to offer you (hopefully) useful information and insights, but it cannot take the place of personalized professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert if you have questions about your business. Also, Azlo doesn’t endorse any third-party sites that are linked here.

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