Digital marketing is often considered, used and thought of while planning marketing activities mainly reach, frequency, awareness, engagement, leads and transactions.
Digitally mature agencies and organizations have been utilizing the medium much more to its potential across all the above mentioned areas.
Bigger brands invest a lot in research, and deploy sophisticated tools, large scale agencies, big data and the works to extract insights about the market, the customers and the potential consumers.
The ways in which these insights get generated have also become sophisticated, and in some ways, automated too. There are millions of syndicated reports available in the market with sample sizes ranging from as low as 30 to millions.
In such a scenario, smaller businesses often get either carried away and invest more than what they should in such research, or under-utilize the medium. This blog will highlight some of the readily available tools that smaller businesses can use to understand more about the market, gain relevant insights, have better RoI on research data, and fine tune their offerings in a much more accepted way basis the changing landscape of its potential customer base.
As we all know, businesses survive if there are Relevant, Engaging, High on Recall, Accessible, are Enriching and have offerings at Acceptable pricing. All this along with a guarantee in the quality of products, service and after sales experience.
Here are some of the tools that can change the way smaller businesses can ensure proper usage of insights and do their research on the market.
- Google Search Trends (https://trends.google.com/ ): a simple way to look at the changing trends, monitor how the competitors are being in the news and some of the latest events changing the market landscape of the industry they operate in.
- SEM & SEO Tools: There are a lot of free SEO tools that help in fine tuning the contents of the website, and help in making your website more discoverable. Mixing this with Keyword tools from Google Adwords to see the volume of searches of certain keywords about your business and competitors and planning content accordingly for social media, blog, website or even product or service launches. ( https://moz.com/free-seo-tools , https://adwords.google.com/intl/en_in/home/tools/keyword-planner/ )
- Facebook Audience Insights (https://www.facebook.com/ads/audience-insights ) The most important tool to gain insights nowadays is the audience insights manager by Facebook. For businesses, right from those who depend on social media, to those who just want to understand consumption patterns, or to see the volumes of various topics discussed, this is an insightful destination. What more, a user can save the most relevant mix and run an ad by saving that audience.
- Google Analytics (https://www.google.com/analytics/ ) a website cannot be complete unless there is an analytical tool monitoring the progress of the site. Google Analytics (or GA), can give thousands of datapoints for a website for FREE. Yes FREE! All you have to do is set it up, activate some of the features and use it. Right from demographics, behaviour, benchmarks, user flow, consumption patterns, e-comm behaviour and much more, website managers or business owners can have multitude of data and insights from this brilliant tool.
- Similarweb (https://www.similarweb.com/ ) A tool or a browser extension that can give a lot of competitive insights – (a) Benchmark against your competitors and industry, (b) Reveal your competition’s analytics & online strategy, (c) Discover new opportunities – partners, leads or affiliates, (d) Identify emerging trends and new players & (5) Understand consumer intent and journey
- Listening Tools (Social media, Online reputation management) Social media is where a lot of conversations happen privately as well as publicly. Not just Facebook Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat, we also need to look at forums, blogs, Q&A platforms like Quora, review sites, and so much more. But individually browsing through keywords is very difficult, and hence listening tools help in finding the mentions, top keywords and locate the exact web – the user checks some focums. page for businesses. It can be used by smaller businesses to reply to local queries and to offer their services to those in search. An example, if someone is looking for a particular component of a bicycle, and it is not available on any online store. A local vendor can look out for such conversations, reply to the user’s query that can be fulfilled, make a deal and ask him to either visit the store or deliver in via courier. A whole list of free tools listed here (https://www.dreamgrow.com/69-free-social-media-monitoring-tools/ )
- Consumer Barometer (https://www.consumerbarometer.com/en/ ) The Consumer Barometer is a tool to help you understand how people use the Internet across the world. What Google has done here is tried to make it easy for people to understand Internet usage better by regularly running questionnaires across geographies and compiling the data in a way that we can access it, use some data mining, combination of various questions and finally get better insights. This tool is for a slightly evolved user who knows what he/she is looking for. It may take some time getting used to it, but it is a very powerful tool for insights. The data has been curated by TNS via telephonic interviews or face to face, and hence, the data can be assumed to be of good quality.
- Think with Google (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-apac/country/india/ ) for those looking to explore more on digital marketing, and get insights about various platforms, this is a very good start to improve marketing efforts, and maybe get better RoI by taking inspiration from the hundreds of case studies and reports showcased on this site.
These are some of the best, free ways to gather useful insights about the market, trends, developments, and consumption patterns of the potential customers. Yes, agencies have specialized people to do this for you, and may charge a retainer or a project fee to help you get the best of insights. And their insights will be backed by a lot of experience, expertise as well as applicability. Hence, they charge for the entire package and for planning the right things for you and your organization.
The purpose of this blog is to help those who cannot afford to pay so much on the research part, or want to learn about the consumers themselves, or are learning more about digital marketing in general. While most of these tools are easy to operate and login, a little help from friends working on these tools will always help you extract more.
(If you wish to get some help in discovering what is best for your business, feel free to reach us and we shall help. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for more)