Marketing research is a very broad term. In large corporations, it is a very quantitative (numbers based) thing. Sometimes, Raleigh small business owners need data like this, but we can’t have the high-level, number-based data for two big reasons:

  1. Small marketing budgets: That type of data can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars.
  2. Small sample size: We can’t always get to enough of their target market to make it statistically significant.

Due to those two facts, our team must rely on more qualitative data which means we have more text based/experienced-based information instead of numbers. We always remind our clients that the data we collect isn’t an absolute but can help guide them in their business.

A few ways we do qualitative marketing research is:

  1. Cold Calling/Research Calls: We can call into a business or home and get the information the business owner wants to know. A few ways we have done this in the past is:
    1. Tea Statistics: Calling into coffee shops across North Carolina to ask how much tea they sell (as a percentage of their total sales) and which tea provider they use.
    2. Bride Purchasing Data: For a woman considering opening a bridal boutique, we called into bridal boutiques to see if trends were impacting brides purchasing decisions as well as the average amount each bride spends on her dress.
  2. Polls or Surveys: For individuals who need a lot of data to make a decision, we can create a poll through Google Forms or Survey Monkey then post it on local Facebook groups in order to get feedback. A few ways we have used this in the past are:
    1. New Markets: We have used this for determining what cities across North Carolina are best for a business to head into next.
    2. Budgets: We have used this for a travel agent who wanted to know how much families in certain areas of the Triangle save each year for travel and vacations.
  3. Focus Groups: For individuals who want to hear what individuals are saying and take ideas from their feedback, we suggest a focus group. This is bringing a handful of individuals into a room and asking them a series of questions.

There are a handful of other ways that marketing research can be used in a Raleigh small business. To hear how you can use it in your business, let’s set up a consultation now.