Startup ventures need to conduct adequate market research, both quantitative and qualitative, in order to get all the necessary information before beginning their activities and formulating policies. However, many startups make the mistake of not doing enough research. They prefer following existing trends and patterns and competitor information, rather than spending capital on expensive market research tools. It is imperative that startups conduct their independent market research before venturing into the industry as the market is dynamic and trends are never constant. With the advent of the internet, conducting qualitative market research is no longer a very expensive affair. Online qualitative market research tools:
1. Keyword search
Using keywords or important SEO words that can help identify products or services similar to yours, is an effective manner in which you can conduct qualitative market research. Through this method, you can note the interest present on the internet in your keywords, and accordingly determine how many competitors exist in your target market. Further, keywords can help identify niches which hadn’t occurred to you before. WordTracker and Trellian’s Keyword Discovery are popular keyword search engines.
2. Links to your competitors
A traditional search engine can help you note your competitors in the target market and their product or service offerings, and then make price comparisons. You can also search for other sites that link to your competitors’ websites. You can determine the extent of similarity that exists between your product or service versus your competitors’ offerings.
3. Scan relevant blogs
Blogs are updated very frequently and are a good indicator of public opinion. Blog-specific search engines like Technorati or Nielsen BuzzMetrics’ Blogpulse can help you in this endeavor. It is easy to track discussions about a new product type or need on an informally written blog.
4. Conduct online surveys
Online surveys are an economical way to conduct market research about the appealing factor of your product to consumers. Some online survey companies that that conduct market research for you are WebSurveyor and EZquestionnaire.
5. Use Discuss:
Discuss is a purpose built platform that enables brands and researchers to conduct real-time and unmoderated research at scale. With Discuss, companies can instantly target their desired niche demographic and determine insights on a variety of market research topics, from product development and optimization, to brand and segment exploration, to testing advertising concepts, package design, and web interfaces. Today, Discuss is powering programs around consumer connections and empathy at many of the world’s leading brands.
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