Jon’s In Waikiki (AKA The Waikiki Marketer)

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Market Research For Cheap!

February 22nd, 2007 · No Comments

Market research was one of those subjects that people would study only if they were gunning for the corporate world. Small businesses can’t afford to hire someone to do that- not full time, at least. For them, market research would be something along the lines of asking locals ‘How do you look that new gum we got?’ after ringing up their purchase.

Today – that has changed. Now these same businesses can IM ‘How do U lik tht nw gum?’ online and by phone! But that’s not where the big leap has taken place. Most users of Google AdWords have completely missed the fact that they have a market research tool right in front of them. And a lot of that research can be done for less than $100.

When you test ads on AdWords, you’re not only getting feedback on which ad is better, you’re also getting an insight into your market. Are people responding more to an appeal based around price rather than features? That’s telling you something very important about your marketing. And that’s something you can transfer directly into your site content. Chances are that if one appeal works best on the ad, it’s probably going to pull well on your site, too.

You can test different special offers, headlines, even single words. Because of the low cost of AdWords you can gather data fairly cheaply and quickly. That’s the other benefit you can reap from this avenue – you get fast response. It doesn’t take long to get the number of clicks you need to complete your research. You can usually accomplish this market research in a matter of days, sometimes hours.

One other area where AdWords excels is that in-person research, even if done through a confidential questionnaire, can inhibit a person. They end up giving you the answers they think you want; or answers that they believe make them look ‘good’.

Consciously or not, they often will reply in ways that do not represent how they truly think. Why? Because people act on unconscious levels when they go shopping. Interviewing them face-to-face, they switch to a much more conscious state that is probably not how they act on their own.
With Google AdWords, people are responding naturally, often without knowing exactly why one ad pulled them over another. That’s why focus groups are often proved wrong after thousands of dollars are spent based on them. This is only a brief touching on what can be done through online/search engine advertising. Google ads may just look like classified ads, but there’s a reason they’ve made the company a billion dollar business in a few short years.

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