Now, marketers have a whole host of tools and resources for online market research at their disposal.
Therefore, no matter how complex the question, companies should deploy online market research to discover more about their customers and competition. Whether an organization is using web search data, surveys or customer feedback forms, there is an amazing amount of useful, actionable information at its fingertips. Below are some of the basic tools and strategies marketers in the travel industry should know about, so their online market research project is as fruitful as possible.
The key fields of online market research
Before introducing the tools and tips, it is important to establish the different fields of online market research. This will influence which strategy a company deploys in order to collect relevant information.
1. Product research
As one would expect, product research related directly to how customers discover, interact with and use a given product. A good example of this type of online market research is website A/B testing.
2. Brand analysis
Brand research uses similar profiling strategies to studies on loyalty or customer retention. For example, organizations can ask questions such as “who uses this brand?” or “what is the most dominant customer segment?” to learn more about the kind of consumer their product appeals to.
3. Psychological profiling
Psychological profiling constructs profiles of clientele by lifestyle, income, attitude, purchase patterns and media preferences. This information allows brands to target advertising based on tastes and aspirations.
4. Database research
Otherwise known as data ‘mining’, this strategy attempts to harvest information from data a company retains on its customers. This data often contains a wealth of useful information. For instance, purchase records can reveal the purchasing patterns of different income bands.
5. Post-sale or customer satisfaction research
Many consumers are familiar with post-sale surveys. These can be conducted via phone call, text or email that follows a flight or hotel stay.
Tips and tools for market research
Now the different fields of inquiry have been introduced, below are the tools, hint, tips and tricks companies can use to gather the most valuable intelligence possible from online market research project.
By monitoring search behavior, companies can establish a set of ‘keywords’ associated with their brand and products. By analyzing the interest in each keyword, companies can discover different product niches and customer desires. Furthermore, keyword searches can educate a brand about their competition. For instance, keyword search analysis can provide an estimate of how often your competitors are using the same phrases in their web content.
Some simple search engine tricks can also help you learn more about your competition. For example, by typing 'link:www.[competitor's name].com' into Google, marketers can find out how many sites link to a competitor’s website, which affects their search ranking. In addition, there are analytics tools like SEMRush and Similarweb can provide accurate and compelling information about traffic to competitor’s websites.
Generally speaking, blogs are updated far more often than website content. As a result, blogs can be an invaluable source of information in regard to public opinion. Companies an search blogs by using search engine devoted to blogging, like Blog Search Engine.
Conduct online surveys
Whilst not as accurate as telephone or in-person surveying, online surveys are gaining traction as the most cost-effective way to gauge public opinion. Online surveys are coming increasingly easy for marketers to deploy, as tools like Google Forms allow companies to create and distribute their own online questionnaires free of charge.
Gather valuable intelligence now
As is clear, online market research is no longer reserved for large corporations or big budgets. Marketers from small-scale organizations can deploy various useful tools to gain valuable insights. With a little creativity, strategy and the right tools, any organization can better understand their product, customer and competition.