Market Research

All marketing starts with understanding your customers.  The best known avenue for this is market research.  However, it fits into a broader category of Marketing Information Systems (MIS).

Example MIS Calendar

Marketing Information Systems

1. Internal Data (periodic): review and analyze the results from your sales and marketing activities – including which customers buy what, when, where and how much,  as well as your database and analytic results.

2. Market Intelligence (continuous): set up automatic notifications for your business, competitors, industry trends and events.  This could include blogs, news alerts and articles, and social media conversations.  We recommend having the info either sent to you (e.g. email) or having a central place to check it (e.g. Google Reader) with calendar reminders to check it.

3. Market Research (point in time): collect and interpret both primary (e.g. interviews and surveys with your customers) and secondary (e.g. stats from the government or an industry association) information on your business, competitors and industry.

If you’re looking for more reading right now, here is one of my favorite white papers on market research specifically: How to Design an Effective Voice of the Customer (VoC) Insights Program.

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