Free market research is crucial for entrepreneurs looking to introduce a new product. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are held back by the costs of hiring a professional marketing research firm. This should not be viewed as an end-all, as there are many ways to conduct research without spending a dime. Here are a few methods you can use to gather data completely free of charge.
Use “Secondary” Data
Secondary data basically refers to data that has already been collected. Government agencies, research companies and non-profit organizations may already have data on the type of market research and customer research you are looking for. Check their websites for databases to gather any pertinent information for yourself. Access to these websites is free. All you will need is time and a computer.
Use Online Information To Check On Competitors
Studying the competition is an important aspect of market research. This can be accomplished as easily as accessing free online databases. Websites like Alexa have readily available information on web traffic trends and where visitors are linking to. Entrepreneurs can use this tool to check on the websites of their competitors and analyze the habits of whoever is visiting them. As is the case with secondary data, all of this information is open to the public for free.
Do A Search On Social Media
Websites like HowSociable.com show how certain keywords are trending on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. This is extremely helpful in that you can check to see how consumers are feeling about a certain product or brand at any given time. Social media is another form of free online information, so entrepreneurs can take full advantage of them without worrying about the costs.
Conduct Interviews With Customers
If you come across anyone who is interested in your product, you can take this opportunity to conduct some free market research in the form of a simple conversation. Ask them what their needs are. Then, try to gauge an honest opinion on your product. Talking to people is a valuable tool for gathering information. As an entrepreneur, it won’t cost you anything but your time.
Interviewing people directly can get you more detailed information. However, it can also take a lot of effort. Surveys are a quick way to gauge consumer opinion without having to talk to them directly. You can use various online tools to put surveys together and distribute them through email or your website. None of these will cost you anything as long as you are able to find the right free market research tools.
Entrepreneurs interested in doing research on their market can do so without having to consult expensive marketing firms. There are tools online that are readily available and completely free of charge. You can also resort to old-fashioned methods like surveys to save on your expenses. By using the free market research methods listed above, you will be able to gather vital information to launch your next big product.
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