Market research, according to The American Marketing Association, is defined as linking the consumer to the marketer through information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and issues; generate, refine and evaluate marketing actions; and monitor performance. The most intelligent brands understand that market research and advertising go hand in hand, and promote a successful product launch.

There are many things to take into consideration before launching your campaign, and in order to get the best results, it is imperative you have answers to the questions below.

  1. WHO IS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE? In a perfect world, your product or service would appeal to the masses, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case for most brands. Knowing your target audience is the first step. While you may believe you know who your target consumer is, proving this out with research is a step the most successful companies don’t skip. Once you have your audience demographics defined, it’s time to dig a little deeper into their behaviors, which leads us to…
  2. WHAT ARE THEIR HABITS? What are their attitudes or predispositions? What are their interests? Are they on social media, and if so, which channels? Do they watch live television, stream, or DVR to watch later? It’s important to research your audience’s habits, so you can understand what your audience cares about, and why. Obviously the commercials on Nickelodeon differ from those on AMC, due to the brand’s target audience.
  3. WHAT ARE YOUR COMPETITORS DOING? I’m sure you’ve heard The Godfather II quote, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. Well, obviously competitors aren’t your enemies, but it’s always good to keep tabs on what they’re up to. How are they advertising their similar products or services? Additionally, identifying their strengths and weaknesses will help you fine-tune your strategy.
  4. WHICH ADVERTISING CHANNEL IS BEST FOR YOU? Obviously companies want the biggest ROI on their advertising spend. There are so many options available for advertising your products out there: TV, print ads, online ads, social media, radio, direct mail, even billboards. Each option requires a different strategic approach to ensure success. Social media is particularly popular as of late due to the ability to target and track. However, if your target demographic isn’t on social media, this route doesn’t make sense.

Don’t cut corners when it comes to your customers. Conducting research before launching a product is extremely important, as it defines which market to best target with your advertisements, ascertains your product or service’s ideal consumer base, determines which advertising channel will make the greatest impact on these consumers, and discerns whether your intended audience are receiving your advertisements, and gauges their reception. When done correctly and thoroughly, market research can take your brand from “okay” to “amazing”.