When researching target markets, what are two things businesses typically fall back on? Focus Groups and Survey Research. These two methods have their merits but they have unnecessary costs and require an extensive knowledge of Market Research and Consumer Behavior to be conducted—which means hiring a firm. First, let’s explain the fallacies of these two methods and then reveal the key to making Target Market Research a cinch.
Focus groups give the essential human touch, but the sample size is miniscule and can be easily swayed by the dynamics of the actual group. Countless psychological guards are up when a group of strangers are in a room sharing their opinions. Perhaps there is a yes man in the group, perhaps there is an extremely charismatic member who the crowd follows, and maybe even one person is reserved and holds their actual opinions back. Regardless, any outside factor may influence the average Joe who you put faith in your Consumer and Market Research.
The bottomline is you pay thousands of dollars for a flawed, dated and limited sample of market research.
Surveys require surgical precision when being built. The questions must be categorized and set-up in a way that builds continually and that compartmentalizes constructs. It is not impossible, but for the correct statistical correlations, these constructs need to be strived for and accomplished. Additionally, to build this survey correctly and to interpret the vast amounts of data, surveys will require an expert's touch to be done well (which means money). Unless you’re well versed in variance, chi-square distribution, f-statistics and the lot, then the data you collect will mean nothing.
Your network of who will be tested is limited as well. It either means spending more money (even if it was upfront) or it’s up to your to figure out. However, let’s be optimistic and say your reach with a survey is up to 2,000. Not bad, but there is a better option.
The answer is easy and something you have access to: Facebook Ads. The only prerequisite here is to have a Facebook Page and an Ad budget set aside. With Facebook Ads you can accomplish these things where traditional methods fall short:
- A/B Testing your messaging and word play in relation to the brand (or target market)
- Test demographics and responsiveness of each
- A/B Test up to 6 images paired with the messaging of your choice
- The ability to run campaigns simultaneously, where you can test multiple initiatives
- All while having a reach of tens of thousands.
Recently we conducted market research in this way for a client and achieved a 300,000 reach for $1,500 at a $0.75 Cost Per Click. From this research, countless insights were gained. We discovered our age, gender and occupational demographic, what branded images pleased people and we learned which messaging was best responded to (among many other things). There is also the great caveat that with this traffic, clicks and leads were driven to the site at the same time.
The ability to A/B test large quantities of people and the freedom to target demographics as broadly or zeroed in as you want allows for an unprecedented alternative to market research. The research is under your control and does not require a professional’s expertise. Familiar yourself with the Facebook Ads tool and you’re good to go!