Fri, June 01 2007

How to do research today, right now

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

You can’t market a darn thing if you don’t understand your audience.  You need to know what your audience members feel and how they think so you can communicate with them. 

So what do you do if you feel you have no time or money to find out?  Please, please, please do it anyway.  A short two hours of research on your audience today will save you loads of time and money down the road.  In fact, here are four things you can do today without leaving your office or spending a dime.  Please invest in at least one step.  Being informed instead of flying blind has excellent ROI.

1. Go sit down with the person at your organization who opens the mail and answers the phone and ask them what are the top three things they hear from your audience (whether your audience is donors, activists, volunteers, human services clients, etc.).  Your frontline staff or customer service folks know a lot.

2. Go to Technorati and search for the name of your organization.  See what bloggers are saying about you.  Then set up a Google alert for your organization so you get an email when your organization name pops up somewhere on the Internet.

3. Mine the marketing data you already have.  Nancy Schwartz says 63% of us don’t do that, yikes!  Set up Google analytics or some other free program so you know what people are doing on your website.  Go look at click-through rates and conversion on your last five emails and direct mailings.  What do the results tell you?  Which messages are working?  Which are not?

4.  Call three members of your audience and chat with them for ten minutes each.  Ask them how they’re doing, what they are thinking about, and what they think of you.  You’ll learn a lot, and next time you create a marketing piece, you’ll be able to better know the audience on the other side.

PS I’m sorry, but I’ve disabled some trackbacks on this blog because I’m being assaulted by a spammer who had found a way around my Expression Engine settings—to the tune of serveral hundred spam trackbacks in the past 24 hours.  If you have a legit trackback request, let me know via comments, thanks!

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