Investigating an Online Market
If you have a product or service you want to sell online, or if you are already selling online but would like better results there are several ways you can investigate your online market. Once you have a broad understanding of the market you will have a better idea of how easy it will be to market your goods/services and suggest ways to compete with competitors already in the market place. Once you have an understanding yourself, you will feel more confident about getting professional help.
Key Steps to Assessing the Online Market
Make Sure Your Expectations are Realistic
It’s easy to think that the internet can provide an easy cheap alternative to main stream marketing. You may have read about the success of some company in the paper or even know of companies yourself who talk about the how online marketing worked for them. You may even have ideas for some new viral video or iphone ap that you think might take off. The truth today is that, unless you’re really lucky, there is no cheap and easy way to have an impact on the net.
Anyone planning a new online marketing strategy needs to understand both the limitations and the opportunities the internet provides. Most internet marketing strategies take time to implement and may also have a monetary cost. Generally cheaper strategies take time to start to have an effect whilst a paid advertising campaign can deliver fast results if it’s run right. Furthermore, what works for some companies won’t necessarily work for others, copying an existing strategy from a competitor is unlikely to yield the same results. And as for being the next big internet craze? In today’s congested internet you’re unlikely to stand out no matter how good your idea is.
So there the limitations, what about the opportunities? Well, although getting new marketing strategy up and running may cost time and money, because the internet offers incredibly powerful methods of tracking your online audience customers and prospects, over time you can not only reduce costs and ensure good return on investment, but also gain invaluable insight into your target audience to inform you on future initiatives both on and off line. The opportunities the internet offers for gaining market insights and spotting trends, and at low cost, is simply not possible off line no matter how much cash you have to spend.
The internet also offers a number of excellent ways to acquire new customers and build your brand not only online but offline as well. Today large numbers of people are moving from traditional ways of investigating the market (magazine reviews, showrooms) to researching products and services online. What is even more important is that, with the rise of the internet, traditional media is becoming less and less trusted. Modern, techsavie people are far more likely to trust the informal reviews of their piers than a magazine advert or even an editorial.