Monthly Archives: December 2011

Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Market Research

Market research doesn’t have to be a pesky phone call during dinner; many of your customers would love to tell you what they think (if you’re willing to listen).

This post will outline how to ask the right questions to ensure your market research effort helps you with the planning and development of your business. The consideration of questionnaire design and its mix of qualitative and quantitative data collection will easily give you the insights you need to grow your business.

How to Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research can be as simple as posting a series of designs on your Facebook page and asking people to vote for which they like the most, to more in depth methods such as emailing your recent customers with 5 questions about their experience with you. It can also be  quite complex, by designing a multiple page survey through a survey interface and sending it out across multiple networks to measure attitudes and perceptions about the category you operate in.

Our first post on the Wise Up Marketing Blog was 5 Steps to host your own Census! (Or Market Research for Small Business), after being unnaturally excited by completing the 2011 Census. Here we explored 5 steps from defining your problem to designing your questionnaire. We followed up a week later with the post Turning Surveys into Solutions which gave an overview of how to analyse your responses and turn the data into answers for your marketing questions.

On reflecting on those two posts, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to define your problem before you start. Market research is like detective work, you have a hunch but you need to collect all the clues before you know if you are right; you might even end up finding a whole new case to work on.

What is Qualitative Data?

Qualitative data are the answers we collect from our market research that are open ended. They are the responses we get in the respondent’s own words, not constricted by scales or structure. Qualitative data gives us the “why”, not the statistics and numbers.

We use qualitative research to gain insights into people’s attitudes, perceptions, behaviours and motivations. We collect qualitative data by asking open ended questions

E.g. ”What do you think?” “Tell me about a time….” “Explain why…”

We often need to use explorative techniques to draw out more information from respondents, as such qualitative data is best collected in face to face interviews, focus groups and (the dreaded) phone interviews.

Although it is not common to see open ended text boxes on surveys we all complete;

E.gUse this space to tell us any other thoughts”, “Is there anything else you would like to add”, “Describe why you like the first design”

It is not possible for us to “flesh out” those answers or clarify comments that seem more valuable. Most small business will not have the time or resources to run face to face market research and we don’t recommend attempting your own phone interviews. We recommend however still including open ended questions in your survey, with strong prompts;

e.g. describe; in your words; what do you think about; if you could have any feature

What is Quantitative Data?

When we told you qualitative data was not the statistics and numbers we held back telling you that is precisely what quantitative data is. Quantitative data tells us “how many” people think, feel or act in a particular way.

We collect quantitative data as part of our market research by asking closed questions that limit the way in which people can respond. These may be yes or no (dichotomous), multiple choice, rankings or rating scales.

These answers give you the “hard facts” and statistics and also allow you to compare different groups of people directly against each other:

e.g. 30% of Men liked our new design vs 20% of women

With quantitative data it is important to ensure you get a large volume of responses, as we use these responses to make generalisations. You don’t want to change your strategy because 80% of respondents didn’t like your product range, if only 5 people responded.

Feel free to download this infographic that’s a quick reference on Qualitative and Quantitative data. Qualitative and Quantitative data in Market Research

Market research is a marketing activity that can be undertaken for free, costing you just your time, but the benefits of getting to know your target market ensures your products and services are meeting their wants and needs; and that can lead to a more profitable and efficient business.

Until next week, Q is for Qualitative and Quantitative data and also Questions; do you have any you’d like answered? Drop me an email at Maryanne@wiseupmarketing.com.au

Mary-Anne

P.s. This will be the last post for the year; we will come back to the A-Z of Marketing with the letter R on January 12. Have a happy and healthy break, see you in 2012.

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au

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What is Pay per Click and Google AdWords advertising?

pay per click online advertisingPay Per click advertising is a strategy that’s not for everyone. Those who do use it and use it well enjoy increases in both traffic and sales, with complete control of cost. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads have become popular pay per click or online advertising programs with simple to use tools that make setting up a campaign very straightforward.

This post will outline what pay per click is, how much it costs and will look at how using Google AdWords can help you establish your own successful pay per click campaign.

What is Pay per Click?

Pay per click (PPC) is the online advertising vehicle where the advertiser pays for every time their ad is clicked. The advertisement will appear whenever it matches search requirements, known as impressions. When the advertisement is clicked by the searcher, the advertiser is charged – this is called the cost per click (CPC). The amount the advertiser is charged can work on a bidding system, so you might be charged different amounts each time, or a flat rate, depending on the company you go through. The conversion of impressions to clicks is known as your click through rate (CTR).

Research says that 20% of people will click on paid search results. Although that number doesn’t seem huge, depending on your category, getting onto the first few pages of organic search results can be a long process and if your category is highly competitive with big players, it can be extremely difficult. PPC gives you the chance to get on the first few pages of search results with a daily budget that you set.

We have had clients get on the first page spending just $14 a week and getting 82 click throughs. Another client spends $21 a week and gets 957 click throughs (2.68% CTR) operating in a very popular category but carefully selecting niche keywords.

How much does it cost?

PPC allows you to set a daily budget with each click through becoming a credit charged against that budget. Once the budget is exhausted, your ads will no longer appear. With PPC as stated above, you only pay when your ad is clicked. Your ad could appear 100,000 times and if it is only clicked once, you will only pay for the one click.(Although that would give you a dismal CTR and you would want to reassess your ads and your keywords to find out why you are not getting clicks).

The bidding system for PPC is based on an auction model, where keywords are bid on and the resulting rank in the paid search area is determined by the bid. Each keyword will have a different CPC as the popularity is different, therefore the bids will be different. E.g. Sydney flowers may be $1.50 for the top position where as Dubbo flowers may be $0.65.

If you operate in an extremely competitive category expect to spend more on your CPC. If you work in a less competitive category or drill down on keywords that match your product or service more specifically than other businesses, you may be able to secure a lower CPC.

Think of the bidding system like a silent auction. You can either state your maximum bid per keyword or make a general rule e.g. if I set a maximum CPC for any keyword to $0.80, the system will then use this information along with bids from all advertisers to determine who gets returned in the results and in what rank. The winner is charged the highest bid, not necessarily their maximum CPC. Just like on eBay; you might set your bid limit on that handbag for $200 but have the winning bid at $175.

Why Choose Google AdWords

google adwords toolsSometimes it seems the world is Google mad. Call it effective branding, but I generally use the word Google as though I learnt it on a flashcard as a toddler. I always find it interesting when in a movie or TV show they use Bing as their search engine; I see it as futile attempt to shift what already is second nature to many.

Like with all assumptions, sometimes you can’t help but stop and ask “really?” I was so pleased when I came across this Experian Report that stated Google accounts for 65% of all search activity. With the Bing group accounting for 29%, meaning all the hundreds of other search engines share in the reaming 6%. This left me feeling very validated about always wanting to “Google it” and for favouring Google AdWords for our own and our clients PPC campaigns over Bing Paid Search.

With Google accounting for 65% of all search enquiries, using Google AdWords gives you the opportunity to get in front of 65% of searchers. Google AdWords tools make it easy to set up a campaign with tested Keywords (read our post on Mastering Keyword and Keyword phrases for SEO), estimate the traffic it will bring and manage your bids and daily budget – allowing you to set your campaign and for it to self-manage.

We recommend checking on your campaign every few days to:

  • Review your keywords; which are getting the most clicks? Are there similar words or phrases you could add? Are there words with lots of impressions and no clicks? Should you pause them or check your ads to make sure they are maximising your keywords in the copy.
  • Review your ads; which are getting the most clicks? Can you create any news ads by mixing words from your two ads with the highest CTR?
  • Check your page rank; are you average past page 5? Do you need to increase your CPC bid to ensure a better page rank?

Running a Google AdWords campaign successfully requires constant monitoring and adjustment in response to the results you see. We loved this article by Melinda Samson on Copywritematters.com.au that takes the rules of online dating and applies them to your Google AdWords campagin.

My experience with Google AdWords and Facebook Ads

I was lucky enough to trial Google AdWords and Facebook Ads for free. I received a free $50 credit for Facebook Ads when I signed up for my website and Google AdWords has a $75 credit for all new accounts running (we have a Google AdWords package to help get you started).

I operate in a highly competitive category, dominated by big business; keywords I target include Small Business Advice and Marketing Consultants, each having bids up to $5. I found with my trial I needed a high daily budget, a high CPC bid and the results were average. On Facebook Ads however, I targeted interest groups and demographic information instead of keywords. I displayed my offer and not only got clicks, but got likes, resulting in a longer term relationship being established.

My advice is if you can find a niche avenue to explore, use Google AdWords. If you operate in broad categories, try Facebook Ads. If you are not sure which to try, go with Google AdWords, after all who can argue with $75 free advertising while you tread the water and test some results.

Until next week, P is for Pay Per Click and also Panic! It’s December 8 and I haven’t written my Christmas cards or started my Christmas shopping yet! Have you?

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au

Image 1 Source

Image 2 Source


Setting Goals and Objectives the SMART way

We have reflected many times through the ‘A-Z of Marketing’ on the fact that small business owners are time poor. When you are doing everything yourself, or with only a few people to help you use your time to get the job done, leaving not much time to plan.

Finding 10 minutes for setting goals and objectives can give a clear direction of where you are going and help keep the big picture clarified. This post will also discuss S.M.A.R.T goal setting, and give you a step by step approach to its implementation.

What are Goals and Objectives?

Goals and objectives are the desired outcomes or achievements for your business. They are formalised statements of everything you want (and need) your business to grow toward.

Goals provide a broad overall aim; they tend to be the long term, big picture. It is best to limit your goals to around 5 each year. You are unlikely to have the time or the resources to stretch further and the more you are trying to achieve, the less focus each goal receives.

Objectives are a specific aim or target that, when met, help achieve a goal. Several objectives may combine to achieve a goal.

Often a marketing objective is created to help achieve a financial goal e.g. A businesses goal is to ‘increase sales by 20% by end of 2012’, so a marketing objective is set to help achieve that goal; ‘grow mailing list to 10,000 subscribers by end 2012’ etc.

SMART Goals and Objectives

S.M.A.R.T is the acronym used in goal and objective setting; following is what it stands for and what it means to your planning:

Specific

When setting your goal or objective you need to be clear about what you want to achieve. Each goal or objective should have a single focus; that is, should only be concerned with one achievement.

What are you going to do? Grow, increase, decrease, develop, etc

Measureable

Goals and objectives are the road map for your business. If they are not measureable, it can be hard to determine if they have been achieved. A measurable goal is also easier to manage; we can check our progress and adjust our objectives to ensure we achieve our end goal.

The measurement needs to be quantifiable e.g. change in dollars, percentages, averages, counts etc.

Attainable

We all know how de-motivating unachievable goals can be, when the bar is set too high and there seems to be no possible way of reaching the goal, a majority of us will put it in the too hard basket and move on.

Set your goals and objectives so they can be achieved, but with a stretch, this will cement your commitment to the task.

Realistic

A realistic goal or objective is one that supports your businesses knowledge and skill base. It fits in to how your business works and it doesn’t require investment in time or money that is not available.

Often long term goals (3-5 year plans) are broken down into short term goals (annual plan) so that they become bite size pieces that are realistic. These short term goals are supported by objectives to give them day to day meaning.

E.g.

Long Term Goal

  • Be the #1 provider of business cards in Australia by 2015

Short Term Goal

  • Increase repeat sales by 20% by 30 June 2012

Marketing Objective

  • Increase customer loyalty by 25% by 30 June 2012 using a customer rewards program
  • Increase customer base by 15% by 30 June 2012 using a customer referral program
  • Send a promotional offer to every customer 4 times per year during the 2012 financial year
Timely

Giving your goal a deadline, draws a line in the sand. It gives you a definitive point where you have to stop and say “Did we make it?”

Whether it is weeks, months or years, a timeframe forces you to stay on track, it motivates you and for some of us last minute magicians, it’s the shove needed to get the job done.

Goal setting objective setting SMART

This infographic is great to print out and place somewhere in your work space to assist you in creating SMART goals and objectives.

To help get you into the swing of thinking SMART, here are some business goals rewritten as SMART goals

Goal SMART   Goal
Achieve   increased awareness by December 2011 Increase awareness by 5% by 30 December 2011
Grow sales to   $15k Grow sales to $15k by 30 June 2012
Increase the   market share we hold in key areas so that we are satisfied we are growing by   financial year end Grow market share a minimum of 10% in Sydney,   Melbourne and Brisbane by 30 June 2012
Increase our   profitability from $5k to $40k by December 2011 Increase our profitability by a minimum of $1k per year for the next   5 years; to be measured at each financial year end from 2012 – 2017
Get more   likers on Facebook and followers on twitter and readers on the blog Grow Facebook likers to 500 by 30 December 2011Grow Twitter follows to 300 by 30 December 2011Increase blog subscription by 20% by 30 December   2011

As 2012 approaches quickly, think of what you want to achieve. What goals and objectives will you set? Will they be SMART?

Until next week, O is for Objectives and also getting organised to grow your business in 2012.

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


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