What Is Marketing Research in 2020? (Examples & Full Guide)

Marketing research leads you in the right direction.

99,7% of all online projects fail.

They use generic (non-working) methods.

Do you want to succeed?

Then read the whole article.

Anatolii Ulitovskyi
1 comment

Marketing research is crucial.

I can explain why.

I often speak with potential clients who can’t get results for a few years.

It’s not only my clients.

Check the infographic below to scope the whole picture.

Over 1.74 billion websites on the Internet

As you can see, online competition is enormous.

Most projects fail because they use generic methods.

Ten years ago, I only used generic methods because they worked very well.

Today, they don’t work anymore.

37% of all online projects have a documented marketing strategy.

A tiny percent of them have a well-analyzed content plan.

These projects only get results – the rest fail.

That’s why I provide marketing research before launching any project.

Marketing research is data collection, analyzing, and building a marketing strategy.

Customers often change their behaviors because of unpredictable events, new technologies, competition.

Marketing research helps to figure out what it’s essential today or in the future.

Check out six steps of marketing research on the infographic below.

Marketing research process

So, where to start?

Let’s dive into the next chapter.

Define the Problem and Research Objectives

Provide the first step in marketing research with the following steps:

  • Analyze your competitors
  • Find gaps and flaws

Check out the full process step-by-step.


All new online projects start by analyzing competitors.

Here is the main problem.

New webmasters check out their strong visible side: traffic, sales, etc.

Wherein you can’t overcome their strong positions because they have immense experience.

For example, Elon Musk didn’t start to compete with Toyota, BMW, and Ford with a new petrol car.

He launched an electric car that all popular brands ignored.

As a result, Tesla is the most valuable car company.

I hope you’re here to become a leader in your industry as well.

It’s crucial to learn the weak side of your competitors.

You should find what other projects ignore.

And they ignore a lot!

The main reason is that all popular projects can’t cover everything.

They have their marketing plans that might work very well.

If something works, they pay attention to their priorities.

It’s your chance to occupy what others ignore.

Webmasters often start from keyword research tools.

It’s the first trap because everyone checks out high-volume keywords.

These topics are overwhelmed and oversaturated with millions of others.

topics are oversaturated with millions of others

Google has over two billion results with the keyword “weight loss.”

Let’s check out the long-tail keyword “portable diesel generator 10kw”.

The number over 300K pages

The number is still huge – over 300K pages.

All of them are your competitors, even if they monetize their websites in different ways.

If all websites use the same methods, what should Google rank at the top?

Google only ranks the best content in the top-10.

There is no place for 11th, 12th, …, 100th, …, 1000th, and other positions.

9% of users only scroll to the bottom of the search results.

5% might open the second page or might not 🙂

It’s the same as Facebook, email marketing, etc.

On Facebook, users upload 243,055 new photos every minute.

Facebook only shows your posts to 3% of your followers because there is a lot of other content or pay crazy money for paid ads.

People send 306,4 billion emails a day (over a hundred emails for one recipient).

Number of sent and received e-mails per day worldwide

Recipients have no time to consume a tiny percent of new content.

That’s why generic methods don’t work.

They are overwhelming and oversaturating.

Marketers almost destroyed these channels.

“Almost” means that there are many flaws in generic methods that lazy marketers still ignore.

If you want to succeed, then find the following topics:

– with a lack of quality content or outdated information

– new keywords (15% of new keywords appeal every single day)

– trends

– new technologies

– breaking news

– talking to your customers

Keep reading because the best part is coming.

Develop the Research Plan and Collect the Information

Consider the following:

  • Online tools
  • Talk to your customers
  • Surveys and online studies
  • Experts’ opinions

I uncover all of them.

I start all my research with tools because there is a lot of valuable data.

Instead of searching high-volume keywords, find topics with low competition and a lack of quality content.

For example, if you use Ahrefs, then open the “Content explorer.”

Consider the following filters or change them with your preferences:

  • First published over three years ago.
  • Organic traffic from 1,000
  • domain rating (DR) to 40
  • words to 1,000.

51 pages that have a lack of quality content

Ahrefs found 51 pages for the topic “weight loss” that have a lack of quality content.

It’s crucial to analyze them manually.

You’re reading this article because I use this searching method as well.

I created my marketing plan considering the mentioned filters.

Created marketing plan considering the mentioned filters

I got the first traffic without link building for two articles.

First traffic without link building for two articles

Online tools are great but learning your customers is even better.

39% of CEOs consider that customer experience is the most effective method.

What is your most effective method for creating a compretitive advantage

You might think that you know your customers.

You’re wrong.

Deep learning your clients is essential today.

What is the advantage for you?

CEOs are still too lazy to talk with their customers.

They only spend 3% of their time with their clients.

Get out of the comfort zone to spend time with someone who buys your products.

Analyze how your products decide their problems and how life looks after satisfying the customers’ intent.

7 characteristics of a customer-focused ceo

The next step is to analyze existing online studies and surveys.

Type on Google the combination “your niche + research studies.”

For example, if you sell weight-loss supplements, then it looks something like this.

selling weight loss supplements looks something like this

The first website in the top has 69 clinical trials.

The first website in the top has 69 clinical trials

Relevant blogs in your niche often share new studies.

I learn digital marketing; that’s why I read studies from Semrush, Moz, Ahrefs, Hubspot, Neil Patel, Backlinko, etc.

Studies by Semrush

Check out influencers’ posts on social media.

They share a lot of insights and thoughts that you can consider for your clients.

I also provide polls with my audience on LinkedIn.

Polls with audience on LinkedIn

Go to Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media where you have a loyal audience and ask them what they wanna get.

Analyze the Information And Present the Findings

Don’t provide quick research.

Don’t overthink.

Find your balance in marketing research.


I often see when companies provide quick analysis.

That’s why they choose generic oversaturating strategies.

As a result, they fail to overcome their competitors.

Share more time with an analysis or delegate this task for experts who have a huge experience.

Priorities are the key to success.

It’s better to develop and innovate your products than trying to cover topics that you don’t know.

Are you lacking the budget to hire an expert?

Then spend more time analyzing and don’t jump with the first findings.

A well-analyzed content plan brings results better and faster.

Spend a few days to check out one-two resources and note everything in your spreadsheet.

Then start filtering by choosing topics.

Choose topics that cover all the stages of a sales funnel because most customers don’t buy from unrecognizable brands.

For example, I wanna get traffic with the keywords “SEO” and something like this.

It’s almost impossible to overcome authoritative websites that have thousands of links and mentions.

That’s why I skip it.

Overthinking also kills productivity because nobody knows what works.

Testing is the best approach to figure out.

So, find your balance.

When complete your analysis then provides a suitable format for stakeholders.

There are a lot of templates online to present your research.

Each case is different.

If you have some standards in your company then consider the policy.

I love a simple analysis that proves my strategy and gives a strong reason to use it.

Make the Decision

Brainstorm your analysis with stakeholders.

Propose a few options but choose one-two priorities.

Don’t try to cover a lot with limited resources.

Consider your competitors because they don’t stay in one place.


All projects start with benchmarks.

Where you are and where your competitors are.

Compare data to choose the correct content plan.

Start with brand recognition.

Compare the volume and authority of your brand with competitors.

The parameter “Volume” shows how many times users search for your brand on Google.

Users search 124 million times for the brand "Amazon".

Users only search 124 million times for the brand “Amazon”.

Walmart, Bestbuy, and eBay are in the major league.

Choose competitors in your league and overcome them.

Go step-by-step to achieve major league as well.

When you know the competitors then choose a marketing plan where you have resources.

A lot of projects fail to cover a lot more than their resources.

Don’t cover a thousand keywords – choose a hundred for SEO and PPC.

Don’t write a hundred articles – write ten for your blog.

Don’t kill two birds with one stone – kill one (oops, you know this).

Conclusion

Marketing research leads you in the right direction.

Consider the following elements:

– Customers’ intent

– The level of competition

– Priorities

– Resources.

And don’t overthink – acting only shows what works.