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Adi’s Guide to Market Research for First Time Founders

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Disclaimer:  Below, I share some of the tools that I use and love. If you find a tool that works better for you, please share it with me via LinkedIn.  I have used affiliate links for some of the resources on this website.  This means I might earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  This is at no extra cost to you and it supports this website, as well as the composition of future posts, which means I can spend more time writing content.  I genuinely recommend everything linked to via this website.



Read time: 2 minutes

PLEASE NOTE IF YOU’RE AN EXISTING BRAND WONDERING WHICH RESEARCH WILL HELP GROW YOUR BUSINESS, WE SUGGEST STARTING WITH Adi’s Guide to Consumer Research for Existing Startups: Which customer data helps drive revenue growth? If you are looking to build your brand starting from scratch, the guide below was written for you.

When you are looking at launching a new brand you have to ask yourself a few questions like…

  1. What problems am I solving for who?
  2. What branding, colors and promises should be a part of my brand’s identity?
  3. Where will I find my first ten customers and how will I build the level of trust needed for them to become retained users?
  4. What will I sell & how will I sell it.

To start to answer these questions copy and paste my bullet points below, into an excel.

What is the ideal customer’s …

  1. Lifestyle
  2. Social status
  3. Income
  4. Job
  5. Community
  6. Choice of vacation
  7. Choice of club memberships
  8. Choice of entertainment

Does the ideal customer have hobbies & favorite activities? If yes …

  • Are they seasonal?
  • How often does he (or she) engage in these activities?
  • Is the activity required (for work, school, etc.)?
  • Do they spend money on the activity? If yes, how much and what are the payment cycles (pay per use, subscription, etc)
  • How emotionally invested are they in the activity?

Questions to guide your content & branding decisions:

  1. Do they have any specific opinions that I can leverage or include in our marketing material, branding & ToV? Such as opinions about: themselves, social issues, political issues, fashion, family, food, business, economics, education, products and services.
  2. If there is an existing brand, how do the customers perceive the company and products?
  3. How do these products fit into their lives? Does this data indicate an opportunity to increase acquisition via a referral program or increase wallet share by adding more service / product offerings?
  4. What do current customers hope to achieve with this product or service?
  5. How does this product or service address one (or more) pain points?
  6. What objections do people have to making a purchase? Are these objections held by actual customers? (You’d be surprised by how often competitors create fake accounts to complain about your brand online).
  7. How big is the qualified available market (people who are interested in your industry category, have the financial means to purchase your product / service and are legally able to make such purchases)?
  8. What terminology & key phrases do the people within this target market use on a regular basis?

Where do you find answers to all of these questions?

Ramit walks you through how he collects this data in the video below. If you don’t have time for a 30 video scroll down to my two lists and drop them into your web-browser to start searching for answers:

FREE: Secondary data

  1. Google it. You’d be amazed by how much free information can be found with the query “Data on Millennial buyers” or “Reddit + startup founder resources”
  2. Ask questions on Quora
  3. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/
  4. https://www.pewresearch.org/
  5. https://www.pewresearch.org/topics/data-labs/
  6. https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/
  7. https://www.bls.gov/data/
  8. https://www.bea.gov/data
  9. Browse Amazon.com & Walmart.com reviews
    1. If you have a product similar to those sold on Amazon, the amazon customer reviews section is a gold mine of data for you. From pictures to paragraphs, this corner of the web is a total G-d send.

PREMIUM: Secondary data

  1. SpyFu (keyword research & competitor research) – this is my favorite place to go when I start my search
  2. Trade Association Subscriptions
  3. Nielsen (example – https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/report/)
  4. https://www.forrester.com/report/Predictions+2020+The+Customer+In+2020/-/E-RES157584

Primary data (these can be free or premium thanks to the rise of social media).

  1. HotJar – I gather a lot of information about user behavior here.
  2. Pick out questions from this mega-list to help you create your short list of questions for the following types of information collection.
    1. Website surveys
    2. Online quizzes
    3. Customer interviews
    4. Focus groups
    5. Customer interviews
    6. Social media polls

What’s next?

Check out my guide on how to create a powerful, effective & consistent brand


This post was brought to you by Adi Soozin of MD9.co. If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like this, consider using the affiliate links we include in these posts. They allow us to occasionally earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you and it supports this website, as well as the composition of future posts, which means we can spend more time writing content. I genuinely recommend everything linked to via this website.

That’s all for now. To stay up to date with my latest posts & guides, follow me on LinkedIn or click that chatbot in the bottom right corner to join the email list.

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