By Carrie West
Internet Research and Businesses Today
All businesses, but especially manufacturers, must be aware of the rapidly changing trends in your industry. Manufacturers have longer production cycles so whether you are B2B or B2C, you must be nimble enough to strategize in a marketplace that is moving faster than ever before.
No matter how you sell your products or services, making strategic decisions today requires that you go beyond the tried and true approaches of understanding business data and trends: sales, forecasts, customer feedback, surveys and consumer indexes, to name a few. If your business intelligence is outdated by days or weeks, you could make faulty decisions that come at the hefty cost of lost revenue or missed opportunities.
To remain relevant to your clients and prospects, establish new markets for your business and make smart predictions about your product’s continued development, it is critical that you take full advantage of the most powerful, up-to-the-minute market research libraries available today; the World Wide Web.
With over 47 billion web pages and over 3 billion users, the Internet provides the most current data on what your customers are saying and what they are buying. By using social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Yelp and more – you can have daily insights to how your product (and others like it) is being received and know what concerns you should address in version 2.0. The question is, though, how do you access the right information and make best use of it in a timely manner?
Going Beyond Google
To conduct an in-depth and virtually real-time market research, you’ll need to sort through literally thousands of websites, blogs, and Social Media applications in order to listen in on relevant social conversations to hear what your customers are saying about you, your competitors and (most importantly) what they are looking for next in terms of products and services. If you try to do this with traditional search engines and Social Media tools, much of the results you will return will be irrelevant at best and the process will be tedious and frustrating, to say the least.
Fortunately, there are new technology tools available that analyzes the Internet to help you pinpoint your market and give you the relevant information you crave, plus the tools to deploy your digital marketing campaigns into specialized communities for greater effectiveness of your overall digital marketing strategy.
Smarter Search Tactics
These new algorithms aggregate multiple searches that would normally take thousands of hours to perform and be impossible to manually collate and analyze. They also find what you’re looking for, not what Google or Bing wants you to find. These new tools filter and crawl the Internet based on sophisticated natural language analysis and serve elegant results. Rather than returning a daunting list of web pages, they extract a coherent picture of web presences—social influencers, social media accounts, forums, bloggers, keywords, topics of conversation and sentiment—to provide a comprehensive and integrated view of your market. Some of these tools also integrate with industry standard Business Intelligence software to provide further analytical capabilities and actionable data visualizations.
If you’ve ever wondered why your top products start to lag in sales, now you can find out using these natural language algorithm-based tools. They can identify competitors that you weren’t aware of to stay ahead of the game. And if you are having to relaunch your product, these tools can identify new markets you haven’t considered: an excellent way to pivot and manage existing inventory.
This fresh approach to Internet and market research, combined with carefully selected and proven digital marketing best-practices, can optimize the various elements in your marketing mix, including website content, social media activity, email, paid ads, remarketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and channel strategy. With this integrated approach, you will open new markets, uncover opportunities, close new clients, maximize customer spend, and build long-lasting customer relationships online with an ease you’ve never experienced before.
About the Author
Carrie West is the Practice Director at Setanta leading Setanta’s RaveTek software – a high performance, superior web analytics tool for digital marketing and market research. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reprinted from the Summer 2016 issue of Bellwether.
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