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Six steps to writing research questions that get the best results

Eureka! You’ve got an idea for a business, product, service, or new functionality, a solution to a problem, or a hypothesis about why something is happening. Unfortunately, it’s a fact that not all ideas and solutions are good, and not all hypotheses are right. It’s a shame, but there it is. Before investing significant time and money, you’ll want to get a better idea if you’re on the right track. This is where primary research comes in. There is a lot to consider when conducting market research, far too many elements for one blog post. However, writing great research questions will go a long way to getting the answers you need to move forward. There are lots of market research methods but we’ll focus on writing great questions for an online survey, where the questions have to work their hardest.

Step 1:…

Using different insights tools to build an understanding of the opportunities for an agency to create value for a client

In a previous article, I defined and explained the need for marketing agencies and consultants to develop a robust Discovery process when they start working with new clients or on new market pitches or projects. In the second part of the article, I’ve broken them down the discovery process into nine distinct activities covering different insights sources, focusing on those needed for a digital or multichannel marketing project. Exactly who undertakes these will depend on your agency or team size, individual experience and skillsets. You will need to make a call on both the depth and breadth of discovery undertaken depending on the size of the opportunity/potential impact on the client business in the long run as mentioned in the…

A vital step towards marketing digital transformation

In the current climate, digital interactions between brands and their B2B and B2C partners have become a major feature in their customers' buying journey. Given the complexity of customer interactions via different touchpoints and channels across the modern customer lifecycle as shown in the visual, planning frameworks can help simplify the analysis and prioritization of digital marketing activities. It is sometimes difficult to orchestrate marketing activities in order to ensure that the right digital tactics are used at the right time and in the right place in that journey, to nurture a customer lead. However, in the partner world it’s a lot more complex, because before you embark on the development of any marketing campaign with or through a partner, an imperative step is to market to that partner to raise awareness of your brand and educate…

New research comparing user customer experiences for banks

This study caught my attention since it highlights the digital disruption caused by challenger banks and how some industry incumbents have improved their performance, but others haven't. This painstaking usability research involved competitor benchmarking where Peter Ramsey of Built for Mars each click reviewed different activities like opening an account was logged and compared. The findings are shocking... Look at the difference between the 10+ days for an account to be active from existing banks in comparison to the 2-3 days for an account to be active from challenger banks like Monzo, Starling and Metro. Kudos is due to the traditional banks like Barclays and Lloyds who have revised their back office process using STP (straight-through processing) so that they offer a 2-day turnaround process. In terms of digital experiences, the challenger banks perform even better... It took 5x as many clicks…

Our recommended free online tools for understanding your customers, competitors and campaign, and how you should use them - across 8 marketing analysis activities

I find that when running training courses, the tools I recommend to help marketers are always popular, especially free tools... I originally created this list in 2012, but keep it updated as new tools are released and some tools become paid! If you're relooking at your marketing strategy/budget, why not consider implementing some of these tools? There's a diverse mix of free tools available, one of the enjoyable aspects of working in digital marketing today. I’ll start with the most widely used. Please let us know about the “essential free tools” you use in the comments. For the full comprehensive list - check out our free guide to digital marketing tools, which was last updated in March 2020. We've structured it around our RACE planning framework…

Our recommendations on the top 10 free digital marketing statistics covering secondary data sources for Global, European, UK, US, Asia and Latin America

Online marketers love statistics about digital marketing. Us too. They allow us to review the growth in customer adoption of the latest digital platforms and technologies, make the business case for investment in marketing and allow us to benchmark our growth and performance against competitors. This post is aimed at helping you if you're looking to compile your own stats for your sector or your country. Here we share our experience of 10 of the best, most reliable free and paid sources. Everyone has their favourites, but I thought it would be useful to share the ones that I go back to most often each week as I research the updates for Smart Insights members and readers of my books. We have been keeping this post updated…

Benchmarking allows you to see how well you are faring against your competitors, allowing you to pinpoint what you do well and where improvements need to be made.

Measuring your success is more than looking at how much traffic is coming to your site and what your conversion rate is. You can’t really get a true idea of how you are performing unless you compare yourself to your competitors. ‘How do we compare to our competitors?’ and ‘What does excellence look like?’ are questions you should be asking when developing your digital marketing strategy. While many companies are asking these questions, they may not know exactly what answers they are looking for. In order to benchmark your performance against your competitors, you need to know exactly what you should be comparing and how to structure your review and recommendations. This is where our comprehensive benchmarking templates come in. …

The biggest delusion you can have about your venture is “My idea is completely new, I have no competitors”. If you truly have no competitors, you probably have no market either

Getting an edge over your competitors is important, and only possible when you truly and deeply understand the competition. Which brings us to one of the best ways of gaining new insights for your company: Market research! With the advent of sophisticated software and technology, marketers today have the ability to dig deep into the activities of their competitors and get some incredible new ideas about their audience. Because of these reasons and more, it is immensely important to conduct regular and thorough research into your compadres. [si_guide_block id="15270" title="Download our Premium Resource – Competitor benchmarking guide and template" description="Use our 7-step guide to benchmarking your business against your competitors and take the first step…

Web scraping is one of the best tools for competitive content analysis. It allows to automate data collection and get the deepest insight into competitors’ content

What do you usually do when you want to purchase something or learn a new skill? You take your smartphone or laptop and search for reviews and how-tos trying to find content that will satisfy your intent. Fortunately, there are tonnes of content available nowadays. [si_guide_block id="15270" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Competitor benchmarking guide" description="Benchmarking is vital when you're refreshing a website through a major redesign, but it can also be useful to review more regularly to see how competitors' marketing changes."/] Things get more complicated when you are on the other side. If you are a startup that wants to launch a content marketing campaign, you may realize that the market is quite saturated (not to say overwhelmed). According to the …

Strategic analysis of an organization is an essential factor when it comes to formulating a plan for the smoother working of your company

Strategic analysis refers to the process of researching an organization and it's working environment to formulate a strategy. There are many other definitions of strategic analysis with a different perspective. But they all involve a lot of common factors.

What is strategic analysis?

Strategic analysis of an organization is an essential factor when it comes to formulating a plan for the smoother working of your company. With the help of strategic planning, you can achieve the goals or objectives set by the company. Improvement is the one constant in any company. You need to keep improving your organization. So, to educate yourself, you must periodically conduct strategic analysis. This will then help your organization to plan ahead and determine which areas need improvement. [si_guide_block id="140701" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Marketing…