Understanding Your Market
Create Delightful Targeted Content
We often provide products and services and write content for our markets. We think we know our target markets well and in many cases we do. However, I have often found that to dig in and study with great interest can provide some surprises. It behooves us to spend some time conducting research and learning more so that we design our products and services, our content and our approach to reach, engage and best satisfy our audience.
Here is a blog post that illustrates the nuances of a market (The Thanksgiving Recipe Market). This post shows how a market can be quite diversified. We can do research that enables us to better understand the market and the market segmentations. It is often by gaining an understanding of the market segments that we know what to offer and how to offer it.
We need to do up-front research to define our audience and then fine tune our message and offering.
Take a look at this map of the United States. It shows the most popular searches during the week of Thanksgiving. These results have been defined after taking out search volume for phrases related to “turkey”. Turkey related recipe search volume is the highest in every state so this map does not consider recipes related to turkey.
One way of thinking about this research is that by understanding search volume you get a view into how people are voting. When people search they are actually casting a vote for what they are interested in. You need to create delightful content that aligns with what people are seeking. You need to create this content in a fashion that enables it to be found in search. When the search engine makes a connection for the seeker to your content (i.e. displays it in the search results) then everyone is happy. If you are a business providing a product or service and a search engine brings a seeker to your door (i.e. your website) then this can help to put money in your bank account.
Putting Money in the Bank
In this example of Thanksgiving recipes, the Google database was used and the most popular searched for recipes are defined by state.
Some of the search results seem logical (smoked salmon dip in Washington State). Other searched for recipes were surprising. For example, the recipe most searched for in Utah was “funeral potatoes”. I had never heard of this particular side dish. I called a friend who lives in Utah and he said that this is indeed a popular side dish and then he explained how to make it (he is also an accomplished cook). Therefore, even a strange sounding side dish such as funeral potatoes seems to make sense. The Google database indeed may be accurate.
It is always wise to do some double checking beyond making a phone call and I decided to dig in a bit further on this special Utah side dish phrase. I looked at related phrase search volume and I saw that there are many searches being conducted for Mormon Potatoes and Mormon Funeral Potato recipes. I could read articles about the origin of the name of funeral potatoes. I was able to find Pinterest boards devoted to images of funeral potatoes. In short, once you establish the desire to learn about something there is a wealth of information – essentially at your fingertips.
I could also observe any trends. I used Google Trends to see the search volume for funeral potatoes versus time (see below). There seems to always be a peak in November and there is a slight general upward trend. Interesting. If I want to market to this market then I better have everything in place well before November or wait until next year (ouch!).
You need to understand your market to be able to create content for it. You need to understand your market to understand what issues your market faces and how to provide a solution.
I hail from the beautiful state of Vermont. We are world famous for our spectacular fall foliage and this, in large part, is due to our Maple Trees. These trees also provide us with the base ingredient for Maple Syrup. The market research for Vermont reveals that the most popular Thanksgiving recipe is Maple Walnut Pie. Now this is a treat and well suited to Vermont. Perhaps the born and bred Vermonters could have guessed this without conducting any research but why not use the most powerful marketing database the world has ever known to conduct a bit of research. At worst you may learn that you were right in the first place. At best you may even learn a thing or two.
I conclude that it is too easy and very valuable to conduct meaningful market research. If you are a business manager you need to understand the modern market well and how to please it.
Use your market knowledge to align better with your market and if your competition does not then you will be able to outperform them.
If you want to learn more about conducting market research and content marketing then I invite you to take our Content Marketing Tutorial Series. Here is a link to the Content Marketing Tutorial Introduction.