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5 tips for effective branding market research

Investing in branding market research is a proven best practice to delight your potential customers.

When you’re aiming to promote yourself or your business, having thorough branding market research is a must for informing your future marketing campaigns.

Your potential customers are likely engaged on multiple different platforms where you would invest in marketing strategies, so your branding market research will help you conduct the optimal content research to fit each of those channels.

For example, platforms that might form a multichannel B2b content strategy include your personal website, emails, newsletters, and the many social media channels.

By the end of reading this article, you’ll have learned various tips and tactics to add to your toolbox while compiling your own branding market research. All of the tips and tactics we’re sharing have been distilled our own trial-and-error, and the strategies we include are ones we’re currently using for Kahana (see below).

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We used the Kahana hub displayed above to gather branding market research to inform our B2B content strategy. Based on data about certain channels’ global reach and key numbers of engagement on social media platforms, we determined the types of compelling content we would need to properly extend marketing strategies from our main marketing website. While our branding market research is still evolving, feel free to explore what we have through this link.

Contents

  1. Start with market research to map your customer journey
  2. Experiment with diversified multichannel marketing strategies
  3. Optimize your branding market research process and marketing campaigns
  4. Survey buying habits throughout branding market research
  5. Deliver your products and services to customers through timely marketing

Start with the types of market research that map your customer journey

You already know that your marketing strategies will be more sophisticated than copying and pasting one piece of content everywhere.

Therefore, your branding market research should include the types of market research that dive deeply into your ideal customer journey to guide your content strategy and marketing campaigns.

Your ultimate outcome should be to create an ideal customer profile that defines your comprehensive market.

  • Where are your potential customers on their customer journey when they should hear about your product or services?
  • What is the time of day they are actively searching for solutions?
  • What are the key criteria (like price, quality, convenience, etc.) that factor into their buying habits?

To address these types of questions, the types of market research could include online surveys, interviews, sensitivity analysis about buying habits, and more.

Even if you don’t have a marketing team, you may want to consult with product development market researchers to ensure that your product and services are optimally designed for your potential customers.

You should consider using both quantitative and qualitative data within your branding market research. Pay attention to the unbiased behaviors of your potential customers as they use your prototype or similar products and marry that data with rich testimonials captured from online surveys.

We could write an entire book about crafting online surveys to assess potential customers, but for the sake of brevity here, we will simply mention that this element should inform the types of market research you choose.

However, if you want to dig deeper on types of market research, we recommend checking out the work done by Drive Research, which published a really high-quality overview of 11 Types of Market Research to Consider in 2022.

Creating a compelling piece of content: the outcome of understanding your customer journey

Each customer journey and target market will have its own specific optimizations that you need to keep in mind to have maximum success when you roll out marketing campaigns.

That’s why deeply understanding your customer journey will enable you to create compelling pieces of content that serve to delight and build trust with all of your potential customers.

Investing more into your branding market research upfront will help you to make tactful optimizations efficiently in the long run.

Your end result will be marketing campaigns that look effortless to your potential customers, as each compelling piece of content you distribute suits its medium perfectly, earning you a sleek and professional presence across each platform.

Positioning your marketing site for your customer journey

You want to invest in a marketing site that is based on your branding market research and serves as a home base for all your marketing campaigns.

Your marketing site can play an important role in helping you reach your target market and potential customers.

A “hub-and-spoke” approach is great if you are trying to drive traffic to your site.

In this model, your site acts as the hub of your core content strategy while the other marketing strategies are the spokes, effectively distributing marketing campaigns to drive traffic back to your site through search terms and compelling pieces of content.

Now that we’ve covered the types of market research, factors of understanding your customer journey, and upfront branding market research you will need, you should be in a position to plan for growth marketing strategies.

Experiment with diversified multichannel marketing strategies

Choice matters.

Realistically, it is asking a lot of your audience to seek your content on a platform that they rarely want to use for any other reason.

At first, a multi-channel approach to marketing strategies gives you the perfect environment to A/B test and determine what pieces of content and marketing campaigns work best.

This does, however, require you to have a strong understanding of the platforms your potential customers like to use and when you should post your content to help them to see it.

Luckily, you will have this information handy from your previous online surveys and various branding market research assets.

Screenshot of a Kahana hub that is being used for branding market research for YouTube.
For example, the Kahana team uses the hub displayed above to maintain our branding market research for growing and optimizing our YouTube channel. In our hub, we organize screenshots of search volume and competitive density data we gather from YouTube SEO sites like VidIQ and marry that with notes on our competitors’ thumbnails and content. This hub is just one of many that we use as a part of our “hub-and-spoke” approach to marketing strategies and content distribution. If you would like to check out our hub for inspiration for your own branding market research, we’ve made it publicly available through this link.

In the beginning, you should aim to give your potential customers as much of a choice as possible, and they should be able to use the platforms they want and still have access to your marketing campaigns and content.

Expand your reach to potential customers

Of course, if you’re only posting your content in one place, you are limited in the reach of your content. Being on more platforms gives you not only a larger pool of potential customers but access to different audiences.

When expanding, you need to consider the demographics of your users and the general platforms you are considering.

Are that audience and channel valuable to you?

Do they align with your products and services?

A multi-platform approach doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere, but you certainly should aim for the largest possible target market across those different channels.

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To check whether your potential customers will resonate with your products and services, and validate the channels you are considering for your marketing strategies, you can create a quick framework using Brian Balfour’s “Four Fits Growth Framework”. We did this exercise for our own channels for Kahana, and we are currently storing the living PDF in a separate hub from our YouTube research. If you’re having trouble seeing the image displayed above, you can also use this link to view the hub in more detail.

Optimize your branding market research process and marketing campaigns

A multi-channel approach to marketing campaigns is a great opportunity to build a strong and consistent brand image across different platforms.

There is a tricky balance between matching the tone of the platform and keeping the brand image consistent, but when you pull it off, it gives your content an element of authority and professionalism.

Brand consistency does absolutely not mean posting the same content everywhere.

Understand that your potential customers are on different platforms for a reason and leverage the strengths of each medium to your advantage.

There’s a spectrum here from copy and pasting the same content everywhere on the one hand, to creating unique but unrelated and inconsistent content on the other.

You want to be somewhere in the middle and allow each platform to highlight the many facets of one coherent brand identity.

Leverage online surveys before investing into a new target market

While a multi-channel approach can offer tremendous benefits, that’s not to say that it doesn’t come with these potential hazards.

First, you will naturally gravitate to your favorite platforms you are most comfortable with, and a multi-platform approach can often push you out of that comfort zone.

Particularly when you are adding a new platform to your marketing strategies, it’s worth taking some time to run a few online surveys to understand the platform deeply.

This will, of course, take time but as mentioned above; you can get much more out of a platform if you are more familiar with it and understand what your potential customers are actually thinking, as well as the overall tone and features of the platform.

This extra effort involved in conducting online surveys has obvious benefits, but that comes at a cost of time and therefore money.

For many, this investment is still a straightforward decision, as the reach of a wider audience and a chance to build a strong brand identity across many platforms is well worth that investment.

However, you shouldn’t be blind to the potentially significant time investment required in getting this right and weigh that against what you’re seeking to gain from being on these platforms.

Survey buying habits throughout your branding market research

Continuously seek to understand your customer

A successful multichannel digital campaign is going to take some planning, and this is what can make it sometimes tricky to pull off. Before you post, you need to have a sound idea of your current level of engagement relative to where you want it to be and what a successful strategy will look like. This includes, as we mentioned earlier, understanding your audience deeply.

Continuously seek to understand the platforms that your potential customers like to use and how they like to use them.

If you’re struggling to know where to start, look for competitors on these platforms and see what they’re doing and see what methods you think they are employing successfully or not so successfully.

Don’t underestimate the value of refining the customer journey as you proceed and periodically evaluating your content strategy based on surveying the buying habits of your customers.

By surveying buying habits, you can supplement your branding market research and achieve a level of planning to ensure that one channel doesn’t overshadow or contradict another channel.

Deliver your products and services to customers through timely marketing

Time your marketing campaigns to ensure that you’re not over-saturating different platforms with your output. We all know those pages that post way too much and how disinterested we become with them.

It’s also important to consider how these efforts will intersect with your broader goals. If your strategic imperative is to drive traffic, then what is your strategy to convert that into sales?

Consider the RACE acronym to help you think about your brand strategy and the role that a multi-platform approach can play in it:

  • R – Reach: Reach is the goal of any multichannel approach. You want to maximise your reach with your potential customers by utilising different channels to get your compelling pieces of content to them.
  • A – Act: Once your content strategy has a broad reach, how successful is it in encouraging the reader to interact with it and click through to your marketing site? Click through rate is a great metric for analyzing your overall content success.
  • C – Convert: Of the customers that interact with your content, how many of those translate into sales?
  • E – Engage: This step is a measure of continual engagement. Building long-term relationships through your content is really powerful, and it’s useful to think about the percentage of customers that regularly come back and engage with your content.

A final word on branding market research

We hope that the various tactics and tips we’ve suggested will help to guide and inform your branding market research process. All of the techniques we have covered are things we integrate into our own marketing strategies.

However, your products and services well certainly warrant unique marketing strategies of your own, which is to be expected.

As you go forward, keep in mind that while the merits of conducting branding market research are enormous, these initiatives can be difficult to plan and manage. So, we urge you to stay patient, and if you should have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’d like to chat.

If there’s one takeaway to gather from this piece, it is to keep your marketing campaigns manageable and don’t feel that you need to be in places that don’t bring value for the extra effort that they require.

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