This article is a reprint of a recent blog by Randy Aimone, the Business Pediatrician. Randy is a Certified Duct Tape Marketing Coach, and like Fortune Marketing Company, helps small businesses install marketing systems that work. Randy’s goal is to, “help small businesses get healthy and stay healthy”. You can view his original post here: http://businesspediatrician.com/business-tools/market-research-the-sneaky-way/.
Market Research is generally one of the most cost-effective investments a business can make. But ‘proper’ market research is expensive and time consuming and can easily be confusing. Do you do statistical research? Focus Groups? Surveys? Informal Interviews? All are good and have their place, but all are also greatly limited. So what’s an entrepreneur to do?
One idea is this:
Until the mid 80′s the market research that Burger King would do before deciding to open a new front was very simple.
They would ask- “Where is there y a profitable/busy Mc-Donalds with property for sale within a mile?”
If they found a location- Burger King (logically and correctly) assumed that Mc Donalds had already done the marketing research, traffic pattern research and economic forecasting. srErgo, a good location for a Mc Donalds was almost always at least a decent place for a Burger King. That was pretty much it for nearly 20 years.
Burger King just needed to put someone with a click-counter to watch for a few hours counting traffic to gauge the storefront’s health. Nothing fancier than that.
So how does this apply to you?
In nearly every industry, there is a similar large company that you can fly under the radar of and copy large elements of their marketing research. I’m not suggesting you carbon copy their business by any means- but you can easily copy their pricing, their packages, and the level of detail that they give in the marketing materials.
So here’s your homework- Find a regional or national company in your industry. Take and steal all the promotional information you can. Secret shop them for insight into their processes- Yes, that’s correct- I said shop at your competition. Trust me- most major regional and national companies do so on a regular basis.