The Data Dollar: Tips for Conducting Market Research on a Budget

May, 2024 - by CMI

The Data Dollar: Tips for Conducting Market Research on a Budget

Want to conduct market research, but you’re on a tight budget? If you’re a business owner who has completed an online MSBA, you’ll understand how valuable marketing insights are to your business’s success. But like many companies, you may not have the budget to allocate to a huge marketing spend. 

The good news? When marketing budgets are stretched, there are specific strategies that can be employed to maximize your results. So if you can only allow for a minimal marketing spend, here’s how to beef up your budget and allow your business to access and analyze valuable customer data results in a pinch. 

Tip # 1: Mine Those Free-to-Use Marketing Tools to the Maximum

Yes, your marketing budget is stretched to the limit. But don’t let that stop you from getting the data you need to inform your marketing campaigns. Understanding your customer data is central to curating successful campaigns, and you’ll need to do some quality market research to uncover this invaluable information. 

The good news? There are so many user-friendly market research tools available online. The best part? They're often free to use. So how do you use them?

Some of the most valuable marketing resources include online surveys. Good examples of these platforms include resources such as SurveyMonkey or Google Surveys. While these platforms are extremely cost-effective to use, using them to analyze your customers’ survey responses can provide you with invaluable and exceptionally useful data to help shape your business’s marketing campaigns. 

Another method? Using social surveys like Facebook and Instagram polls is an excellent (and often free) way to gain access to insights from your customers’ perspectives. The best part? Straight from the horses’ mouths, you won’t find any purer, more honest data than this.

Tip # 2: Talk to Your Customers on Social Media

Engaging with your customers via your social media platforms can provide a window to their souls. It can help you understand them better, and also, ascertain what they want from your products. Many marketing experts swear by and recommend conducting market research using online platforms, such as:

  • Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Online forums and conversation sites like Quora and Reddit.
  • Professional networking resources, including LinkedIn.
  • Other forms of digital media, communication, and public information dissemination, such as YouTube. 

Tip # 3: Quality is Always Better Than Quantity 

Lastly, when it comes to marketing on a budget, go for quality over quantity

What does this mean? You don’t need to compile exhaustive amounts of data to get a good result. Instead, consider mining from a smaller pool - likely, you will still uncover the same trends as you would from a larger source. In this sense, working smarter instead of harder will help maximize your marketing budget, as you won’t need to spend exorbitant amounts to access a huge range of customer insights. Central to this perspective? A large amount of what is known as ‘big data’ is not always valuable: you can get just as many insights from a smaller data source - the key is how you analyze the information you have on hand. 

Another key to this strategy is knowing what’s worth investing in, and what isn’t. For instance, paying an external digital marketing company to obtain customer data for you may not be worth the cost when you already have budget restraints - especially when you can just as easily use free online market research tools to obtain the same information yourself. Not sure how? Completing a quick digital marketing course online could help provide you with the basics of marketing data mining and analysis. It goes without saying: doing it yourself is always more cost-effective than outsourcing. Investing in your own capabilities can also be considered a business investment.

Is your marketing budget in a pinch? 

As discussed, you can take advantage of the abundant data mining tools that are available online to gain valuable marketing insights. Making use of online market research tools such as survey platforms is pivotal to this. Talking and engaging with your customers on social media is also essential. 

And, as mentioned, when it comes to marketing data, quality is always better than quantity.