Small Business Marketing Workshop – Part 3

In part 2 of our workshop, we guessed about what the answers would be to our questions that we came up with in workshop 1.  Understanding that the answers are purely guesses but they lay the foundation for our theories about what is going on in our market.  Next, we will try to prove or disprove our theories by doing some sort of research.  For research, we want factual information that could be either primary or secondary information.

Primary information is when we do our own surveys or gather our own factual data directly from whatever sources we have available to us.  We can do surveys, do a question and answer session with customers, gather web data about our customer behaviors, or somehow measure consumer behaviors in other ways.

Secondary information is when we find an article or paper on our market which references primary information.  We would be interested in the factual information revealed and not the interpretation of the information that is often contained in an article.

For secondary information, we definitely want to get information from a reliable source.  CNN, Yahoo News, or Fox News might be reputable sources of information but Bob’s web site probably would not be.  Note that CNN and Fox News might have opposite interpretations of information but we want to gather the factual information and not the interpretation.

I went out and did a search for picture frames and could not find any free consumer information, only a site that wanted to charge $3,000 for research; so in my case secondary information is out.  My choice, then is to gather my own information.  The way I usually like to do this is to go with my initial answers and measure various website activities to see if my guesses are accurate.  If not, then I make adjustments and try again.

I will say this, though: The better the information you can gather in various ways, the more likely you are going to be successful selling your product.  So do as I say, not what I do… Survey people to gather information about their behaviors or gather some other type of primary information.  Your assignment for part 4 is to come up with as much data about consumer behaviors as they relate to your product as you can, then adjust your answers from part 2.  You can use either primary or secondary information.

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