Not all that long ago, market research was something somewhat obscure and not always easy – or affordable — to obtain.

But to companies that wanted insights into who their customers were and what they were buying, this kind of data was gold.

Today, however, much of the mystery of market research is gone, and you no longer need powerful firms conduct survey after survey and drowning in numbers to learn about your customer base.

In fact, most businesses can do this on their own and do so affordably, so no need to outsource. Even better, many customers don’t mind giving this information, sometimes for free, or at least with expectations of future rewards, such as future coupons or discounts.

Market research has also become something that just about anyone can learn the basics of: after all, it’s really learning about who is buying your products or service and why they’re doing so.

Some of the theories can be a little confusing if you’re not familiar with modern marketing methods. But it also can be enjoyable being creative, such as making up your ideal customers. The more data you have, the more you can craft the perfect customer, such as age, occupation, interests, income, and more.

If you’re able to create a variety of personas, you can use them as a way to build trust and nudge uncertain customers to complete their purchases.

Modern market research also includes different types of ways of getting information from current and potential customers. Do you simply want to ask them basic questions about themselves in an interview setting? Or do you want to provide other ways for them to express themselves and share their preferences? Or do you want all of the above?

Market research can also involve digging a little deeper to get to their motivations. What made them choose a “favorite” product or service? What factors  influence their spending decisions? Why do they go for what you have to offer compared to patronizing your competition, or even not buying anything at all?

For more information about other marketing strategies visit WebMe360.