Marketing research and analysis is one of the most important aspects of any business. Yet, it's normally overlooked by most small and medium size companies.
We understand that back in the old days marketing research would cost a small fortune which most SMEs couldn’t afford. However the internet brought us a host of resources and databases where you can get precious information for FREE.
This article covers a variety of tools that we use on a daily basis when dissecting existing markets for our clients, discovering new ones, or keeping a close eye on the latest trends.
43 Things - 43Things.com it's a website where people can share their dreams and goals or find out what others want to do. The Zeitgeist section lists popular goals achieved by the community.
About.com: Sites A to Z is the index of all about.com sites. It's good for brainstorming and exploring new concepts.
Amazon's Hot New Releases lists bestselling new and future products on Amazon.com, it is possible to drill down your searches by product categories, bestselling, most wished and much more.
Amazon's Most Popular Tags displays up to 1,000 tags used by Amazon customers to classify products. More frequently used tags are larger and more recently used tags will appear darker.
AOL Hot Searches is a daily updated log of popular searches in the AOL search engines.
eBay Pulse is a daily snapshot of the latest trends and hot products.
eBay What's Hot is a mix of data from trade magazines, predictions from industry experts, and eBay sales data to determine what’s in demand.
eHow is a user generated content website providing information about "how to do just about everything". eHow is useful for finding topics in demand.
Google Trends reveals how often a given search term is searched, relative to the total number of searches in Google. Google Trends also allows the comparison between two or more terms. Trends is useful to identify seasonality and geographical distribution.
Google Checkout Trends aggregates sales data of Google Checkout merchants. With Google Checkout Trends it is possible to compare two or more products and discover which is selling more.
Google Hot Trends displays the top 100 hot searches of the past hour. It is also possible to search the archives past dates.
Google Insights for Search is a beefed up version of Google Trends. We have already explained how to use Google Insights for keyword research or market research. However there many other useful things that you can do with this tool.
Google Press Center: Zeitgeist provides a snapshot of Google user search behaviour based on queries from around the world. The information is organised by country and displays "Popular Queries" and "Top Gaining Queries".
HowStuffWorks.com teaches people how stuff works. The website will tell you how hard drive works or how a tsunami forms. It is divided in 13 main categories that cover virtually any subject. HowStuffWorks.com also features the most popular articles which is helpful for identifying trends and getting ideas for website content.
Lycos 50 is a weekly chart of the top search terms in Lycos. It is focused mainly on the showbiz, celebrities and entertainment markets.
adCenter Labs: Demographic Prediction determine user's age, gender, and other demographic information, based on their online behaviour.
adCenter Labs: Online Commercial Intention detects customer commercial intent based on keyword or URL. The probabilities are distributed in 3 categories: non commercial, commercial-informational, commercial-transactional.
adCenter Labs: Entity Association Graph provides a graphic view of associations between search queries or search sessions.
adCenter Labs: Keyword Forecast is similar to Google Trends but also predicts demographic distributions of keywords by age and gender.
adCenter Labs: Search Funnels helps with the analysis of users' search sequences. Enabling you to visualise how customers perform their search journey.
SEOmoz Popular Searches aggregates popular search queries gathered from various sources across the web. Including Technorati, Flickr, Del.icio.us, Google, Amazon and many more.
Yahoo! Answers is probably the biggest social Q&A website with over 70 million users. It is estimated that has a collection of in excess of 250 million answers written in English. To take advantage of the second most popular reference website after Wikipedia, just sit down, listen and learn what problems people currently have and offer solutions for those problems.
trendwatching.com is a leading trend firms. trendwatching.com has 8,000+ trend spotters across the world constantly analysing and identifying the most promising consumer trends. Their findings are aggregated in a free, monthly Trend Briefing and an annual report.
Shopping.com Consumer Demand Index makes it easy for you to put your finger on the pulse of consumer demand. With millions of shopping searches conducted each week, the CDI reveals emerging trends and hidden gems while highlighting the hottest products.
With so many resources for gathering demographics data and customer behaviour information there's no excuse not to know your market and stay ahead your competition.