Apr 4, 2009

How A Small Bit Of Market Research CanSave Your Butt,And Reveal The HottestTarget Audiences You'll Ever Find

Simple Writing System Basics
"Making The Sale"

Lesson #1
How A Small Bit Of Market Research CanSave Your Butt,
And Reveal The HottestTarget Audiences You'll Ever Find.

From: John Carlton "The most ripped-off and respected copywriter alive."
Does your current Website suck?
Don't despair. You still might do OK?
How? Read on...
To begin, I want to reveal a rather embarrassing little secret shared by all top copywriters:
A poorly written ad sent to the right market... will do better than abrilliantly-written ad sent to the wrong market.
Seems simple, right? Don’t try to sell ice to Eskimos, but do offer ice water in a desert.
And yet, I see countless entrepreneurs make this very same mistake repeatedly.
Take, for example, the story of a guy I met while doing "Hot Seat" consultations at a Dan Kennedy seminar.
This dude had posted a gorgeous-looking Website and -- after several months of attempting to corner his market... was chagrined to get not a single blessed sale.
"What’d you pay to get the site up?" I asked, innocently.
"Ten grand," he said, without blushing. "But that included getting the product produced."
This guy was walking around like a wounded gazelle in hyena town. He was a one-man charity system for art directors, designers, web hosts and manufacturers.
Don’t be this guy. He had violated the most basic fundamental in business: Do the simple stuff first.
As it turns out, I know something about the market he was after. In fact, I know a LOT about that market.
And you know what?
It didn’t matter how good the deal was on his Website.
It didn’t matter how efficiently the site could capture visitors, or how easy it was to buy using the online ordering system.
It didn’t matter how gloriously wonderful the product was.
And it wouldn’t have made a difference if God himself descended upon earth and wrote this guy’s sales copy.
None of this was relevant.
Because there was no market there.
This guy spent ten thousand dollars to find out something he could have discovered for FREE.
And it would have taken him all of about an hour too... instead of the months he spent creating the product, writing the copy, and wrangling with the website technology.
It's called... (drum roll, please)...
Market Research.
I cover a lot of ground in the Market Research section of my Simple Writing System for a darn good reason. It's the FOUNDATION of everything else you do to bring in money.
But here's something you can use right now:
Do not create the actual product until AFTER you get a pulse from your intended market.
How do you do this? Here are just a few of the simple ways I can share with you:
(1) Go to Google AdWords. You can "test" most online markets without even signing up for the service.
It’s easy, too. The system will automatically reveal to you how many hits certain words and phrases within your target market were registered. It will also suggest other words and phrases, based on what is actually getting the big numbers.
This is free market research. Just figure out what a prospect might put into a search engine in order to be in your target audience... and see if the action justifies your foray into this market.
If the words and phrases you come up with are not among the most used, Google will tell you, and help you find the better ones.
And... if your AdWords best efforts come up with pitiful results... then you are fishing in an empty pond.
Time to move on.
(2) Get your hands on a copy of the SRDS. (That’s "Standard Rates and Data Service".) These are the phonebook-sized catalogs of all the mailing lists available to rent, and all the magazines that take ads.
Even if your business is strictly web-based, this is the book that -- once you take a few minutes to understand it -- will heap massive wealth and rewards on your head.
Because this is the book that instantly tells you which markets are hot, and which are not.
What’s more, if you’re too cheap to buy the service (sign up at www.srds.com and they will send you a brand new updated version quarterly), you can check the SRDS out for FREE at your local library. It’s in the resource department.
They’re not hiding it.
You don’t even need a recent one, in most cases. If your prospective market has existed for a while, you can get your answer from even a years-old SRDS.
Cuz all you need, at this basic stage, is a thumbs up or thumbs down on how "hot" the market you're targeting is.
There’s either a mob of cash-rich people who actively buy stuff in the market you’re considering... or there aren’t.
That’s all you’re looking for right now.
In this guy’s case, he had decided to go after what he thought was a huge untapped part of an existing market. He didn’t "need" to research it -- heck, his own common sense told him he on was the right track.
See, everybody was already marketing to the men in this market.
So he decided to go after... another big drum roll... the women.
Except for the inconvenient detail that there WEREN’T any women in this market.
I checked it out myself, once I got back to the office. The SRDS had the goods on over a dozen magazines that catered to this niche.
The subscriber numbers were huge... that’s why the guy wanted to go after the market... but they were also 97% male. This detail is plainly revealed in the statistics of each entry.
Just as telling, the available lists of direct response names had a premium of $12/thousand for male names. Female names were dirt cheap to rent.
This is a blindingly obvious hint: The men in this market are the ones who buy. The women barely exist.
Bang! Slam the SRDS shut, scratch the whole idea of going to that market.
Research job is complete. Even if you had to take a bus across town to the library, your total time expenditure has been minimal.
And you’re not out any serious money, except for bus fare and lunch.
Of course...
... if your research had revealed that your target market was a profit-rich riot of unmet needs (with scant competition and lots of low-hanging fruit)...
... then you've just identified a niche you can go after with the throttle wide open.
This is how fortunes are made... and kept from being lost.
This mini-lesson is just a "taste" of what's in store for you when you allow me to show ALL the tactics, secrets, strategies and inside unfair advantages I've mastered in 25 years as a top copywriter and marketing consultant.

No comments: