When we need a service, we always want to see if there’s a free version. Basecamp? Gratis. Office? Libre. Often free versions are watered down or limited in capability. With market research, you can find some free data, but it’s usually broad information. As anyone in the field will tell you, market research needs to be specific and tailored to each unique business for the most value and usefulness. However, the free market research data that’s out there can provide a great starting point. Get a headstart before you invest in targeted research by learning what you can from these resources:
Free Market Research Databases
Sure you can take the time to Facebook stalk your followers, but it’s time consuming a lot of data to sift through. Rather, here are some free tools to help you shape and develop your marketing research and strategy. By the way, Brandwatch compiled an extensive list of free Facebook analytics tools.
The Marketer’s Almanac leaves market researchers breathless at its depth and analysis of buyer behavior. Trends allows market researchers to delve into topics like gauging metro areas’ interest in the Superbowl. If you want to know if your business, like a sports bar, will do well in your city and need to prepare adequately, consider the research here as a starting point. Google also provides insights articles and is well-researched (because they know surfing habits better than anyone).
A non-partisan institute, the Pew Research Center prides itself on factual data compiled and categorized under certain issues, such as politics, science, and religion. If you have some idea in mind, it might be a great jumping point for your market research after browsing the site. It focuses on trendy topics, so you can stay on top of the game.
Free Market Research Tools
Formerly a subgroup of Nielsen’s, Claritas’ MyBestSegments is a visually-friendly market research tool that breaks down zip codes by interests, age groups, household populations and so on. It’s a nifty tool that’s fun to play around with, so get to searching! This is useful in underserved pockets like rural populations.
In this real-time social media search engine and analytical tool. Curious about what people are saying on social media about your market or brand? Enter a keyword to find out!
Alexa pulls website traffic data and analyzes it with source traffic, linking and performance. You can even check competitive websites.
HubSpot offers a plethora of free tools, and one, in particular, is interesting. MakeMyPersona will build your customer profiles for you based on the data you give them on who your ideal customer is. If any of your customers end up being Regina George, run!
Surprisingly Google doesn’t come up with ALL the suggested keywords for your AdWords campaigns. UberSuggest claims to fill that gap. Maybe it’s just Webster’s thesaurus database disguised as another brand, but give it a try.
The online survey tool SurveyMonkey is widely used, and you can get the most basic surveys for free, but they are limited in their options. SurveyMonkey also helps you analyze and visualize the data.
Allowing users to create highly customizable and distinct forms, Typeform is a wonderful tool for gathering data, especially emotionally responsive forms. It’s handy for online forms, too, that take the place of PDFs or paper!
Free Government Market Research Databases
Many government websites offer a wealth of free market research data. Use it to help shape a customer profile, especially in regards to occupations. Most of the data collections examine the state of the economy.
Though there are often discrepancies or unreported data, BLS offers a comprehensive collection of employment data across the United States. It can be useful in determining your field’s own weaknesses and think about your hiring practices. One problem is that the government doesn’t have adequate categorizations for some jobs, especially newer ones developed in the past two decades. BLS still doesn’t have an easy navigation system, but if you tinker around long enough, you might find what you’re looking for and maybe more!
Unlike BLS, the Census Bureau’s website boasts a user-friendly interface. While it hosts similar data, it’s highly customizable.
The SBA’s official website hosts a trove of data on economic and business conditions and trends. Like BLS, it’s a solid resource for economic data. Be careful, though, you could get lost in a rabbit hole.
Yet another site that hosts Federal Government-mined data, FedStats has access to more than 100 agencies. Its data casts a wide net for a varied and vast collection.
Guess what! Another government website for the BEA has dedicated resources for daily updates on the economy. The BEA releases news on economics internationally, nationally and regionally.
Market Researchers have a world at their disposal, and you can start for free! If you need further and focused assistance with market research, look to outsourcing or hiring an expert.