Whether you are just starting a company, or you have been in business for years, it pays to keep an eye on your market.

Trends come and go, and getting in at the beginning of one can really pay off! But how do you stay on top of what’s happening? You use the best marketing research tools available!

From experience, I can say that it is best if you just keep things simple. Don’t fall into the trap of buying all kinds of different market research tools thinking that all of them will bring you a competitive advantage. Getting information is easy, but acting on the information is more important.

With that said, let’s jump into my recommendations. These tools are proven, and can help you to gain a competitive advantage in your market.

HotJar is a very complete tool.

Website: http://hotjar.com

Hotjar market research tool

I really love Hotjar. Partly because it is easy to implement, and also because the information you can get from using it is a great way to make adjustments to your offering.

This tool is to be used on your own website, and gives you the ability to create:

  • Heat maps
  • Feedback
  • Recordings
  • Surveys

In short: you are using Hotjar to get information about your website visitors, either passively or through active engagement.

The heatmap feature is really cool. I used this before to see where people were clicking the most on the homepage. Based on this information, I adjusted the placement of key items to make them even easier to find. This put more people into the sales funnel, resulting in increased revenue.

The survey feature is neat as well in that you can get some insights into why they are using your product or service (or, why they are looking at possibly using it).

Best of all, they have a $0/mo plan, so you can get started for free.

SurveyMonkey is proven for market research.

Website: https://surveymonkey.com

SurveyMonkey proven tool for market research

I have known about, and have used, SurveyMonkey for years. The first time I used it was back in 2009-10 when I was working as a consultant. Since then, I have continued to use it on and off within my business.

What makes SurveyMonkey so good is that it is easy to use, and can provide you some great data summaries on the surveys you create. They also include templates, so you can create surveys quicker. For example, if you want to run a Net Promoter Score campaign, then they have a template for that.

Beyond just surveys, SurveyMonkey has other features that may be worth looking into for your business. One that I find particularly interesting is TechValidate. This can really help you hone your sales funnel. However, it is a better solution for established companies, and not startups.

Regardless of your business size, they have an entire branch of their offering dedicated to market research, with many intriguing options. They are a trusted brand, so if you are going to invest in market research, then you can’t go wrong with SurveyMonkey.

Google gives great market insights.

Website: https://trends.google.com, https://www.google.com/alerts

Google trends and alerts

Don’t roll your eyes on this one, Google is a fantastic market research tool because chances are your customers use Google daily. The amount of data that Google has available for us is insane, so whether you use it for personal use or not, they will have information relevant to your industry.

The two tools (beyond Google search) that are worth using include Google Trends and Goolge Alerts. Both of these can help you keep tabs on what is happening in your market, and to discover new opportunities.

I wrote about using Google as a market research tool, and in that article, I go into a deep-dive on how to use the resources that they have available to gain actionable insights for your business.

Talkwalker Alerts keeps you in the know.

Website: https://www.talkwalker.com/alerts

Talkwalker Alerts is better than Google Alerts

While I have used Google Alerts, I prefer to use Talkwalker Alerts instead. The research tool works exactly the same, but with a better interface and (in my mind) better results for the alerts.

Similar to SurveyMonkey, Talkwalker Alerts has been around for a long time. I think I stumbled upon them back in 2011-2012 and have used it ever since.

You are probably wondering: how is this different from Google? Aside from the user experience, Talkwalker Alerts differentiates by:

  • Searches and alerts you about mentions that occur on blogs, forums, websites, and social media. Google is limited to mostly blogs, forums, and websites.
  • More precise filters for the information you receive. For instance, if you want to only see social media mentions, then that can be specified. Google has filters, but I found them to be less helpful than Talkwalker.

If you are not sure which to use, I recommend that you use both Google Alerts and Talkwalker Alerts to see which you prefer, then drop the one that doesn’t give you the best results.

GapScout finds profitable market gaps.

Website: You are on it! 🙂

GapScout finds market opportunities

You saw this one coming, right?

While the tools mentioned previously are great for getting general insights, the difference with GapScout is that you can get experienced based feedback from real people.

We give you this by automatically analyzing the reviews that exist in your market (for your business or for a competitor) and highlight the opportunities based on the identified trends.

Honestly, this is software that I wish existed when I started my first software company. I spent a countless amount of time documenting reviews and extracting competitive advantages from them. I have no doubt that this helped my first company with its year-over-year growth.

The good news for you is that with GapScout, this process is now automated. You don’t need to spend weeks to get the same kind of insights. You will have a list of actionable ideas in a day!

Wondering what GapScout can do for you? Well, don’t be a stranger! Email us any question that you may have, and we will happily answer them!

There is no “perfect tool” for market research. You need to bring the human element.

Something I have learned is that no software tool can give you all the answers for how to compete in your market.

Market research tools provide you data, and can even interpret that data to an extent, but ultimately, you are the decision maker. No software will know your market the way that you do.

Trust in your intuition, and use the information you get from the solutions mentioned here to gain a competitive advantage in your market.

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