Every day, people try their hand at entrepreneurship, selling a new service or product. But as you probably know, most people who start a new service or product end up failing. The main reason is that they do not know how to do market research. In fact, they most likely didn’t do it at all!

Doing a little market research not only makes you money, it can also save it! You may discover that a market simply is not viable after you dig into it. More likely, however, is that you discover a way to better compete in a market that already has established players.

In this article, I will explain how you can go about executing market research for your business, even if you only have five minutes per day.

Gordon Ramsay giving a five minute warning.

How to do market research using the reviews of your competitors, the quick and easy way.

Whether you are just starting out or have an established business already, the single best place to gain some actionable insights of your market is by looking into reviews. My personal favorite: reviews of the competition.

As much as we don’t want to admit it, our competitors do get things right. They have happy customers. People will sometimes choose them over you, so it only makes sense that you understand why they chose them in the first place.

The “quick and dirty” way to do this is by scanning the reviews left by their customers. The five-star and the one-star reviews are the best places to look if you are short on time. Why? These people have the strongest emotions, making it easier to extract valuable insights.

What kind of insights are you looking for? Well, it depends on if the review is negative or positive, but seeing as we are trying to keep market research to just five-minutes (or less), let’s stick with negative reviews only.

If you are looking into negative reviews of your customers, then your primary objective is to identify the pain-points of the customer.

Common negative review pain-points for products include:

  • Support quality
  • Support response time
  • Feature(s) not working as expected
  • Corporate policy changes
  • Performance issues (i.e. slow)

Common negative review pain-points for services include:

  • Poor communication
  • Did not deliver on-time
  • Did not deliver on budget
  • Provider did not listen

There are, of course, other negative sentiments that people can express in their reviews.

The goal is to quickly identify them across your competitors and compare this feedback to your own. Specifically, you want to make sure that you are not committing the same mistakes. Also, if there is a common theme, then you can build that theme into your sales copy and keyword research (more on this later).

Let’s look into some examples by examining negative customer feedback.

Depending on your product or service, you will have a variety of review sites available for your industry. Don’t just rely on one for your data collection. Pick one competitor and look at their reviews across all the available platforms. Even the obscure ones can provide some action items.

For this example, I am choosing the Web Hosting category on G2Crowd. This is arguably one of the most competitive industries in tech. Huge venture capital backed players are trying to get the most users as possible.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to compete. Every market has gaps!

Let’s say we have our own hosting company, and we want to find a profitable angle to take when creating our sales copy. Let’s see what we can find by looking at a few negative reviews for an industry leader.

For simplicity and sake of time, we will only look at four one-star reviews.

Kinsta Reviews

One-star reviews describing an extra charge after cancelling
One-star review complaining about how slow the Kinsta service is.
One-star review describing slow platform and extra charges.
How to do market research explanation with a one-star review complaining about overage charges.

What themes can we identify across these reviews?

As you read through each of the reviews, you should take notes on some main issues people have with your competitor. There are three things that jump out across all four reviews:

  1. Poor speed
  2. Excessive charges
  3. Storage capacity

Now, this is where we need to apply our understanding of the market to find the potential gap being identified in the market. Do you see it?

It is overage charges.

No one likes to be charged more than what they expect. That is one way to create an extremely negative experience. If we have a competing hosting product, then it makes sense to add sales copy around this theme. A headline like this could go a long way:

Unlike our competitors, we will never charge you for being successful!

This sentiment can be echoed in other copy on the page, including comparison tables. Pretty cool, right? This is how to do market research, and it didn’t take long at all! Our customer experience is being crafted directly from the negative experience expressed by our competitor’s service.

Naturally, we won’t know for sure how big this gap is until analyzing other competitors, but it’s a good start. How heavily we lean into this attribute will depend on how common of a complaint it is across the major players in the hosting space.

As you can see, just doing five minutes of market research a day can help you understand the needs and desires of your perspective customers. You don’t need to get crazy with it either, just look at reviews of your competition. While looking at the reviews, your main priority is to understand what motivates your target market.

Ultimately, you can’t treat market research as an optional task in your business. In contrast, it is one of the most important contributing factors to your company’s success. As you get into the daily habit of scouring reviews, you will become efficient at knowing the pulse of your market and what people are looking for in the solutions they choose.

Supercharge your market research with artificial intelligence.

I have found that looking at the negative reviews can get you some easy, quick wins for your own business.

If you don’t know how to do market research, then this is the best way to start. The sales copy mostly writes itself! Even with our small exercise of looking at Kinsta feedback, we were able to transition a complaint into an asset for our own hypothetical hosting platform.

But that process was manual, and has to be done daily across multiple platforms to be effective. Not impossible, but also not super efficient. Plus, we are all human. It is likely that we accidentally overlook a profitable gap.

That is where GapScout thrives. By leveraging the best in AI, we analyze all the data for you to help you uncover the profitable opportunities in your market. Tackle reviews and extract insights in minutes, not weeks!

Ready to Automate Your Market Research?
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