When I first started marketing I had no idea what 'research' meant.

What do I do? Track trends? Note the demographic size?

It all starts to make sense as you launch campaigns and realize WHAT you need to be 'researching' to give you a better chance.

Research basically means anything that gives your efforts a better chance of winning. Let's relate it to a Teespring shirt.

If I'm making/selling something for Dragon Ball Z, (a popular cartoon), this is what I'd do.

  • Go to eBay, Instagram, Google, Teeview, pinterest and search through some Dragon Ball related merchandise to see what people are trying to sell and what is actually selling.  Just because it exists on the internet somewhere doesn't mean it's selling. You need a good amount of social engagement of purchases to prove it's liked by the niche audience
  • Go to FaceBook Audience Insights and see how big the audience is. In the millions? Cool, there's good money to be made. In the 10s of thousands? Hmm..not big enough - I'll pass.
  • Is there a pattern to whats selling? Certain characters have more fans than others? Have certain phrases become iconic? Pain points? Requests?

Basically I would look into what's selling. WHY is it selling and how many can it sell. If this seems somewhat appealing, I'll give it a shot. Remember, even IF your research phase uncovers some favorable conditions for you to go after that niche, it doesn't necessarily mean it will work. This just increases your chances.

I'll repeat the above questions/steps over and over and over again till I find something that clicks.

I'm not sure the same rules would apply to other paid advertising or online income building methods. I would imagine they would to a certain extent.

Even if you're talking about business in general. Research more or less means to stalk down your competitors to see what works for them and tweak your approach to theirs till it works for you too. Sad, but true. No one wants to re-invent the wheel. It's always a better move to build OFF from somewhere and THEN, once it's all working and progress is being made, branch off and make it unique.

FaceBook came from Myspace. Myspace came from hi5 and I'm sure hi5 used some principals of some other sites similar to it. Each became something different but a large portion of the way they worked were based on the business(es) before them.


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Written by Mateen