Examples Sales & Marketing By BlogAdmin Wing It or Test It?“Just as one hallmark of the Guerrilla Marketer is ongoing learning, another is ongoing research. Researching your marketplace should never stop." – Guerrilla Marketing (Kindle)Small-business owners are continually confronted with the need to make decisions about media, copy, headlines, subject lines, prices, colors, sizes, frequency, and target audiences. At all times, they are given two options: wing it or test it.Let’s examine some of the things you might want to find out.What should you market—your goods, your services, or both? Should your marketing feature some sort of price advantage?Should you emphasize yourself, your quality offerings, your selection, your convenience, your service, or only the existence of your business?Should you take on your competition or ignore all competitors?Exactly who are your competitors?Who are your best prospects?What income groups do they represent?What motivates them to buy?Where do they live?What media do they read, watch, and listen to?Where do they work? What field are they in?Are they online? LinkedIn, Facebook?Do you have their e-mail addresses?Do they have children? If so, what are their ages?What are their favorite sports teams?What are their hobbies?What do their spouses do for a living?What activities most interest their kids at school?Where did they attend high school and college?What are their purchase plans for the coming year?What do they most like about your company?To make your company perfect, what do they suggest that you do?Would they want a free subscription to your online newsletter or blog?The more answers you get, the more money you make. Complete answers to these questions can prove invaluable to a marketing effort. A lack of answers can prove disastrous. In most cases, great advertising is preceded by great research.Some inexpensive research methods can provide you with the information that can make the difference between success and failure.The internet, of course. From search engines (don’t rely on just one, use many – Bing, Yahoo, Google, Ask, DuckDuckGo, etc.) to Google Trends to joining and participating in groups, the information you need is at your fingertips.Go to your local library. The reference librarian is a great untapped resources for books and other publications that contain moneymaking information for you.An invaluable yet commonly overlooked way for you to get information is to ask your own customers and keep asking them over time to keep up with their changing needs and interests.Check with your Chamber of Commerce and industry organizations to which you belong (and their publications).Shop your competition - online and in-store - and get to know everything about them. If it's a product that's available in stores, talk to the sales people about the pros, cons and alternatives. The sales people interact with your prospects and the good sales people know your prospects well.You need both high-quality information and a reliable source for your research to be worthwhile. If you have both, that research may be worth a mountain of money.So save the "wing it" for game-time!