Doesn’t New Client Research Analysis sound complicated? What exactly is it? It’s a fancy way of saying finding new clients.

So how does one go about doing new client research?

Using the internet you can do all kinds of research. You can find just about anything on the internet. So why not use that to our advantage to move our business forward.

Let me show you what I did to get my research going.

All good research starts with a goal in mind.  For me, my goal was to find 50 new client companies to research.

Step 1: Identify your Target Market

First, you must know your target market.  For me, my target market is companies who sell Business Intelligence tools. If you haven’t narrowed your target market very specifically, these suggestions aren’t going to mean much to you. Start there first.

Step 2: Identify Industry Organizations for that market

Next, think about what industry standard organizations publish reports and analysis for that target market. For me I found Gartner Group publishes a Magic Quadrant report for my target audience.

  • I found and downloaded Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Companies.
  • This provided me the names of 50 companies in my industry.  Easy!

Step 3: Define what to research

The next step is defining what I wanted to research. For example, I performed a web site audit to identify any opportunities I could use in contacting these new potential clients.

  • As a writer and marketing expert, I’m always looking for ways to improve business’ marketing message and vehicles. Therefore, the web site audit is the fastest and easiest way to find opportunities for improvement.

Step 4: Capture the results of research

Then I setup an Excel spreadsheet to capture 16 factors I was looking for on each website.

In the beginning you may not know what you’re looking for. That’s ok. Just start with the first web site and take note of what you find. Each element becomes a factor you can track and compare as you visit other sites. Keep adding to the factors in new columns, and then go back to previously visited sites to update for the new factors.  In effect you’re building the spreadsheet as you go.

Capturing data from this exercise is critical. Without it, you won’t be able to see the opportunities. Below is a portion of my data tracking sheet.

New Client Research Template

New Client Research Excel template

As I visited each web site, I noted what I saw regarding the 16 factors I was tracking. I did this for all 50 prospective clients.

Step 5: Identify Opportunities

In the end, I could spot opportunities easily.  For example, one company had no social media icons on their site. How can potential customers connect with them? Another company used a lot of pictures and the words were too self-serving to be attractive to potential customers. Again another company wasn’t making the best use of their digital assets.

I could go on and on.

There are so many possible ways to use this data to further your own marketing process. We’ll discuss some of those in 5 Ways to Turn Research into Marketing Gold article.

I’m not going to lie.

This research exercise requires quite a bit of time. I started the project several months ago and just completed recently only because other priorities had come up.  You’ll have to decide how much time you can commit to it. However long it takes you, it’s worth it!

Depending on how committed you are, plan to allocate 2 weeks or more for this kind of in depth study.

It takes time to review each of the 16 factors and make note of what you found. But it is worth the time and effort.  Read 5 Ways to Turn Research into Marketing Gold  now.