Marketing Research

If you have done the exercises correctly, you’ve discovered possibilities for your first P.I. machine or product. You’ve done research to see what is currently available to give you ideas. You’ve taken those notes and brainstormed to develop something totally new or expanded and improved.

You did all of those exercises — didn’t you? Speed of Implementation.

At any time in the future, when you aren’t sure of a direction, you can come back to these notes and have a look. If nothing springs out at you, you could try the exercises again from a new perspective.

The next thing we want to do is make sure certain people are actually interested in the topic. It makes no sense to waste your time creating a killer product that nobody wants. (Trust me, I've done that.)

To see how much interest people have in a topic, you’ll need to set up a Google AdWords account. It has been years since I set up mine, but I remember them wanting a credit card. Don’t sweat that. They won’t charge you unless you run an ad campaign. You may one day, but that isn’t the purpose right now.

If you don't have an AdWords account, it is easy to set up. Just go to Google.com, type in “Adwords” and the link will pop up. After you have set up your account, or signed in, you will want to use their keyword suggestions tool. This will show you how many people are searching for your topic.

Here is how to do it:

When you are on your AdWords Dashboard, go to Tools and in the dropdown menu click on Keyword Planner. There are four types of research you can do, but for this exercise just click on “Search for New Keyword and Ad group ideas.”

For this demonstration, use the sewing example from earlier and type in “How To Sew.” You will then see a landing page request. You probably don’t have a landing page yet, so find a How To Sew DVD tutorial. Enter that URL by copying from the browser and pasting it into the form.

Under “Your Product Category,” select Hobbies. There may be another heading more applicable, but this one is pretty close to the target for this imaginary product. You can go into more detail under that heading, but for this exercise you don’t have to worry.

You don’t need to add any other limitations to this search. You want the broad spectrum of this picture. So click on “Get Ideas.”

Google AdWords will pull all the information you need pretty quick, though some of the suggested keywords may not apply to you. On first glance, Free Sewing sounds like a negative if you want to sell something. But let’s look further: it gets an average of 29,030 searches a month.

The next column is Competition — and Free Sewing is ranked as Medium. This means people are placing ads on that keyword phrase. You will also see the average bid or pay-per-click price.

Why would people bid on Free? Maybe they have free patterns they give away in trade for getting email addresses. Then they can continue to contact those people with offers for things to improve their sewing. Possibly instructions, tools, I don’t know — not my field of expertise, but people are willing to spend money, so that search term must be worth something. It is up to you to figure out what. Write down those search terms, and do some research when you finish here.

So if the search terms match your product — make a note of those keywords. Always look at the number of searches, the competition and the suggested bid. If people are spending money on it — you won’t be wasting your time by creating that project.

Once you are established and have a client base, you can poll your customers and followers for product ideas. But I’m assuming you are at the beginning and may not have those yet, so go check out AdWords and see if people are really interested in what you want to create.