Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
(703) 828-5811‬
Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing Conduct Market Research in a Single Afternoon With The 80/20...

Conduct Market Research in a Single Afternoon With The 80/20 Rule

Selling a product without first conducting market research is like jumping into a swimming pool with no water in it. Before you dive into the pool, before you develop a product, before you create a brand, you need to find out if people want what to buy what you’re selling.

The most experienced person I know on this topic is Glenn Livingston. As a researcher, Glenn has been paid millions of dollars by large companies to find out about their markets. He is actually the guy who created the company name Nextel.

Glenn’s methods of online marketing give new businesses a success rate of 50 percent, 75 percent or even 95 percent (compared to the average success rate of 10 to 20 percent). His methods yield the same insights that large companies pay professional research firms big money for. The results will show key market gaps and identify consumer language to motivate purchase. “We’re at a unique turning point in our history,” Glenn says. “A time when huge insights into any market can be gathered online by the savvy entrepreneur who knows where to look.”

He used his expertise to guest write a chapter of my book 80/20 Sales and Marketing. Below are his top tips to get your market research up and running in a single afternoon. And did I mention these methods are all free?

1. Find Your “Bull’s-Eye Keyword”

If you could only advertise online with one keyword, what would it be? Asking yourself this question will focus you on the exact corner of the internet you want to dominate. Some people hesitate to do this exercise because they fear a reduced profit value. But, the opposite is true as long as you choose a keyword with sufficient volume that other advertisers are paying to be seen on.

This will force you to create a strong brand in the market that attracts customers like a magnet from beyond your initial focus. Use the Google keyword tool as a jumping off point.

2. Search Your “Bull’s-Eye Keyword” on Social Media

Once you know your single keyword, you need to see how potential customers are interacting with it on social media. To do this, you need to be active on several critical sites.

  • Go to a service like and set up an alert for your main keyword. Copy and paste into a document any tweets that express 1) a frustration in the market, 2) a direct benefit of a product or service, especially in an emotional way, or 3) a customer’s wish.
  • Go to YouTube and take notes on any videos that show the same things.
  • Go to and and find the highest profile blogs for your keyword. Take notes on the articles and especially the comments.
  • Go to and set up alerts for your keyword.

3. Look for Patterns from Social Media Findings and a “Point of Difference”

Sort through all of your social media findings and note the 20 percent of the tweets, blog comments, etc. that are the longest, most passionate and most engaged. Take note of any patterns you see.

From this you can find your “point of difference,” or what distinguishes you from other competitors with the same bull’s-eye keyword fighting for customers’ attention. You should also mirror customers’ language back to them to make the sale. For instance, if you noticed comments like, “I just want a computer to boot up quickly so I can get on with my work,” then you write an ad saying, “Some of the World’s Fastest-Booting Computers: So You Can Get on with Your Work!”

4. Analyze Your Findings

So now that you have this information, what do you do with it? Throw it into a spreadsheet. Keep only the social media responses that talk about a very difficult problem. These are the people who really have an itch that they can’t figure out how to scratch. Keep the long answers, too. Together, these represent the highly influential five to 10 percent who will pay for a product that solves their problems. And you’ll know what problems your product needs to solve.

This is a guest post by Perry Marshall. Perry Marshall is the president of Perry S. Marshall & Associates, a Chicago-based company that consults both online and brick-and-mortar companies on generating sales leads, web traffic and maximizing advertising results. He has written five books including his most recent, 80/20 Sales and Marketing.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily bgTheory. If you would like to write for Certified Knowledge, please let us know.  

Leave a Reply