This article about Alternative Marketing Research Tools is part of the tools and tips series in the ongoing #365withDonnaMJ series of articles. Even though our focus is on supporting health and wellness marketers, this article can be useful to anyone doing marketing research online.
Are You Using Only The Big Well-Known Search Engines?
If you are marketing your emerging / small business in the health and wellness industry online, even if you have hired a pro like me to help you, there is still a basic level of marketing research that you will want / need to do. The most well known internet browsers and search engines are the go-to resource for most internet users. That is why they are the biggest. However, below you will find the reasons why I recommend that you go beyond just using a regular search engine. I will also give you additional recommended tools and tips to help your quest.
Why Add Alternative Marketing Research Tools
Note that this doesn’t mean bigger search engines are not useful for searching. Of course they are. However, I am suggesting that you limit their use and add in a mix of other resources and tools as part of your marketing system. Check out the following subtopics about privacy and openness online. Also, before you read on, here is a recommended online search site where you can be sure your searches are private:
Search Privately on DuckDuckGo.com – Marketing Research Tool
From their website:
“DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information.
Some of the larger search providers, including Google, have a track record of defaulting your search history to save in a way that is viewable by the public.
Of course you do not want your market research to be publicly viewable, right?
Take some time to read about your favorite providers’ privacy policies regarding your search history. Then learn how you can adjust the settings for enhanced privacy. The illustration below shows you where to go to adjust your settings if you have a Google Apps account (will be similar for regular google users, too):
This web history settings area is found on your google accounts page.
Two Important Additional Notes:
- As of this writing, this is how to find your web history settings in Google Apps, however, they frequently change pages and directories. So, use this as a general guide.
- Online providers are constantly changing their privacy policies, terms of service, guidelines and offerings. So, make sure you pay attention to the alerts they give you which prompt you to review the changes after they are announced.
FOR SUBSCRIBERS: An upcoming webinar will give you a detailed video guide of this topic.
VARIED, UNLIMITED SEARCH RESULTS
There is a bit of a back story here…
I have been a researcher for all of my life, since I first walked into a school. I am a person who loves to learn and to read. So, the introduction of the internet into my world when I was in college expanded my opportunities to learn and read significantly. And now with the latest advances in digital tools and resources, I pretty much can learn whatever I want whenever I want, and often at very affordable prices.
And this unlimited availability of affordable resources has totally been by design from the hearts and minds of those who strongly believe in the purpose of the worldwide web as an open resource for everyone who can get online. According to historical information I’ve read and seen regarding the founding of the internet, the original intent was to open things up and make this world a better place as a result. Of course there are some powerful folks out there who have been and will always fight this openness philosophy.
The great thing is that openness is still winning and lots of passionate folks will never stop fighting to keep it that way. In this world, there are always some ruthless people who just want to make more money, no matter how their tactics impact everyone else. And so now, if you pay attention to the online chatter and social media news about this topic of openness, you will see an undercurrent (almost like a digital revolution) of unrest surrounding this issue. The great thing about this movement is that the passion of the “openness” folks has made marketing research for emerging businesses much more affordable and accessible than ever before.
So, keeping all of that in mind…
There is absolutely no reason for your online marketing research to be limited by anyone for any reason. You need specific information to grow your business. You need affordable access immediately. However, not all search engines are created equal when it comes to accessibility of ALL that you need (and with privacy), instead of just the parts they want you to see. It hasn’t always been like this with search engines. However, the addition of social data to our searches brought with it social marketing which intrudes on our privacy, supposedly for our own well-being to serve us better. I totally get the wanting to serve us better part, but believe our privacy should not be encroached upon as much as it has been in recent years. And, unfortunately, it only seems to increase.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCE ON OPENNESS
VIDEO TOUR FOR ADJUSTING PRIVACY SETTINGS
If you would like for me to walk you through setting up your privacy for searching online, please subscribe so that you can see the webinar video that guides you through this process on a few of the major search engines.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN PART 2
And please come back for Part 2, where I’ll share with you more tools that you can add in to your online marketing research mix.
COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS?
What are your thoughts or questions on this topic of online marketing research? Leave a comment with what tools you recommend for online marketing research.
Thanks for reading!
Donna Marie Johnson
P.S. I am Celebrating the Launch of YourSocialNetworkingLiaison.com with a special free offer (expires soon). Listen to my latest soundcloud podcast to learn more about what I’m doing over there. To Listen, Click Here or go to 365.dmjc.me
P.P.S. Think about this…
Mindset Comment Regarding Marketing Research:
Just do it. Go for it. Be diligent. Be persistent. And Be focused.
Pick a specific topic that is closely related to the people God has called you to serve and stick with that for only a limited time each day (recommend 15 minutes at a time). This will protect you from getting burnt out and from following too many “rabbit trails”.
You will definitely be distracted online, but you can set your goals and standards in place in advance to keep yourself on track. It’s kind of like the same principle as eating before you go to the grocery store and always having a written shopping list with a budget.
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