The Real Market Research Questions To Ask

Are you in need of the right market research questions to help you be more effective?

This article addresses the real questions you should be asking your target market.



Three years ago, I was sitting at a brew pub trying to figure out why one of my retail products was not selling online.

After all, I did everything my high priced courses had taught me to do.

I had the right design, great images, the website template, my copy template matched everything I was supposed to have.

So why so few sales?


As I saw what the bartenders were doing behind the bar, I finally saw an angle to sell my product I had never thought of before.

I went back, contacted my designer, made new packaging and developed a whole new marketing angle to reach people who brew beer at home.

In short, I sold over $10,000 of that one product in two weeks!

But this is not a brag about me. This is about to correctly use marketing survey techniques. This is about how you, me, and huge companies get our marketing wrong.

And how to fix it with these four market research questions.


The #1 Reason Products Fail

Microsoft failed doing it.

Amazon failed even worse.

And don’t get me started on the Blackberry attempt…

They saw the hot smart phone market and decided they had to get a piece of the action.

Apple’s iPhone came in 2007 and a year later HTC launched the first Android phone, called the Dream.

Millions of those phones were sold to a hungry audience. People were lining up for days to get these phones from the stores when they launched.

Microsoft and Amazon both had huge customer bases. It made sense to each to try to get in on the frenzy. Get some of the billions of dollars their competitors were enjoying.

The result?

This year Microsoft officially stopped supporting the Windows phone.

For Amazon’s Fire phone, final figures were not released, but Tech Crunch cited just 35,000 sold the first 20 days it launched. Making it one of the biggest flops of all time in the tech community. This is the same Amazon that destroys its rivals daily in other markets.

They all got wrong what many entrepreneurs get wrong when doing market research questions.

They see a market buying a product or service and think that all you must do is put your offer in front of them too.

It may seem simple, but it is a bad idea.

For you younger folks, Google the Ford Edsel. You will see what happened when Ford rushed to the market after Buick started selling cars for growing families after the war.

The reason all of these were flops, was because they were not about solving the market’s needs, but instead they were made to solve the marketer’s needs.

People did not really need another smartphone that did the same thing the others already did. Car buyers did not see the difference in the Ford Edsel. Those alternatives were made for the benefit of the company not the consumers.

I see too many entrepreneurs fail because they were so fixated on thinking like a marketer instead of thinking like the market.

I have done it. Chances are you have too.

Thinking like your target market is the greatest marketing service technique possible.

So, before you rush out to put out that great new sales funnel with the solid squeeze page, OTO, Upsell, Down sell, or Side sell, take a step back and ask some fundamental questions.


The Core Four Market Research Questions To Ask Before Coming To Market

Your copy needs to be based around what I call ‘The Core Four’ questions to ask your target market.

  1. Are you solving an urgent problem for your marketplace?

  • If not, you need to do more research until you can specifically state the pain and how your offer solves that for your market.


  1. Do you have a unique solution or USP?

  • It was Jay Abraham who came up with the term USP for Unique Selling Proposition. You must be able to instantly separate yourself from the crowd.


I am sorry, but if you are using the same headlines as everyone else, you are instantly not unique. Because headlines worked for one does not mean they will work for you. Seeing cut and paste headlines is one of the first things I change on any sales page.


  1. Do you have proof or just more claims?

  • The average person sees over 5,000 ads every day. 99.3% percent of those are products or services making claims. “Better tasting”; “Works faster”; “New and improved”

People filter out claims. You must be able to provide proof. Can you prove your claims? I hope those claims weren’t copied from someone else too.


  1. Is your offer irresistible?

  • Is the price you are asking so small compared to the pain it solves, people must buy it? Apple built a cult following on simpler computers. Amazon let’s you get groceries the same day by tapping buttons while you are in bed.


You can have screwed up on everything else, but if you have an irresistible offer, you can still make sales.


If you are struggling to move a current product or service, go back and put it through the Core Four Questions. If you are at a stage where you are trying to break in to a market, use the Core Four Questions as well.

Did this help you? If so, I would greatly appreciate if you commented below and shared on Facebook.

sterling sherrell

Sterling Sherrell’s Copywriting Blog

Email me: sterlingvmc@gmail.com






“Your sales copy should not try to impress people with your skills, instead it should impress on them that you understand their needs.”

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