In This Chapter
Spying on prospects and competitors
Assessing the size of your market
Taking the temperature of your market
Polishing your profitability crystal ball
Understanding buying trends at online stores
Checking out your competition
The Internet is the ultimate spy tool — (ahem) I mean, market-research opportunity. If you know where to look (and you will by the end of this chapter), you can determine pretty precisely how many people are looking for your product, how much they're willing to pay for it, and how much money your competitors are making from those people. You can also see how your competitors are marketing — their ads, Web sites, e-mails, promotions, pricing, customer service — and learn a lot about what works and what doesn't. On the Internet, we're all marketing naked. In this chapter, you'll discover how to become a peeping tom of prospects and competitors. Enjoy the view!
In the movie Field of Dreams, the Ray Kinsella character builds a baseball diamond in his Iowa cornfield based on a voice that mysteriously repeats, "If you build it, he will come." That philosophy made for a great movie, but I don't recommend it as a customer-acquisition strategy. If you build it, you'll probably end up with a garage full of it — unless you take the time to figure out whether anybody's going to want it enough to pay for it.
Ken McCarthy, creator of The System Seminar for Online ...