Step-By-Step to Create Funnel-Based Market Research

This article is not a research exercise. It won’t give you pages of reports you’ll never use. Instead, it’ll help you create a funnel based on actual data and the real purchasing behavior of your ideal customers. In this training, you’ll gain an arsenal of tools to learn more about your market, create ads that align with your customers’ needs, and set you apart from your competition.

Step-By-Step to Create Funnel-Based Market Research
Step-By-Step to Create Funnel-Based Market Research

What You’ll Learn:

  • Gain a step-by-step process to learn about your market from a variety of perspectives including, keywords, customer insights, competitor analysis, and more.

Table of contents

Understand the Purpose of Market Research
Why Market Research Matters
Discover the Foundation of Your Market Research
Find Your Top 10 Competitors
Find Your Ideal Buyer and Improve Your Targeting
Get to Know Your Buyers Through InstantData
Discover Customer Behavior to Shape Your Funnel
Discover Products, Pricing & Copy Working Now
Use Google Ads to See What Your Customers Are Searching
Use the Amazon Best-Seller List to See What Your Customers Are Buying
Use eBay to Determine Demand
Use Clickbank to Determine Demand
Use TV Commercials and Infomercials to Determine Demand
Use MerchantWords and TeraPeak to Determine Demand
Discover the Best Performing Ads in Your Market
Use Follow.net for Competitive Analysis Overview
Use iSpionage for Competitive Intelligence
Use Adbeat for a Closer Look on Ads
Use BuzzSomo for Social Sharing Insight
Before You Move On
Where to Buy Physical Products For Your Funnel
Use Alibaba to Find Products
Craft Your Final Funnel Architecture
Build a Data-Driven Funnel
Improve Your Targeting and Supercharge Your Ads

Understand the Purpose of Market Research

Why Market Research Matters

We’re all about testing at DigitalMarketer, but let’s be honest. Testing is expensive and time-consuming.

If you’re a marketing master breaking new ground, it’s absolutely essential for you to test and prove that what you’re doing works.

Here’s the thing:

This article is not a research exercise.

It won’t give you pages of reports you’ll never use.

It’s not a deep dive into analytics or even a comprehensive overview of your market.

It’s about creating a funnel, based on actual data and the real purchasing behavior of your ideal customers.

With this article, you will…

  • Learn what to use for every part of your marketing funnel
  • Find the best place to advertise
  • Discover copy that’s working right now
  • Discover ads that are working right now (and their cost per click)
  • Source any physical products you need, plus some you didn’t know you needed.

There are products, offers, and copy working in your market right now.

Why reinvent the wheel when you can look up the blueprint?

Let’s get started.

Discover the Foundation of Your Market Research

Find Your Top 10 Competitors

Before you can discover the real ads your ideal customers actually clicked and made purchases from, you have to know who your competitors are.

Start by Googling what you think your primary keyword is.

Now, take a look at the top 10 results in the organic section of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

The 10 websites that appear on Page 1 of those results are your biggest organic search competitors.

ACTION ITEM: Write down the websites you discovered through google on the Organic Search Competitors Sheet (located inside your Market Research Blueprint Resource).

Organic Search Competitors Worksheet
Organic Search Competitors Worksheet

Next, look at the sponsored ads that appear above and to the right of the organic search results.

These are advertisements that people are paying to have appear whenever someone searches for the keywords that you just typed in to get these results. These paid search results will be useful later as we do more in-depth research.

ACTION ITEM: Write down the top 10 paid search competitors on the Market Research Blueprint.

Paid Search Competitors Worksheet
Paid Search Competitors Worksheet

If you’re having trouble nailing down 10 that feel like a good fit, try new searches from Google’s suggested keywords to find more competitors.

Now, head on over to SEMRush.

This is a paid tool used by SEOs to do keyword research, track positions, identify links, and other SEO goodness.

For our purposes, the free trial version works just fine.

ACTION ITEM: Note any new competitors you find through SEMRush on your Competitor Worksheet.

Semrush Competitor Worksheet
Semrush Competitor Worksheet

Now that you know who your competitors are and the keywords that are the most important to them, it’s time to find out who your audience is and where they hang out.

Find Your Ideal Buyer and Improve Your Targeting

Get to Know Your Buyers Through InstantData

If you have a list of buyers already, the fastest and easiest way to do this is to upload your buyer list to InstantData (powered by TowerData). The InstantData Email Intelligence tool will run an analysis to reveal their demographic and psychographic profiles.

If you’re an experienced marketer, you should notice any holes in your targeting right away.

ACTION ITEM: Note any interesting findings on the Audience Demographics Intelligence Worksheet.

Audience Demographics Intelligence Worksheet
Audience Demographics Intelligence Worksheet

If you don’t have a buyers list to start with, you can still learn a lot about your target audience using SimilarWeb (covered in the next section).

Discover Customer Behavior to Shape Your Funnel

Now head over to SimilarWeb and type each competitor name into the search box.

The results will show you an overview of estimated monthly visits, engagement level, and most importantly, “Referrals” or inbound and outbound traffic.

You’ll see inbound and outbound traffic noted as “Top Referring Sites,” and “Top Destination Sites.”

You can also access Inbound and Outbound Information under Referral Traffic.

You can also access Inbound and Outbound Information under Referral Traffic.
You can also access Inbound and Outbound Information under Referral Traffic.

If you click on the Incoming or Outgoing Traffic, you should be able to scroll down and see a Topics Distributions section:

If you click on the Incoming or Outgoing Traffic, you should be able to scroll down and see a Topics Distributions section.
If you click on the Incoming or Outgoing Traffic, you should be able to scroll down and see a Topics Distributions section.

This will break down the main topics mentioned on the competitor’s site. You can use this information, as well as the website’s linked out to, to help spark ideas about content that might be of interest to your market.

ACTION ITEM: Note any ideas on the Inbound/Outbound Traffic Intelligence Worksheet.

Inbound/Outbound Traffic Intelligence Worksheet
Inbound/Outbound Traffic Intelligence Worksheet

With a clearer picture of who your buyer is and where they’re hanging out, you’re ready to move on to discover what’s working right now.

Discover Products, Pricing & Copy Working Now

Use Google Ads to See What Your Customers Are Searching

By now, you know who your competitors are, and you know a fair bit about your target audience.

That information will prove very helpful as you move forward to craft funnels and eventually start to buy paid media to drive traffic.

For now, we’ll drive down even more specifically to learn what your customers are actually purchasing and the pricing that works best.

We’ll start with the Google Ads Keyword Planner.

From the Keyword Planner, click Discover new keywords.

From the Keyword Planner, click Discover new keywords.
From the Keyword Planner, click Discover new keywords.

Type the URL of your site or your biggest competitor’s site into the “Start with a Website” field and click the blue “Get Results” button below.

Google will then analyze the page and give you all sorts of ideas that you can use to help you flesh out your funnel.

You can enter your homepage or a competitor’s. Run this analysis for as many of your major competitors as you can.

The more you search, the more you will likely see trends.

Notice the highest searched keywords and look for potential items for Lead Magnets, Entry Point Offers (AKA Tripwires), Core Offers, Profit Maximizers, Benefits/Fear Items.

ACTION ITEM: Take notes on the Google Ads Keyword Planner Worksheet.

Google Ads Keyword Planner Worksheet
Google Ads Keyword Planner Worksheet

This information is very helpful because it’s based on what people are actually searching for.

The only thing better than that would be to base your funnel on what people are actually buying. Let’s look there next.

Use the Amazon Best-Seller List to See What Your Customers Are Buying

The Amazon Best-Seller list is a goldmine of data for your market research.

Looking beyond the sponsored posts, Amazon shows you what people are buying right now. We’ll use this information to further refine ideas about your funnel.

Head to the Amazon homepage.

To the left of the search bar, choose “Books” from the dropdown menu.

Type your ranking keywords into the search bar.

As usual, Amazon will show you the top-selling and top-rated products relating to your search.

On the left sidebar, notice the many categories under the “Books” department. You’ll use these categories to drill down into new search areas and enhance your results.

Select a “Best Seller” and click to expand the product details on your page.

Book descriptions are goldmines for great copy.

Take a look at this example we found from searching the keywords “memory improvement.”

Take a look at this example we found from searching the keywords “memory improvement.”
Take a look at this example we found from searching the keywords “memory improvement.”

Notice the benefits underlined above.

Not only can you achieve “Unlimited Memory” like the product title promises, but you’ll also:

  • Learn faster
  • Achieve more success
  • Concentrate at will
  • Eliminate time, stress, and mistakes at work

Any questions about why this product is selling so well?

Repeat this process with several top-sellers in every relevant category you can find.

ACTION ITEM: Note any new benefits and features on the Best-Selling Books Worksheet.

Best-Selling Book Worksheet
Best-Selling Book Worksheet

Now that we’ve scoured Amazon’s best-selling books for copy ideas, let’s uncover demand for specific products relating to your keywords.

Use eBay to Determine Demand

Now we’ll take a look at eBay to identify specific products and pricing for your Tripwire Funnels, Core Offers, and Profit Maximizers.

On the eBay homepage, type your keywords into the search bar.

The results should reveal a wide selection of related items to your keywords.

Some products might not seem related, but they can sometimes be helpful in learning other buyer interests that you might not have considered.

Check out the different categories that appear and see if anything helpful comes up.

For example, the keyword search “memory improvement,” reveals a wide range of products from games and software to supplements.

TIP: If there’s a product you’d be interested in offering, but don’t want to go through the trouble of developing, contact the seller about a license or white label.

Scroll down to “Show Only,” and click the box for “Sold Items.” This will show you exactly what is selling, and for how much.

Without any major testing on your end, you’ve discovered proven pricing you should consider using for your own products.

ACTION ITEM: Note anything interesting in your eBay Product & Pricing Research Worksheet.

Ebay Product and Pricing Research Worksheet
Ebay Product and Pricing Research Worksheet

Use Clickbank to Determine Demand

Clickbank is another fantastic research for product and pricing research.

Start at CBEngine.com and type your primary keywords in the search bar on the lower right-hand side.

Begin your search without adjusting any filters to establish a baseline. You’ll notice the search defaults to sorting products by category.

Begin your search without adjusting any filters to establish a baseline. You’ll notice the search defaults to sorting products by category.
Begin your search without adjusting any filters to establish a baseline. You’ll notice the search defaults to sorting products by category.

Click any product to view it. The product summary can be useful in helping you determine your product description copy.

Notice we’ve started on the “Detail” tab.

Click the “Payout” tab. Here you’ll find detailed earnings and affiliate information.

  • Initial Earnings Per Sale shows you approximately what the average affiliate is earning per sale, accounting for refunds and taxes.
  • Average Percent Per Sale refers to the average affiliate’s commission per sale. If you see a squiggly line on the graph, that means the publisher has adjusted the commission rate quite a lot.
  • % Referred shows you the fraction of the publisher’s total sales that are referred by affiliates. This lets us know how important, and how effective, the affiliate program is for this publisher.
  • Gravity shows you how many affiliates are promoting the product. The more people promoting, the more successful the product.
  • % Commission shows you the fixed payout percentage per referred to affiliate sale.You can use this money to reverse engineer what the sales price and average sale are simply by dividing the average $ per sale by the average commission per sale.

It’s worth visiting sites that come up in your research to see if they have any kind of affiliate training or information areas. (A lazy, but helpful way is to Control or Command+F “affiliate.”)

These are great areas to find information for suggested ads, copy, and images.

ACTION ITEM: Go through this process for your primary keywords and make notes on your ClickBank Product & Pricing Research Worksheet.

ClickBank Product and Pricing Research Worksheet
ClickBank Product and Pricing Research Worksheet

Make notes about the products that might be right for each of the steps in your funnel, as well as information about affiliates, payouts, commissions, and pricing.

Use TV Commercials and Infomercials to Determine Demand

Infomercial marketers are some of the best.

They constantly split-test to maximize revenue from their marketing funnels.

If you find someone with a successful infomercial in your niche, definitely research them and learn from them.

You can also check out the Media Analytics report (free with registration from IMSReport.com) as shown below to see if that provides any additional helpful information:

You can also check out the Media Analytics report (free with registration from IMSReport.com) as shown below to see if that provides any additional helpful information.
You can also check out the Media Analytics report (free with registration from IMSReport.com) as shown below to see if that provides any additional helpful information.

ACTION ITEM: Record any notes on your Infomercial & Commercial Research Worksheet.

Infomercial and Commercial Research Worksheet
Infomercial and Commercial Research Worksheet

Use MerchantWords and TeraPeak to Determine Demand

Now that you’ve made the most out of the best available free tools, let’s dig into what’s possible with paid options.

MerchantWords is the largest database of shopper search trends. After searching your keywords, you’ll find:

  • Related Amazon searches
  • Estimated monthly search volume
  • Dominant categories
  • Depth
  • Seasonality

It’s a powerful tool that yields a lot of significant data and is worth your consideration.

TeraPeak is another paid product research tool geared toward eBay sellers. TeraPeak will show you:

  • Top selling products on eBay
  • Pricing for of those products, and
  • Total revenue range for those products.

Discover the Best Performing Ads in Your Market

Use Follow.net for Competitive Analysis Overview

Your notes should be overflowing with data-driven ideas for products and pricing for your funnel.

Now it’s time to figure out the best way to sell them.

Free trials of paid tools are a great way to get started on your ad research.

But if you have the budget and are serious about your online business—you’re ultimately going to want to subscribe to one or more of the full services.

Your goal is to uncover:

  • What ads are running the longest
  • The copy of those ads
  • Where they are running
  • Which places are performing the best for your competition You’ll also be able to see failed tests

This means you can effectively see your competitors’ split test results—and you didn’t have to spend the thousands they did to learn the hard way.

There are 4 main tools proven to find the best performing ads in your market.

Follow.net is a great solution if you don’t have the money to spring for one of the more advanced services.

It APIs into most of the top competitive intelligence services like iSpionage, Adbeat, AdClarity, WhatRunsWhere, SimilarWeb, Quantcast, and Alexa, but only at a very basic level.

Their overview analysis shows:

  • Unique visitors
  • Top keywords
  • SEO cost
  • Average CPC (Cost Per Click)
  • Position
  • Search volume
  • Top ad networks
  • Top banner ads
  • Twitter mentions
  • Demographic data

Basically, the free plan of Follow.net provides you 50% of the available information, and always the bottom 50%.

So, if they have 10 competitors in their data for paid subscribers, you will see 5 competitors.

If they have 10 keywords, you’ll see 5. If they have 4 banner ads, you’ll see 2.

ACTION ITEM: Go ahead and try Follow.net and record any useful information that you find on the Advertising Intelligence Worksheet.

Advertising Intelligence Worksheet
Advertising Intelligence Worksheet

Use iSpionage for Competitive Intelligence

iSpionage is a fantastic paid tool that provides a ton of great competitive intelligence information.

Go to iSpionage.com now and enter your primary keywords.

Relevant to your keywords, the free version of iSpionage will reveal:

  • Top PPC (Pay Per Click) competitors
  • Top 5 Ads with:
    • Full copy
    • Landing page
    • # of other keywords used
    • # of days each ad has been seen
    • Date the ad was last seen

iSpionage also lets you see some of the top-performing landing pages for specific industries.

ACTION ITEM: Toggle back and forth between the desktop and mobile landing pages and consider:

  • What products and services are converting best on desktop and mobile?
  • What images and copy works best?
  • What price points convert best?

Make notes about what you find on your Advertising Intelligence Worksheet.

Use Adbeat for a Closer Look on Ads

Adbeat provides similar information to iSpionage.

Adbeat provides less information on organic SEO and keywords and more in-depth information on ads, ad networks (where to advertise), and other information.

Unfortunately, Adbeat does not currently offer a published free trial, although you might be able to get one if you contact them for a demo.

When you search your keywords on Adbeat, you’ll see the top-performing ads.

Adbeat also breaks down each ad, including:

  • Its advertiser
  • The actual ads for each advertiser
  • The landing page
  • Where the ad ran (the publisher)
  • How long the ad ran
  • The trend for the ad

ACTION ITEM: Make notes as appropriate on your Advertising Intelligence Worksheet.

Use BuzzSomo for Social Sharing Insight

BuzzSumo is a tool that tells you what is popular and getting the most shares across the major social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

The free version of BuzzSumo can help you determine good potential Lead Magnets and Tripwires as well as potential Core Offers and Profit Maximizers.

When you search your keywords on Buzzsumo, you’ll see the top social sharing results.

BuzzSumo shows you the top shared pieces of content, with available filters including:

  • Date range
  • Language
  • Country
  • Content types
  • Sorting by total # of shares, or by # of shares on a specific network

Could you offer a Lead Magnet that provides information related to this top-performing content

ACTION ITEM: Make notes in your BuzzSumo Research Ideas Worksheet.

BuzzSumo Research Ideas Worksheet
BuzzSumo Research Ideas Worksheet

Before You Move On

If you’d like even more intel on ads performing right now, take a look at WhatRunsWhere and AdClarity.

They both work pretty much like Adbeat.

Review all of your notes before heading to the next section. You should have a clear picture of things you’d like to add to your funnel in mind.

Now it’s time to find out how to buy physical products that you identified as good candidates for things in your funnel.

Where to Buy Physical Products For Your Funnel

Use Alibaba to Find Products

You’ve finished the bulk of the research that will help you decide what to sell, as well as how and where to advertise it.

The only step left in this process is to find out where to source or buy the products you want to offer at great wholesale prices.

That’s what you’ll learn how to do in this section.

You can use free tools like Google Images, TinEye, Alibaba, and Google.

You can also use a paid tool called ImportGenius.

The easiest way to find products at wholesale is just to go to one of the direct from China sites like Alibaba or DHGate and type in the keyword for the kind of product you are looking for.

The results are usually very helpful in discovering:

  • Products sold relating to your keyword
  • New products you weren’t aware of
  • Bulk order pricing
  • Limitless products relating to your business

ACTION ITEM: Search your product keyword ideas and make notes on your Alibaba Product Research Worksheet.

Alibaba Product Worksheet
Alibaba Product Worksheet

Craft Your Final Funnel Architecture

Build a Data-Driven Funnel

First of all, GREAT JOB.

Step back and take a look at all your research findings on the worksheets you completed.

You’re about to build a data-driven funnel without spending a dime on testing.

You’ve gathered a wealth of options for your funnel:

  • Lead Magnet
  • Tripwire
  • Core Offer
  • Profit Maximizer
  • Copy/Benefit ideas
  • Joint Venture/Affiliate ideas

ACTION ITEM: Distill your best ideas into the Final Funnel Architecture Worksheet.

Final Funnel Architecture Worksheet
Final Funnel Architecture Worksheet

This will be your guide as you move forward.

If anyone of these items doesn’t pan out, remember you still have pages of research to fall back on to implement your Plan B.

Once your Final Funnel Architecture Worksheet is complete, you can use a tool like Optimize Press, Lead Pages, Instapage, or Click Funnels to build out your data-driven funnel.

Improve Your Targeting and Supercharge Your Ads

Use the information you discovered about your target audience to more specifically target your ads through paid media on Facebook, Google Search, Google Display Network, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Use your Ad Network research to purchase ads on various ad networks and use the information you found out about incoming and exiting traffic to go directly to specific sites and purchase ad space.

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