Jenny Karn’s Secret Key to Unlocking Critical Business Insights

The practice of doing marketing research dates to at least the 1920s and the golden age of radio. People advertising during radio shows quickly learned that ads sold during certain shows performed better for certain clients. Those marketers and programmers who did research and used the data to market for their clients simply made the companies better.

Jenny Karn wants you to get excited about all the things market research can do for your business. She knows hiring people to do your research can still be expensive, as well as difficult to achieve, but wait (Jenny says), you can do it yourself and you can do it online.

“If you are still making business decisions based on intuition only– not data–you’re letting your competitors get ahead,” Jenny says.

Jenny’s suggestion is to use Facebook for doing this research. It is everywhere. Everyone has an account. It doesn’t matter what size your business is, your audience and potential customers are on Facebook. You can use it to get market research– for free  and find data to help your business.

Jenny’s Takeaway Items

Jenny’s discussion had four main takeaway points:

She wants you to know how to do a little bit of free market research using Facebook for your business.

You can learn how to set up and run free and simple paid tests through ad campaigns.

Go home with a basic understanding how to interpret results for data-based business decisions from the research you’re doing.

Leave excited about one or two simple Facebook tests you can run as soon as you get to your office.

Free Market Research Ideas

You can find out about the size of target demographics by going into the Facebook ad interface and acting like you’re going to buy an ad. You don’t actually even have to buy the ad. Just plug in locations you are interested in targeting and play around with those. Facebook will give you an estimate of how many people are in that audience and then you can begin adding other defining characteristics.

One of Jenny’s favorite options is purchase behavior and it proves very valuable when measuring marketing behavior. This allows you to drill down on location and still have a sense of the size of your specific audience.

Research with a Small Budget

Do you have a few dollars to spend on this project? You can search hundreds of parameters in Facebook’s ad targeting and each of those parameters can become a test. These tests can help every area of your business–such as letting your public relations team know what stories they should be pitching.

Testing involves two or more ads that are exactly the same, with only one difference. You make both ads and put the same budget and compare the two after they run to see which one has the most engagement. Your actual audience responds to the messaging and that makes the data even more powerful.

Since eight out of 10 Americans who are online are using Facebook, generally speaking, if your messaging works on Facebook it will work other places. Armed with this knowledge, you can walk into strategy meetings armed with data as firepower.

Testing your audience is another great idea–test age, gender, household income, political affiliation, even behavioral stuff. Make custom audiences, like an audience of people who purchased your product or signed up your newsletter. This testing will let you see who cares the most about what you are saying. Running ads for the best performing audiences will get the best return on your dollar.

How Does this Work for Real Business?

Preconceived notions and ideas should be tested to see if your assumptions are correct, so often they aren’t, says Jenny. When you spend time and money believing your audience is someone it’s not you just waste a lot of time and dollars.

Jenny shared a few helpful tips for creating ads. You always want to put the same budget behind the different variations of your ad. In addition, when you’re looking at the timeline for testing ads, make sure to use similar timelines–don’t have one ad during the week and one ad on the weekend. Lastly, keep your ads separate so they can both use the full budget. In all things testing–make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

Analyze the Data

Use your marketing metrics to compare your test results. The metric of cost per thousand impressions (CPM) will help you understand which audiences are competitive. While it is a constantly moving target, it will help you compare your marketing platforms–such as television to digital.

The click-through-rate (CTR) shows how many people saw your ad and took action. Using this you can see how much interest your audience is showing in your content.

When you figure out the cost per click/cost per conversion you will have worked to factor in all of the metrics.

Jenny suggests you put all of the variable metric data into a chart. By using the data to compare, you can pick your best audiences. There are times when you might decide that an audience is by far the best audience, even if they have the highest CPM. If the audience is valuable, sometimes it costs a little more to reach them.

Wrapping Up

Run tests to learn about who you are marketing to. With very little effort and money, you can make a huge impact on your business.

If you want to download the guide, go to