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How to do Digital Market Sizing 🕵️

How to do Digital Market Sizing 🕵️
By Ahmad Abugosh • Issue #4 • View online
Hey friends,
Earlier, I covered how to come up with a product or service to sell online. In this post, I’ll be going over how to do market sizing: the digital way.
One of the first things that people typically think about when they’re thinking of a new product or service to focus on is to think about the total market size. MBA’s refer to this as the Total addressable market (TAM).
While doing regular market sizing is no simple task, there is an easy and quick way to get a rough estimate of your market size using digital tools.

Search Traffic
The easiest way to do get started on seeing demand for a product or service is to see what people are actually searching for on search engines. The easiest way is to go to Google Keyword Planner and see the number of searches per month for that category of keyword.
To do this simply:
1) Create an account on https://ads.google.com/home/
2) Once you do the initial setup (they won’t charge you, but you may need to enter some billing information), under the menu, click on the Keyword Planner option (this will be under the Tools & Settings -> Planning Section).
3) Type in the category or product / service you want to get search data on and it will give you an estimated number of monthly searches for that cluster of words. This search data, which can be split by country, gives you a rough estimate of how many times people might be searching for what you plan on offering.
If you have a new account and didn’t spend any money on ads yet, it may show you a range, instead of the actual number (for example, instead of showing you “700” monthly searches, it may show you “500-1,000” monthly searches)
Demographic Data from Ad Platforms
Like it or not, nearly everyone online has some kind of social media presence, and also like it or not that social media presence is open to advertise against for all major ad platforms.
As a business owner or marketer, this gives you a great chance to look into the actual demographic data that is gathered, which combines data entered by users (such as their date of birth, country of origin, where they studied, where they live etc.), and data gathered based on their online behavior (such as if they are engaged shoppers, or if they’re interested in certain topics).
To get started with this, all you have to do is sign up for any of the ad platforms on the internet and use their build in ad planner tool to look at their demographic data.
Facebook / Instagram
Since Facebook bought Instagram, it is the most powerful tool for demographic data since
1) It has the most data across all of its platforms (Facebook, Instagram, FB messenger, WhatsApp and their own ad network).
2) It asks their users for a ton of data (for their Facebook, Instagram, and other profiles)
To do market sizing on any of the platforms I’ll be discussing, just go to the section that says Create Ad and usually in the first step you’ll get to define your audience, which lets you see the audience size. You can then see your audience size by filtering by either:
  1. Interests: These are things that your audience is interested in. This is usually determined from the pages and people they follow. For example, if someone follows tennis news, and tennis players, the platform will tag them as someone that is interested in tennis.
  2. Demographics: This is any info gathered about your audience that can pinpoint their profile. Usually this is taken from data that a user enters. For example, their date of birth, martial status, occupation, country, city etc.
  3. Behavior: These are actions that are taken on or tied to the ad platform (for example if someone recently moved houses it would track that by seeing that they changed their commonly used IP address).
One you specify what kind of profile you’re looking for, the platform will tell you what is the size of the audience, which in this case we can use to determine how many potential customers we can get that fit that profile.
If you want dig even deeper, you can go through the same steps on the other social platforms below to get similar results.
LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the best tool to look for demographic data if you’re selling to professionals or if you’re a B2B business, since it is the place that people most update their working experience (it works best when you use the filters for job titles and work history).
Twitter
Twitter gives you some demographic data, but it’s mainly contextual (which means that its info is more related to the content they consume rather than pure demographic data). For example, you can find out how many people are interested in “fashion” but you don’t really have a good idea of advanced demographic data beyond age, location and gender.
Snapchat & TikTok
https://www.tiktok.com/business/en (recently became self serve in many markets including the UAE)
Snapchat and TikTok have some demographic data but from what I’ve seen it’s not as accurate as Facebook or LinkedIn’s data, since those platforms don’t gather that sort of data from users. For example, Snapchat might tell you someone is interested in reading, but that just would be because they might follow someone that does book reviews. That’s why I personally would take any demographic data you gather from these platforms with a grain of salt.
Your Next Steps
Use Google Keyword Planner and Facebook Ads to look at actual market demand for your product / service or the demographic of the customer you want to go after (for example parents)
If you want to learn more about how to use this technique to run your own digital market sizing, learn more at the AstroLabs Digital Marketing Course.
Next Week
If you’re still not sure what kind of demographic profile to research, next week I’ll be covering how to come up with personas.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Ahmad Abugosh

Practical digital & tech guides, deep thoughts and useful ideas delivered by me Ahmad Abugosh. I'm the Director of Marketing & Learning Programs at AstroLabs and the Author of Timeless Digital Marketing. Hope to see you inside!

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