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2.1 Market Research: Understanding your Audience

Market Research Basics

Conducting market research is critical to matching what you do, to the person who will buy it by helping you:

  1. Know your customer. If you know your customers or potential audience – that is, what they like and don’t like – your chances of being successful are enhanced tremendously.
  2. Know who is not your customer. Some people will never be interested in what you have to offer. You shouldn’t be wasting effort either trying to reach those people, or worse, trying to change what you do dramatically to reach those people. Stay focused. Do only what you are good at and attract those who want it.
  3. Know where your customer is.

Read the handout for more information

AEI Market Research Basics

8 Ways to Conduct Market Research


Reflection Questions

1. What questions can you ask yourself to get a deeper understanding of your audience? You can start with those listed in the handout above.

2. To what degree do you know what your audiences think of you and your work?

3. How can you find out how people perceive you, your creative practice and their interactions with you?

4. Market research might feel artificial, intrusive or uncomfortable as an individual artist or sole proprietor. What are some strategies you can employ to conduct market research that feels more authentic to you and your brand?


1. Write down three questions you have about the people who engage with you and your art.

2. For each question, write down one research strategy or method that you plan to employ that could begin to answer that question. 

3. Create a deadline for completing this analysis.


Evaluate Your Performance

Research on arts and culture consumers and audiences in Northeast Ohio

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