Marketing & Advertising mentor Jay Conrad Levinson responds:
The least expensive marketing technique of all is to create a questionnaire and send it to members of your target market -- explaining that the more you know about them, the better you'll be able to provide service to them. Do this with both snail mail and e-mail. You may also find that your audience is active online and that they join forums centered on their business. Conduct your research among these people. And surf the Web for businesses such as yours, taking advantage of their market research. Market research has never been as inexpensive as it is now that the Internet is easier than ever to navigate. You can even set up a chat room in which you conduct your own online focus group interviews.