Rethinking Market Research
Brand managers and marketers know what’s wrong with traditional market research: It costs too much, takes too long to get results and it’s a snapshot of the past, not a conversation right now with customers. Oftentimes the traditional market research process feels like an awkward first date, as if one participant shows up with a clipboard looking for answers while the other is quickly bored by the questions. This can lead to haphazard answers because respondents simply want to get the “date” over and done with.
Imagine a new kind of market research where the participants on this fictitious date are engaged in interesting conversation and where the answers are not only genuine, but are interpreted and understood instantly, not a week or two down the road?
It is the evolution of market research from primary text-based surveys and focus groups to fact-based, honest, engaging insight from online communities of customers. In the digital age, centuries-old tried-and-true principles of the “Art of Conversation” – putting others at ease, weaving the audience together, establishing shared interests and actively pursuing self-interests – are being applied to give brands and marketers the ability to learn rich, market insights that are predictive and immediate.
How is it done? By finding the right audiences quickly through technological advancements, building relevant surveys that engage customers, both visually and with text, and going back to the future with conversational tactics that bring people together and bring out true responses. And then analyzing the data in real-time to make decisions that drive brand loyalty and sales. And marketers securely control every part of the process through any web-enabled device.
This evolution of market research provides immediate answers to questions like: Is this campaign working? What things about our brand do customers care most about? How do different consumers react to the various attributes of our brand? If we do this, how will customers react?
After getting answers, marketers then have the ability to ask follow-up questions. And these follow-ups are to hundreds or thousands of respondents, not a small focus group, and the answers are retrieved and analyzed immediately, too.
All this at a better cost-per-contact than traditional market research. In fact, it’s 70 percent less expensive.
Market research that is more authentic than anything possible from a static, written survey; data delivered and analyzed at the speed of conversation; and at a fraction of the cost. It is not a panacea. It is the evolution of market research.