Market research has evolved, that’s a fact. However, despite its new features, it remains the basis of a successful marketing strategy. This is the conclusion from the two previous posts dedicated to this topic. The methodologies used to collect data have also changed – I am thinking about the availability of Big Data always and everywhere – although more traditional techniques shouldn’t be discarded.
The right combination of new and old tools to collect and analyse information from customers can open a world of opportunities for companies to better understand them and satisfy their needs.
For example, traditional marketing research surveys are not always fast enough for today’s business markets where things can change over the course of the day. Taking weeks or months to get answers to pressing business questions is just not very valuable. Moving surveys to an online platform (such as Cvent or SurveyMonkey) speeds up the process and allows the creation of a questionnaire designed for and motivating the right responders to answer. (For more information about surveys, check our previous blog post about ‘The power of surveys in the B2B technology marketing mix’).
The downside of surveys is that, while they provide answers to the questions asked, they don’t get much insight on questions that never occurred. From that point of view, they are poor predictors. That could be easily supplemented with a new option modern market research offers: social media (and other forms of digital marketing) listening. Whether the objective is in assessing sentiment (satisfaction) or uncovering unmet needs or problems, often the answers can be found by listening to what is being said by real people on social networks, blogs, and online forums. Social media listening can be also used for competitor research and monitoring.
Another option online listening tools offer – especially LinkedIn with regards to B2B – is target audience and influencer profiling. How relevant are they to x brand? How can they be reached? Who does the target audience recognise as an authority? How and where to engage with them? Those are just some of the questions that can be answered to help, for example, planning an effective communication strategy.
Market research isn’t dead. Indeed, an integrated approach – a research process made up of both combined consultative and technology platforms to respond to timing and decision making needs – means we should be celebrating market research rebirth!
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