There’s been a lot of social media buzz in the market research world these past few weeks surrounding the Inc article, “What Your Brand is Missing by Skipping Digital Marketing Research.” The article’s author, Shama Hyder of Zen Media, asserts: “The connected consumer is empowered with so many choices, so many options, that brands have less time than ever to grab their attention.”
Aside from my initial reaction of wanting to high-five Shama, it got me to thinking more about how our space is challenged by the thinking that market research is an antiquated way of looking at a brand/assessing brand growth strategy. The reality is that Market Research has pioneered innovative ways to help brands connect with consumers; we’ve created a ‘virtual digital playground’ for them to interact with consumers in meaningful and modern ways.
In our world of collecting data and connecting people, Lightspeed is finding more creative ways to build rich consumer profiles that brands can harness. Here are some of the ways…
- Data gets you closer to your consumer. “But wait,” you’re thinking “I need to reach real people” By appending data, you can get a more holistic view of your actual target consumer, amplifying a panel for your precise needs.
- Modern surveys = connecting with modern consumers. Thirty minute consumer goods surveys just won’t cut it with today’s consumers. Engaging with consumers in a meaningful way also means making sure your surveys are designed with the mobile consumer in mind. You should meet them in the moment while making it easy and engaging, ensuring meaningful data.
- ‘Big Qual’ methods can tap into insights previously relegated to focus groups. For studies where the budget and travel for a qual deep dive are limited, modern methods for data collection that walk the fine line of quant and qual can be used, such as video open-ends and emotion coding. Here's a recent project we did for a Hollywood studio film release, where our role as data experts challenged the perception of how data can be used.
- Leverage a brand strategy. Utilize segmentation for your audiences. What’s more meaningful than insights from your ‘targeted’ consumer? Emotion drives consumer choices, so we need to create multi-layer segmentation that address the niche needs of a group – not consumers as a whole. Focus on collecting comprehensive insights about habits, characteristics and behaviors that aid in survey targeting, allowing for fast and accurate feasibility.
“In this digital environment, simply being louder than your competition won't work. You have to ensure that you're saying something your customer wants to hear, in the manner in which they want to hear it,” stated Hyder. Technology has allowed the marketing research industry to grow with today's empowered consumers. If, as researchers, we can begin to take advantage of the blurred line between quant and qual research, we'll have ourselves a playground of new data to explore.