Think market research and you may think it sounds expensive and time consuming. But it really doesn’t need to be. There are many ways to gain valuable marketing insights without it costing the earth and taking too much time.
What can you do when you have a smaller budget? In today’s rapidly changing markets, with digital channels impacting how customer shop and make purchasing decisions, the need to uncover customer insights to drive marketing communications is vitally important. Market research plays an even more important role in today’s fast moving environment. The following five tips can help you can execute quality market research without breaking the bank.
1. Focus on quality not quantity
Budgetary restraints will impact on either the quantity or the quality of the research you undertake. Always opt for quality over quantity. It’s important to focus on what will deliver the most meaningful information, and what audience is the most valuable to uncover these insights. Continually question whether you really need to know this and ask what you are going to do as a result of it. This will help keep you focus on what’s important and how to have the biggest impact. Our focus is always on efficiency, identifying how can we uncover meaningful insights in an efficient manner and report actionable insights, rather than just a lot information you might already know.
2. Ask the right questions
Talk to prospective and current customers to find out how people react to your product or service. By ‘right questions’ this means talking the language of your target audience, making the questions conversational and relevant. Creating comfortable environments where people can actively open up about how they feel about your brand. Think about research as having a conversation with your customers, rather than a formal interview. Use this to hone the direction and style of your market research which allows for more fluid and natural conversations which lead to meaningful insights.
3. Do your homework before you start to look for insight gaps
Before starting the research process start by gaining as much insight about the category, competitors and brands. The insight audit is always our best starting point, to provide a picture of what we currently know, where the gaps are and what questions we need to validate further. Google your competitors and look for common themes in their customer reviews to gain valuable competitor and market insights. Have a look at the Australian Bureau of Statistics for Census data. Consider what other sources of data you can use, such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. Check out companies that provide free research online. Companies like Australia Post, Roy Morgan, IBIS World and Nielsen, to name a few, offer free research on their websites that may be of benefit to your business. This insight audit is our starting point, to inform the research design and the questionnaire to make the process as efficient as possible.
4. Take advantage of new technology
With the plethora of digital media channels now available, the ways in which you conduct research with prospective customers or your target audience has opened up. Everyone’s on social media, and is confident and competent expressing their views and opinions in a social media style environment. Think differently about focus groups, you can now conduct quality research leveraging a range on online and social platforms, which provide a new tech ‘room’ to speak with your customers. We use a range on digital and social platforms whether it’s a qualitative or quantitative research project will depend on your objectives and your target audience. With budgets getting tighter and timeframes squeezed, leveraging new technology in your research approach provides an efficient solution without having to sacrifice quality.
5. Pay attention
It’s really important to keep an eye on things – continually watch the market and observe customer behaviour to identify any trends. Listen to your customers at every opportunity. Think like one of your customers. Spend some time doing what they do – read what they read, visit the sites they visit, etc. By spending some time in your customers’ shoes, you can uncover a wealth of consumer insights to help inform your research approach.
Listening and observing your customers and market, can uncover a wealth of invaluable insights that can help drive your brand strategy, marketing campaigns, as well as identify any market threats and opportunities to drive brand growth.
Never before has it been so important for brands to listen to and observe their customers to unveil unique consumer insights and respond accordingly. And the technology that is now available gives marketers an unprecedented variety of methods to do this with a limited budget.
At Truth Serum we will show you the most efficient approach for your business to get the best consumer insights as well as how best to leverage these insights to grow your business.