It comes as no surprise that marketing has changed dramatically in the last few years. For instance, “new” marketing conventions include social media management and content marketing—strategies that were rarely used not too many years back. Marketing, and by association marketing research, are changing more quickly than ever before. Those who don’t adapt fall behind. We discuss the importance of keeping market research up-to-date, and agile, in this post. Technology Consider the possible challenges that could affect the ways you market your business. It seems as though almost every day there are new ways to connect with customers, and expectations of content increase exponentially. You need to find new ways to reach out to your audience, either by laptop, smart phone, or tablet. Technology changes hugely every year, so it’s important to try to find a means of appealing to potential clients in a flexible and up-to-date way.In order to truly harness the power of marketing, you must garner the ability to adapt to new solutions and environments. It’s important to understand what data is relevant and important to the future, and what data is less so. Overall, you should have an understanding of the demands placed on contemporary new businesses. Agile Marketing Research Agile Marketing Research focuses on using technology to keep you up-to-date and relevant, since it is so highly adaptive. In fact, this kind of marketing research revolves around collaboration and feedback. This means that these agile solutions should create rapid responses. In addition, this type of marketing values individuals and interactions over facelessness.—Instead of allowing one person or element to take to take precedent, Agile Marketing Research focuses on collaborating for the common good. In addition, this type of marketing also encourages small, short projects instead of long, drawn-out ones. Ultimately, Agile Marketing Research emphasizes the need to work towards creating special and custom solutions. Everyone involved should be actively engaged in creating a workshop solution, and each member of the team is accountable for the others from planning to adaptation. Additionally, this agile process is designed first and foremost to please the client. Marketing techniques work best when they reach out and grip the reader. An effective marketing research team actually increases responsiveness. The interactivity of Agile Marketing Research really makes this method a no-brainer as far as excellent solutions go. One of the first steps towards establishing excellent market research solutions, actually, is to consider different ways that you can adapt to an ever-changing culture and to desires that evolve with each passing moment.
In marketing research, companies and marketers alike can gain valuable insight from taking a “consultative” approach to research projects where they consult with respondents, instead of taking the standard transactional approach that dismisses participant theories. We discuss how the consultative approach works below. Deliberative First, it should be pointed out that it’s often said that survey respondents can’t solve marketing problems, so their input in these cases is disregarded. However, companies that follow this methodology may actually be missing out on helpful insights from potential customers. The way to garner novel insights from respondents is to take on a more deliberative approach that exposes those involved in the market study to key issues over a long period of time. Researchers then collect feedback at several stages along the way to correspond with the level of respondents’ understanding of these issues. Pre-tasking An important component of this process is called pre-tasking, where exercises are designed to measure the respondents’ current preferences and behavior as consumers. During this phase, researchers also encourage respondents to pay attention to their brand allegiances, so that they may be able to answer the next set of research questions in greater depth. These exercises actually work quite well for commercial enterprises, as consumers can be quite passionate about their favorite brands. Additionally, even if they can’t give a rational reason why they purchase a certain brand over another, most consumers are aware that their preferences exist. The answers to the pre-tasking exercises can then be used to generate topics for more in-depth face-to-face discussions between moderators and respondents. Cooperation At this point in the standard methodology, the respondents would have been dismissed due to the belief that their opinions are now tainted by the research process. The consultative approach, however, sees things quite differently; from this standpoint, respondents’ relationship with the client’s product is viewed as a benefit, not as a hindrance. The moderators now must keep the session focused on the client’s most important areas of research without dampening the respondents’ enthusiasm for the products. From these consultative sessions, the feedback gained actually typically has more detail than a standard research study that dismisses the respondents earlier in the process. Now, for a consultative session to be productive, the moderators must be able to create an atmosphere of cooperation between themselves, the respondents, and the client. The respondents should feel as though they’re involved in the marketing process alongside the client; if they don’t feel this way, they may not put the effort in to giving very meaningful insight. When done correctly, this collaborative approach can lead to the formation of a strong relationship between the consumer and the company, for each party can feel ownership over their respective role in the research process while also effectively complementing the others.
Innovation is valuable for numerous reasons, including its ability to produce new things, such as new products, processes, and technologies. Once these new ventures manifest, they create a need for the acquisition of new marketing insights. In order to attain insight regarding how innovations will affect markets, business owners who want to remain competitive and edgy should look to market research for understanding. In order to attain answers to the question of how innovation affects markets, business owners need to recognize that idolizing their own creations can preclude them from accessing and implementing market answers that have already proven to be effective. The phenomenon of assuming that one's own innovation is distinct and thus not subject to established rules and regulations pertaining to the world of marketing, is referred to as the myth of uniqueness-and it can be costly. If you're attempting to determine whether or not you've fallen prey to the myth of uniqueness mentality, ask yourself whether you ever make the following types of statements: "My product is original and I have to have customized research" or "The existing body of marketing research available cannot be of use to me." If the answer is yes, you may need to adjust your outlook. While customized research can be effective, it can also be time-consuming and expensive - only two of the reasons why it's prudent to turn to existing research first. In many cases, existing research can provide you with the answers you're looking for, and the cost is generally anywhere from 10 to 50 times lower than what you'd pay for custom research work. Although no study will be able to provide you with predictions regarding your specific product, there is likely a study that offers important insights regarding the market category your product falls within while also providing information about customer demographics and preferences. Although the old cliché "There is nothing new under the sun" may sound trite, it's ge nerally true. And with respect to the world of innovation and market research, the important truth to recognize is that there are similarities between all of the marketing and business challenges a company owner will experience when attempting to promote a product or service.
As many of us already know, the survey can be an invaluable tool for monitoring the needs and desires of your customer base. However, many of us have also found that surveys conducted online are often little less than irritating… Pop-up surveys are now one of the most popular techniques employed to collect information from website visitors, but they also can be quite irksome to some people. The annoyance factor here stems from two issues: (1) These surveys pop-up right at the moment when they are least welcome and make you click on them to close the window, and (2) they often ask the customer to take a survey that may not align with their current mood or objective.From a business point of view, you actually may be alienating your customers by making their experience on your site discomforting. Additionally, the surveys may distract customers from your main objective of their buying your products or converting. The solution, though, is not to discard surveys; they’re quite valuable! However, care must be taken to implement online surveys properly and in ways that are less intrusive to website visitors. Here are some recommendations to this end: • Don’t put a survey on your main page: Having a pop-up window come up the moment a visitor arrives is the most intrusive way to request they take a survey. Instead, have the survey placed inside the website, and perhaps tie the survey to a promotional piece about your company. • Reward visitors for taking your survey: Give them a chance to win a nice prize in a drawing, perhaps. Whatever the reward offered, make sure it’s a strong enough incentive to take the survey painlessly. • Tie your website survey with your newsletter or your friends on Facebook: In other words, connect the survey with people who have joined your mailing list. These are the people who have already clearly demonstrated an interest in your product. If you have a list of customers, you can email them directly as well. Additionally, the last group of people you want to take your survey are those that randomly come to your site. They may not be representative of your paying customers anyway. • Keep your surveys short: It’s far too easy for people to get tired during a survey, and when this happens, the information they provide may not be accurate or complete—and therefore won’t be useful. A short survey will keep an individual alert, and hopefully the respondent will provide more accurate information. Additionally, make sure that the survey is created in a way that makes it appear social and that avoids a stoical feel. Those taking your survey are customers or prospective customers, and they should be treated like friends. Though these tips may seem simple, following them can make all the difference when it comes to gleaning information from your customers during your market research process. When conducting any sort of marketing research, it’s always important to make sure that your data is kept as objective as possible—and ensuring that your respondents are not irked or ignoring your surveys is a good place to start.
It’s important for any good business owner to try to get into the mind of potential customers. Owners who fail to take customers into account actually can do tremendous harm to their businesses—you never want your customers to feel like they've been ignored! Marketing studies are finding that it’s not only helpful, but is actually imperative to think about and request your customers’ wants and feedback. Should a business owner skip this step, customers may feel ignored, which is bad for all parties involved. What does it mean to feel ignored? Customers that feel ignored often compare the feeling to rejection. As irrational as these feelings may be, emotions like rejection influence purchasing decisions made by your customers. It is important not only to care about the way your customers feel, but to clearly demonstrate that you care. How can emotions impact a retail business? As much as most shoppers will tell you that they do not want an employee interrupting their shopping experience, they also don’t want to feel that staff members are unavailable. For example, customers often dislike seeing employees engaging in conversation and leaving the customers to fend for themselves. Some customers even feel ignored simply because the only employee is busy working on another essential task! So, how can you combat letting your customers feel ignored? Your first step here: acknowledge that customers never forget. It’s important to show customers just how much you value their business—make them feel special, even if it’s in a small or subtle way. In order to do this, consider your own experiences as a customer. Or, alternatively, it never hurts to hire a team of effective staff members who have had experience in sales and customer service. When you and your employees put themselves in the position of the consumer, you will see results! Gathering data for your company is also an excellent way to gauge your customers’ thoughts. Consider using polls, surveys, and comment cards to gather information—and to make your customers feel valued! Ask customers about interactions they’ve had with staff and why they may be choosing to shop online or at other stores. Use this data to make changes with you staff members. Once you take active steps to make your customers feel like friends you should be pleasantly surprised at the results. With ongoing dedication to customer satisfaction, you will be able to ensure your customers never feel ignored.
Performing successful market research that sets you apart from the competition requires the gathering of insights, rather than just the compiling of information. Insightful interpretation can really set your data apart from others while also allowing for novel means of reaching different consumers for any kind of business. Really, rather than concentrating on a specific project, it can actually be more helpful nowadays to set out to discover insights for a variety of topics to better understand the dynamics and motivators of target groups. We discuss ways that you can incorporate an insight-based approach to your marketing research process here. You should review current information. To gather more holistic insights, it’s important to start off by using multiple sources of data to begin your initial review. Research data on complaints, service requests, Internet reviews, and other related published surveys and reports. Also, pay attention to both qualitative and quantitative research—Qualitative sources are what will put quantitative insights into the right context, especially if there seems to be a difference or disagreement between two studies. Do your own market research. It’s also helpful to collect more than just data from your surveys and interviews. When speaking to people, try marking down insights, as well as answers, such as what emotions are being displayed behind the actual answers you are being given. There are multiple ways out there to quantify the qualitative. Additionally, dig deeper to find the reasons behind consumers’ purchases and spending habits, rather than just narrowing in on what they’re buying. Find that driving force behind why certain promotions are more appealing than others, rather than just accepting a number to decide what is successful and what is not. Work closely with participants. Lastly, to gather more insights to complement your harder data, discuss early findings with the company for whom you’re performing the research. Talk to everyone involved, not only to record their insights, but also to increase the chances of your insights’ being heard and implemented in the future. Also, create a database to contain both the insights and the data, as it can be a great tool for future cross-referencing. It’s important too to be prepared with analytical findings, as well as with foundational insights, so that these combined may be the basis for other, more specific market studies. Having a database of both figures and insights can really put you ahead of companies that record only hard data. A successful strategy is not just about gathering numbers and analyzing how certain companies attract more consumers. Rather, it’s also about why consumers are drawn to spend their time and money at specific establishments. The more insights you can gather in market research, really, the greater success you will probably have when completing specific projects down the line.
Neuromarketing is taking a hold now more than ever with savvy marketing professionals. The practice is also being applied with success for a wide range of products and services. Neuromarketing is an idea that comes from research in the cognitive process when combined with marketing. At its most fundamental level, neuromarketing research is finding that human beings have a preference for the simple versus the complex when it comes to absorbing new concepts and information. Here we talk a little about neuromarketing’s findings that visual messages that are easier to process mentally are more attractive to consumers than those that require more energy to cognitively digest. According to neuromarketing principles, there is not only a practical but also a cognitive reason why marketers should keep all information—from advertisements to instructions for the assembly of a product—within a simple and clear format. Consumers remember and pay attention to simplicity more—we get overwhelmed easier than we’d think. This rule holds true not only for written or audio words—it is equally important in the visual representation of a message as well. For instance, a message can be written in plain language, but it must also be presented in a font that is easy on the eye. Examples of this practice occurring in written language can include products that have easy-to-pronounce and easy-to-remember names. Simple-to-read letters are also more likely to be read in advertisements than fancier letters. Additionally, pictures that are simple to comprehend are often more attractive than those with a wider variety of shapes, colors, and ideas. At the research end, a study from the University of British Columbia found that when photos of a product depicting a change over time were shown to study participants, how much an individual liked the photo or product was directly related to the physical direction in which time unfolded in the image. This study demonstrated that the participants had a much stronger preference for products depicting images of time changing from left to right (like before on the left and after on the right). However, it was also found that there was a strong correlation between this preference and people whose written language goes from left to right. For those who read from right to left, this image preference of change over time was in the same direction in which they read their language—right to left! Other neuromarketing studies have pointed to more insights about visual placement of objects and concepts in how images influence viewer preference. In one, it was found that the closer two images were physically, the more strongly connected viewers considered the images to be. Now, we all have preferences with regards to what is more appealing to us visually, yet some of these preferences are pretty implicit. Neuromarketing research is needed now more than ever to help marketers better understand the general truths of our visual preferences. It seems we can now harness the similarities in how the human brain has evolved to positively impact advertising campaigns.
Nowadays, it’s growing increasingly common for businesses to turn to neuroscience to address their marketing needs, especially since it seems that business has challenges only neuroscience can solve. Behaviorists will tell us that humans are irrational creatures—we often make decisions based on information that is incomplete. We also take mental shortcuts. Why we err in the first place, however, is not completely explained by behavioral science or economics. However, neuroscience can really help us gain a foothold in understanding why and how consumers make certain decisions. Neuroscience adds value to business; it provides us with long sought after causal explanations for behavior. It also provides several methods that we can use to assess our unconscious mental processes. When neuroscience is done right, it allows us to understand what drives the decision making process. However, when it’s done wrong, it can leave us quite confused. Neuroscience is also quite complex—which leaves us to think that this is part of the reason why many people on the business side of things don’t want to involve it in their marketing processes. However, neuromarketing doesn't actually have to be so confusing. In reality, neuromarketing has progressed to the point where clear markers involving motivation, cognition, and emotions can be put into a context that those who don’t function much in the science world can actually understand. Additionally, those on the neuroscience end are learning to communicate with those on the business side in a less confusing way, sharing actionable insights with terms that are easy to understand—like motivation, cognition, and the various emotions. There’s something to be said about doing neuromarketing the “right” way—the science is fine; the communication just needs to be intentionally relatable and clear.
It’s unfortunate but true—context often goes overlooked when examining market research results. All too often, really, market research provides numbers that don’t seem to mean a thing without background information to support them. The important takeaway here is, in order to analyze data for meaning that is actually relevant to your marketing venture, you need to understand its context. Context matters in everything we do. For instance, spending double digits on a meal seems absurd at a fast food restaurant, but it’s the norm at a sit-down one. Meeting someone who’s a 14-year-old student is typical—until you find out she’s attending an Ivy League University among the most brilliant adult minds in the country. Now, take this idea and apply it to your market research. What does it mean to have a satisfaction rating of 70%? Is this result favorable or not? One of the first factors you must consider in determining context is the scale you are using to compare results. For instance, it makes no sense to compare data from a five-point scale to data from a ten-point scale. Doing so only leads to misleading and inaccurate results that will leave you scratching your head. In the same vein, it’s essential that you consider context when comparing your business to others. It’s entirely possible that the big corporations are eating you alive, but that you also tower over smaller businesses in your field. Vary that angle at which you examine your results. One of the most useful tools in determining market research context is to define two separate factors: your expectations and your goals. Doing so is actually a very helpful exercise to complete with a team so that you all can arrive at a consensus about business goals. The activity can also show the group where goals might be realistic or which team members have too-high expectations. When the results of a study are actually released, the team of owners can also assess their own expectations within a realistic market research context. With no context supporting them, numbers cannot tell you anything of value to your business. The more you consider context within market research, the more value you add to your results.
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