Online tools over the last few years have supplemented the traditional approach to market research. Pen-and-paper surveys and in-person focus groups have been joined by a wide variety of online tools that give companies a new way to gain insights about their customers.
Today, emerging technologies promise to add even faster, more effective means of gathering these mission-critical insights. In a world moving at the speed of social, companies that move quickly to adopt these technologies may just give themselves a strong competitive edge.
The Importance of Market Research
In Wednesday’s Forbes article “Why Knowing Your Audience Is the Key to Success,” Jayson DeMers reaffirmed the importance of including market research in your marketing portfolio. (Here at Cubeyou, we have long held this belief.)
As he states, effective market research can be an extremely powerful tool for understanding your customers, planning your business, and ultimately, reaching your business goals. Companies that fail to incorporate a research element often spend excess amounts of time and money trying to figure out what they should be doing.
When done right, market research creates a resource-saving shortcut to getting the right answers to the hard questions.
Available Research Tools
Mr. DeMers also outlines several key online techniques for gathering information about your customers:
- Keyword research
- Website analytics
- PPC-based research
- Auditing existing buyer data
- A/B testing
We agree that these are all very valuable tools to use when planning your research. However, there are a few new players in the research game who should be given their chance to come off the bench.
Turning Massive-Scale Data into Actionable Insights
With over 3.1 billion people active on social media today, the potential sample size for this research is enormous. (See “Size Matters: What is the Right Sample Size?”) Because of this size, the analytical capabilities of these tools tend to produce more accurate results than traditional surveys. And these tools produce results fast. Really fast.
Based on an observational approach, these tools go beyond web analytics. They use advanced algorithms and processes to analyze not only the vast number of online social interactions. They also track and compare these interactions at several levels to project related likes and dislikes.
Fortunately, marketers do not need to become statisticians to use this information. As noted in “Fun and Statistics in Your Social Marketing Strategy,” modern tools crunch the numbers for you. By identifying common traits and preferences, marketers are able to build specific persona and connect with their target audience on a more meaningful level.
New Doors to Open
There is little doubt that the way marketers use market research is shifting. The advanced capabilities of new research tools are breaking through historical barriers and opening new doors. (The article “8 Myths of Market Research” discusses how several of these barriers simply no longer exist.)
Conventional research methods will continue to play an important role in many situations, but smart marketers are adding new tools to their toolbox.
As the leader in market research automation, Cubeyou provides on-demand market research that gives marketers the customer insights they need to understand their customers better — fast.
Contact Cubeyou today to speak with one of our research consultants about how we can help streamline your research and grow your business.