6 tips for bettering your market research
Market Research for Better Research
Marketing isn’t just about finding the latest significant trends to employ, it’s often about making tweaks, adjustments, and minor additions that add up to measurable improvements. The following tips can increase your market research knowledge base and help even experienced marketers delve deeper, learn more, and obtain better results.
1. Browse academic papers
Academic articles and papers can be extraordinarily helpful and are often brimming over with statistics and meaningful insight. Rather than spending time reading entire research papers, which can be lengthy, scan the introductions and conclusions for relevant material. Seek out research papers, whitepapers, infographics, and published reports by syndicated research groups like Forrester, Gartner, and Juniper.
2. Study consumer guides & reviews
Consumer reviews are a great gauge for features that people want, enjoy, hate, or couldn’t care less about. Online reviews are often filled with helpful tips like, “I wish this product were cheaper/smaller/faster/available in red.” Likewise, consumer guides often offer valuable insight culled from reviews, which more often than not, is indicative of overall consumer opinion. Consumer guides also offer side-by-side product comparisons so you can evaluate competitors’ offerings, as well as which of features of those products and services are actually attractive to customers. Text analytics tools can make processing and analyzing the large amounts of review text a much more manageable task.
3. Lean on student talent in the area
A local college is a great source of marketing pros in training. Assisting with research for an actual marketing department or firm is wonderful resume fodder and can sometimes earn internship credits for students. Interns also provide your company with an inexpensive way to gather data. Contact local colleges and universities to advertise your research opportunities, and be sure to check Department of Labor requirements to determine if you are required to pay your interns.
4. Make a game out of it
Gamification is one of the newest, most powerful ways to conduct consumer research surveys. Turn the survey into a game that consumers will enjoy playing and that delivers better response rates, lower costs, and faster fills.
5. Know thy enemy
What are your competitors doing? Visit their booths at trade shows, check their blogs and the news section of their website, and read their press releases. Read consumer reviews of their products and take note when their CEOs are featured in magazines and trade journals. Competitors can be a wealth of information about market sentiment and industry trends.
6. Train customer service reps to ask customers for suggestions
Each contact point with a customer is an opportunity to glean useful information. Make it standard practice that customer service reps ask for customer feedback and suggestions each time a customer calls, emails, initiates an online chat, or engages with the brand via social media.
Market research isn’t just something that needs to be done before undertaking a new project. Make it a habit to keep your finger on the pulse of consumers constantly. Then, consumer research becomes quicker, easier, and far more focused. To create your own Datagame for research purposes, sign up for your free Datagame account.