Market Research in a Bubble Won't Cut It

Brands love using market research to inform that next big offering or to explore their standing in a competitive category. But, market research in a bubble won’t cut it. It won’t get brands the insight they need to differentiate in this digital age, and it offers scant intel around the customer journey. Let’s explore what brands need to succeed – and why!

Building brand awareness is always important, regardless of the end goal. And doing this requires a combination of customer experience understanding, market research, and deep consumer insight.

Capturing any of this intel in isolation offers a fragmented picture of consumer behavior and little real understanding of where they are in the purchase funnel, nor how to propel them forward. Let’s take a brief look at each, in turn . . .

Customer Experience Understanding

88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations over advertising. We all have some general awareness of these stats. But where does it leave brands? Who or what influences their purchases – and why?

This is where customer experience understanding is crucial.

Although consumers may say they’re influenced by one thing, their selections in a survey are limited by the choices offered.

  • What if it’s something you hadn’t considered that’s influencing them? What if there’s a wishlist item that your ‘known items’ survey will not reveal? We’ll explore human bias (on the part of the survey creator) in just a bit.
  • And then – what if your competitor is capturing additional insight to lead them down this path while you toy around with self-reported insight that’s limited in scope?

When it comes to innovation, strategic brands use customer experience analytics for a keener focus on customer needs and evolving market trends. Things that take them well beyond the known into the unknown:

market research to understand trends

And the same goes for growing market share and driving revenue. Winning brands rely on customer experience insights, captured from a variety of sources, to influence strategy, product portfolio management, and new product developments. You can be certain they’re not relying on one piece of insight in isolation. Not even close:

many data points social analytics captures to enhance market research

Market Research

Market research isn’t just surveys, or at least it shouldn’t be! It’s insight captured (again) from a variety of sources, including ratings, professional and consumer reviews and (super important) competitive intelligence.

discover, measure, segment and track data points for market research success

Which categories is your brand in? A coffee company might consider analysis of coffee as a category, but also breakfast, the broader beverage conversation, or even energy drinks. And then – what is your brand share in those categories and what can we learn about consumer preferences within the category?

Deep Consumer Insight

All of the “why” and “how” questions asked above are brought full circle with deep consumer insight. And top brands are capturing this with next generation artificial intelligence social analytics. Combining machine learning, deep learning and expert systems, advanced AI is something that should be found in every brand’s toolbox. It should be the toolbox, actually – the foundation of it, for sure.

Here’s why – a powerful social analytics tool, like NetBase, can integrate structured and unstructured data sources to provide next level analysis of every data point relevant to a brand. And across every stage of the consumer journey. It’s important to note that there can be billions of data points to consider.

stage of consumer journey

Insight to Support Every Stage of Consumer Journey

Beyond what we’ve already mentioned, there’s comment data to consider, blogs, forums, microblogs, news, employee feedback sites, and then social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and the social web as a whole! It’s a lot. And we add specific domains, that aren’t already included in our vast coverage, upon request from clients all the time.

And then the ability to aggregate all of that data with your internal CRM and any proprietary insight at your disposal is key as well. Then and only then, will you have a full picture of the consumer and where they are in their journey.

But that’s not all. Understanding the landscape and consumer conversation requires benchmarking over time, to answer things like:

  • How is a brand perceived/talked about during a given period?
  • Where are the deviations over time – and why?

understanding deviations in sentiment over time

  • How frequently does the conversation change – and who/what drives it?
  • How can brands use those differences in combination with other data (PR, customer surveys, sales, etc.) to understand what works (drives more awareness/share of voice)?
  • Which segments are you targeting? Using demographics, consumer bios and self-descriptions, brands can identify differences in the conversation that drive engagement.

Using demographics, consumer bios and self-descriptions, brands enhance market research and can identify differences in the conversation that drive engagement

  • How do brand advocates talk versus detractors? What can be taken from those conversations to improve brand image
  • How is the conversation different by channel?

supplementing market research by understanding how the conversation is different by channel

  • Which influencers drive the highest engagement amongst a brand and competitors?

seeing which influencers drive the highest engagement

And beyond all of that, AI Studio enhances that source insight by eliminating human bias (that we mentioned above). Let’s see how that looks and why brands are super excited about this and other AI Studio potential headed their way!

AI Studio Required for the Market Research Win

And all of that combined insight is enhanced with AI Studio’s automated theme discovery.

AI Studios automated themes offer required undertanding to flesh out any market research effort

With it, brands can uncover semantically similar terms around brand, category or campaign-specific topics, organized thematically, and ready for immediate analysis. Analysts save time searching, with the AI doing the work for them, while also eliminating any potential bias that can be expected when humans self-select search items to follow. Yes, the same bias that can be expected when humans self-report on their wants, needs and behaviors.

AI Studio is set to revolutionize social analytics insight, and brands just need to be ready to take their insight search beyond what market research in isolation offers. It seems a clear choice to do so, doesn’t it? And please reach out for a demo as seeing it in action is even more impressive than reading about it!