Announcing Unlimited Market Research
While market research becomes more and more important as a way for brands to understand their audiences, especially now, it has 2 traditional, key pain points:
According to McKinsey, as consumers changed their behaviors and preferences already due to the pandemic, for brands to keep sync with their audiences will require more than monitoring product sales numbers. Brands will have to do extensive consumer-insights research work, with a focus on identifying changed behaviors, beliefs, and motivators to fully understand the new consumer decision journey. McKinsey further elaborates that qualitative techniques will be key in providing research directions that can later be further explored via large-scale surveys, testing etc.
While this underlines well the importance of intelligence as a way to survive and win the war on the changing consumer landscape, the wide range of research methods and tools underline the fact that this is going to be costly, and that launching these tools one after the other is a time-consuming exercise.
Why research is expensive & slow
I’ll jump right to the end and save you the suspense – research today typically requires experts that specialize in research channels and tools (typically different experts for different tools/methods) and so to get to a research answer requires staged use of these experts and tools one after the other which eventually takes months and is costly.
If you take a typical research flow per tool/method:
- Identify the expert resources to rely on
- Develop a research hypothesis
- Build it to a plan
- Execute the plan
- If there are issues, go back to hypothesis or planning
If you do this for several research methods, you can understand why many months and lots of money is spend. Take a typical cycle of:
- Use qualitative feedback to identify a new trend
- Run several surveys to validate and crystalize the trend
- Develop a proposed new offering
- Validate the offering via surveys
- Deeper validation via focus groups
And there you go….
What is Unlimited Market Research
Unlimited Research is the answer to all of the above issues.
Imagine being able to perform an unlimited amount of research for a fixed cost? That will already take care of one big hurdle.
Now also imagine if you had a way of pooling in what an entire market is thinking about – all customers (yours and your competitors), about all the brands, about all the products, about every single purchase/usage/experience consideration, and the associated sentiment…. wouldn’t this huge pool of feedback be a one-stop-shop for most of your research needs?
For example, if you already know what every potential customer is thinking about in toothpaste, why do you now need to come up with questions for a survey and to run it and analyze it? Similarly, if you can know in detail what consumers love or hate about a specific competing product, why now run a benchmark with a focus group that will take time to design, run and analyze?
Putting it all together unlimited research means:
- Fixed cost of access
- To everything that is discussed within an entire industry
With that, you can speed up research and cut down on research costs, becoming nimble and competitive.
How does it work?
Data is all around us. User-Generated Content (UGC) – mostly online reviews and opinions, is growing like crazy (Per IDG is growing at a rate of 62% per year). That’s a lot of feedback data.
A typical survey will get you dozens of responses…and will generate responses to specific questions…
UGC on the other hand is authentic. The majority of customers share authentic moments and experiences from their lives with the hope to make a difference in their friends and family’s lives, sharing lessons learned and spreading the word on what works or not.
- 89% of customers would post about a positive travel destination experience
- 85% of customers would post about a positive dining experience
- 65% of customers would post about a positive health or beauty product experience
So the data for deep, actionable market research is there…now how do we harvest it?
UGC is a form of unstructured data. Unstructured means there is no specific pattern to the data. Unlike structured data such as an address or credit card numbers that have a well-known pattern and thus are easily recognizable by technology, UGC can be of different length, structure, format, content etc.
New technologies are now able to analyze this free form feedback data, categories it to topics and provide a sentiment read per sentence/topic.
Let’s look at an example on how feedback data can turn into a product benchmark:
- “Love the screen of this Apple iPhone model X Pro” = Apple/X Pro/Screen/Good (+1)
- “Hate the sound of music on the Apple iPhone model X Pro speaker” = Apple/X Pro/Speaker/Bad (+1)
Basically, market sentiment of Apple iPhone X Pro/Screen = Apple/X Pro/Screen/Good / (Apple/X Pro/Screen/Good + Apple/X Pro/Screen/bad).
In the same way, eventually, all these features discussed are rolled up to provide the sentiment for the entire phone model. This way if 79% of customers say good things about Apple iPhone X Pro features, it ranks 79%. If the equivalent Samsung has a 74% rank – we’ve got a benchmark!
With so much UGC data floating around you’d expect brands to be able to shorten feedback loops and tighten customer relationships. However, per a recent Nielsen study, 80% of small and mid-size CPG companies report that information gaps limit their ability to grow.
With the latest AI and text analytics solutions, you can now turn UGC into a powerful benchmarking solution for your organization, helping every department make educated, quick decisions:
- Customer service
These new tools have a flat cost (typically annual/monthly subscription) and offer you unlimited usage and access to UGC analysis. All you need to do is turn the insights generated by the tools into actionable decisions. With this, you can save on research costs and speed up your decision making and pace by a huge factor!