New media, communities, customer intelligence and targeted marketing. Speak of them and the first thing that comes to mind is technology. Of course technology enabled all this to happen, but it is not about the technology. Technology is the enabler here, but it’s about how you adopt the technology and how well you consume it.
New media is there for all. People talk about everything. They search and research for things they buy. Technology empowered them to have access to unlimited information at their fingertips. Now it’s about how you, as a company or organization, can use the new media and reach your customers, how you can create interactive channels, how you can come out of the traditional media shells and meet your customers where they reside.
Communities are great platform for you to talk to your customers. Connected people, powerful devices and web-based platform can provide you all you need to interact with your customers. You got all the tools, so now it’s about how well you use them. It’s about how you take in the input from your customers, how welcome and important you make them feel and how you use the platform to promote your objective.
There’s large amount of data available to mine intelligence about your customers. Using data extraction and mining technology, you can find in-depth information about your customers. It’s about how you use this information, how you make your message more appealing to your audience and how you implement changes to provide the best products to your customers.
Technology is a great enabler. Over the ages it has opened new avenues and empowered us in new ways. That’s not going to stop. A decade from now, you will get something more revolutionary to make the current new media and customer intelligence appear traditional. The important thing is to accept it and make it about how we can use it and make the most of it.
Market research is one of the most fascinating areas in the world of marketing. Companies spend billions of dollars each year on getting market research done. Nielsen, one of the pioneers in the field of market research, made $3.7 billion in 2006 to find which product sells, which TV programs people watch and which music and books were getting consumed. Whether it’s a washing detergent or a presidential candidate, market research has its role to play.
A survey based market research has a huge dependence on a couple of things: what questions are being asked to the people and the sample of people to which the questions are being asked. The basic shortfall of such a market research is that the results can be skewed by tampering either one of these parameters. Plus the opinion of the target group is limited to the objective questions asked and to add to that the consensus building exercise is closed and constraint.
Another way to do market research is by using the social media. People talk about your product, their problems and how they are trying to solve them on social networks. They discuss and critic. Researchers can monitor conversations people have on various social network and infer what people want using these conversations. To make these conversations more fruitful, the company can host discussions. It can provide a community platform to customers and marketers to facilitate direct communication. This community – controlled and monitored – can be analysed by the researchers to reach to a consensus with the help of direct customer participation.
A community based market research has a few key advantages. The information gathered is broader as compared to what is gathered through surveys providing researchers reasoning behind a customer’s poll choice. And the consensus is built in an open environment, with active customer interaction, making it more credible and effective.