Probing Consumer Brains for Market Research Insights:
As science technology advances, some research techniques have become easier to conduct and less expensive. Neuroscience is one avenue that market researchers have begun to plumb at new heights. Some techniques, such as eye gaze, are highly sophisticated. But some market research techniques that capitalize on the stronger capacity to understand the unconscious mind of the consumer, such as behavioral research, are not costly.
Video Is the Most Popular Format for Knowledge Sharing:
Video has moved to the front of the line for knowledge sharing and entertainment. Interesting combinations of video, gaming, and advertising are emerging. Video is an excellent format for addressing different marketing, advertising, and entertainment objectives
Focus Groups - An Alternative with Depth:
The term "focus group" has been bandied around by the media and by popular audiences - to bad effect. People who do not work in a field of research tend to have persistent misperceptions about what focus groups are and what focus groups can help accomplish. These articles shed light on the new focus group techniques that have emerged as market research undergoes reconceptualization.
Ethnographic Techniques for Qualitative Consumer Insights:
Ethnographic market research is undergoing a resurgence as the new digital techniques are applied to the qualitative approach. Today, consumers can be armed with video recorders to curate their own product experience stories for market researchers. The foundation of Web 2.0 is participation - and consumers are taking to the conecpt like ducks to water. This shift in orientation and attitude is a boon to market research.
New Ways to Access the Voice of the Customer (VoC):
The new digital media permits immediate access to the customer satisfaction. There are trade-offs among the different approaches to voice-of-the-customer. Social media research fosters immediacy and intimacy. Satisfaction surveys provide depth and long-term trend data. Market researchers are working to create Voice of the Customer (VoC) plans that incorporate both traditional and new approaches to customer insights.
New, Simple, and Cheap Ways to Conduct Market Segmentation:
Market segmentation is a fundamental task of market researchers. But there is more than one way to accomplish segmentation. It helps to begin with the end in mind - an aphorism learned from Steven Covey that continues to ring true. That end is the consumer's perception of how a product or service is differentiated from all the other products or services in that category. To arrive at this end, a market researcher can backward map to the consumer's wants and needs. This puts the wheels on product or service differentiation. How well a product or service meets those needs is what gives the potential or actual purchase value. Differentiation occurs in the mind of the consumer.
The Next Challenge:
The next frontier for market research is to meld the best of the new market research that is centered in the digital realm with the latest findings in neuroscience. While market research that resides in social media feels so very au courant, it tends to follow superficial vectors that are not unlike the game of gossip that children play. A question is rarely sustained for long in social media research. In fact, that is its value: Immediacy. Neuroscience enables the in-depth pursuit of a research question, for instance about why consumers behave as they do. As findings from neuroscience are utilized in the digital realm, the value and utility of market research increases.
Target market segmentation will continue to be important to the field of market research, even as it adapts to an increasingly digital arena. Also, as consumers tap into an increasing number of channels, market researchers will need to study the customer purchase journey from the different perspectives of the channels consumers choose. The new market research will refine brand advocacy as social media matures. The interactions among these approaches - segmentation, consumer purchase decisions and purchase journeys, and brand advocacy - will draw the attention of market researchers and result in the development of new market research approaches, techniques, and tools.