Conducting market research in 2020 is different than ever before. This is not just a result of evolving trends in the industry, but the COVID-19 outbreak as well.
All at once, the United States is experiencing a global pandemic, an economic crisis, a polarizing political climate, and a social justice movement. It’s no secret that these events have had a massive impact on consumers and businesses around the world.
Conducting market research in 2020 will be different than ever before. Learn how to satisfy your consumer, how their needs have changed, and how the effects of these events will continue to influence purchasing behavior.
As a company, it’s important to consider your consumer, how their short-term needs have changed, and how the effects of these historical events will continue to influence purchasing behavior in the future.
In this blog post, Drive Research, a consumer behavior insights company, will explain the importance of investing in market research and research methodologies to explore during these unprecedented times.
What are Consumer Insights?
The term “consumer insights” is something that gets thrown around quite a bit in market research. Generally, consumer insights refer to having an in-depth understanding of how your audience thinks and feels.
Often, a market research study is seen as the first step to obtaining consumer insights. After the market research is completed, the data from the study is analyzed to identify consumer trends and behavior. From there, consumer insights are born.
Why Your Company Should Invest in Market Research
1. Consumer Behavior is Rapidly Changing
Chances are the data from the online survey that your company conducted in 2019 isn’t going to be very valuable in powering your next marketing campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic and other current events have had a massive impact on consumer behavior.
The data you currently have on your consumers may include information such as:
- Employment status
- Household income
- Product preferences
- Communication preferences
However, the pandemic has changed a lot of consumers’ lives in drastic ways - and is likely going to continue to doing so.
For example, many consumers once stopped to grab a cup of coffee on their way to work...
As a result of the pandemic, many now work from home, were furloughed, or even lost their jobs completely.
The morning coffee run is no longer a staple in their morning routine. Rather, they might consider the more convenient or economical option of brewing their coffee at home or venture out of their home offices later in the afternoon for a pick-me-up.
With a focus on consumer insights, market research has the ability to dive deeper into these new lives of consumers.
With fresh data, your company will be able to reach consumers more effectively and appeal to their new needs as consumers of your product or service.
2. Consumers Want to Connect With Brands
During these unprecedented times, many consumers are finding comfort in familiar brands that they’ve already forged a connection with.
Others are choosing to support brands that align closely with their beliefs. Either way, it’s clear that consumers are seeking to build a relationship with the brands they choose to support.
Being transparent and empathetic in marketing efforts is more important now than ever before.
As a brand, it’s important to understand how your consumers want to connect with you.
Beyond determining communication preferences (i.e., social media, email marketing, etc.), market research can be useful in identifying common social causes and political views that your target audience finds important.
Investing in market research will help your brand align itself with its consumers’ attitudes and beliefs.
In return, the insights derived from the market research can only help your brand’s relationship with its consumers flourish and build long-lasting brand loyalty.
3. Marketing Needs Consumer Insights Now More Than Ever
Given the fact that consumer behavior is rapidly changing right now, the collaboration between consumer insights teams and marketing teams is absolutely essential to success.
I know you might be wondering how consumer insights can be successfully integrated into marketing campaigns. No worries, our market research company has you covered!
3 Ways Marketers Can Use Consumer Insights to Improve Marketing Strategies
1. Personalized and Targeted Marketing Communications
Consumer insights will often tell you how certain groups or segments of consumers prefer to be communicated with.
Identifying consumer insights can help your company speak directly to certain audience segments through personalized and targeted marketing content.
2. Track the Success of Digital Marketing Campaigns
Data analytics software makes it possible to collect specific information about the people who are interacting with your content online.
This data can be extremely useful in understanding the success of digital marketing campaigns and increasing conversions.
3. Adapt to Consumer Behavior During the COVID-19 Era
The coronavirus pandemic had forced many consumers to change their behavior.
By diving into the consumer insights that are available to your company, either internally or externally, your brand’s marketing team can use these insights to communicate effectively with your consumers during these confusing, lonely, and unprecedented times.
How to Collect Consumer Insights
Look no further! Here are four market research methodologies that can be used to collect consumer insights accurately and safely during the COVID-19 crisis.
1. Marketing Analytics
Data-driven marketing is here to stay. Utilizing the marketing analytics tools that are readily available to your marketing team can be a great way to collect consumer insights.
Analytics platforms allow your brand to get a comprehensive overview of its consumers and competitors across several different channels, bringing in fresh consumer insights daily as new data is collected.
Here are a few ways to collect consumer insights using marketing analytics:
- Social Listening: Stay engaged with consumers and keep up-to-date with industry trends.
- Predictive Analytics: Through statistical analysis of past and current data, predictions about the future can be made, allowing businesses to make better, data-driven decisions.
- Competitive Analysis: Stay up to date on what competitors are doing to stay competitive and meet consumers’ needs and wants.
- Customer Analytics and Segmentation: Collect data about customers and group them together based on common characteristics to personalize and target marketing strategies.
- Website Analytics: Collecting information such as time on page, engagement, and where users come from can provide in-depth consumer insights.
2. Customer Journey Mapping
Very rarely are customer journeys a straight path. More often than not, a customer’s journey with your brand will be very complex.
A customer journey map is a visual that shows each experience that your customers have with your brand through different phases.
By identifying the stages of your customers’ journeys, your company will have an in-depth understanding of your consumers’ experiences with your brand and have the opportunity to fill in any bumps and/or gaps that the journey map identifies.
Ultimately, the goal of a customer journey map is to form a long-term relationship with consumers.
The key stages of a customer journey map might include:
Here is a template journey map our market research company created for a client.
3. Mobile Ethnography
Imagine being able to tag along on a “day in the life” of consumers across the country. Mobile ethnography does just that.
This type of consumer insights study observes consumers in a natural environment without the added worry of COVID-19 and proper social distancing.
Through the use of a smartphone, participants will share their experiences as consumers of your brand through video, audio, open-ended survey questions, and polls.
This market research methodology makes it possible to:
- Tag along on in-person shopping trips
- See inside a household’s refrigerator
- Understand how consumers use their vacuum cleaners
- Observe how a handyman organized their tools in their garage
- Other day-to-day activities
The data collected through a mobile ethnography research study will be extremely beneficial to formulating actionable consumer insights since you’ll get a much closer look at consumer behavior.
Learn more about mobile ethnography by watching this short video.
4. Online Surveys
An online survey will allow your brand to fill in the gaps that you’re unable to fill through marketing analytics tools alone.
While data analytics software might lend insight into consumer trends, an online survey allows your company to take the guesswork out of the equation.
In an online survey, a customer is able to tell you exactly what they need and expect of your company in order to retain their business.
For example, your in-house analytics tools might be telling you business is down by 50%, but an online survey has the capability to tell you why the numbers are declining.
For companies looking to dive deeper into consumer insights, a brand awareness survey or a customer satisfaction survey is a great place to start.
These online surveys bring light to consumer behavior and customer needs, drawing more consumer insights to power future marketing strategies.
Drive Research is a national market research company. Our team of experts helps organizations across the country execute various market research studies to solve unique business challenges.
Interested in conducting a market research study with Drive Research? Contact us through any of the four ways below.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
Elizabeth has a curious mind and is never afraid to ask “why?” She discovered her passion for research and exploring data while completing her bachelor’s degree at Marist College. As a researcher, she believes you’re never truly done learning.