Don't Ignore Market Research. Your Brand Depends on It.


Digital Channel / Marketing 326 Views 0

Market research should be a key part of any business strategy, but many brands are reticent to invest in specific strategies. They either don't see the purpose of formal market research, or they're unsure of how to best engage their target market on this front. If they do invest in market research, most are failing miserably at it.

All of this is troubling, because market research isn't just about collecting information on consumers – it's just as much about creating a customer experience and fostering a brand community through relevant incentives and rewards. If you're avoiding market research, or going about it in the wrong manner, you're missing a huge opportunity to grow your brand.

Research experience is customer experience

In many ways, the market research experiences your customers have shape the way they feel about your brand. If the experience is positive, then they're more likely to engage you again in the future. If the experience is negative, then you risk losing their trust and future participation.

Unfortunately, the 2017 GRIT Consumer Participation in Research study found that only one out of four customers around the world are satisfied with how companies engage them in the market research process.

As the study's author Leonard Murphy says, "We as an industry must change our ways. The way we have always conducted research may have met our needs in the past, but the world has changed, and people simply expect more from their relationships, including research."

How to enhance the market research experience for customers

If you're only thinking about market research in terms of the insights you glean, then you have a one-dimensional approach. It's just as much about how customers feel when they participate in the research. That said, you need to focus on ways to improve this touch point. Here are a few ideas:

1. Provide the right incentives

Did you know that American businesses spend $90 billion annually in noncash incentives for customers? Most of this money is spent on rewards programs, and the data shows that customers respond well. Why, then, aren't more companies using incentives to motivate customers to participate in market research? Well, some are – and you should, too.

Swagbucks is one example of an incentive-based community where brands can share market research studies and gather feedback from a large group of individuals that fit their target market. Thousands of customers participate in Swagbucks, and it's a totally legitimate way to cost effectively incentivize

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