10 Essential Market Research Methods
By Joshua BoydOct 24
Published July 12th 2018
Consumers want brands to listen to them, understand their concerns and act on them to improve the services and products they pay for. Some brands do that better than others.
The key is to set up the infrastructure that not only allows your business to receive that feedback, but also allows you to react to it in an appropriate and timely way that makes customers felt heard.
In this blog post we’ve collected five of our favorite examples of companies who have done just that.
The most recent of our examples is McDonald’s that just announced that starting in September they will be ditching plastic straws in the UK in favor of paper straws.
The move came as the result of pressure from a customer led campaign that at the time of writing has nearly half a million signatures.
The chain reportedly uses 1.8m plastic straws a day, so this change is a massive project – a new paper straw making factory will open in Wales that will help deal with demand from the UK market as many businesses consider making the leap.
While paper straws may have their own pros and cons, McDonald’s swapping plastic for the biodegradable alternative has got them plenty of praise.
Baking giant Bimbo is a huge operation that provides, among other things, the delicious treat that is Gansito.
The Twinkie-like cake is much loved in Mexico as well as the US.
At one point, the US market were able to try a limited edition version of Gansito in a red velvet flavor. The Mexican public, who didn’t have access to the new flavor, were outraged. Where was their red velvet Gansito?
Luckily, Bimbo was listening to their concerns. The team at Vector B, Bimbo’s in house agency, noticed a dramatic rise in mentions and online conversation around the Gansito brand with the red velvet cake at the heart.
Bimbo decided to make the flavor available to people in two Mexican cities to see how it would go down. The result? Huge demand saw the product sell out in just eight weeks – four weeks earlier than expected.
There are many speedy things Tesla CEO Elon Musk makes and decisions are definitely one of them.
This is a great reference point for any company that takes customer success seriously.
Thirty minutes after tweeter Paul Franks raised an issue with Tesla cars to Musk, he replied with a promise to fix it in the next software update.
Valuing customer feedback is one thing, but addressing it in that time frame is seriously impressive.
During the 9.19 World of Tanks update, Wargaming used Brandwatch to track players’ reactions to it in real time.
They were able to identify the positive and negative conversations and where they were happening, enabling them to pass this feedback to teams in other regions as the update came out to show them what they might expect.
Gathering audience feedback in this way is great for marketing teams in that they can monitor how a campaign is going and respond quickly to customer questions, but opening that data up to other teams in the company can be exceptionally useful.
In this particular example:
“Insights and feedback were shared with product owners and development teams, so that they fully understood how the changes were perceived by the players, and decide on next steps.”
Ensuring customer feedback gets to the product team in a coherent way is key for getting the most desired changes into a company’s product or service and making customers happier with it.
Listening to your audience doesn’t simply extend to what they are saying about you and your products. Observing wider trends can help inform new product launches and iterations.
Adidas’ bold move to create running shoes made from ocean waste could have gone one way or another. Luckily, they sold over a million pairs in 2017.
The shoes combine two aspects of consumer wants needs: well made shoes and the desire to do good for the planet.
A recent Brandwatch analysis found that consumers, encouraged by shows like Blue Planet 2, are becoming more and more aware of the effects of plastic waste and are talking about it more online.
By listening to that interest in the problems the planet faces and addressing it with a quality product that people can get behind, Adidas is definitely on to a winner.