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By Gemma JoyceMay 16
Market research is used to manage the risk associated with offering up new products or services, but if you’ve ever had to undertake some form of it – think surveys, focus groups, interviews – you’ll recognize the difficulties and limitations.
You want to know what the public think of a potential new product. You want to know whether people like your competitors’ products or services more than yours.
You need to do some in-depth audience profiling – work out who your target market really is before spending big bucks on iterating and then ultimately launching your new offering.
The most obvious problems with traditional means of carrying out this research is that it is costly, time consuming and resource heavy, but there are other, underlying issues.
As an example, in qualitative market research there are the five categories of bias – moderator bias, biased questions, biased answers, biased samples and biased reporting.
These need to be avoided in order to build a complete and true picture of what you’re trying to research – something that is very difficult if using the face-to-face methods of old. These biases can completely destroy the value of your data.
Luckily, the growth of social media has heralded a transformation in the market research industry.
It’s now so much easier and cheaper to source opinions on products, advertising or branding online – but that’s not where it ends.
In the early years of social media, researchers could look at volume and share of voice of social mentions. As analytics tools developed, sentiment analysis and category analysis were added, and now online analysis tools are pretty much as broad – or as narrow – as researchers require.
We show you how to harness this considerable advantage in our new market research guide.
When getting started with your market research plan, you’re going to need to ask yourself some questions.
We cover these in more detail in the guide, but essentially, once you have thrashed out your answers to these questions, your focus should be nice and clear.
Although social listening tools make it easier to gather and collate relevant data than ever before, that data still needs careful analysis to offer the most insightful results.
And of course, we have to recognize that social media analytics will only ever bring back research from people who regularly use social media channels; the audience you’re sampling from is initially self-selecting and may not represent the population as a whole.
However, even with this limitation, the volume and accuracy of data available can help generate tangible insights for all sorts of organizations and brands, saving them time, money and resource.
Using social data in this way to complement traditional means of analysis will enhance and improve your market research extensively.
This guide shows you how.