Monthly Archives: February 2015

What Do Clients Look For in Market Research?

As clients build their market research strategies, they have varying sets of objectives to meet. These objectives may be business related, such as increasing market share after the launch of a new product, or painting an accurate picture of the core demographic to improve an advertising campaign. However, before working with a firm to conduct online market research, both internal and external clients have another checklist of priorities and expectations moving forward. In addition to the final report that conveys actionable results that provide value to the organization, researchers must also maximize client satisfaction along the way in order to be successful.

Expectations

Before getting started, it is important for clients and researchers to be on the same page about a campaign and what results can be achieved. Be clear about the research plan and timeline so that everyone shares the same expectations. At the same time, it is the research team’s duty to convey any possibility of unexpected results or events before the plan is implemented. Negative surprises during the process aren’t fun for anyone, and openness is the key to being able to achieve the stated objectives.

Communication

Clients and researchers need to be able to communicate effectively; otherwise, the plan is doomed to fail. During initial expectation meetings, set up a communication schedule that works for all parties, including the frequency of status updates, and the preferred method and point of contact moving forward. Clients need to be in the loop during the research phase and expect relative ease when it comes to communication. When the time comes to deliver the results, clients do not want to sit through lengthy presentations and have numbers thrown around. Instead, being able to tell a story with the results in a way that conveys actionable insight is far more valuable.

Account Management

Ultimately, clients understand the big picture and want the research campaign to add to that picture. However, that means that it is up to the research supplier to craft a plan that maximizes value on limited resources, while providing results that are new and impressive. Clients look for suppliers that are proactive and experts in the industry. Due to shrinking timelines and the need for quick turnarounds, clients partner with those that understand and work around their needs.

Report Content

When conducting online market research, clients want to work with firms that have expertise in the field. As more traditional research methodologies give way to faster and more efficient communication online, it is necessary for research firms to offer a unique approach that will result in the highest quality data. Thorough data analysis is extremely important as well. As mentioned before, telling a story is more important than presenting endless spreadsheets of information. Simple to understand infographics and charts support the story, and are easily accessed in the decision making process that follows.

Clients want research done right by professionals who know how to access the target market. Knowing the audience and collecting data, either through surveys, interviews, or online focus groups, helps both sides achieve their goals. Learn more about market research online and how the resources can benefit your organization by contacting an expert at e-FocusGroups at (707) 585-7363.

Conference room

The Importance of Stories in Qualitative Market Research

Conducting qualitative market research is an essential part of the business cycle because it provides an organization with insight into consumer sentiment and brand performance in the marketplace. As an alternative to collecting quantitative data that takes time and energy to sort through, these days companies frequently rely on a qualitative approach in order to more swiftly get information and recommendations on action items that can affect the business. While comprehensive data analysis based on detailed research completed following months of studies and testing has been standard in the past, it might not be as effective in many cases today. Being able to tell a story to executives and decision makers opens up new possibilities for growth and revenue moving forward.

Cut Through the Clutter

Clients and executives do not have the time or resources to dedicate to lengthy market research projects. Sitting through presentations that are time consuming is a drain, especially when it is easy to get lost in all of the facts and figures being conveyed. On the other hand, as a market researcher it is important to streamline the process by presenting information in a clear and concise story that captures the essence of what the data shows.

Whether your organization completes in-depth interviews with customers, or puts on an online focus group over a few days, the goal is to present results in a way that is easily understood. A well-articulated story is clear and detailed, and shows clients and management the implications of different actions they might take based on the findings of the research.

Why Stories Work

Reporting on hundreds of PowerPoint slides explaining demographic shifts and emerging market trends is tedious. The information overload can turn out to be a waste if the key findings are not memorable and impactful. A story is an effective tool for market researchers because it achieves a number of goals.

  • By contrast. The human brain is pre-programmed to be especially responsive to stories. This is a capacity shaped by millennia of humans sitting around a camp fire to here stories of the hunt or fables that build group history and identity. A narrative arc grabs our attention. Today’s most effective reports are cast into a narrative format whenever possible.
  • Stories solve problems. Company executives have a list of business objectives, and they want to know the information they need to reach those goals. A story conveys the main results of the research and allows for the making of informed decisions.
  • Stories are efficient. As all firms compete to deliver results in shorter business cycles, market researchers must be able to provide value in a timely manner. Simply put, increasing the efficiency of a study or focus group is of the utmost importance. Telling a story at its conclusion streamlines the process and shows how the data collected relates to the big picture.

As you build your presentation following the conclusion of qualitative market research, understand how the results tie into the organization’s stated research and business goals. Use visuals to assist in delivering the message to the audience and make sure that the content you include is direct. When you are finished creating the presentation, it should be formatted in such a way that leads the viewer to see a compelling story that he or she can act upon if need be.

Learn more about crafting an effective market research story by contacting an e-FocusGroups expert today at (707) 585-7363.

Marketing

Targeting Millennials with Online Market Research

Often the success of your organization depends on its ability to make meaningful connections with its target audience. Rather than just creating a product and selling it at various retail outlets, it is increasingly common and necessary for companies to go further and engage their customers in order to build trust and win business moving forward. This is especially true with Millennials, as younger consumers and those entering the job force represent a significant change in ideals and spending habits than their older family members. Through the measured use of focus groups and online market research, organizations are able to learn more about Millennials and get vital information that will shape policy decisions in the future.

Couple are working with computer

Characteristics of the Millennial Demographic

According to Nielsen’s 2014 report on the demographic, Millennials are considered to be people born between 1977 and 1995, and are between the ages of 20 and 38. They account for around 77 million people, which is about 24 percent of the total U.S. population. As a generation that grew up with the Internet, Millennials value social interaction and are most comfortable conducting business online.

Through the use of social networks and word-of-mouth, Millennials research products before purchase and put weight into experiences that others have had with the same company. These individuals care about their close friends and family, as well as various causes, and consider various potential impacts before rushing to make a purchase. Having lived in and grown up during the economic recession of the 2000s, Millennials are interested in finding lasting quality and value before buying something.

Challenges to Address

Millennials carry a lot of stress and have myriad responsibilities at the personal, familial, and professional levels. Student loan debt puts financial pressure on this group, which makes it essential for businesses to understand their audience, and demonstrate compassion and value. With an ever-changing marketplace and evolving preferences of Millennial shoppers, it is important to conduct online market research in order to gain insight into what this group finds most valuable.

At the same time, the Internet has given a voice and outlet to millions of users and countless businesses all vying for the attention of your audience. Whereas in the past your organization relied on strategic placement of radio and television advertisements to reach customers, now you must focus on constant communication and making an unforgettable connection. Market research shows your business different trends in the marketplace, such as spending habits and driving forces behind the decisions Millennials make. The experts at e-FocusGroups have the tools needed to generate the most value from market research.

Shopping Habits

According to Accenture, Millennials spend a collective $600 billion each year. While they have the disposable income to make large purchases, they are also tough to market to because Millennials do not care for direct advertising and expect more value from companies. In addition to researching products before purchasing, Millennials are also completing transactions in all new ways. As pioneers of the Digital Age, the younger generation is more comfortable buying goods and interacting with companies from their phone or tablet.

What this means for companies is that focusing on technology and making it as easy as possible for customers to find information online is paramount. Learn more about the Millennials and how to connect with this important demographic by reaching out to a representative at e-FocusGroups at (707) 585-7363.