Many marketers believe that the internet has replaced classic research methodology. The interactive/digital arena has allowed us different channels or more accurately, a different way to approach research. The age of online surveys is upon us- with its panel respondents and “e-recruitment” approach. Gathering critical information has never been easier…
But is that truly accurate?
Beware, these new “quick and easy” approaches come with their own set of disadvantages and compromises.
True enough, social media has allowed us the ability to segment and plunge into market trends and preference at little expense. One shouldn’t confuse the ability to reach with the ability to gather information of those segments. They are two entirely different components of the marketing whole. Those that believe that classic research approaches such as focus groups, surveys and case studies are things of the past, may be a tad too hasty.
The alphabet of market research may contain digital media; digital media does not replace it. In the ever changing world of marketing (B2B or B2C) reaching “consumers” via social media is an integral part of your published content vehicle- it is important to publish text, video and keep above the tide of the feed. Not only will research help you to develop your target, it will give you an edge on the competition and help you in strategizing your campaigns.
Classic marketing research needed to adapt and it has. The ability to do online focus groups (no, not surveys) in the comfort of your own home is really something to celebrate! I recently attended one through an innovative firm, Head Research… and loved it!
The need for a concise and professional discussion protocol, with the added expertise of an excellent moderator can never be replaced. Just like a well engineered survey questionnaire. Market Research must be done well as it gives a company a strong backbone and further leverages investment potential.