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Is your brand still approaching market research the right way?


A lot of worrying trends are converging in the world of market research. This calls for a new approach of doing things. What these trends are and how this new approach looks like is something we’re going to explore in 5 blogs in which we’re unpacking a trend and looking for the answers.

Why create a brand community: 5 blogs about why you need to pursue this right now

First, let’s take a few steps back and explore brand communities. Creating a brand community allows you to gather zero-party data and increase engagement with your ideal customers. A welcoming trend for those worrying about the ramifications of stricter privacy laws and the sunsetting of the 3rd-party cookie. Today we start with the first blog in our series

Why do brands need to create communities in the first place?

Getting market research right is a very competitive advantage nowadays. But there’s a lot more going on than just that. Brands have been building communities on social media platforms that are now pushing them to pay up (for example, by buying ads) if they want to keep their engagement and visibility high enough.

All the while, privacy laws are getting stricter and fewer data can be shared by the likes of Google, Meta or your average 3rd-party data broker.

Meaning, everything is converging towards a scenario where you need to know more to be able to compete but must do so with less available data. On top of that, the communities you’ve built on social media platforms are not yours. And you’re finding out right now by literally paying a hefty price.

That’s why creating a community on your terms around your brand or product is a no-brainer. These people aren’t just your customers. They’re your ideal customers – your fans! The ones that spread the word about it in their inner circle and love to share their opinions on how to make it even better.

In this series, we’ll dive into the reasoning behind creating such a community. Because the chances are that you’re reading this because you see some of these trends too.

And we’re going to arm you with all the knowledge you need to get cracking with setting up that brand community of fans you need so badly.

Reason 1: The competition has caught on with the market research

You can probably say that the business of market research is as old as the last 150 years or so of modern marketing itself. You only have to look at Edward Bernays, the so-called father of PR and nephew of Sigmund Freud, who famously used interest groups, think tanks and similar tactics for his campaigns in the 1920s and beyond.

A lot has happened since that time and nowadays market research has developed into an industry of its own with a global revenue of 76.4 billion USD in 2021, according to Statista. And there’s an important reason for that.

With customers being bombarded with more of the same generic brand, marketing or product messaging for all that time – and becoming immune to said messaging because of it – you need to delve deeper and deeper to uncover the real challenges keeping your ideal customers awake at night.

Because that’s the very thing you need to know, the essence of it, to come up with the right messaging – no matter if it shows up in an ad or as UX-copy in a product. It means you can’t just more or less copy your competitors and hope for the best.

And it’s not just marketing or sales that need to get this right fast. You need user input to further develop products and services. It doesn’t really matter what type of organization you have, industry you operate in or whether you’re in B2C or B2B – it’s the same issue for everyone.

The big problem is that just about every serious competitor is involved in various degrees of qualitative and quantitative research. So sending out the odd survey, visiting a customer or conducting a focus group once in a while doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to step up your game.

So what can you do right now?

Outfoxing your competitors doesn’t have to be very hard. Most still lack a deep understanding of their target audiences. Usually, brands know the demographics of their target audience. Those are observable characteristics like age, occupation, marital status and education level. But that isn’t nearly enough nowadays. You also need to know their psychographics. The latter being psychological traits like values, desires, pains and lifestyle choices. Here’s where you can win.

So you can start by defining your target audience even better than your competitors. You can do this through qualitative and quantitative research. Figure out a good baseline for your target audience and market size and aim to get at least that many survey responses or interviews. If you do this right, you can extract loads of valuable insights.

And don’t keep this a secret either. Loads of research ends up unread in folders and inboxes. You should create a dashboard or dedicated page where everybody inside the company can view these characteristics of the customers. This makes sure you speak with a single voice and your marketing and sales don’t have to go the extra mile to dig up new campaign ideas or pain points. Efficiency is key!

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