3 items tagged "market research"

  • The benefits that eye-tracking technology can offer to market research

    The benefits that eye-tracking technology can offer to market research

    What is eye-tracking technology?

    Eye-tracking quite simply involves the recording and analysis of any movement in our eyes, examining where we look and where we gaze our attention. In market research, we can use eye-tracking to allow us to see how individuals react to different marketing messages. It enables us to understand an individual’s cognitive engagement with different stimulus in real time, showing us where interest lies, what is overlooked and how the pupil responds to different stimuli.

    An infrared light source is used to illuminate the eye, and a camera records the way this light is reflected off the cornea. Algorithms then calculate the position of the eye to determine exactly where the individual focuses. It also measures the number of blinks and any changes in the diameter of the pupil and is ultimately collected into an eye-tracking data software to help researchers to understand what actually lies behind ‘the wandering eye’.

    3 ways eye-tracking technology is a useful tool in market research

      1. It helps us to understand what parts of the stimuli are ignored and what is important and focused on, narrowing in to that one aspect that captured the eye of the individual. In today’s world, we are bombarded with advertisements and marketing messages appearing on websites, mobile apps and the television. They have become impossible to ignore. As a result, most people, the younger generations in particular, tend to zone out from what they usually see as they have become accustomed to seeing similar ads day in day out.

        Eye-tracking research can now offer a new, innovative way of testing whether your marketing messages really are effective to your target audience. It allows you to understand what aspects draw them in and what parts are overlooked, ensuring that you get the best out of your messaging in such a crowded space.

      2. It reinforces 'seeing your business from the customer’s perspective' and is a huge step towards understanding what actually drives a customer’s emotions at a subconscious level. It is an emerging technique within market research, allowing us to catch someone’s eye, as well as understanding what it was that actually caught it. It moves away from thinking a marketing message was not in an optimum location on the screen, wasn’t sized large enough, or was placed after other marketing messages by more prominent brands. Eye-tracking allows you to measure and quantify the visual impact of your marketing material.

      3. Finally, eye-tracking ensures that data captured is completely accurate and allows us to confidently provide valuable insights back to our clients. It eliminates queries over reliability and validity of results as this type of tracking minimises recall errors and the social desirability effect which conventional research methods usually miss. It is a research method used to tap into the subconscious, unravelling hidden drivers of behaviour, which individuals may otherwise struggle to consciously recall.

    Whilst the ideas behind eye-tracking technology are decades old, its applications are used everywhere; in education, understanding attention spans and ensuring pupils receive the help and support they require; in the medical worldhelping to diagnose mental health disorders and in gaming and virtual reality, where your device reacts to what you see in real time. Market researchers are taking advantage of this technology to understand what lies behind successful marketing stimulus, what works for your brand and how we can optimise the little space we have in order to capture an individual’s attention.

    Author: Natalia Jain

    Source: B2B International

  • The questions that help you find out why market research reports are often not that helpful

    The questions that help you find out why market research reports are often not that helpful

    It’s always easy to blame someone else.  It’s far more difficult to do an honest self-evaluation and see the extent to which you may have contributed to a problem. On November 5, in a GreenBook Blog post by Mike Sherman and Neil Gains, Do Market Research Agencies Produce Poor Quality Reports?, the authors present clear evidence that research vendors often think more highly of their reports than end clients do. Reports are too long, lack practical answers and recommendations, and don’t address business problems.

    In multiple decades in the insights business (both as a client and a vendor), I’ve produced hundreds of reports and seen many, many more. Mike and Neil are entirely right: research reports too often just aren’t helpful to the end client. They present data but not actual insights.

    But there are two important questions:  

    1. Why is this?  
    2. What are the solutions?

    Whether you’re the writer or the recipient of reports, I’m going to ask you a really critical third question:  How much of this is your own fault?  

    Questions for the report writer

    Let’s start with the folks actually producing the research reports.

    1. How did you start the project?

    When you began the project, did you start with the methodology, timeline, and budget? Or was your first question, 'What is the business problem you’re trying to solve?'

    Let’s be blunt: that’s why you exist. If you’re not helping clients solve business problems, you have no reason to be in business.  

    2. Are you by nature curious?

    If not, then you have a serious obstacle to becoming an effective report writer. Hmmm… the data shows long-term customers are less satisfied than newer customers with customer service. Many report writers stop after pointing this out, thinking their job is done. But aren’t you curious why this is? Certainly, your client will be curious! What else in the data would provide some insight into the issue? Just reporting the facts without attempting to understand and present the meaning behind them is inexcusable for a report writer.

    3. Is your report produced for your company or your client?

    Is your reporting customized to each client’s needs and company culture? Or do you simply use your standard template and hand over the results?  

    Every client is different. I’ve had clients who want just a one-page summary, and others who want to wring every last bit of data from the study, so there’s no such thing as a report that’s 'too long'. Some value visuals; others want a narrative. This shouldn’t just be the preference of the individual client, but the client’s knowledge of how the information will be most useful within the organization. If you haven’t discussed this, you’re missing out on a chance to produce something that will actually be used, making you more valuable to your client.

    4. Is there a broken link in the communication chain?

    Especially in large research agencies, the account manager and the actual report writer may be entirely different people. The account manager gets to know the client; the report writer looks at a bunch of data in a vacuum and just writes based on what the data says. It’s no different than a caterer learning about the client’s food allergies and preferences, but the chef just cooking whatever dishes can be made from whatever’s in the fridge. Are you fully involving the report writer in client communications? If not, the person who most needs the knowledge isn’t receiving it.

    5. Do you have clients or partners?

    My company has multiple clients we’ve been serving since the 90s. We seek clients with whom we become partners; solving problems together.

    If you as a vendor are nickel-and-diming clients, complaining when the situation requires last-minute changes, being unresponsive when they have needs, pushing them toward more profitable 'solutions', and basically treating the client like a bother or a paycheck, you’re not building partnerships. If you’re not in a true partnership with your clients, how can you expect them to provide you with all the background, detail, and insight you require to address their needs effectively rather than just providing the data?

    Questions for the Client

    Okay, you’re not happy with the reports you’re getting. I hear it all the time: It’s hard to find good market research vendors! But maybe it’s time to do a challenging self-evaluation: Are you as the client creating some (or maybe even much) of the problem?

    1. What drives your vendor decisions?

    In any purchase, your decision factors determine what you get. If your choices are driven by cost, you’ll be sure to get the lowest-cost vendor.  But that may not be the vendor who can best understand and help solve your business problem.

    Sometimes it’s not even cost. We pitched a client and they gave us an RFP with little detail beyond their business problem. We designed a proposal to address that problem. Their response was both exhilarating and depressing. Exhilarating: 'This is fantastic! You captured exactly what we were looking for, far more than any other vendor. You obviously understand our business problem, and the pricing was great!' Depressing: 'We’re giving the project to someone else because you’re not in our vendor system.  The report is due in six weeks and it’ll take longer than that just to get you registered'.  

    Whatever drives your vendor choice will be the determining factor in the product you get.

    2. Are you choosing vendors or creating partners?

    The more we treat each other as partners, the more I can know you and your organization and the more helpful I can be.

    But the more you try to whittle down my pricing, fail to respond to my questions, take forever to pay invoices, miss deadlines (and then expect me to work overtime to stay on track), refuse to consider my suggestions, and otherwise treat me as 'just a vendor', the less I’ll ever be your partner. I’ve had clients who regularly joked about how much they abuse their vendors. Tell me how that helps me perform at my highest level for you?

    A partnership also involves two-way communication. When you start with: 'We want to do six online focus groups among our customers to test new logo options', you limit me to being an order-taker. When you start with: 'We need to evaluate some new logo options', you allow my experience to collaborate with your knowledge to make the project better.

    3. Are you giving your report writers what they need to succeed?

    I can’t tell you how many times clients start a research conversation by discussing the methodology, timeline, or budget. Or get offended when I offer alternatives or different ways of thinking about the project. Or become frustrated when I ask deeper questions about their business needs. Or how many times clients can’t even express a clear business need.

    We were bidding a project for a large bank. I asked questions about how they planned to use the data, what existing customer and transaction data we could pair with the survey data, etc. The client became quite exasperated and demanded, 'Why are you asking all these questions? The other vendors didn’t have these questions!' Right then, I knew we had no chance at the project, and that (other than financial implications) I didn’t actually want it.

    If you expect me to help solve your business problem, you need to share the background, information, and detail to allow me to do that. You can’t withhold information and then blame the vendor when the report isn’t helpful.

    4. Do you really know what you want?

    I’ve given a short, succinct summary to a client and been told:  'We paid a lot of money for this study, where’s all the detail?' The next time I provided a detailed report to the same client and was told:  'No one is going to read all this, just give me a three-page summary!'

    So how do I provide you what you want when you don’t know what you want?

    It’s a two-way street

    From the research Mike and Neil did, it’s obvious that many report writers feel all is good while their clients think otherwise. Unfortunately, it also appears that many clients simply blame their vendors for less-than-helpful reports, while report writers shift blame to uncooperative clients.  

    Until both sides take a good, hard look at the possibility of their own contributions to the problem, it isn’t likely to be solved any time soon.

    Author: Ron Sellers

    Source: GreenBook Blog

  • Why do B2B companies struggle to find customized Market Intelligence?

    Why do B2B companies struggle to find customized Market Intelligence?

    As a company operating in a B2C environment, life is easy.

    More explicitly, acquiring the right market information is easy. Countless reports filled with rich consumer insights are available at your fingertips. These reports, which cover topics like market size, consumer profiles, competitors, and trends, are easily accessible through sales and marketing professionals. With the right approach, available information can also be directly translated into clear insights on a strategic level. In the boardroom, market intelligence serves as a reliable sparring partner, setting the direction for strategic actions.

    Unfortunately, the opposite is the case for B2B companies.

    Their markets can often feel like a massive black box filled with blind spots. Also, the majority of leading market research companies focus on producing market reports for B2C companies, because the required data is significantly more convenient to obtain and more widely available. Besides, B2C companies are more willing to invest in market intelligence reports, due to the better overall quality of the data and insights.

    However, possessing the right intelligence is also vital for B2B players, especially in the fast changing and dynamic business environment they are operating in. Having access to information about market size, competitors, and industry trends can make the difference between staying on top of your league or to be disrupted.

    Existing market reports for B2B companies are difficult to put to direct action, as they are extremely standardized and frequently based on extrapolations of historical figures. Aside from the inaccuracies, these reports, in general, only provide you with insights about the past, whereas trustworthy market intelligence also helps you to be proactive instead of reactive, with respect to the near future.

    Another issue with these reports is the phenomena of ‘information overload’. Decision makers drown in huge market research reports filled with endless pie charts and tables. By the time they reach page 299, any actionable insight is definitely lost, and the reader is left behind frustrated.

    Sounds familiar?

    Luckily, there are several methods through which professionals in a B2B environment can start creating their own customized market intelligence.

    Today’s world offers one enormous advantage; the availability of rich and infinite open-source intelligence: OSINT. Endless bits and pieces of information are available on the open web; hidden in databases, social media content, trade journals and news articles. Connecting all the pieces of the puzzle in a smart way leads to a better understanding of your market.

    Another method of creating tailor-made market intelligence is through (predictive) modelling. Key factor is defining which variables affect the topic you want to clarify. Take for example market sizing. Some variables might be less obvious than others. Illustrative for B2B companies is that they often act as a shackle in the middle of a value chain. Also, business-to-business products and their applications are more multifaceted compared with their business-to-consumer counterparts. It can be necessary to count back from end volumes of a product and combine this with market characteristics to estimate the market size of a specific commodity.

    The illustrations mentioned above are just two plain examples of techniques that can be valuable. Obviously, many more methods and tools are available. The trick is in finding the right combination of methods and tools. As well as in-depth understanding of how to determine validity.

    However, the bottom line remains unchanged: by combining outcomes of different techniques proper market intelligence can be gathered, even in a B2B environment. Aside, it is important to periodically update your data and insights with new figures and trends. Check and double check your data model with industry experts and internal sources.

    By building market intelligence in a systematic and continuous way, insight in your market keeps increasing and the black B2B box can be whitened step-by-step.

    Author: Kees Kuiper

    Source: Hammer Intel

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