Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MARKET RESEARCH: Extracting value from a wealth of raw online data by Morag Cuddeford-Jones.

Social media has opened many new streams of information for brands, but technology is only valuable if it is married to solid research methodology
By Michael Chase

In the United Kingdom marketing revenue continues to fall into double figures, a bright side to this is advancement of market research thru social media. WhileFunctional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanners for neurological projects in the field of neuromarketing, have come down significantly in price they are still costly and somewhat ineffective. According to an article by “ David Lewis & Darren Brigder (July/August 2005). "Market Researchers make Increasing use of Brain Imaging". Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, “neuromarketing is a new field of marketing that studies consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. Researchers use technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, electroencephalography (EEG) to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response, and/or sensors to measure changes in one's physiological state (heart rate, respiratory rate, galvanic skin response) to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it. Marketing analysts will use neuromarketing to better measure a consumer's preference, as the verbal response given to the question, "Do you like this product?" may not always be the true answer due to cognitive bias. This knowledge will help marketers create products and services designed more effectively and marketing campaigns focused more on the brain's response. This makes neuromarketing and its applied results potentially subliminal.”
As budgets continue to drop marketers are finding a wealth of information available to researchers, thru consumer chatter on social media. Alistair Leatherwood, managing director of research agency FreshMinds, elaborates: "Trying to build online communities where consumers can talk about you is interesting… "Tracking social media can tell you what is going on, but it's quite imprecise. Overall, it's just a sensible way of gaining another perspective." Market Research Society (MRS) director general David Barr says, “There has been a scramble to get hold of blogs and Twitter content. However, getting hold of raw information is interesting but not great for insight. Getting a feed of what people are saying about your brand without insight doesn't give you strategic and actionable information.” "The market research industry has been protected from the recession because people recognize there is value in understanding the customer," states Andy Moore, former insight director at Vodafone and now strategic director for research and consultancy agency Nunwood. Proctor and Gamble invests over $350 million into market research every year. This is justified by the department on the idea that, during a recessionary period a better understanding of the customer and market, this assists P&G to sell products that are thought to be necessary by consumers during their possible economic hardships.
There are some draw backs from acquiring information through social media however, certain demographics may be limited in their use and access of this media. My Grandparents do not own a computer or mobile phone with internet access and most likely have no idea what a Twitter account is. Although they have tremendous buying power, a company is not going to find out about their consumer interest through a social media site.

To read this article follow the posted link below:
sources:Marketing week article
Mastering marketing social media

author: Morag Cuddeford-Jones
publication & date: Marketing Week. London: Jul 8, 2010. pg. 30

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