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[July 20, 2014]
New tools of market research... [Gulf Daily News (Bahrain)]
(Gulf Daily News (Bahrain) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Conventional market research suffers from the bias that creeps in from being a 'staged' interview. To add to the top of this, the diminishing involvement rates, growing costs (resource heavy) and smaller sample sizes have deterred companies in undertaking market research through traditional tools.
Many of the researchers may have used approaches such as observational, survey and experimental research. However, the drawback with each of them have been the fact that the consumer is well aware that it is an interview, therefore is very mindful of what he/she says and in many cases it tends to be in abstract terms.
Therefore the need to obtain information that is not adulterated is paramount.
As markets get more competitive and consumer behaviour gets more complex, businesses need sharper and 'real life' insights.
Information technology for one has been successful in leading this change of the way market research is conducted so as not to be tainted by consumer biases.
Many companies are now learning about its consumer in terms of preferences and buying preferences by mining large sets of quantitative data collected on the Internet (social media and trading platforms).
Using statistical techniques, the data is used to discover correlations between different factors and information is churned out to give insights into customer's behaviour and buying habits without the customer's knowledge but through their direct inputs. Eavesdropping and 'tuning' into consumer gossip (be it in person or social media) can be very powerful forms of market research.
The fact that the data is real time helps researchers to tap into an eternal information stream from nearly 75 million sources around the globe.
Social intelligence is especially handy in times of additions to the product mix or during a new product or service launch.
Through consumer participation via social media networking, businesses have found an important additional voice in the cycle of product development and a measure in terms of the expected demand to approve product launch and uptake. However, what one needs to be careful is the way intelligence is extracted and therefore needs to be handled with tact and within socio-cultural norms.
Mr Cader is the chief executive of MTI Consulting (c) 2014 Al Hilal Publishing & Marketing Group Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).
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