Market Research with Social Media

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1 Community Ebook / September 2012 / / radian Market Research with Social Media Gives you the direction and tools you need to use social media to become a more agile, engaged, profitable and productive IT or software company. Author Marian Cramers / Social Media Analyst Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6

2 Agile Market Research with Social Media Introduction 1. Optimize Market Research Goals 2. Focus on Product 3. Focus on Price 4. Focus on Place 5. Focus on Promotion conclusion RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 2 ]

3 What the Icons In Radian6 Ebooks Mean: Quick, handy information designed to on-ramp you quickly Extra, relevant information that deserved to be called out for more attention Software, website or other tool that will help you get a job done well A story about a brand illustrating a concept in the book Helpful hints to keep you from making a mistake online Relevant stats to support the facts and best practices outlined in the book Where to find other resources and further information about this topic RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 3 ]

4 Introduction Brands used to assume that market research was only the purview of companies that could afford to hire expensive firms. If your business had the budget for this in-depth market research, you assumed that the price tag would be astronomical and the research might stretch on for months or years. Social media market research changes this completely. Social media has become the great equalizer when it comes to market research. Because it allows brands of all sizes to pivot equally based on feedback from the crowd and intelligent online research and relationships, social media has put market research into the hands of every business. Not only that, it has shortened the time from research to market for many types of market research (some exceptions include medical studies or scientific research). The purpose of market research is simple. Excellent market research has a wide variety of applications: Help your business have a deeper understanding of your customer s needs Help you gather relevant opinions and data from your customer in real-time Help you figure out market trends before they happen Help you quickly create the products that your customer truly wants Help you avoid missteps in product design and development that can be costly Help you track and optimize your marketing to reach a broader market and save cost This is only the tip of the iceberg for what market research can do for your business. This book will show you how to optimize social media for the kind of deep market research designed to help you reach a number of common business goals efficiently. I ve included a chart below that should help you navigate the social media market research process step-by-step. Click here to view the chart to help you navigate the market research process RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 4 ]

5 1. Optimize Market Research Goals The very first question that you want to ask yourself before embarking on market research using social media and online tools is why. Determining the goal of your research first will help your research produce stronger results and shorten the time frame with which they are obtained. It also helps you answer the questions Is this market research needed? and Is this goal a solid one that will lead to measurable results? before you even start. Next you need to figure out if your social media market research is going to help you identify a problem or solve a problem. This is the fundamental difference between researching something for qualitative marketing (exploration based) and quantitative marketing (conclusion based). You might think that social media would automatically lend itself to qualitative marketing only; however, you will find that social media is flexible enough to help you with both types. Chances are good that you re already conducting social media market research in an organic way. If you have tried to solve market research problems with traditional web search, an online questionnaire, or a feedback form, for example, you have done organic market research to gather information about your customers, your product, or your market. The trick is to learn to make it planned and structured. Turn these habits into something you can measure and use! For an example of this in action take a look at this case study about Hungry Jack. Some tools and techniques that you can implement right away to make your online market research better include: online surveys and questionnaires competitive intelligence using your analytics sentiment analysis of blogs and blog comments traditional web searches and keyword searches keyword reporting from within your analytics attaching product development goals to your analytics landing page metrics using social media metrics programs like Salesforce Radian6 to: conduct audience research conduct brand analysis create topic profiles designed to track a combination of relevant keywords & sentiment around the potential product or service goal RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 5 ]

6 using social media engagement with your customers to determine customer satisfaction loyalty card reporting studying the metrics of your demographics determining the profitability of your market market segmentation packaging, pricing and advertising research market demand demographics Click here to view the checklist of tools for competitive intelligence and segmentation You want your community to support your brand since support leads to new and long-lasting customer relationships. 2. Focus on Product Let s focus for a moment on market research for product development, packaging and pricing. This topic is advanced enough to be an ebook of its own, so look for us to publish that in the next few months. Meanwhile, let s go over a few best practices you can implement right now. Once you have established your overall goal for your social media market research you re going to need to fine-tune it. One of the first things you should do after establishing the main goal is conduct preliminary research that is designed to discover which products are already available in the marketplace. This will help you flush out your competition early on. Once you know who your competition is you can better study them to make a more competitive and more successful product. Set up goals in analytics for each element of your market research. Each web site analytics program offers ways to do this. Google Analytics is one of the most widely used. To get to the goals area of Google Analytics, simply navigate to your Admin tab inside analytics. Choose the account you wish to associate the goal with, then the name of the website landing page that will be attached to the goal. Find the correct profile in the Profile tab. Navigate to the Goals tab, then click +Goal to add a goal. Give your goal a name that is easy to remember, then select Active to activate the goal upon saving it. Give your goal a type (Event or Page is usually the most appropriate for market research), then save the goal RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 6 ]

7 After identifying your competition, perform competitive intelligence on the sentiment surrounding their brands and products. Look for holes in their customer satisfaction and designs, analyze their price structures and delivery mechanisms, and do competitive pricing research. You can set any of these goals up in your social media analytics program as well as through a traditional web search. For more indepth study you may want to conduct an online survey in user engagement and follow-up more deeply on customer responses that trigger pain points. Another element of discovery and product development research is the study of the websites that surround each product. Look at their profit margins and online web rankings as well as customer reviews. Look for gaps in their armor where your product can answer a customer need and be a success where theirs is not. Occasionally the market research will quickly tell you that your market is saturated and that your product is not viable. If this happens, congratulations! You may just save yourself hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in wasted product development, time and packaging by doing some simple market research right from the start. 3. Focus on Price Using the competitive intelligence tools that we discussed you can easily determine what price point works best for your product or service. Social media market research will give you data not only on what your competition is doing but on similar prices in the market. It will also gather data around the income and demographic information of your target customer and your target market region. This research is invaluable and used to be far out of reach for small to medium brands. More than that, the real time feedback on pricing and bird s eye view of real time sentiment around price, coupled with demographic data from analytics and insights that shows customer income RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 7 ]

8 ranges and analysis, helps you reach a price point that is more immediately in tune with your target market. Hitting the right price right out of the gate means your time from launch to profitability shortens considerably. Frontier Air used Radian6 to conduct market research that helped them better serve their passengers When it comes to using market research to establish price, it s key to differentiate market research from simple social media crowdsourcing. Because crowdsourcing often uses incentives to obtain answers to questions and is limited to public forums, as well as getting left behind in deep analytics tracking practices, you should approach the question of price with more gravity. Set up thorough analytics campaigns and careful topic, keyword and hashtag tracking as you conduct your research. Use your spreadsheet dashboards to collect your data for deeper analysis later. Determining the right price point can make or break your success, so it s important to get the data right the first time. 4. Focus on Place Congratulations on getting over the first few hurdles! You determined whether or not your product is viable and what your competition is doing and you have established a price that will work for your product or service in your target market. Now it s time to narrow the field even further. Using the demographics found in your market research, competitive intelligence, and location data gathered via your web forms and website as well as your analytics can help you determine the best place to launch your product or service RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 8 ]

9 Wunderman and Nokia Creative agency Wunderman used extensive market research to help Nokia use real data from developers that create phone apps to create a better Windows phone that would appeal to its target customer base. By doing extensive research from the start, Nokia is better able to compete against phone giants Apple and Samsung, increasing the success of its product launch. Market segmentation is going to play a large part in determining place. Keep in mind as you perform your market segmentation research that this research should not be used to shape your market but rather to expose any buried faults, defects, gaps and needs in the market that you can fill to leverage more profit. Avoid overlooking tools already at your disposal, such as loyalty cards, location-based search traffic data or Facebook page demographics. Instead, leverage the online tools you already have in place to save cost and to narrow the research window. 5. Focus on Promotion Excellent social media market research and planning coupled with a great product or service can make your promotions much more targeted and effective. The last thing you want to do in social media is become just another voice lost in the chorus. As a brand you don t want to throw away your advertising dollar with no results. A starting point of great market research on advertising will keep you from sounding like a blowhard or talking into the wind with no results. Use your metrics analysis to help you determine the best time of day to conduct your research. There is no one-size-fits all best time that fits all verticals and products. Once RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 9 ]

10 you have established when your target audience is online, establish where they are online to maximize your results and get more accurate data. Salesforce Radian6 can help you determine the answers to the questions when and where with our Insights platform. Don t overlook the value of your social media market research data in developing your promotional voice and promotional message. You have access to a wealth of information on the questions your customers want answered and the needs they want fulfilled - your promotion should fill those gaps and avoid being fluff or noise. Conclusion This newly agile discovery environment that comes from social media market research means that you no longer have an excuse not to succeed. The customer and market information you need is right at your fingertips, ready to gather, sort and learn from. Use this access to build products and services that stand out and to build an entire customer experience that keeps people coming back to your brand time and again - not just another widget RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 10 ]

11 How to Navigate the Market Research Process 1 DEFINE Define the challenge, problem or goal. Use the resulting elevator pitch to direct your research and make it actionable and tight. 2 3 DEVELOP Develop the plan for your research. Determine what tools you need, where your potential data pool is, and what questions to ask. Set us the measurement tools you need to track the data you get and get your spreadsheet dashboards prepared. RESEARCH Research and collect data over a set period of time using the criteria you outlined in the Definition process. This is where you will see the data flow into your spreadsheets and metrics reports from all of the platforms and places you are conducting research. Tag and track everything. 4 STUDY & ANALYZE Study and Analyze the data you have collected. That will help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your product, service, marketing plan or competitor in a space. Be comprehensive and thorough as you sift through the data. Pay attention to detail, nuance and sentiment to better predict the success of your goal. 5 REPORT Report your findings to your team. Be as complete as possible, and cite your sources where you can. Be prepared to defend how you conducted your research and to show the integrity of your data. 6 DECIDE Decide! Remember, the decision may be how to launch or package a product but your research might also lead you to table an idea before losing money and time on development. Look at the research with an analytical, open mind RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 11 ]

12 Checklist of Simple Market Research Tools Spreadsheet(s) - the good old fashioned spreadsheet is going to be your number one tool for getting a deeper look at the vast piles of data your research will generate. Make sure you have one set up and ready to collect and analyze data. Radian6 - an excellent tool for doing topic-based research. Especially useful for sentiment or topic-based market research and competitive intelligence-gathering. Google Analytics - Set up goals for the landing pages that you create to support your market research so you can track the answers you receive and layer in demographic data that includes location, SERPs, keyword data, conversion and more. Landing Page - be sure to support your market research with a landing page specific to the target audience. Hashtag or keyword list - hashtags and keywords add another layer of tracking to complex data sets. Your research shouldn t leave home without it. Legal disclaimer - have your legal department work with you on the legal disclaimers you might need to ask certain questions. It s easy to avoid a crisis by being proactive here. Be sure to also disclose how the information gathered will be used. Social tools - which tools depend on which platforms you will be engaging with for your research (Survey Monkey? Twitter? etc). Be sure to brand the tools and be clear on your purpose for conducting the research, and on any time limits set around your data gathering. Sales department - share your data with sales! You never know what will lead to a great case study to give your customers more value in their initial outreach sessions RADIAN / Copyright 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 12 ]

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