Whether you’re into social media monitoring or not, learning the difference between traditional and non-traditional research marketing can increase the chances of a successful campaign. Your intuition and good instincts have certainly played a role in knowing what your customers want. Unfortunately, your gut feelings about your customers’ preferences and needs are not always on track. Failed or minimally successful marketing campaigns happen to every business professional.
You always want to improve and maximize your chances for a successful campaign. That’s why market research is so important. You probably already know enough about market research to make your eyes glaze over. For instance market research involves analyzing and collecting information about what your customers—and potential customers—want and need.
This research can help you launch a service or product, redefine your brand or develop an advertising campaign. Understanding the basic market research term is great for business. However, market research, like your business, has changed a lot with the increased use of the Internet. That’s why knowing the difference between traditional and non-traditional market research is also vital.
Market research consists of five basic methods. You have:
- Focus groups
- Field trials
- Personal interviews
Each traditional method has its advantages. With a focus group, you hire a moderate to ask a group of people questions and lead a discussion about your product. You’re able to glean more information than you would from observations because of the various discussions.
Surveys are simple, straightforward questionnaires from a sample population of your target audience. The larger your population sample, the better, more reliable results. The type of survey you choose depends on your budget. In-person surveys are the most expensive.
You conduct them in high traffic areas like shopping malls. You let people sample products and give instant feedback. Telephone surveys cost less money, but you run the risk of a low-to-moderate response rate because of consumer resistance. The least expensive are mail surveys. However, they generate a lower response rate than telephone surveys.
Non-traditional market research goes beyond the back-office services. Typically, it offers real-time data in a way that traditional marketing does not. For example, ethnography provides a detailed look into your consumers’ world using online conversations and video, among others. This method allows you to observe consumers in their typical setting without intruding.
Non-traditional market research includes online surveys. Non-traditional market research takes the research one step further. It provides you greater flexibility to talk and gain insight than a focus group ever could.
Online non-traditional market research includes:
- Macromedia Blogging
- Social Networking Sites
- Videos and Pictures captions
- Customer Experience Online surveys
- Bulletin boards
Bulletin boards and social networking sites give you a way to research sensitive topics, consumer behavior, or brand issues more deeply than you could face-to-face.
Another non-traditional market method is using one or more tools like texting, in-store, blogging, group, or online research. For example, you can use what’s called at-shelf inspiration to find out customer behavior when they are deciding what product or brand to purchase.
Regardless if you intend to consider social media outsourcing or not, consider both types of market research. There’s no reason you should pick traditional market research over non-traditional or vice versa. You can use them together to achieve your goal of finding more about your target audience. You never want to limit yourself with market research because you want to reach your target audience and learn what their sentiments are.