In a perfect world, we would have the best information available at our fingertips when making decisions. But, that’s often not the case. While information is more accessible now than at any other time in history, it’s not always the right information. Missing or bad information could mean big mistakes when developing or measuring marketing campaigns. So, to mitigate the risk of missing the mark, many companies explore custom market research. But, accurate, actionable custom research requires knowledge, experience, and dedicated personnel to complete.
Brand strategists are tasked with knowing when to include market research in the scope of agency work for clients and with pushing back on the inevitable biases that arise in the agency when collecting and analyzing that data. Cognitive biases, the collection of faulty ways of thinking hardwired into the human brain, permeate almost every aspect of our lives. From anchoring to zero-risk, humans live and work with various types of cognitive biases that can impair judgment and stall progress, both personally and professionally.
In this new age of social media, traditional market research has taken a beating. Influencers like serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee) extol the importance of getting out and talking to their customers personally while countless memes of Steve Jobs’ quip against market research “customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them,” are shared endlessly online. To some extent, they have a point. Gary Vee’s “back to basics” approach of getting out in the real world and speaking to consumers makes sense. Technology has made it so easy to hide behind our screens that, just like the Wizard of Oz, we tell our customers what we want without giving them a chance to get to know the person behind the curtain. Nor can we get to know them.
Steve Jobs was a genius. He could envision and bring to market revolutionary products that set the standards in their industries. He was also known for relying on his intuition over market research. Due to the success of Apple, many people subscribe to this logic and opt-out of conducting market research. But there was only one Steve Jobs. The marketplace is littered with failed products and services that seemed like a good idea to their creators and were rushed to market only to find that no one asked for or needed them. Complicating matters further is an unprecedented demographic shift towards multiculturalism that is changing the composition of the U.S. consumer market. In business, intuition can be useful, but it needs to be optimized by market research, especially when attempting to tap into diverse markets. If you’re not advising your clients to conduct market research, you are doing them a disservice as they don’t have the facts to make informed decisions about their marketing strategy.
In 1954, Darrell Huff called out the dangers of misrepresenting statistical data in his book How to Lie With Statistics. I don’t know how big a problem bad survey data and misinformation was in the 1950s but if you fast forward to 2019, social media and 24-hour news cycles have created an explosion of content that purports to be factual. Chances are, a percentage of it is not, which is what I want to talk about.
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Attracting and engaging consumers paves the road to sales and revenue for companies. Of these consumers, one segment, in particular, will represent more than 50% of the total consumer base within the next 20 years. For companies focusing on younger consumers ages 18-29, this consumer will be more than 50% of all consumers in less than ten years. Chances are, your company, like most, doesn’t understand these consumers despite the significant impact they will have on your company in the future. So, how do you gain insight into an audience with so much potential yet no relationship with your brand? Would you turn to a company focused solely on this consumer or one with a department, or more realistically, a person that heads up a division within a large organization?
“A rising tide raises all ships.” We’ve all heard that expression and many companies are hoping it’s true as the U.S. economy experiences the lowest unemployment rate and the longest period of growth in U.S. history. Under such circumstances, we could reasonably expect all our ships to be riding high, right? Not quite. In fact, many companies are struggling and wondering why they’re not experiencing the growth they believe they should be. As a consumer insights company that works across multiple verticals and consumer segments, we have a good vantage point from which to observe the rise and fall of the tides and the individual ships trying to stay afloat. Take a closer look and ask yourself these questions:
Amplifying the voice of the multicultural consumer is at the heart of what we do at ThinkNow. Our research studies dig deeply into this multifaceted audience to uncover the cultural nuances that make them unique and the impact acculturation has had on immigrant communities. We believe in the power of this data, and often reach out to companies who have never interacted with us when the research impacts their business directly. A common objection we get from cold outreach calls is, “sorry, but we don’t do multicultural research.” That response stings. To say that you’re not willing to get to know over a quarter of the U.S. population is both offensive and tragic, because not only does it send a message that you don’t care, but it’s just bad business.
ThinkNow ConneKt and Knowy App Provide Real-Time Multicultural Consumer Insights We’re excited to announce that ThinkNow has just launched ThinkNow ConneKt, the first audience planning and segmentation tool focused exclusively on the multicultural market. This MarTech solution provides behavioral and psychographic data combining mobile intelligence, first-party data and panel profile insights to deliver a holistic view of multicultural consumers. “ThinkNow ConneKt is the first tool to help digital marketers go beyond binary targeting efforts to connect with multicultural consumers in real-time to deliver higher ROI on their advertising investment,”says Mario X. Carrasco, co-founder and principal, ThinkNow.
Marketing technology, more commonly known as martech, is stealthily transforming the way companies market to consumers. As ads retarget and emails automate, consumers are enjoying the luxury of an omnichannel experience while affording marketers the opportunity to collect the digital breadcrumbs they leave behind. With a bulging waistline, the martech industry now boasts a roster of nearly 5,000 companies. While digital marketers have been playing with it for years, the big difference in the technology is the sheer scale of what’s possible with today’s tools. Marketing stacks curate programmatic advertising, social media, SEO and e-commerce into a neat bundle that produces rich data that is analyzed and then used to shape more relevant marketing campaigns to specific audiences.