Tag Archives: market research

Is big data* changing the need for focus groups?

Recent articles suggest that there is so much information being gathered about customers and spending and everything else you can think of, that the need to do traditional market research is starting to fall by the wayside.  Data will give you all the information you need to predict consumer actions.  As I noted in my recent post about consumers using Amazon and other sources to comparative shop for price and quality, features and benefits, big data still reports historically on what consumers have done, therefore, you are looking backwards to predict the future. Yes, I know, history repeats itself but when you’re selling next seasons’ clothing line, you might want to reconsider consulting the past.  And I agree that focus groups and other agency/consultant and client pre-conceived ideas put in front of customers should fall by the wayside (after all, a focus group puts these ideas in front of the customer and asks the customer what they think about your ideas, not what the customer wants).

I’m sure if you are a huge corporation, having access to all this data must be comforting. But it’s still all seen from the perspective of the market and not the customer.  I believe that nothing is better than asking your customers what they want and how they want it.  That’s a predictive, not historical, approach. I’ve done it for big corporations (one had a return-on-investment of 1,000%) and I’ve don’t it for solopreneurs (one had a return-on-investment of 60%).   I suggest you do it for yourself.  Get out there and poll your customers directly.  Mimoona, which is a new crowdfunding tool (http://www.mimoona.com/?reffID=4299), allows your customers to have a vote on your next seasons line – and it’s not an idle vote – they vote with their credit cards.

*Big data is a term coined for the collection of data that comes in such large volume and in groupings, that it can’t be handled by traditional methods. The value of mining big data, is that enables one to see connections on a larger scale than ever before, as well as see connections between things that were never before available.

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Are you still the sucker you used to be?

New research was just released that demonstrates a big shift in how consumers buy and what influences their purchase. Traditional ads no longer have the same power to shape consumer opinions as they once did. Amazon (the ultimate cost and quality comparison, along with others) influence consumers more than ever.  The studies were based on the “compromise” effect – (see NYT article below for the full story) are probably now saying to yourself, ho hum… and why is this news?  Well, it took a while for the establishment to document what most of us already know and practice organically.  However, some of the results of the study suggest that digital feedback in the digital world allows marketers to see what works and what doesn’t – what messages are influencing customers and which ones aren’t.  And they can make adjustments accordingly…and very quickly.  This is all very well and good, and excellent support (although the writers and researchers don’t see it from the customers’ point-of-view, so they are still missing the point) for my position that customer-focused information and insight right from the beginning…pre- advertising/marketing/PR efforts and spending, is more valuable than measuring what works after you’ve spent all that time, money and effort and then correcting it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/business/theres-power-in-all-those-user-reviews.html?smid=pl-share

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

How a clothing line moved itself from product to brand

Here’s a really great case history about how a fashion company used customer-focused market research and marketing.

The TwirlyGirl clothing line polled their customers about the feelings/descriptive words that identified the clothing to them.  They took the results, which when all combined generated a single consistent image, and came up with the word “transformative”.  This was the genesis of the brand.  They next took this information a step further and changed all their copy to reflect the transformative attitude.

This not only became the brand, which TwirlyGirl now has established, but also positioned the company and clothing line in its own space with regards to other girls clothing lines.  A very important double punch to success.  Because there are lots of girls clothing lines, but only TwirlyGirl provides an experience with each piece of clothing. What a great differentiator and competitive advantage.  By following this course of action, they have created a strong niche for themselves.

http://www.twirlygirlshop.com/blog/post/3577776


Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.

She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.