When It Comes to Market Research, Get Creative
Market research is vitally important when a company sets out to create a new product and, eventually, market that product to their customers. Companies often struggle to find a non-invasive and voluntary method to extract adequate information from their potential customer base.
Pop-up surveys and questionnaires are informal and relatively easy for customers to complete, but motivating these customers to take their time to provide the company with information is a more difficult task. When enticed with rewards (e.g. cash, gift cards, merchandise, etc.), customers are more likely to participate in the research, but companies must be aware that this often attracts only a small segment of the total customer market. Further, the participants may only be interested in the reward, not the product.
One way to avoid this potential conflict of interest is to offer rewards or savings to individuals who are definitely buying the product the company is selling. Advil, for example, is advertising for their ache and pain relief products on a Sunday morning (likely targeted at the 18-49 demo recovering from a Saturday of recreation) on the Yahoo! homepage. For the neutral or disinterested customers, Advil will simply count the impressions and enjoy further brand promotion. For the interested customers, however, a click on the advertisement leads to coupon offers.
Not only does the coupon provide consumers with a reason to buy the product when they otherwise might not, it provides the company with a unique opportunity for effective market research. In this situation, customers can access the coupons only after entering information such as their age, gender, zip code, number of children under 18 in household, and importantly, their e-mail address. The company obtains key information from their customer base and establishes a line of communication.
It is important for a company to do market research, and using creative tactics to cost-efficiently and painlessly extract vital information from their customers makes the task dramatically easier and arguably, more effective.