Have you ever wondered if market research really provides ROI?
Is it something that your brand can fully take advantage of? Is the time and money you are required to put into market research worth it?
As marketers, we have all probably asked these questions already at some point. Many brands, especially smaller ones, are most likely still doubting the value of market research.
“Why spend money on market research if we can just experiment with different campaigns and observe the market on our own along the way?”
These doubts are completely understandable. Every dollar counts, and even though we’d like to argue, market research does cost you time and money, whether you decide to do it in-house or outsource it.
However, nothing beats the insights that professional market research can give you access to.
Do you have these goals?
If you are looking to increase customer loyalty, raise brand awareness, get better conversion rates, improve your digital marketing strategy, and accomplish plenty of other business goals in an efficient way you have come to the right place.
Let’s talk about why market research is important for brands and how exactly it has helped brands before by looking at successful, real-world examples of data-driven campaigns that were fruits of good market research.
Why is Market Research Important for Brands?
It is imperative for brands like yours to know what consumers like or dislike so you can come up with marketing campaigns that your target audience will actively engage in. Market research can help you figure out exactly what these things are and enable you to remain relevant and adapt to market changes by giving you front row seats to your customer’s perspective.
But, in what ways exactly can market research help your brand?
#1 Market research can help brands create consumer-centric products and services: Domino’s Pizza Tracker Innovation and Mobile Ordering App
Market research allows brands to gather an array of information about consumer preferences and their thoughts on particular products and services. These types of insights open doors for consumer-centric designs that can add more value to what you offer because they relate to the sentiments of your market.
What can this lead to? Greater product adoption and better customer experiences as you now have the ability to give customers what they want. Just imagine how powerful your brand can be if you can develop products and services that are able to deliver what exactly your potential customers have in mind.
Do you smell that? Yup, that smells a lot like the scent of loyal customers knocking at your door.
Domino’s and the Pizza Tracker
A lot of people may not know this, but Domino’s pioneered some of the best digital innovations in the quick-serve restaurant industry.
Does “order tracker” ring a bell for you? Yup, this innovation came from these pizza makers.
Domino’s found out through market research that their customers would like to see the progress of their orders and where exactly their pizzas are during the delivery process. After finding this out, Domino’s developed the “Pizza Tracker” in 2008 through their website.
It was so innovative that aside from getting a lot of positive reactions from customers, other restaurant chains also followed this order tracking technology that we now see everywhere.
I don’t know what I’d do if I can’t see which street my GrabFood delivery is already on. It’s just so satisfying to see how your Pad Thai is just another street away after craving it for 2 weeks. So, thank you, Domino’s.
The Pizza Tracker not only gave people what they want but also allowed franchisees of the Domino’s chain to simplify their operations (e.g., fewer employees taking online orders and phone calls). Through it, they were also able to monitor the performance of their deliveries, allowing them to make needed changes.
Domino’s Pizza Tracker helped them grow more than 5000% by 2017, outperforming tech giants like Google and Amazon in terms of share growth. As of writing this article, their market share is priced at $525.
Domino’s Mobile Ordering App
By the year 2011, people were already adapted to the mobile lifestyle, especially in first world countries. The people at Domino’s knew this through consumer insights.
As a part of their mission to innovate in the QSR industry, and knowing that consumers wanted to use their mobile phones to make their lives more convenient, they released their mobile app that year. This made ordering online even more accessible for their customers.
In that same year, 25% of all online orders were made through handheld devices. By 2017, mobile app orders grew by 60% and yet again, Domino’s proved to be an innovator. Other fast-food chains quickly followed this discovery of the demand for mobile ordering apps.
#2 Market research can save brands money
Market research is the “vaccine” for costly marketing mistakes. It’s your best defence from most failures that would lose your brand money.
One of the greatest benefits of using market research is that it allows you to save money by providing you with actionable insights. But, how?
By not having a data-driven strategy, your brand would be limited to following the trends of previous years or would have to experiment with different things before finding out which one works best.
Researchers can help you find gaps in the market through valuable data insights. That’s VIP access to your consumers’ customer journeys and can guide you into understanding what your target audience usually reacts positively to.
Using this, you may now focus on creating a data-driven marketing strategy that can guarantee good results because you are following known behavioral patterns. This essentially means that you will be spending less time and resources on things that would have little to no beneficial impact on your brand.
More customers, less marketing spend in the long run? Seems cost-effective. Count us in!
#3 Market research can improve efficiency in your marketing efforts
Most marketers will take a long time to come up with an effective marketing strategy without market research. Or at least, a marketing strategy that can produce a positive marketing ROI.
Market research allows you to gather important, actionable insights from your target audience in a quick and efficient way. This means that it would be much easier for you to get the data you need to improve your marketing efforts because expert researchers have already done the groundwork for you.
Think of market research as a boost at the beginning of a race. It is definitely a good upgrade to have if you want to gain a competitive edge in order to help you accomplish your business goals faster.
#4 Market research can help you create the perfect campaigns: Apple’s Think Different & De Beers’ A Diamond is Forever
Market research identifies customer behavior. This means that researchers can collect data on the potential reactions of customers to certain messages. This information can be used to help companies communicate better with potential customers.
By allowing you access to behaviours and trends, your marketing team can now create personalized content or strategies based on the type of value propositions that consumers are looking to receive.
Whether you’re trying to come up with relevant content for a new content strategy or you want your brand awareness to skyrocket with one big campaign, market research can make it possible for you to come up with great ideas.
Apple’s Think Different campaign
Apple’s Think Different is no doubt one of the most successful campaigns in the history of all marketing & advertising.
Apple is a big believer in consumer data and understanding what it is that people truly want to see in a brand. Something that can trigger emotions and have lasting effects. Instead of usual advertisements, like showcasing their products, they chose to dive into human behavior and inspired people to “Think Different.”, that people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.
Woah, even that made me feel something right now.
The campaign was truly powerful. It showed what kind of person you can be if you use Apple’s products and it was a unique experience for consumers. After 2 years and almost $2 Billion in losses, Apple finally saw profitable quarters because of this. Obviously, they have not stopped growing since.
De Beers’ A Diamond is Forever campaign
Let’s talk about the campaign that has also changed the diamond industry forever. The “A Diamond is Forever” slogan was awarded slogan of the century in its time.
This campaign is the sole reason why engagement rings are even a thing. Before this campaign, diamond rings played a very small role in marriages and sales were mediocre. The company knew that and they had to come up with something to change it.
Through market research, they were able to use psychology to make men and women think that an engagement ring is a symbol of love and is absolutely necessary before marriage.
Yes, it was borderline manipulation as the campaign created new insecurity for consumers to think about. (Which was disturbingly quite common back in the day). But still, it was genius and it changed the position of diamond rings in the market forever.
Using this iconic slogan, they were like, you should be questioning the kind of love you have if you don’t get an engagement ring that’s worth two months of salary before marriage and people ate that up.
Because of this campaign, the number of people who spent a huge amount of money on diamond engagement rings increased from just 10% in the 1940s to 80% in the 1990s.
Well, we all know that it’s still a thing today. Bravo, De Beers.
#5 Market research helps you understand where your brand stands in the market
Brands also need to know what other products or services are out there including where your brand stands in the market.
Market research can help you do this by identifying answers to questions like “How many moms are aware of our products?”, “Is our brand likeable enough for our targets?”, or “How often do consumers think about availing our services?”
Why would you want to know about this information though?
Having a clear understanding of your target market gives way for strategic decisions that can help improve your brand’s reputation. You can either do this by improving your products’ capabilities, developing new tools, or even completely changing your image to appeal better to your audiences. Normally, there would be a lot of things to consider, but market research can narrow down these options to the best choices only.
#6 Market research informs you on the competitive landscape: Pepsi’s Better With Pepsi Campaign
Competitor analysis can help strengthen your brand’s weaknesses and act as an opportunity to improve your strengths.
By having these kinds of insights, you can get a comprehensive perspective on how to have an edge against your competitors. But not only that. Knowing which brands are doing well and how they are achieving things by analyzing insights is also a great advantage to have if you want to improve your brand or your marketing strategy.
Market research can provide answers to questions about how you can position your brand to be more distinguishable from others and what trends need to be followed.
Who knows? Maybe these new insights that you have gathered about your competitors can also be a great chance for your brand to break into new markets.
By using market research for consumer insights, you can also gain an understanding of why consumers favor certain products and services over others.
Burgers are Better with Pepsi
Most of us know that many big fast-food chains are partnered up with Coca-Cola. For Pepsi, this is not exactly the best situation. They have to do something in order to win over these big fast-food chains to gain them an advantage.
Before this, Pepsi came up with a study. A blind taste test figuring out which beverages are best partnered with the signature burgers in fast-food chains. Apparently, 60% of people prefer their burgers with Pepsi.
Because of this, the marketing team of Pepsi gained a better understanding of their strengths and how they can gain a competitive advantage using them. This led to the Better with Pepsi campaign which you most likely already have seen recently as it went completely viral on social media.
Here are the images related to this campaign that helped them go viral:
#7 Market research helps you strategise the growth and scaling plan: The Apple EcoSystem
Are you thinking about scaling up, but you are hesitant about it?
Scaling up is a costly process and it’s only right that you spend money in order to make sure that you are making the right decisions. Market research is essential when it comes to making decisions that involve whether or not to expand your business into new countries, states, or markets.
But this is not the only area where market research can help you in terms of growth and scaling.
If you want to start a new product, for instance, knowing that consumers would be more receptive to something can help you avoid developing ideas that might not give feedback that are positive enough for you. On the other hand, if the market research studies are clear indicators of what consumers want to buy, then it is safe to say that pursuing those options will give you better results.
By looking into key factors such as competition and consumer tastes and behavior, your business can now be more capable to make a decision on whether or not your current conditions are ripe for expansion.
The Apple Ecosystem
While this example isn’t about scaling to new locations (although, the growth that this strategy has brought led them to expand, too) it perfectly fits our point about the development of new products.
Remember the 2015 Apple event? It was the time when Apple announced that they’re expanding their ecosystem.
It was an exceptional marketing campaign that invited people into the Apple ecosystem by making the space bigger and enabling their users to take advantage of their Apple devices and help them accomplish things better.
This particular announcement in the product launch was a big hit and made more people willing to jump ship from Android to iOS in a heartbeat. This ecosystem made it harder for current customers to leave, too.
Apple’s new strategy and this marketing campaign tapped into the fact that many users of smartphones are also Apple fans. By making it easy for them to take their Apple habits on the go, they would be able to convert those who have always been hesitant about moving to iPhone in the past and convince their current customers to stay forever. By doing this, Apple was able to manage to move the needle in terms of market share by a lot and gained an amazing amount of brand loyalty.
This shows how much a brand can increase sales and revenue when they dive into consumer psychology and use data-driven methods when formulating strategies and marketing campaigns.
#8 Market research can also help determine the future of your brand: Domino’s (YES, again) mission to innovate digitally
No, you cannot avail yourself of tarot readings as a part of your market research studies. That would be kind of cool, though.
But, yes, you read that right – market research can predict the future of your brand as well! Although it won’t tell you what your brand is going to be like in the future, it can communicate ways for you to be a better brand in the future by giving you ideas on what future trends are going to be like.
One of the uses for market research is to determine how your brand can be more relevant in bringing about positive experiences to consumers.
This answers the questions to “How does my product help consumers better their lives?” or “What could I do to create a better experience for more customers?” or “If we continue doing this, are we still going to be relevant in the future?”
These insights about consumer behavior can help you observe trends that will point out what kind of consumer needs you should be targeting in your next steps.
They can also help you understand if there are holes in your market for a new product or service offering, and how to make these products relevant again. You would basically have the ability to identify the direction that your brand should be going in.
Domino’s and their Digital Innovations
We can surely learn a lot from Domino’s.
Because of market research, not only were they able to prepare for the predictable future of humans wanting to see more digital innovations and AI, but they were also able to prepare for the outcomes of the pandemic indirectly.
Sure, Domino’s, like every other company, also experienced a slow down in growth around March 2020, but they were also able to rise back up fast.
Around 2019, Domino’s became the first restaurant chain to use delivery drones. But what people don’t know is they have something better up their sleeves that can be used to prevent social contact in an event that will disrupt the world. One month after the widespread lockdowns were announced last year, they released their self-driving delivery robots.
While they weren’t exactly the first chain to do this, they sure were ready and market research has paid off once again.
#8 Market research can help understand the change better and build relationships with consumers: Basically all of Nike’s Social Awareness Campaigns
Your brand can attain better customer relationship management using market research, too, despite the rapid changes in consumer psychology.
Another one of the core aims of any good market research is to understand customer experiences and their current expectations. Once you figure out what your market wants, you may now use this to communicate better with the audiences that you have. In turn, this would help improve your relationship with them and pave the way for better customer engagement.
When you are able to engage with customers based on their wants and needs, it leads to greater brand loyalty. Especially now that online communities are becoming more popular on social media, knowing how to have better relationships with your consumers is definitely an edge. This can also be used as an opportunity to promote products and services that would have better impacts.
Nike and Their Social Awareness Campaigns
Recent studies have shown that consumers are now demanding greater social consciousness from brands. As in, they are more likely to shop more from brands that they find socially responsible.
Thanks to market research, Nike was able to find this out earlier and used this insight to make campaigns that tackled social issues, connect with consumers, and overall, helped create a better relationship with people.
Nike has been creating products that appeal to the masses but also help people with disabilities in line with these relatively newfound values. They have been partnering up with foundations and creating a voice for these disadvantaged people, too.
This helped them stay relevant on social media which is a crucial thing to become in this generation.
For example, their latest laceless sneakers don’t require hands to put on. These shoes blew up on social media the moment news about them were released. It immediately raised awareness of the needs of disabled people and why things like these are important to them.
Also, this impressive self-lacing sneaker campaign, wherein they partnered with the Michael J Fox Foundation to help people with Parkinson’s disease and raise awareness on the topic.
These, and plenty more campaigns.
Nike tapped into the desire of their consumers to support socially conscious brands and have things that are effortless. It communicated that they care and they’re great at it.
#10 Market research can help you figure out the best voice for your brand: Wendy’s Twitter Account
Researchers can gather all the necessary information about your consumers so you can communicate with them in the tone that they like the best.
A grave mistake that brands make when building their brand or creating campaigns is not clearly understanding who they are trying to engage with. Market research lets brands understand target audiences in a way that allows them to represent themselves at a point that makes sense.
For brands that are digitally focused, this is more important than ever. In a world where consumers are being bombarded with ads and content, having a distinguishable voice would be a great way to stand out and connect with your audience on a personal level.
For example, have you ever wondered if politics is something that your brand can talk about? There are brands that have succeeded by being politically aware, while for others it isn’t as fit.
The best way to manage questions like this is to stop guessing, and start researching. Even the smallest insights like knowing whether you should be funny or serious on social media can completely change the direction of your brand (in a good way, of course).
Wendy’s Ruthless Twitter Responses
This is one of my favourites on this list. Wendy’s became so popular among the younger generation because they started roasting a bunch of people on social media.
It’s one of the best social media marketing tactics of all time. Like many great innovations, a lot of brands followed this trend started by Wendy’s.
Through consumer insights, Wendy’s was able to tap into the trend of being savage on Twitter. Most brands would have found this idea absurd before as it looks so unprofessional. But Wendy’s started to roast people on Twitter despite that, and it was phenomenal.
It gave Wendy’s a lot of engagement and since then, their account has grown into 3.8 Million followers and they gained a lot of PR exposure along with it. Plus, a better customer relationship.
Because of this trick from Wendy’s, brands have figured out that being brutally honest on social media helps them look more honest and trustworthy. This is why a lot of brands have followed this legacy like Angkas from the Philippines.
Imagine, they are quite literally bullying their own consumers online but they are still tremendously loved by these same consumers. I know this because I’m one of the people who started using Angkas and eating at Wendy’s because of their brutally honest personalities on social media.
By the way, Wendy’s really made sure that we remember how their beef patties are always fresh.
Although this method might not work for everyone, hence, the importance of doing research. So don’t just start bullying your followers before doing your own research just because it has great viral potential!
All in all, market research is definitely crucial for brands to understand their audience and the changing needs of consumers. It helps you stay ahead of trends that may affect your business in the future.
If you are not sure how or where to begin with market research, reach out to our team today! We have experts on hand ready to help answer any questions you might have about this topic and get started on a market research plan designed just for your company’s goals.