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Why entrepreneurs should make research part of their strategy

3 June 2021|Business Growth, Latest Posts

Why entrepreneurs should make research part of their strategy
Why entrepreneurs should make research part of their strategy

By Ben Hogg, Managing Director, International, Lucid.  In a time when opinions are unpredictable and changing rapidly, the ability to know what people are thinking is invaluable. Whether you’re a startup or multinational organisation, knowing what your customer wants will always be the golden ticket for the financial success of your business.

These days, technology and innovation are an integral part of our lives. From our prolific use of apps, streaming devices, smart homes, and more, we’ve come to expect immediate results with technology. 

It is a reminder for all businesses that authenticity is paramount, and the consumer should always be top of mind, and top priority, when building out and executing on a business strategy. There is a valuable opportunity for marketers to re-establish trust with their target consumers. Marketers must leverage their first-party data and other actionable consumer insights to create authentic messaging that they know will resonate with their intended audience, because they’ve done their homework. The most successful marketers have tapped into those shifting consumer sentiments, understand what’s most important to their target customer, and are adjusting their messaging and tactics accordingly.

In our on-demand society, it’s no longer enough to underscore your business strategy with, ‘the customer is always right’. While this is certainly still true, today it cuts much deeper, with authenticity and trust at the core. Never has it been so critical to know your customer. And, in this fast-paced world, in no other way is this truly possible than through quick, efficient, scalable, reliable and representative research. 

Research has evolved in a similar way to AdTech 

First, it’s important to note that research has evolved tremendously over the years. Traditionally, researchers relied on in-person interviews or phone surveys. When online surveys first entered the scene, buyers still had to manage each individual survey panel, which was a slow process and an invoicing nightmare. And what about agencies, brands, or advertisers who need insights that are fast, scalable, and affordable?

The concept of programmatic connections was actually conceived in the AdTech industry via demand-side platforms (DSPs). In the dark ages of digital advertising, every ad placement was planned, negotiated, and executed independently with each publisher or network. The process was cumbersome. Eventually, DSPs and exchanges eliminated these obstacles with programmatic buying. AdTech made the process of buying and selling ads faster than ever, with the added bonus of being able to scale.

Research (the “insights” industry) has mirrored the evolution of AdTech with its own force of change, applying the concept of programmatic buying to the research space. Instead of relying on phone surveys or individual survey panels, researchers are using online marketplaces to bring millions of global respondents to one place. Now, agencies, brands, and advertisers – those savvy enough to look to research to drive true insights – have more control over their studies, and online survey panels have more opportunities to sell to them.

ResTech has become enormously valuable – especially during COVID

With the impact of COVID-19, companies have adopted a digital approach at a faster rate in the last six months than the past six years. As a result, the need for (and utility of) online research has grown exponentially, as sampling shifts from a traditional market research practice to widespread use in nearly every industry.

While this direction of research has been the norm for several years, we’ve defined its new path: Research Technology, which we’ve dubbed “ResTech.” ResTech is the comprehensive term for the software and tools that help platforms, agencies, and brands target, deliver, and analyse their insights initiatives. In short, it is the ecosystem of technologies that enable us to gauge the opinions of different groups of people via targeted surveys.

ResTech has presented our industry with a real tipping point – so, what makes it so great? ResTech identifies customer sentiments in the moment. Not only can it help to provide an accurate depiction of where customers currently stand in the buying cycle but, most importantly, it helps us understand why. More than that, it has the scale to reach people from all different demographics and backgrounds, ensuring that we’re receiving an accurate representation of the target audience.

Faster insights make businesses more successful

The more insights that organisations have into their target audience’s behavioural patterns, the more easily they can make an informed decision on how to interact and engage with them and to create content that will resonate. It’s all about the impact. If marketers are not taking the time to stay in tune with their target consumers’ changing sentiments, the impact won’t be very effective.

Honing in on consumer behaviours and sentiments are key elements to brand success and incorporating behavioural analysis within a marketing strategy allows marketers to actively observe how consumers interact with their brands. These observations can be leveraged to understand influencing indicators, increase marketing campaign efficiency and ultimately feed the bottom line.

ResTech has the power to provide a clear roadmap to success for marketers, researchers, or anyone who needs insights. It can help businesses remain on the pulse of people’s changing sentiments so that they can understand what makes them tick, what they care about, and how to best appeal to them through personalised and targeted messaging. 

By leveraging first party data through Research Technology, businesses can create authentic messaging that they know will resonate with their intended audience, because they’ve done their homework. By zeroing in to those shifting consumer sentiments, businesses can understand customer influencing factors, increase marketing campaign efficiency and ultimately feed the bottom line.