Every contemporary brand knows the power of having a personalized marketing strategy, but you can now take this one step further.
Custom research is being used by brands and media agencies everywhere to get tailored insight specific to their brand metrics and campaign objectives, as and when they need it, leading to more data-driven strategies that deliver results.
Here’s how to know whether custom research is right for you.
1. You‘re lacking insight into usage and attitudes.
Usage and attitude studies help brands understand how their target consumers use products and services, what motivates them to buy from or advocate a brand, and how they perceive different brands.
Why this is important: Passive data based on pure actions isn’t enough for marketers looking to reach modern consumers.
When you know not only what your consumers are doing but why, you can be truly confident with your approach.
How this can improve your strategy: With this kind of insight tailored to your business, you can develop a marketing strategy that hones in on the perceptions and behaviors you want to shift, positioning your brand in the right way.
Sample survey question: What was your main motivation for buying product X?
2. You’re struggling to develop a more tailored segmentation.
Segmentation is a key part of audience profiling, and ensures brands focus on the right consumers, in the right way.
Traditionally, these were developed using basic demographic data such as location, age and gender. Now, the process goes much deeper, involving complex and continuous analysis of well-defined segments.
Why this is important: Segmentation based on tailored research is unique to your brand. When you have your segments right, you’re basing your efforts on the right subset of consumers instead of wasting time and investment on audiences that won’t respond to your marketing.
How this can improve your strategy: Developing bespoke segmentations gives you the tools to fine-tune your targeting, optimizing your efforts in the right ways for maximum impact.
Sample survey question: Have you ever bought a product from brand X? Why / why not?
3. You have a new concept you need to test.
So you have a fantastic idea, be it a product, campaign or message.
How do you know it will have the impact you want?
Without trustworthy testing, you don’t.
Why this is important: With custom research, you can test your ideas among your target consumers. And with this information at hand, you can optimize your positioning and identify any obstacles standing in your way.
How this can improve your strategy: This kind of insight gives you the validation you need before bringing a concept to market, making sure it will have the impact you want.
Sample survey question: Would you be willing to purchase a product which could do X? Why / why not?
4. You’re not getting enough insight into your consumers’ purchase journey.
Any marketer worth their salt knows that consumer journey mapping is absolutely central to knowing your brand.
But in most cases, it’s necessary to dig deeper for a more detailed view of the journey.
Why this is important: By asking your target consumers directly, you can know the true value of your marketing touchpoints and identify those worth tapping into. This way, you can engage the consumer at each and every stage, in the way they expect.
How this can improve your strategy: Data that translates the footprints of your consumers enables you to invest only in the preferred channels, mediums and platforms for your audience.
Sample survey question: In what ways did you interact with brand X before making your first purchase?
5. You need to evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising.
46% of consumers now use ad-blockers, proving the importance of continuously optimizing your ads to offer personalized content and authentic brand experiences.
While once considered near-impossible to measure, this is no longer the case.
Why this is important: With tailored data, you can quantify the true effectiveness of your campaigns. The ROI and accuracy of your targeting are then within reach, and you get a complete, reliable view of your marketing efforts.
How this can improve your strategy: When you know what works, you can not only quantify your success, but also get a solid foundation to build new campaign ideas around.
Sample survey question: Would ad X encourage you to by from this brand in future?
6. You need bespoke insight for a project as fast as possible.
In today’s fast-paced world, time is always of the essence. And traditionally, getting the bespoke data you need was a process that could slow you down in a bid to ensure it’s relevant, correct and useful.
Why this is important: Today, using tailored data, you can get all the answers you need, as quick as you need them. And as the survey is unique to your brand, you know the answers are true and originate from the consumers you’re targeting.
How this can improve your strategy: Having fast, reliable survey data that’s streamlined to the project at hand allows you to develop it without any delay or uncertainty.
Custom Research in Practice
In February 2017, Activia launched ‘It Starts Inside’. With this campaign, the brand hoped to spark conversations and encourage women to rise above their ‘inner critic’ and achieve their full potential.
A custom research study conducted by Activia and research partner GlobalWebIndex revealed that 80% of women in the U.S. aged between 25 and 55 agree that they are their own worst critic.
Why it Worked
Featuring candid interviews with real women, focusing on self-doubt as well as their determination to rise above it, the campaign is a great example of audience-centric marketing based on custom research.
By building the campaign around a bespoke study, Activia could be confident its message would have an impact, resonating with the core audience it looked to target.