Why Market Research is a Must for Businesses
11 Jul 2016
One of the most valuable assets of any business is its brand. Just as a house needs a strong foundation to stay sturdy, an effective brand strategy needs thorough market research. Far too often, businesses skip the market research process because the company claims that it already knows its consumers. However, it takes a lot to understand your target audience’s wants and needs. To prevent this disconnect, companies must first have a stronger understanding of market research and how and when to use it. 

What is Market Research?

Market research is the action or activity of gathering information about consumers’ needs and preferences. Marketers can go about researching however they like. However, there is a large chance that untested marketing strategies will come up short. For marketers, research is not just about filling in the knowledge gaps, but it also serves as the basis for good decision making. Research provides valuable insights about products, services, consumers, competitors, and trends. For example, if a strategist is trying to decide who to target their message to, they need to know who their group is. And how do you know who your target audience is? Incidentally, by using data and research.

Subsequently, let’s think about creating a message campaign. For instance, maybe your company is rolling out a new strategy defining your product and advertising it to the public. So it’s a great product, but you have to write a clear and concise paragraph that highlights its most appealing qualities. However, you don’t know which qualities appeal most to the masses of your audience. Above all, what appeals to your audience is what matters most. Accordingly, you need to use research to best design your messaging, or you risk failure.

Why is this important?

Market research is essential for the planning of any brand strategy. The data helps ensure that you are identifying the correct opportunity by targeting the right consumer in the right market and satisfying the right need. Without market research, there is no substance or facts behind your strategy and can result in a negative return on investment (ROI).

There are three broad types of research: Qualitative, Quantitative and Secondary Research. Qualitative research is more open-ended and is great for testing initial concepts or ideas. Qualitative is usually tested in focus groups and smaller settings in order to get in-depth opinions. Quantitative research statistically represents the audience you are targeting. Typically, quantitative is tested on a large number of respondents online, ranging anywhere from five hundred to thousands of survey takers. Secondary research is information that is already out there. Some research companies have access to several data sources in order to provide a comprehensive view of the marketplace.

For research to be effective, it is important for companies to have a clear understanding of the purpose of research and what information is being sought. Market Research professionals provide the expertise many companies do not have in-house.  Often these experts have the skills and the tools to execute the research accurately, efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition, these professionals also help bring objectivity to the result, thus, providing a clear and unbiased direction for business decision-making. Don’t let your strategy go unresearched – be prepared today.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. I’m Just Not That Into You: Exclusivity or Bad Marketing?
  3. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  4. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  5. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  6. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

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The Importance of Ad Tracking
01 Oct 2015
David Ogilvy, often referred to as the father of modern advertising, once said: “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals”. If your company is spending significant money on advertising, it is pertinent to conduct research to determine whether or not it’s working.  Above all, ad-tracking is one of the favored methods used by brands today. If a company truly wants to optimize its advertising budget efficiently, it’s important to track and measure the response to its ads.  This analysis also lets a brand know if its advertising is becoming stale or over-exposed among its prospects.  

Ad Tracking Steps

The first, and perhaps most important step in ad-tracking is to start your research before you actually launch your campaign. In order to measure the success of a campaign, it’s advantageous to have an idea about your prospects’ awareness of your brand. If a company doesn’t start evaluating the reactions prior to the campaign, how will it be able to measure whether or not the campaign is increasing awareness?

Surveys are a standard method for tracking campaigns (i.e. commercials, print, digital, etc). If a survey respondent can recall an advertisement or brand name unaided or without a prompt, it is a sign that the ad campaign may be increasing brand awareness. Therefore, once the respondent has answered questions aimed at gauging their unaided awareness of a brand, the survey can begin to focus on extracting information through prompts.  For example, of such a question might be, “Which of the following brands are you familiar with?”

From an Ad Tracker to Accomplishing Advertising Goals

The goal of any advertising campaign is to raise awareness and change attitudes about a particular product or service. Therefore, additional questions that elicit opinions, attitudes, and purchase intent are useful in the ad-tracking process, telling us what’s working and what isn’t. And over time, consumer opinions and attitudes tend to change and evolve. As a rule, a rising tide lifts all boats, and tracking the success of advertisements over time does just that. For instance, if your ads don’t develop over time, they might grow stale and consumers will stop paying attention. But if you work on your advertising success so that they progress by using an ad tracker, your business will prevail as well.

A successful ad is like a joke; the good ones may make us laugh or bring a smile to our face, but will eventually become stale and forgotten. And if an advertisement is a joke, ad-tracking can be seen as an honest friend, letting us know when to retire it and start working on some new material.

If you want to learn more about advertisement optimization, please check out this blog post here.

About Provoke Insights

Provoke Insights is a full-service brand consultancy and market research firm. Our innovative approach helps brands navigate through today’s cluttered marketing space. We are the nerds behind the advertising, branding, media, and content marketing initiatives. Our obsession with data and research makes your marketing strategy compelling and impactful.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  3. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  4. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  5. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

Sign up for our newsletters here!

Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Check out our most recent features in the news media:

September 11th, 2019: 40% of U.S. Millennials prefer crypto investments in the event of a recession: eToro Survey

July 31st, 2019: Jewelry Is About to Get its Own ‘Got Milk’ Ads

July 1st, 2019: 22 Top Advertising Research Companies 2019

Keep on the lookout for more blog posts from us!

Video in Today’s Cluttered Marketplace
10 Sep 2015

For the past decade the battle cry of marketing has been, “Content is King! Content is King!”  Well guess what?  Now everybody has content, and we have a cluttered marketplace.  And by everybody, I mean – everybody.  Your dentist, your place of worship, and even the makers of the cereal you ate for breakfast all create content.

Of course, content has always been available; there just used to be infinitely less of it in the world. The overproduction of content has made it more difficult for brands to stand out.

How to Break Through A Cluttered Marketplace

The goal is to generate engagement with every item you publish. This provides a challenge for content marketers. While blogs, decks, and newsletters are important, these forms of content can fail to connect with busy prospects.  That’s why it is more important than ever to incorporate video into the marketing mix.

A video can require a bit more of an investment, but it is an effective way to hook consumers and drive them toward more comprehensive information. No video will close a deal but it can get you one step closer to it by peaking interest and opening the door for discussion. Also, a video is more enjoyable than opening and reviewing a deck, or reading a newsletter.  Instead of being confronted by a screen full of text there is just a big red “play” button to push.

Here are three keys to developing a successful video for marketing initiatives:

Number 1: Keep it Short

Remember, the video is being used as a door opener, not a deal closer.  Potential viewers will often glance at the total running time of a video; if it is longer than a minute or two it will be moved to a “watch later” list and likely never be viewed at all.  A good target is 60 seconds.

Number 2: Keep it Moving

Whether a video or animation, never let your video become too static.  Even a “talking head” video should include cuts between camera angles or the inclusion of supporting graphics and photos.  You should never to be able to count to ten between cuts or camera moves.

Number 3: Keep it Specific

Your video should have a job to do.  This might be encouraging the viewer to call for a free consultation, join a mailing list, or dig deeper into your website.  End your video with a clear call to action.

One last thought: when it comes to producing a video, trust it to the pros.  Just because you can buy fabric and a sewing machine doesn’t mean you should make your own clothes.  And just because you can make videos with your phone doesn’t mean you should produce it for professional purposes.

A cluttered marketplace is just the future of brand advertising. As content reigns supreme, your company will need to figure out how to break through the noise and stand out. It will take innovation, it will take research, and it will take informed marketing strategy. And it could also include videos to separate yourselves from the rest.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. I’m Just Not That Into You: Exclusivity or Bad Marketing?
  3. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  4. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  5. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  6. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

Sign up for our newsletters here!

Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Keep on the lookout for more blog posts from us!

Provoke Insights is a full-service market research firm. We help build and grow brands using multiple market research methodologies including qualitative, quantitative, and secondary research. We hope to work with you in the future.

The Importance Of Mobile Marketing
10 Sep 2015

Mobile marketing is one of the fasting growing areas in the marketing world. Approximately 99% of Americans own a cell phone, with roughly 64% of those devices being a smartphone (Pew Research). Additionally, around 20% of Americans own a tablet (Pew Research). And users aren’t just utilizing their devices to make calls and surf the web, as smartphones and tablets are allowing consumers to get their news, follow political campaigns and elections, and most importantly for marketers, shop and make purchases.

Importance of Mobile

At the end of 2012, about 11% of retail spending was done via a mobile device (Smart Insights). By the end of 2013, that figure had more than doubled, as mobile spending accounted for 25% of all retail purchases (Smart Insights). But the importance of mobile for retailers is even more significant because even when customers don’t buy something directly from their mobile device, they’re interacting with company websites and apps.

This, in turn, helps shape their image and perception of that particular brand, and more than 75% of mobile interactions lead directly to an in-store purchase (Smart Insights). With figures like this, it’s evident that brands should utilize smartphones and tablets to not only drive sales but also interact with the consumer and help foster strong brand identities.

Smart-Phones and Tablets

Smart-phones and tablets are becoming an increasingly larger part of American life, especially for the younger generations. Currently, roughly 23% of our free time is being spent on a mobile device. Because of the wide array of media channels available today (i.e. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, YouTube, etc.) in addition to storage devices like TiVo and DVR, Americans can squeeze 12 hours of media into a 9 hour day (Pew Research).

Many mobile users are able to utilize these streaming services directly from their smart-phones and tablets, making mobile marketing even more important. Furthermore, of those mobile users who are watching TV at home, around 86% of them are surfing the web while watching TV (Arbitron, Omniture, and Comscore). Therefore, brands and advertisers have a unique opportunity to simultaneously target their audience through TV and mobile.

Where Research Comes in

Generally, there are many ways to research/track mobile usage in order to gather market research. As an example, there is creative testing on mobile phones. In other words, researchers can run surveys for phone users and ask them to rate what they like about the advertisement. In addition, surveys and focus groups about mobile usage can give advertisers a feel for how consumers use their mobile devices.

Above all, mobile marketing is key to the advertising world today. Since the proliferation of mobile users shows no signs of slowing down, it essential that marketers and advertisers take advantage of the unique opportunities that mobile marketing provides.

Sources

1- www.pewresearch.com

2- www.smartinsights.com

3- Arbitron, Omniture, and Comscore

About Provoke Insights

Provoke Insights is a full-service brand consultancy and market research firm. Our innovative approach helps brands navigate through today’s cluttered marketing space. We are the nerds behind the advertising, branding, media, and content marketing initiatives. Our obsession with data and research makes your marketing strategy compelling and impactful.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  3. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  4. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  5. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

Sign up for our newsletters here!

Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Check out our most recent features in the news media:

September 11th, 2019: 40% of U.S. Millennials prefer crypto investments in the event of a recession: eToro Survey

July 31st, 2019: Jewelry Is About to Get its Own ‘Got Milk’ Ads

July 1st, 2019: 22 Top Advertising Research Companies 2019

Keep on the lookout for more blog posts from us!

Social Listening Research 101
10 Sep 2015
It’s more than just listening to those who talk positively or negatively about your brand and your competitors online.  Social listening is such a stronger and more powerful research methodology.  It allows you to understand what trends are impacting your consumers and prospects and also learn what they are talking about so you can join the conversation.   It also provides a stronger understand of what social media channels are most suitable and effective for your target audience.  

Just like any other research methodology, you need to have a concise plan in place and formulate your objectives.  It’s important to think about why you are listening online and what you hope to achieve with this information.

Once your objectives are formulated, it’s now key to find your brand’s target audience.  Using client data, primary or secondary research to understand what is the ideal audience:

·       Psychographics

·       Beliefs

·       Interests/Hobbies

·       Media consumption

Once your audience is clearly defined, now social listening begins. You should listen to what is being said on various sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, online blogs and news outlets.    The more you listen, the more  accurate the perspective.

There are several social listening tools out there such as Trackur, or sproutsocial. Each tool has their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to social listening. Look for what your audience is saying about the industry, trends, interests, beliefs and media habits.

Everything that you hear, make sure that you record:

·       The number of people talking about a topic
Where they are talking

·       What is the sentiment

·       Percent who are influencers and how influential they are (this is often determined by scores such as Klout).

4 Watch Outs When Conducting a Survey
10 Sep 2015

“There are errors everywhere,” my market research professor claimed on the first day of class. He continued and said, “as a market researcher, your job is to reduce the errors as much as possible.” As someone who has worked in the industry for fifteen years, I believe that this lesson is still extremely important. In other words, when conducting a survey, there are certain things to watch out for.

If research errors are not found, the results will lead to inaccuracies. Ultimately, the insights garnered from the study may lead a brand to the wrong conclusions.

If you are developing a survey, here are a few errors that you need to watch out for.

1.     Inaccurate Objectives

When constructing your research objectives, it is always important to think about how the end results will be used. In other words, when conducting a survey, you must make sure that your objectives are clear and factual.

2.     Improper Research Methodology

Sample size, language issues, and goals of the research are aspects you need to consider when determining the methodology. For example, a survey with only 25 respondents only provides directional information and does not represent a portion of the population.   You may want to consider using more open-ended research approaches such as focus groups.

3.    Bad Survey Writing

Survey length is too long, leading with sensitive questions (i.e. household income), too many open ends, inconsistent or wrong survey scales are just a few of the problems that occur when writing a survey. The best way to solve survey errors is by asking others to take your survey. The more people who take the survey, the more errors you will be able to find.  Also, double-check to ensure the survey logic is accurate. To sum up, survey writing is vital when conducting a survey, and your choices are very important.

4.    Sampling Bias

How you acquire your sample can impact survey results. Your friends or colleagues may provide biased results if they took your survey. Also, only researching a certain segment of your population may also skew results. For example, if you were targeting a national population, but only reached New Yorkers the results won’t be representative.

In conclusion, survey writing plays an enormous role in the success of your study. For example, any combination of sampling bias, bad survey writing, improper methodology, and inaccurate objectives can submarine your research. In particular, bias can torpedo a research study by skewing the results to inaccuracy. The job of researchers is to conduct smart, factual, and insightful studies, in order to inform a marketing strategy. By avoiding these pitfalls, you as a researcher will be on your way to doing your job to the best of your possibilities. And the possibilities of market research are endless!

About Provoke Insights

Provoke Insights is a full-service brand consultancy and market research firm. Our innovative approach helps brands navigate through today’s cluttered marketing space. We are the nerds behind the advertising, branding, media, and content marketing initiatives. Our obsession with data and research makes your marketing strategy compelling and impactful.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  3. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  4. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  5. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

Sign up for our newsletters here!

Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Check out our most recent features in the news media:

September 11th, 2019: 40% of U.S. Millennials prefer crypto investments in the event of a recession: eToro Survey

July 31st, 2019: Jewelry Is About to Get its Own ‘Got Milk’ Ads

July 1st, 2019: 22 Top Advertising Research Companies 2019

Keep on the lookout for more blog posts from us!

Research for Content Marketing
10 Sep 2015
Positioning your company as a thought leader is an art form.   By publishing research studies, you build your brand’s credibility.

With a proliferation of media channels available today, it is pertinent to make sure your data gets its full mileage.  Bring our research to life, using contenting marketing as a catalyst for B2B and B2C awareness, engagement, lead generation, and conversion. Tactics can include online videos, infographics, sales materials, email marketing, thought leadership pieces, press releases, and guerrilla efforts.   Plus, all of these content initiatives help grow your brands online presence, and ultimately help improve your organic search efforts.

1. Design Template

Before your questionnaire is even designed, develop a PowerPoint template.   Design is critical to research reports. It is key that the design fits your brand’s look and feel.

2. Headlines

Even before the questionnaire is fielded, start developing potential headlines for the report. These headlines are based on the questionnaire, and are used to help guide the story. SEO is important to build awareness and credibility.  When developing headlines, take into account the keywords your brand wants to be known for in online searches.

3. Storytelling – Report Writing

Storytelling is an art form.  Using the designed templates and headlines as a base, create stories that keep the readers excited.  Reports should include background/objectives, methodology, key findings, recommendations, and detailed findings.

4. The Extra Touch

After the content in the decks is finalized, use graphic designers to further enhance the decks.   The content, graphics and charts should be able to live in more places than just PowerPoint.   Reports should be designed so they can easily be used in sales collateral, press releases, white pages, Facebook posts, or even a blog.

Research for Content Marketing & Thought Leadership
10 Sep 2015

Check out our latest article on how market research can be used to create more interesting and insightful content for your business or brand.  Research can be used to generate awareness and increase engagement among your prospects and customers.  Additionally, conducting research on a specific topic deepens your understanding a particular segment of your business and allows you to tout your expertise in that area. Despite its numerous benefits, most companies think of market research solely as a Public Relations initiative; research needs to be more than a simple press release and should transcend multiple facets of your business. A single study can be used for social media, sales material, SEO, Slideshare, infographics, just to name a few. That is why it is essential to have a strategy in place for how your research will be utilized for a content marketing initiative.

When using research for press purposes, it is important that you get the most out of your study.  To do this you must be able to integrate the research with your SEO, social media and press initiatives. As your company successfully dovetails the research data with the different aspects of your business, you will see the full benefits of your study. The article is great resource for advertising agencies, public relations firms,  businesses of all sizes, and brands that want to become thought leader.

Survey States Web Developers Are Happy
10 Sep 2015
Looking at a Career in Web Development?

SkilledUp, the online educator, commissioned Provoke Insights to conduct a survey among 300 web developers, and some of our findings were quite interesting.  The survey results were a media sensation and were featured in USA Today, Inc, AM NewYork and Mashable. It really helped bring attention to the services SkilledUp has to offer.

Web development is a rewarding career, with 88% of respondents stating they were “satisfied” with their job. Some of the reasons for this happiness include the flexibility and work-life balance a career in web development offers. Another positive aspect of a web developer’s job is relative job security. As part of the technology segment of the job market, web developers are almost always in demand. Currently around 10% of unfilled jobs in America are in technology. As a result of this excess demand, jobs in technology pay, on average, 50% more when compared to the rest of the private sector. These figures only represent some of our research results.

Top in demand jobs developer jobs include: front-end, back-end, and full stack.  Are you ready to become a web developer?  Do you have the skills to become a web developer?

Similiar to SkilledUp, do you want to boost your brand through market research? It is a great way to gain media exposure and position your brand as an industry thought leader. If you are interested in how you can use content marketing for market research purposes, check out this blog post.   This blog entree will provide detailed steps on how to conduct market research for content marketing purposes.

Tech Companies…What’s Your Brand Strategy?
10 Sep 2015
Technology is the fastest growing industry in New York City. In 2014, jobs in this sector had grown by 33%. As the tech boom continues, how can your brand stand out from the crowd? By developing a strong brand strategy, you can elevate your company above the rest!

Even if your product is unique, it is imperative to find your target and communicate what makes your brand special. However, gaining a potential client’s attention poses a challenge since there are more communication channels than ever before. Consumers’ attention is no longer focused on just one medium. Viewers are consuming content across mobile, desktops, and televisions. Besides, mobile consumption is divided into so many different categories and applications, all with their own tracking devices.

Research that Leads to Brand Strategy

To overcome these challenges, you need a better understanding of who your customer is. For example, which clients will most quickly adapt to your technology? Is your tech company marketing to the right market? Does your audience desire to be part of a new emerging trend? Additionally, what are specific attributes of this audience (age, gender, household income, and/or psychographic attitudes) and how can you leverage that?

It is key to uncover essential information and gather important insights in order to reach your desired audience. Ordinarily, companies like Provoke Insights provide services and tools to help you learn about consumers’ media usage, habits and even specific information about their favorite blog. Furthermore, the research services that we provide will help your tech company develop a strong brand strategy.

Turning Innovation into an Action Plan

Even if your technology is the most advanced in the marketplace, it is a challenge to answer your customers’ needs in a simple and digestible method. In this case, the ‘difference’ needs to be significant and can be developed into a compelling story that separates your product from the competitors. Particularly, it’s important that you can pinpoint what makes your product innovative to consumers in order to maximize sales. Usually, market strategists develop smart action plans based on their own opinions.

For instance, Google Glass was marketed to the general population, and their strategy was based on their belief that their product was exceptional. However, the general public didn’t receive Google Glass too well. Thus, the product failed to generate as much profit as expected. But Google then decided to do some market research on who could benefit most from the Glass technology, and marketed to construction workers. As a result, the product has been a great success. In other words, research can lead you to find the right market.

As you can tell, there are many moving parts to a holistic marketing strategy. Above all, Provoke Insights’s goal is to assist with all aspects of your marketing and branding needs.

About Provoke Insights

Provoke Insights is a full-service brand consultancy and market research firm. Our innovative approach helps brands navigate through today’s cluttered marketing space. We are the nerds behind the advertising, branding, media, and content marketing initiatives. Our obsession with data and research makes your marketing strategy compelling and impactful.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  3. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  4. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  5. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

Sign up for our newsletters here!

Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Check out our most recent features in the news media:

September 11th, 2019: 40% of U.S. Millennials prefer crypto investments in the event of a recession: eToro Survey

July 31st, 2019: Jewelry Is About to Get its Own ‘Got Milk’ Ads

July 1st, 2019: 22 Top Advertising Research Companies 2019

Keep on the lookout for more blog posts from us!