Do online consumer opinions reflect the opinions of your target market?
Marketing and communications strategies can take advantage of high-quality social media and website data. This information can be incredibly valuable to marketers as long as they are used in a way that supports insightful market research. Following our recent blog, four more reasons are outlined below, explaining how digital metric can supportinsights provided by market research companies.
1) A customer's shopping experience may not be accurately represented on social media
As soon as a customer leaves a store or a website, their perception of their experience usually begins to alter.
If a business wants to know what customers think about a particular buying experience on a given day, they should interview that customer as soon as they leave the store or website.
Immediately after their shopping experience is when the customer can answer questionswith the least amount of external influence.
Monitoring social media has some of the same problems as sending email surveys to customers after visiting a store or conducting an online session. Customers who talk about their online shopping experience may not reflect their actual experience, but their general brand opinion.
Also, social media users often interact with friends online, so they exaggerate stories to make their life experiences appear more interesting.
2) Customers may not be online so many not have Google or social media accounts.
There are sections of the population without social media accounts. Either they have never had accounts or have closed their accounts. Some customer opinions simply do not appear online and therefore cannot be monitored.
Those customers without a Google Account may then shop online without signing in to any accounts rendering their demographic data unavailable to Google Analytics or any other analytics platform. These people and their online shopping habits are unavailable for analysis.
3) Social media monitoring software is still in the early stages. New systems are still being developed and may not reflect the true opinion of consumers.
As social media monitoring because the results are fast and relatively inexpensive, many companies have started to rely on them to develop customer understanding. However, accurate interpretation of non-standard language is an issue. Social media monitoring tools often misinterpret words used in a sarcastic was, as well as words that have more than one meaning. For example, "sick" can mean "ill" or alternatively "very good" depending on the context.
At this point in technology, automatic sentiment scores are generally not great. Marketers need to check that the correct interpretations of these kind of words are right. This verification process reduces the speed and increases costs so the speed and price difference between traditional market research and online research decreases.
4) Social media conversations are inconsistent, making it difficult to compare from year to year.
Products or services launched last year will have a different level of interest the following year. Customers who initially posted and commented regarding their new purchase on social media are unlikely to discuss online how they find a product's effectiveness the following year - there are not enough customers talking about purchase bought during the previous year, or even their established repeat purchases, to turn that information into a reliable source for ongoing comparison.
In-depth market research can show whether social media analytics and website analytics are accurate and reliable.
If your market research shows that posts and comments by users on social media mirrors the information collected from your primary target audience, then you may find that social media is a good source of consumer information.
However, it is very important to invest in an effective consumer research companyto ensure that the opinions shared by social media users remain similar to the views of your main target market. This review process must be carried out periodically to ensure that the information received online continues to provide added value.
If you are looking for a market research companyand would like to find out more about how our services, please contact [email protected]