Market research in the world of COVID and eCommerce

May 13, 2024
Emmy Liederman
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Market research!

You’re not alone if the phrase triggers thoughts of Mad Men-esque smoke-filled rooms where a group of people are asked to give their opinions on a new soda or line of detergent.

In fact, Rachel Swanson, founder of market research firm Method + Mode says those rooms still exist, though they’re nicer and the snacks are better.

In a lot of ways market research is a legacy tactic, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored by brands big and small. 

In fact, market research as come a long way from the focus groups of the past.

“I think there's kind of this idea that market research has to fit in a certain box and has to be done a certain way,” said Swanson. “But I think we all have points in our day … where we can use feedback we're getting and put another two minutes more thought against it to figure out how it can be more systematized.”

While formal studies and surveys are still on the table, the host of potential market research channels now open to marketers has grown exponentially.

“There are vibrant communities and there are conversations happening about anything and everything,” Swanson said.

Those conversations can be happening on traditional social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, or occurring on a Discord channel or on Twitch. Then there are of course sales and customer service calls that can be audited for research, along with one-on-one Zoom sessions.

So what tips does Swanson have for a company—big or small—getting started with market research?

  • Don't budget $10,000 and think you can do everything in one study
  • Try to avoid signing on with a platform, or a partner without having someone dedicated to its success
  • Talk to your CRM team or your database manager and see what you can actually pull in to your communications before you blast a list
  • Make sure the team you're working with delivers something useful and actionable
  • Figure out what you want to be able to say once the process is over. Once you have a hypothesis or an end result in mind, you can either validate it or dispute it

Watch the full interview with Rachel Swanson here or listen above:

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