With campaigns paused, pivots necessary, and real-time planning essential, more and more teams are harnessing their market research to make informed decisions. And fast.
But against an uncertain economic backdrop, where budgets across the business are at risk of being slashed, why is it essential for brands to use market research to maintain their connection with consumers? And how can they use it to navigate the new normal and stay ahead?
Understanding Behaviour Changes
Consumers’ newly formed behaviours and personal values will likely impact the way we consume products and services.
Salesforce’s State of Marketing report recently showed how the use of customer data for empathetic marketing had become a priority. Out of 7,000 marketing leaders, 84% reported using AI– a move that helps marketers achieve personalisation at scale by analysing insights from data and taking action.
Understanding the way consumers’ consumption habits are changing is also crucial. For example, Kraft Heinz recently started delivering bundles of its canned food and sauces directly to consumers.
They’ve used this period to try new ways of selling, learning what works and what doesn’t while gaining valuable customer data usually intercepted by retailers. “It’s new for us, but I’m amazed by the kind of data you can get,” Jean-Philippe Nier, UK head of eCommerce at Kraft Heinz told The Financial Times.
Finding Opportunity In Times Of Uncertainty
In many markets today, innovation is necessary for survival. This is underscored in times of crisis, when predicting consumer behaviour creates a substantial strategic advantage. However, as a somewhat abstract concept, it can sometimes be challenging to realise. Large companies, in particular, often have difficulty executing it.
In a recent survey by Mckinsey, many customers stated that they are trying new brands and products during the pandemic. Of the consumers surveyed, 30-40% have been trying new brands or products, with nearly half switching because their preferred product was unavailable and an additional 19% now choosing more affordable options.
While the current economic environment represents opportunities for nimble companies to take advantage of this shifting consumer behaviour, those who do not react to this behaviour shift are at risk of losing market share.
It is vital that organisations use consumer research to highlight problems or gaps, which provide opportunities to continuously innovate, especially when every day brings a new challenge.
Looking To The Future
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen fantastic examples of how businesses have adapted and innovated to meet the new needs of their consumers.
Marketing, in particular, has been key to businesses continuing to reach and engage with their communities. And companies that have been able to use the unique economic environment to adapt their strategies for the long-term will emerge stronger.
As the world slowly enters a new normal, it’s essential global organisations look at ways they can future-proof themselves. Using market research will help companies to stay focused on shifting consumer needs and to envision increasingly innovative ways to meet them. But in order to accomplish these goals, businesses will need to prioritise knowledge management so that they can get the most from what they already know and pinpoint exactly what they don’t.