Market Research in the Digital World

Market Research in the Digital World

It’s a Digital world out there! Everything from TV, to phone, to in-store shopping and transportation modes, are somehow connected. The marketing research world is no exception, and in fact must be at the heart of it. That’s where the consumer lives.

Social media are no longer simply communication tools, they have formed a universe which surrounds consumers, and influences the way they live and the decisions made.

At the recently concluded Social Media Summit in Egypt, held under the umbrella of global Mashable events, I had the chance to share with over 300 digital managers and entrepreneurs from across the country, the Nielsen strides in this social media arena.

During the session, I revealed three important realities that influence the business direction when it comes to social media.

Today the consumer no longer looks for what the masses do. Instead the focus is now on the individual, ‘me, the niche’. It’s not about custoMIzation; it’s custoMYzation.

The other reality is that the brand no longer holds the volume control on what is being said about it. Rather the consumer holds the megaphone, and is well-heard. Our studies show that 51% of connected consumers research products online prior to purchase, and 62% read other consumers’ reviews before making the final acquisition.

Thirdly, media might seem as many and fragmented, but in reality they are more integrated than expected. The conversation started on one medium will pick up immediately on another and grow in parallel or different directions.

Social media listening goes beyond simply the number of times a consumer talks about your brand, or whether it was positive or negative, on which platform – that’s monitoring.

It’s about understanding the messages that underlies the online conversation in its entirety, about perception and real-life usage of the final product beyond package instructions. When listened to and understood, product and brand strategy can take major shifts.

The Egyptian market, from a business perspective, is still farther behind than the consumer. There is still a distance to go; the good news is that there is an obvious hunger for it, and the expertise is attainable for those who seek it.