Why should you care about Big Data?
“In the past, information was synonym of power but nowadays, with all the information available, knowing which information is really valuable, is where power lies”.
We were going to explain you how to start researching your market, how important it is… but when we were about to explain how to make the classic surveys, phone calls, we thought: “This is as new as a dinosaur”.
Of course you should make surveys to your customers, or potential customers, but nowadays, we should first look at the enormous amount of information Internet is offering us.
The best data is on the Internet
Don’t Judge the people by what they say, but by what they search on the Internet.
The data we have on the Internet is much more valuable than that obtained through personal surveys since, on the Internet people behave and look for what they really want.
Ask someone what they like or think about something and they will surely be ashamed of certain personal opinions, which they’ll never tell you.
But, if you could analyze their computers, their searches and favorite pages, you would guess everything you want to know.
- That is why, before explaining what a proper Market research looks like, we wanted to talk about the role of the Internet and Big Data nowadays.
Before starting a Market Research
You may have heard it a million times: “listen to your market, check the market… the market the market the market…”
But, how can we “listen to the market”?
A Market Research consists of obtaining objective valuable information that may be useful to define current and future trends or niches.
It is important to focus on relevant information.
To do so, you must ensure that your research is:
- The trends you find out must be contextualized to the geographic regions where they were obtained.
- The information must be scrupulously based on facts.
- Even if it contradicts some of the thoughts you have about a certain Market.
- The conclusions and data obtained should tackle deep issues, rather than superficial trends.
Develop a Market Research in 4 steps
These are the 4 steps you should follow when developing a Market Research:
- Establish what are you looking for.
- Define a proper Measurement system.
- Filter the good information.
- Identify Customer Insights.
1. Establish what are you looking for
It is very common to start looking within a certain market “just to see” if you can find something interesting.
It is not a bad practice at all, but as long as you don’t expect to rely all your future “Market strategy” on the data you obtained.
A proper Market Research must have a clear purpose.
- Otherwise you’ll start obtaining unreliable information that may distract you.
Before start developing any Market Research, you must be sure about two things:
- What is your current status in the market.
- In which niche markets you are present.
- Which is your position in the Market compared to your competitors.
- Where would want to move to?
- Is there a new niche you are unsure about its attractiveness?
- Aren’t you engaged enough with your customers?
You don’t need to make a whole Porter 5 Forces or a PESTEL analysis to answer these two questions.
- A Market Research must be a flexible study.
However, you must know what information you want to extract from the Market.
* For Example:
Imagine you were a doctor trying to cure a patient.
You would ask him about where he feels pain, what he feels… And once the “location” of the injury was identified, you would investigate what might be causing this pain.
Once you have established your goals, it’s time to move forward.
2. Define a proper Measurement system
As soon as you set your goals and what you are looking for, you must decide how you will “measure” in your research.
To define a suitable measurement system you must:
- Establish how you will obtain the information.
- Will you check public Databases for a Big Data approach?
- Will you send e-mails to potential customers?
- Will you require information to website owners?
- How much information you need.
- You should not settle for a couple of interesting “facts” but with dozens of well-contrasted facts.
- What will be considered high-quality information?
- How are you going to discard irrelevant information?
- What will be considered irrelevant information?
These questions have not an immediate answer.
- The answer will depend on the market analyzed, the methodology employed, and the conclusions obtained.
* For Example:
If you were Albert Einstein, maybe with just two looks at the market you would figure out what is necessary to achieve everything you want.
But, since you are not Einstein the time you require and your success rate will depend on multiple factors.
There are two common analytical approaches when researching a given market:
- The quantitative approach.
- The qualitative approach.
The Quantitative approach
From a pure mathematical standpoint, the higher amount of data analyzed, the more representative the analysis is.
- This statement has many nuances.
Given that we now have the possibility of knowing the behavior of the Market almost perfectly, the one with the best analysis system will be ahead of its competitors.
This approach focuses on analyzing as much information as possible.
The Qualitative approach
What is better, 5 wrong diagnosis or only 1 but correct?
This approach focuses on the quality of the data employed.
In order to improve the quality of your analysis you should:
- Employ high quality databases and supported data.
- The better and more detailed the database, the more reliable the data is.
- Analyze facts, not opinions.
- Forgetting about “future trends”, “guru opinions”…
- Use well-supported facts.
- Use well-updated data.
- “When” is usually as important as “what”.
- The same data at different times give completely different conclusions.
Now comes a very important step: Filtering.
3. Filter the good information
Once you have a good amount of well-supported information, you should filter it.
There are two things you should do at this stage:
- Select the relevant information for your goal.
- Avoid the “confirmation bias”.
Select the relevant information
As you can see, we didn’t say “important” but “relevant”.
When you do Market research, you often find interesting information that may seem important.
But if it is not relevant, you should discard it.
- If you find something worth investigating further about, but it is not related to your original goal, you can start a new Market Research in the near future.
Avoid the confirmation Bias
On the Internet, you’ll always find a tailored answer for any question, no matter how crazy it is.
- Think about this: there is a whole flat-earth society with “proof” about the earth being flat.
Don’t look for data that confirms your initial thoughts.
You would never imagine how common it is to start a market research with a preliminary idea of what the conclusions should be like.
- Read the results without any prior judgement.
- Be open to unexpected conclusions.
You might think that with all the previous steps carried out, you would obtain a perfect Market research, but you would be missing the most important part: To Identify customer Insights.
4. Identify Customer Insights
A Customer insight is a deep reason that drives you to behave in a certain way.
Identifying Customer insights is a difficult task: you must read very carefully all the data obtained, ask the right questions… and interpret the answers creatively.
* We have a whole Page dedicated to Customer Insights. Check our “Customer Insight” page.
We’ll give you an easy example in order you to understand what a Customer Insight is:
Star Wars Customer Insight example
Imagine that you were analyzing the success of the last Star Wars movie.
- To do so, you started to do surveys outside the Theater.
In these polls, you realize that everybody is being quiet critical of the film:
- “The script was weak”.
- “The characters were badly chosen”.
However, the special effects are well valued:
- “They are great”.
- “The space battle was the best part of the movie”.
With all the data in your hands, you end up concluding:
“The movie was successful due to special effects and space battles”.
One week later, you talk to your cousin about this movie and he tells you:
“Well, the movie is terrible, but watching a Star Wars movie, reminds me of going to the Theater with my parents when I was a kid and now, I am doing the same with my daughter, so no matter what the next movie is like, I’ll watch it for sure“.
Eureka: That is an Insight.
You were so concerned about the “movie review” that you forgot about the real reason they were watching that movie.
In this example you can easily see how, wrong questions lead to wrong conclusions.
You must be sure about why a potential customer is behaving in a certain way.
That is why we warned you so much about focusing only on the vast amount of information that Big Data and the Internet offers you, because they are usually more descriptive than profound.
- And the“best things” are always in the “deepest parts”.
Developing a Market Research is always something good.
However, if it is done incorrectly, you’ll get confusing conclusions that can lead you to make the worst possible decisions.
With all the information available today, you must be careful not to focus only on the “amount” of information, but also on its relevance.
When developing a Market Research you should follow these 4 steps:
- Be sure about what are you looking for.
- Have a well defined measurement system.
- Filter the relevant information.
- Identify Customer Insights.
Remember: never judge people by what they say, but by what they look for on the Internet.