Marketers have almost unlimited access to data, but rarely capture the whole range of consumers’ thoughts on a product or service. Such feedback can uncover deeper, more personalised and ultimately more successful ways to engage a target audience.
As the speed and pace of business increases, information needs to be real-time and companies have to be agile. If their information is not virtually instant, it’s no longer relevant.
Businesses of all sizes, from young startups to well-established global brands, can benefit from real-time research from companies such as Toluna. By accessing its online global community of more than ten million people in 59 countries, a company can quickly glean informative insights and start receiving instant feedback on its products or services.
For example, during an important launch of a new 4K TV from Sony Electronics, the company worked with Toluna to conduct a survey among early adopters, a key segment of TV buyers, to determine how their TVs were being used and displayed in the home.
The challenge for Sony was to target and gain responses from upscale and tech-savvy consumers, in a 48-hour window, so the research could be included in its product planning and development process. Working with Toluna, Sony was able to gain insights that allowed it to understand better this premium segment and influence the design of its TV range in order to drive greater satisfaction and improved feedback from customers.
Quickly targeting products and market messages is a crucial ability for all companies in fast-moving and competitive sectors. Coconut water producer Vita Coco, which had launched in 2004 and brought coconut water to the mainstream beverage market, soon found other players entering the market. The company needed to identify new ways to reach consumers and increase its share of the business.
Vita Coco did this by using Toluna’s community to define the right consumption occasions for coconut water throughout the day. For example, customers wanted the electrolytes for effective post-workout hydration and the natural fruit sugars for an afternoon pick-me-up or early-morning refreshment.
By identifying when its customers liked to have their drinks and why, Vita Coco was able to understand better consumer behaviour. It could then emphasise the most relevant benefits in its communications to consumers, while ascertaining which marketing programmes worked well in different territories and what opportunities to focus on next.
Businesses also have the opportunity to build their own personalised communities and research technology to source continuous consumer feedback. Customer insight and loyalty firm Dunnhumby has worked with a range of large retailers and consumer goods brands, and collaborated with Toluna to create a platform on which brands could survey customers. It used this platform for its clients, including Coca-Cola, drawing from real-time transaction data.
Getting results instantly ensures these businesses keep pace with customers at every stage of the development process
Such real-time research, which is flexible to fast-changing needs, allows businesses quickly to target different demographics, customer segments or even favoured devices, such as mobile phones, PCs or tablets.
Brands can split their customers into different groups and overlay them into ongoing research. If executed well, this can stop a consumer
being asked questions the brand owner already knows the answer to.
Paul Twite, UK managing director at Toluna, explains: “Businesses we work with are testing products, services and marketing messages every minute of the day with millions of potential customers. Their projects range from validating blue-sky ideas in brainstorming sessions, to their marketing and research teams putting target customers’ voices at the heart of the design process.
“Getting results instantly ensures these businesses keep pace with customers at every stage of the development process.”
At the heart of such innovation is the automation of many of the processes that used to sit behind traditional research. This automation enables the rapid turnaround of information and virtually any subject can be tested anywhere within an hour.
In a recent example of how quickly answers can be ascertained, Toluna launched a query to help businesses know the likely effect of Brexit on consumer sentiment and the impact on sales in the short term. Using its QuickSurveys system, within hours of the result companies had access to hundreds of data points showing how the world was reacting to change.
Such rapid automation can also provide recommendations to businesses’ marketing and design teams on where to make improvements and how, detailed in clear analysis. In addition, the data can be augmented with transactional and behavioural data.
Media planning and buying agency the7Stars worked to do just this, providing real-time, actionable insight for its clients. The data is regularly taken from “long-term customer communities or a quick turnaround topical survey based on the reaction of certain customer segments to current affairs”, according to Helen Rose, head of insight at the company.
She adds: “Putting customer insight at the heart of our communications planning is a key part of our media strategy, empowering the decision-making process and improving our media buying.”
With real-time, easily comprehensible customer insight, businesses of all sizes can steal a march on their rivals and maximise profit.
On September 8, Toluna will be hosting a conference on growth and entrepreneurship. For more information visit go.toluna-group.com/clientevent or call 0208 832 1700