Research and Analytics
In a world where Big Data is expanding further still, the approach to research and the insights that are drawn from it are as important as designing and executing a study. As marketing planners, the Torque team is a group of researchers by nature. We are constantly asking questions and peeling back the layers to find truths.
We pool together techniques, tactics, and partners from a variety of backgrounds to compile, plan, and execute qualitative and quantitative studies via survey or interview. Increasingly, however, our attention is on social media listening and conducting ecosystem audits which are analyses of the community and the specific people clients should talk to as well as the activities they should be engaging in and talking about based on information gleaned from the digital media channels which allow for discussion.
This is a methodology for assessing keywords, social channels and trending online conversations. We identify stakeholders (potential users) and their work streams (the potential users cares and concerns that relate to the product category) by techniques such as executing advanced Google search streams and social listening. For example, if the product is an app management software, we start with a general idea of who the audience and community is: small business owners. Then, we narrow down the broad scope by using our techniques to possibly find segments of the broad category and categories we hadn’t considered. For the app management example, segments examples are salon owners, automotive repair shop owners, etc., and a new category could be small business associations or start-ups.
The research needed for initial planning and the thoughtful tracking of analytics are both key aspects of managing an agile marketing program. Agile marketing is defined simply as a marketing process that allows for measuring results and response and adjusting the program when something isn’t working to it’s full potential. This is why digital media is a good fit for agile marketing; it allows for quick responses and adjustments. This may seem simple or obvious, but it isn’t always to everyone. Traditional marketing (ex. Flyers, brochures, billboards) pre-ordains a whole campaign and then releases it in one go, which leaves little room to analyze the response and change the program if needed. This is partly because paid media lead times and contract commitments don’t allow room for much flexibility and change, although a great detail of research and strategy goes into these programs at the front end. On the opposite hand, digital media is responsive in real time, day to day, even up to the hour. It’s the only media that’s truly interactive and instant. In digital marketing, brands can actually engage with their audiences. This in mind, it’s best when marketing programs are designed as pilots, or test programs, which allow for learning and adjustment.
Conducting in-depth social listening before launch opens up a whole new perception of what companies will expect to learn and understand before launching a campaign.
One example is in our work for Juvo Products where we knew that family members were important to the product purchasing process, but when we located forums set up just for family caregivers, many posts receiving hundreds and even thousands of detailed comments, we realized the size and engagement levels of the community
In short, the initial research process is designed to be more broadly scoped and behavioral insights are developed during the campaign as an ongoing process by carefully tracking analytics.