Experiential marketing is at the forefront of any well-rounded marketing strategy. We absolutely love the seeing (and helping) brands create over the top, unique experiences for consumers. While sampling events and PR stunts alike are undoubtedly cool as well as important, there is one type of campaign we’d like to draw your attention towards and that’s market research campaigns! These can be budget friendly and even a stand-alone campaign. Alternatively, you can incorporate some of the features we’re going to discuss into a larger campaign, taking full advantage of the opportunity. So, sit back, relax, and come along with us while we discuss market research campaigns, their importance and turning insights into actions!
We likely don’t need to tell you that market research is a significant opportunity. However, if you’re not familiar, we’ll tell you why. It enables you to connect directly with consumers as well as actively engage with them. From these interactions, you can gather a lot of valuable feedback including FAQs, buying habits, testimonials and more! While you can certainly execute this online, there is nothing like the in-person touch. Use market research to better under your consumers needs and choices. In addition to creating positive experiences, you can learn about their purchase habits and what competitors they use as well. However, this will all be for naught if not for some critical research and pre-planning!
It’s almost comical how literal the term market research is. If you want to get started planning a market research campaign, what you need to do first is research your market! What do we mean? Well, defining your target audience of course. For in-person activations you may end up sampling a wide variety of consumers and they may not all fit into that audience. So, you want to be sure that any reporting pieces can identify that. This way, you can extract them from the data post-event. Defining your target market will determine multiple factors about your campaign. For instance, it can impact the location, time of day, day of the week, etc. The more parameters you’re able to clearly define, the easier it is to choose when and where to execute your campaign.
We want to stress the importance of reporting. Sometimes, we find that there is so much build up to a campaign that reporting can be considered last. However, there is more to consider, and we urge our clients to keep this top of mind throughout the planning process. In terms of market research campaigns, there are two facets of reporting to consider.
The first is the specific market research questions you will ask. Asking the right questions is crucial. Be sure to clearly determine which key drivers are most valuable to your brand, product or service. For instance, what new flavours are they interested in trying? Which competitors do they currently purchase? How do they rank comparatively to your product? The second facet to consider is which reporting tools you will utilize to capture that data. For example, surveys are a great way to do this. However, be sure to consider other analytics such as demographic information or even geotargeting as well. In addition, if working with an agency, ask what tools and/or reports they can provide. Lastly, be sure to plan accordingly, particularly if you want to have more robust options.
In a pandemic affected world, it’s no surprise health, safety and COVID compliance are top of mind. Any opportunity to conduct your market research campaign outside, the better! Being outside naturally filters the air and immensely lowers the risk of droplets and aerosols hanging around. Of course, because staff (and consumers) will be interacting, face masks are a must, at least for now.
However, there is more you can do to keep both the public and staff safe. For instance, consider utilizing iPads and/or tablets. These are easily sanitized between uses and you can also have them on stands. This allows staff to socially distance while consumers complete market research initiatives. In addition, they allow your reporting to be digitized. Thus, providing opportunities to add creative questions. Consider ranking systems or scales, versus the traditional yes or no options.
Looking to get more creative? There are also weatherized outdoor billboards. You can utilize multiple for different locations or all in one location. If all in one location, consider using one for a survey, another looping branded content and the third to host a game or even a contest. Health, safety and compliance can seem daunting to most, but they are so important and can infuse more creativity into your campaign.
Finally, let’s talk incentives and why they’re a key part to any market research campaign. It’s understandable clients want to maximize activation hours and sometimes it’s hard for them to see why they should incorporate incentives into their budget. However, we strongly encourage you to consider them and here’s why! Ask yourself the following questions. “Is your time valuable?” and “Would you not expect to be compensated (even minimally) for providing your thoughts, information and/or time spent?” Like most people, we’re assuming you’ve answered yes to both questions.
So, be sure to incorporate an incentive into your plan and budget. For instance, it could be anything from a discount or buy one, get one offer to a small gift card or gift with purchase item. You can also consider a small sample to give away right on the spot. Incentives will draw consumers in, but also show them that you care. At the end of the day, the goal should be not only to have a successful campaign but also provide a positive and lasting impression for your consumers.
Whether the sole purpose or tacked onto another event, market research can be an integral part of any campaign! If you’re going to take away anything from this article, remember this: keep it creative, compelling, fast, safe, and provide an incentive!
Want to see an example? Check out our team in action, in our video from our work with the Toronto Star for their Wonderlist campaign. We’ve worked with the Toronto Star at the auto show for over 5 year and helped them to obtain over 75,000 subscribers. You can also click below for a free quote or contact us at 416-283-9119 for a discovery call. We look forward to seeing some brilliant market research campaigns this year and how you turn your insights into actions!