3 Affordable Market Research Methods

What’s new with your “tribe”? In a sector as fast-growing and dynamic as CPG, it can be difficult to stay on top of category and consumer insights especially in times of market volatility. Consumers and the “tribes” they belong to hold strong beliefs and expect their products to align with these values and behaviors, no matter how quickly they shift. This is even more pronounced with Gen Z, who expects brands to meet their needs nearly instantaneously.

Below, we explore 3 ways to gain fast and low-cost category insights for your brand.

Social Monitoring (aka Social Listening)

By far the most cost-effective methodology around, social monitoring allows your team to stay on top of the latest trends and hear consumer perspectives unfiltered and unbiased. Tap into TikTok and YouTube for in-depth product reviews and emerging trends on usage, hacks, and preparation.

Use inspiration from posts around adjacent categories, like beauty or household cleaning. Skip professional influencers with over 100,000 followers, as most of their posts are sponsored by brands, and instead tap into micro-influencers with 2,000 to 10,000 followers.  Content is likely to be more organic and more real. And finally, don’t be afraid to go down a rabbit hole or two! You never know where a new insight will come from.

Remote Qualitative Interviews

Conduct qualitative interviews over Zoom for deep insights at a fraction of the cost of focus groups. Recruit respondents using targeted social media ads as an alternative to panels, and develop discussion guides and activities specifically for a digital interview. We recommend using qualitative interviews to dive deep into a topic and explore all the nuances surrounding it, rather than find an answer to a very specific question. You can develop sample strategy, discussion guides, and moderate your own groups, or bring a partner on board to guide you through the process.

"Quick and Dirty" Quant

Who says quantitative research has to be expensive and time-consuming? We’ve used cost-effective tools like SurveyMonkey with clients to gain quick, definitive answers on important business decisions. While there are certainly quantitative approaches that require more extensive programming and sampling (like segmentations or discrete choice modeling), some questions simply need quick and dirty answers.

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Use a tool with built-in panel data to increase sample size and target the sample appropriately. For example, if your product is not yet distributed nationwide, use geographic targeting to speak to the consumers who will have access first. If your product is targeted toward women aged 18-29, use demographic targeting to narrow the field. Gain inputs from your leadership, sales, and marketing teams to ask the most impactful questions. And finally, use a tool like Tableau to visualize the most impactful data so its digestible and easy to understand.

Staying on top of consumer trends doesn’t always have to be expensive and overwhelming, strong insights can come from anywhere. Tap into social media for emerging trends and honest reviews. Use digital tools like Zoom to meet your consumers face to face. Use quick-turn quantitative methodologies to gain immediate feedback from your target audience.

If you’d like to learn more about low-cost insight solutions, contact the experts at Spectacle at info@spectaclestrategy.com.