“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Bill Gates

Once upon a time you considered yourself lucky if you knew a friend or family member who had personal experience with a product or service in a category you were considering making a purchase in. This was pre-internet, when getting a recommendation might require a (gulp) phone call on a (extra gulp) landline. Nowadays, a personal connection to an informed product or service user is a nice-to-have but, by no means, necessary.

Today’s savvy consumer tends to “research” very much like an investigative marketing researcher, as they seek out resources, opinions, preferences, and dig into attribute differences and performance gaps before buying products, booking travel, or making reservations.

Consumers often seek as much feedback from friends and family members as possible before making purchase decisions to bolster their purchase decision confidence. This is not dissimilar to how Marketing Workshop and other research firms recommend certain base sizes to achieve statistical significance and actionable confidence levels. A case in point about confidence relative to numbers is found in a 2017 study conducted by the Association of Psychological Science determined that participants tasked with comparing phone cases on Amazon usually selected the phone case with the most reviews regardless of whether or not ratings for both products was low.

Consumers’ job researching products or services has never been easier. Qualitative research conducted by Marketing Workshop has revealed that most consumers go online to learn as much as they can about a product or service, options for sourcing, and compare prices. And, the role of consumer reviews has never been as paramount as it is today, as most read the consumer reviews before deciding to purchase.

Savvy marketers understand these game changing dynamics and a whole new breed of product developers and marketers has emerged to engage the de facto researcher in all of us with differentiators, compelling marketing messaging, and reputation management.

The job of marketing researchers has taken a turn as well, as we’ve had to devise new strategies and techniques to get at, not only the stated behaviors and opinions, but moreover the emotive reasons why, the influencers of decision, and the potential for trade off. These are the insights that drive the strategies of today’s savvy marketers.

~ Marketing Workshop