Good planning starts with robust data that gives hard facts and sparks great ideas. Every solid strategy begins with a unique insight. One such insight we had some years ago was that if every drinker who claimed to drink a certain Irish stout, drank just one more pint a month, then the company would need to build another brewery.
But data is expensive, right. Not these days the internet buzzes with facts and figures and whilst you have to exercise a degree of care, the information is out there for picking. However, as George Washington once said, “don’t believe everything you read in Wikipedia”. Here are five of my favourite sites to inspire constructive thoughts.
Surprise yourself with the ease of mining down info and generating consumer profiles including personality types and lifestyle factors. Compare your consumers with the competitors and then ask the question; why is there a difference?
Check out your brand. What do consumers think of you or the retailer you supply. Brand sentiment is gathered by trawling through message boards and forums, picking up snippets relating to your brand or your competition.
A ‘spezific’ search engine that drills through social media sites creating a collage or mood board, depicting the trace brand or service. Imagine what your ‘real brand scrapbook’ would look like. Forget the gloss, this is consumer perception culled from life; using eBay, Instagram, Twitter and more.
Free reports on various topics and markets. Forget the ‘Flakey Futureologist’ consultant here are the groundswells of emerging trends that will define the future.
5 Online Quant
Okay not always free but there are services out there like SurveyMonkey and Toluna that can provide fast and cheap feedback to support an assumption or prove a hypothesis. Or, for more continuous feedback from panels of consumer or staff, how about Qualtrics. This service provides a dashboard to help you keep your finger on the pulse and monitor the heart of your brand.
Online Qualitative (fee not free)
Whilst I still subscribe to face to face qualitative, I have been enamoured with online qual for specifics, like diaries and ‘considered’ topics. Recently, I have been using on line work to prep respondents before groups, giving them tasks or gaining initial impressions. Moreover, a certain project on annuities could not easily have been done without using online and certainly not as quickly or cheaply.