Matching Marketing To the Modern Consumer

5 Ways to Rethink Qualitative Research


Today’s consumers are evolving faster than ever before, but brands, and specifically consumer research are struggling to keep up. Customer needs change as often as preference and inter -personal communications take place online as often as they do face-to-face. Engine’s CARAVAN research suggests that Americans spend on average 4.5 hours a day on their smartphone, a device which enables brands and researchers to reach billions of users around the globe in a matter of seconds. If the opportunity to connect is this instantaneous, why are we still hosting focus groups in a physical room with a clipboard and pen?

It’s time for research to match the modern consumer. These 5 tactics can help:


1) Meet Consumers Where They Are

According to a Pew Research study, 77% of Americans are online on a daily basis, while Statista suggests over half the world’s population now uses the internet. If the people you want to research are online, you need to meet them there.

A traditional focus group falls short because participants must be willing to take time out of their busy schedules to leave their homes and attend. Imagine observing an animal at a zoo, as opposed to a safari. A zoo replicates the animal’s natural habitat and in turn the animal replicates its natural behavior. On a safari, however, you actually observe an animal’s true behavior in its natural habitat.

An agile insights tool, like Engine’s Digital Hives, creates targeted online communities based on niche audience segments and conveniently reaches these communities where they already are—online.


2) Move Fast

Consumers today move fast—very, very fast—so brands today need to move even faster if they want to keep up. If you’re a California based company and a traditional focus group takes 3 weeks to gather information about your audience in Taiwan, you run the risk of gathering now obsolete data. To research and market to the fast-moving modern consumer, your business must move even faster. A qualitiative tool that can be live within 24 hours will ensure you collect the latest and most relevant data, at the speed of today’s business.


3) Share and Share Alike.

The concept of sharing is no longer verbal. Consumers today use the content they share online to define their image and their relationships with one another. Whether it’s a video posted by a brand or influencer, or a photo or status of their own creation, the key to understanding an individual, lies in what they share on their social media profile.

Imagine how revolutionary your research would be if your target audience shared this content with you directly? Engine’s Digital Hives tool is designed to facilitate just that. With a portal that encourages consumers to share personal photo and video content in real time, you can know your consumers as individual humans, rather than statistics and add anecdotal flavor to your marketing message or context to your creative briefs.


4) Make the Most of Your Money

Gathering consumers, hiring researchers, finding a venue—from focus groups to one-on-one interviews, the costs of a traditional research tactics add up. And in such a fast-paced world—one where trends flip in an instant—it’s common to spend money, experience a minor change, and have to start from scratch.

Modern research tools like Engine’s Digital Hives cut the costs of traditional research tactics, while providing the flexibility necessary to adapt to the fast-paced modern consumer.


5) Emotion = Impact

In a world where consumers are drowning in content, brands who can make a personally relevant, emotional connection with their audiences are the ones who will make an impact. In fact, a full 78% of consumers say personally relevant content increases their purchase intent. It is therefore more important than ever that modern research tactics are able to unlock individual, human stories that help brands drive emotional resonance.

The market is saturated with tools and suppliers who offer quick, custom qualitative solutions, but when it comes to the ethnographic expertise required to truly get into the heart and soul of consumers, these solutions often fall short.

Challenge your supplier to utilize techniques that get to the emotional heart of a consumer insight, or risk results that flop.

Consumers are evolving. Marketing is evolving. And now, with Engine Digital Hives, so is research. Engine’s Digital Hives let you dive into the mind of your consumer anywhere in the world. With quick turnarounds, low costs, easy direction changes, and the ability to reach your target segments on both a national and international level, you can make authentic connections, understand the emotions that drive behavior, and reveal new opportunities for your business.


Learn more about Engine’s Digital Hives.

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