28 Case Study Examples Every Marketer Should See
Published: March 08, 2023
Putting together a compelling case study is one of the most powerful strategies for showcasing your product and attracting future customers. But it's not easy to create case studies that your audience can’t wait to read.
In this post, we’ll go over the definition of a case study and the best examples to inspire you.
What is a case study?
A case study is a detailed story of something your company did. It includes a beginning — often discussing a conflict, an explanation of what happened next, and a resolution that explains how the company solved or improved on something.
A case study proves how your product has helped other companies by demonstrating real-life results. Not only that, but marketing case studies with solutions typically contain quotes from the customer. This means that they’re not just ads where you praise your own product. Rather, other companies are praising your company — and there’s no stronger marketing material than a verbal recommendation or testimonial. A great case study is also filled with research and stats to back up points made about a project's results.
There are myriad ways to use case studies in your marketing strategy . From featuring them on your website to including them in a sales presentation, a case study is a strong, persuasive tool that shows customers why they should work with you — straight from another customer. Writing one from scratch is hard, though, which is why we’ve created a collection of case study templates for you to get started.
Fill out the form below to access the free case study templates.
Free Case Study Templates
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There’s no better way to generate more leads than by writing case studies . But without case study examples to draw inspiration from, it can be difficult to write impactful studies that convince visitors to submit a form.
Marketing Case Study Examples
To help you create an attractive and high-converting case study, we've put together a list of some of our favorites. This list includes famous case studies in marketing, technology, and business.
These studies can show you how to frame your company offers in a way that is both meaningful and useful to your audience. So, take a look, and let these examples inspire your next brilliant case study design.
These marketing case studies with solutions show the value proposition of each product. They also show how each company benefited in both the short and long term using quantitative data. In other words, you don’t get just nice statements, like "This company helped us a lot." You see actual change within the firm through numbers and figures.
You can put your learnings into action with HubSpot's Free Case Study Templates . Available as custom designs and text-based documents, you can upload these templates to your CMS or send them to prospects as you see fit.
1. " How Handled Scaled from Zero to 121 Locations with the Help of HubSpot ," by HubSpot
What's interesting about this case study is the way it leads with the customer. That reflects a major HubSpot cornerstone, which is to always solve for the customer first. The copy leads with a brief description of why the CEO of Handled founded the company and why he thought Handled could benefit from adopting a CRM. The case study also opens up with one key data point about Handled’s success using HubSpot, namely that it grew to 121 locations.
Notice that this case study uses mixed media. Yes, there is a short video, but it's elaborated upon in the other text on the page. So while your case studies can use one or the other, don't be afraid to combine written copy with visuals to emphasize the project's success.
Key Learnings from the HubSpot Case Study Example
- Give the case study a personal touch by focusing on the CEO rather than the company itself.
- Use multimedia to engage website visitors as they read the case study.
2. " The Whole Package ," by IDEO
Here's a design company that knows how to lead with simplicity in its case studies. As soon as the visitor arrives at the page, they’re greeted with a big, bold photo and the title of the case study — which just so happens to summarize how IDEO helped its client. It summarizes the case study in three snippets: The challenge, the impact, and the outcome.
Immediately, IDEO communicates its impact — the company partnered with H&M to remove plastic from its packaging — but it doesn't stop there. As the user scrolls down, the challenge, impact, and progress are elaborated upon with comprehensive (but not overwhelming) copy that outlines what that process looked like, replete with quotes and intriguing visuals.
Key Learnings from the IDEO Case Study Example
- Split up the takeaways of your case studies into bite-sized sections.
- Always use visuals and images to enrich the case study experience, especially if it’s a comprehensive case study.
3. " Rozum Robotics intensifies its PR game with Awario ," by Awario
In this case study, Awario greets the user with a summary straight away — so if you’re feeling up to reading the entire case study, you can scan the snapshot and understand how the company serves its customers. The case study then includes jump links to several sections, such as "Company Profile," "Rozum Robotics' Pains," "Challenge," "Solution," and "Results and Improvements."
The sparse copy and prominent headings show that you don’t need a lot of elaborate information to show the value of your products and services. Like the other case study examples on this list, it includes visuals and quotes to demonstrate the effectiveness of the company’s efforts. The case study ends with a bulleted list that shows the results.
Key Learnings from the Awario Robotics Case Study Example
- Create a table of contents to make your case study easier to navigate.
- Include a bulleted list of the results you achieved for your client.
4. " Chevrolet DTU ," by Carol H. Williams
If you’ve worked with a company that’s well-known, use only the name in the title — like Carol H. Williams, one of the nation’s top advertising agencies, does here. The "DTU," stands for "Discover the Unexpected." It generates interest because you want to find out what the initials mean.
They keep your interest in this case study by using a mixture of headings, images, and videos to describe the challenges, objectives, and solutions of the project. The case study closes with a summary of the key achievements that Chevrolet’s DTU Journalism Fellows reached during the project.
Key Learnings from the Carol H. Williams Case Study Example
- If you’ve worked with a big brand before, consider only using the name in the title — just enough to pique interest.
- Use a mixture of headings and subheadings to guide users through the case study.
5. " How Fractl Earned Links from 931 Unique Domains for Porch.com in a Single Year ," by Fractl
Fractl uses both text and graphic design in their Porch.com case study to immerse the viewer in a more interesting user experience. For instance, as you scroll, you'll see the results are illustrated in an infographic-design form as well as the text itself.
Further down the page, they use icons like a heart and a circle to illustrate their pitch angles, and graphs to showcase their results. Rather than writing which publications have mentioned Porch.com during Fractl’s campaign, they incorporated the media outlets’ icons for further visual diversity.
Key Learnings from the Fractl Case Study Example
- Let pictures speak for you by incorporating graphs, logos, and icons all throughout the case study.
- Start the case study by right away stating the key results, like Fractl does, instead of putting the results all the way at the bottom.
6. " The Met ," by Fantasy
What's the best way to showcase the responsiveness and user interface of a website? Probably by diving right into it with a series of simple showcases— which is exactly what Fantasy does on their case study page for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They keep the page simple and clean, inviting you to review their redesign of the Met’s website feature-by-feature.
Each section is simple, showing a single piece of the new website's interface so that users aren’t overwhelmed with information and can focus on what matters most.
If you're more interested in text, you can read the objective for each feature. Fantasy understands that, as a potential customer, this is all you need to know. Scrolling further, you're greeted with a simple "Contact Us" CTA.
Key Learnings from the Fantasy Case Study Example
- You don’t have to write a ton of text to create a great case study. Focus on the solution you delivered itself.
- Include a CTA at the bottom inviting visitors to contact you.
7. " Rovio: How Rovio Grew Into a Gaming Superpower ," by App Annie
If your client had a lot of positive things to say about you, take a note from App Annie’s Rovio case study and open up with a quote from your client. The case study also closes with a quote, so that the case study doesn’t seem like a promotion written by your marketing team but a story that’s taken straight from your client’s mouth. It includes a photo of a Rovio employee, too.
Another thing this example does well? It immediately includes a link to the product that Rovio used (namely, App Annie Intelligence) at the top of the case study. The case study closes with a call-to-action button prompting users to book a demo.
Key Learnings from the App Annie Case Study Example
- Feature quotes from your client at the beginning and end of the case study.
- Include a mention of the product right at the beginning and prompt users to learn more about the product.
8. " Embracing first-party data: 3 success stories from HubSpot ," by Think with Google
Google takes a different approach to text-focused case studies by choosing three different companies to highlight.
The case study is clean and easily scannable. It has sections for each company, with quotes and headers that clarify the way these three distinct stories connect. The simple format also uses colors and text that align with the Google brand.
Another differentiator is the focus on data. This case study is less than a thousand words, but it's packed with useful data points. Data-driven insights quickly and clearly show how the value of leveraging first-party data while prioritizing consumer privacy.
Key Learnings from the Think with Google Case Study Example
- A case study doesn’t need to be long or complex to be powerful.
- Clear data points are a quick and effective way to prove value.
9. " In-Depth Performance Marketing Case Study ," by Switch
Switch is an international marketing agency based in Malta that knocks it out of the park with this case study. Its biggest challenge is effectively communicating what it did for its client without ever revealing the client’s name. It also effectively keeps non-marketers in the loop by including a glossary of terms on page 4.
The PDF case study reads like a compelling research article, including titles like "In-Depth Performance Marketing Case Study," "Scenario," and "Approach," so that readers get a high-level overview of what the client needed and why they approached Switch. It also includes a different page for each strategy. For instance, if you’d only be interested in hiring Switch for optimizing your Facebook ads, you can skip to page 10 to see how they did it.
The PDF is fourteen pages long but features big fonts and plenty of white space, so viewers can easily skim it in only a few minutes.
Key Learnings from the Switch Case Study Example
- If you want to go into specialized information, include a glossary of terms so that non-specialists can easily understand.
- Close with a CTA page in your case study PDF and include contact information for prospective clients.
10. " Gila River ," by OH Partners
Let pictures speak for you, like OH Partners did in this case study. While you’ll quickly come across a heading and some text when you land on this case study page, you’ll get the bulk of the case study through examples of actual work OH Partners did for its client. You will see OH Partners’ work in a billboard, magazine, and video. This communicates to website visitors that if they work with OH Partners, their business will be visible everywhere.
And like the other case studies here, it closes with a summary of what the firm achieved for its client in an eye-catching way.
Key Learnings from the OH Partners Case Study Example
- Let the visuals speak by including examples of the actual work you did for your client — which is especially useful for branding and marketing agencies.
- Always close out with your achievements and how they impacted your client.
11. " Facing a Hater ," by Digitas
Digitas' case study page for Sprite’s #ILOVEYOUHATER campaign keeps it brief while communicating the key facts of Digitas’ work for the popular soda brand. The page opens with an impactful image of a hundred people facing a single man. It turns out, that man is the biggest "bully" in Argentina, and the people facing him are those whom he’s bullied before.
Scrolling down, it's obvious that Digitas kept Sprite at the forefront of their strategy, but more than that, they used real people as their focal point. They leveraged the Twitter API to pull data from Tweets that people had actually tweeted to find the identity of the biggest "hater" in the country. That turned out to be @AguanteElCofler, a Twitter user who has since been suspended.
Key Learnings from the Digitas Case Study Example
- If a video was part of your work for your client, be sure to include the most impactful screenshot as the heading.
- Don’t be afraid to provide details on how you helped your client achieve their goals, including the tools you leveraged.
12. " Better Experiences for All ," by HermanMiller
HermanMiller sells sleek, utilitarian furniture with no frills and extreme functionality, and that ethos extends to its case study page for a hospital in Dubai.
What first attracted me to this case study was the beautiful video at the top and the clean user experience. User experience matters a lot in a case study. It determines whether users will keep reading or leave. Another notable aspect of this case study is that the video includes closed-captioning for greater accessibility, and users have the option of expanding the CC and searching through the text.
HermanMiller’s case study also offers an impressive amount of information packed in just a few short paragraphs for those wanting to understand the nuances of their strategy. It closes out with a quote from their client and, most importantly, the list of furniture products that the hospital purchased from the brand.
Key Learnings from the HermanMiller Case Study Example
- Close out with a list of products that users can buy after reading the case study.
- Include accessibility features such as closed captioning and night mode to make your case study more user-friendly.
13. " Capital One on AWS ," by Amazon
Do you work continuously with your clients? Consider structuring your case study page like Amazon did in this stellar case study example. Instead of just featuring one article about Capital One and how it benefited from using AWS, Amazon features a series of articles that you can then access if you’re interested in reading more. It goes all the way back to 2016, all with different stories that feature Capital One’s achievements using AWS.
This may look unattainable for a small firm, but you don’t have to go to extreme measures and do it for every single one of your clients. You could choose the one you most wish to focus on and establish a contact both on your side and your client’s for coming up with the content. Check in every year and write a new piece. These don’t have to be long, either — five hundred to eight hundred words will do.
Key Learnings from the Amazon AWS Case Study Example
- Write a new article each year featuring one of your clients, then include links to those articles in one big case study page.
- Consider including external articles as well that emphasize your client’s success in their industry.
14. " HackReactor teaches the world to code #withAsana ," by Asana
While Asana's case study design looks text-heavy, there's a good reason. It reads like a creative story, told entirely from the customer's perspective.
For instance, Asana knows you won't trust its word alone on why this product is useful. So, they let Tony Phillips, HackReactor CEO, tell you instead: "We take in a lot of information. Our brains are awful at storage but very good at thinking; you really start to want some third party to store your information so you can do something with it."
Asana features frequent quotes from Phillips to break up the wall of text and humanize the case study. It reads like an in-depth interview and captivates the reader through creative storytelling. Even more, Asana includes in-depth detail about how HackReactor uses Asana. This includes how they build templates and workflows:
"There's a huge differentiator between Asana and other tools, and that’s the very easy API access. Even if Asana isn’t the perfect fit for a workflow, someone like me— a relatively mediocre software engineer—can add functionality via the API to build a custom solution that helps a team get more done."
Key Learnings from the Asana Example
- Include quotes from your client throughout the case study.
- Provide extensive detail on how your client worked with you or used your product.
15. " Rips Sewed, Brand Love Reaped ," by Amp Agency
Amp Agency's Patagonia marketing strategy aimed to appeal to a new audience through guerrilla marketing efforts and a coast-to-coast road trip. Their case study page effectively conveys a voyager theme, complete with real photos of Patagonia customers from across the U.S., and a map of the expedition. I liked Amp Agency's storytelling approach best. It captures viewers' attention from start to finish simply because it's an intriguing and unique approach to marketing.
Key Learnings from the Amp Agency Example
- Open up with a summary that communicates who your client is and why they reached out to you.
- Like in the other case study examples, you’ll want to close out with a quantitative list of your achievements.
16. " NetApp ," by Evisort
Evisort opens up its NetApp case study with an at-a-glance overview of the client. It’s imperative to always focus on the client in your case study — not on your amazing product and equally amazing team. By opening up with a snapshot of the client’s company, Evisort places the focus on the client.
This case study example checks all the boxes for a great case study that’s informative, thorough, and compelling. It includes quotes from the client and details about the challenges NetApp faced during the COVID pandemic. It closes out with a quote from the client and with a link to download the case study in PDF format, which is incredibly important if you want your case study to be accessible in a wider variety of formats.
Key Learnings from the Evisort Example
- Place the focus immediately on your client by including a snapshot of their company.
- Mention challenging eras, such as a pandemic or recession, to show how your company can help your client succeed even during difficult times.
17. " Copernicus Land Monitoring – CLC+ Core ," by Cloudflight
Including highly specialized information in your case study is an effective way to show prospects that you’re not just trying to get their business. You’re deep within their industry, too, and willing to learn everything you need to learn to create a solution that works specifically for them.
Cloudflight does a splendid job at that in its Copernicus Land Monitoring case study. While the information may be difficult to read at first glance, it will capture the interest of prospects who are in the environmental industry. It thus shows Cloudflight’s value as a partner much more effectively than a general case study would.
The page is comprehensive and ends with a compelling call-to-action — "Looking for a solution that automates, and enhances your Big Data system? Are you struggling with large datasets and accessibility? We would be happy to advise and support you!" The clean, whitespace-heavy page is an effective example of using a case study to capture future leads.
Key Learnings from the Cloudflight Case Study Example
- Don’t be afraid to get technical in your explanation of what you did for your client.
- Include a snapshot of the sales representative prospects should contact, especially if you have different sales reps for different industries, like Cloudflight does.
18. " Valvoline Increases Coupon Send Rate by 76% with Textel’s MMS Picture Texting ," by Textel
If you’re targeting large enterprises with a long purchasing cycle, you’ll want to include a wealth of information in an easily transferable format. That’s what Textel does here in its PDF case study for Valvoline. It greets the user with an eye-catching headline that shows the value of using Textel. Valvoline saw a significant return on investment from using the platform.
Another smart decision in this case study is highlighting the client’s quote by putting it in green font and doing the same thing for the client’s results because it helps the reader quickly connect the two pieces of information. If you’re in a hurry, you can also take a look at the "At a Glance" column to get the key facts of the case study, starting with information about Valvoline.
Key Learnings from the Textel Case Study Example
- Include your client’s ROI right in the title of the case study.
- Add an "At a Glance" column to your case study PDF to make it easy to get insights without needing to read all the text.
19. " Hunt Club and Happeo — a tech-enabled love story ," by Happeo
In this blog-post-like case study, Happeo opens with a quote from the client, then dives into a compelling heading: "Technology at the forefront of Hunt Club's strategy." Say you’re investigating Happeo as a solution and consider your firm to be technology-driven. This approach would spark your curiosity about why the client chose to work with Happeo. It also effectively communicates the software’s value proposition without sounding like it’s coming from an in-house marketing team.
Every paragraph is a quote written from the customer’s perspective. Later down the page, the case study also dives into "the features that changed the game for Hunt Club," giving Happeo a chance to highlight some of the platform’s most salient features.
Key Learnings from the Happeo Case Study Example
- Consider writing the entirety of the case study from the perspective of the customer.
- Include a list of the features that convinced your client to go with you.
20. " Red Sox Season Campaign ," by CTP Boston
What's great about CTP's case study page for their Red Sox Season Campaign is their combination of video, images, and text. A video automatically begins playing when you visit the page, and as you scroll, you'll see more embedded videos of Red Sox players, a compilation of print ads, and social media images you can click to enlarge.
At the bottom, it says "Find out how we can do something similar for your brand." The page is clean, cohesive, and aesthetically pleasing. It invites viewers to appreciate the well-roundedness of CTP's campaign for Boston's beloved baseball team.
Key Learnings from the CTP Case Study Example
- Include a video in the heading of the case study.
- Close with a call-to-action that makes leads want to turn into prospects.
21. " Acoustic ," by Genuine
Sometimes, simple is key. Genuine's case study for Acoustic is straightforward and minimal, with just a few short paragraphs, including "Reimagining the B2B website experience," "Speaking to marketers 1:1," and "Inventing Together." After the core of the case study, we then see a quote from Acoustic’s CMO and the results Genuine achieved for the company.
The simplicity of the page allows the reader to focus on both the visual aspects and the copy. The page displays Genuine's brand personality while offering the viewer all the necessary information they need.
- You don’t need to write a lot to create a great case study. Keep it simple.
- Always include quantifiable data to illustrate the results you achieved for your client.
22. " Using Apptio Targetprocess Automated Rules in Wargaming ," by Apptio
Apptio’s case study for Wargaming summarizes three key pieces of information right at the beginning: The goals, the obstacles, and the results.
Readers then have the opportunity to continue reading — or they can walk away right then with the information they need. This case study also excels in keeping the human interest factor by formatting the information like an interview.
The piece is well-organized and uses compelling headers to keep the reader engaged. Despite its length, Apptio's case study is appealing enough to keep the viewer's attention. Every Apptio case study ends with a "recommendation for other companies" section, where the client can give advice for other companies that are looking for a similar solution but aren’t sure how to get started.
Key Learnings from the Apptio Case Study Example
- Put your client in an advisory role by giving them the opportunity to give recommendations to other companies that are reading the case study.
- Include the takeaways from the case study right at the beginning so prospects quickly get what they need.
23. " Airbnb + Zendesk: building a powerful solution together ," by Zendesk
Zendesk's Airbnb case study reads like a blog post, and focuses equally on Zendesk and Airbnb, highlighting a true partnership between the companies. To captivate readers, it begins like this: "Halfway around the globe is a place to stay with your name on it. At least for a weekend."
The piece focuses on telling a good story and provides photographs of beautiful Airbnb locations. In a case study meant to highlight Zendesk's helpfulness, nothing could be more authentic than their decision to focus on Airbnb's service in such great detail.
Key Learnings from the Zendesk Case Study Example
- Include images of your client’s offerings — not necessarily of the service or product you provided. Notice how Zendesk doesn’t include screenshots of its product.
- Include a call-to-action right at the beginning of the case study. Zendesk gives you two options: to find a solution or start a trial.
24. " Biobot Customer Success Story: Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida ," by Biobot
Like some of the other top examples in this list, Biobot opens its case study with a quote from its client, which captures the value proposition of working with Biobot. It mentions the COVID pandemic and goes into detail about the challenges the client faced during this time.
This case study is structured more like a news article than a traditional case study. This format can work in more formal industries where decision-makers need to see in-depth information about the case. Be sure to test different methods and measure engagement .
Key Learnings from the Biobot Case Study Example
- Mention environmental, public health, or economic emergencies and how you helped your client get past such difficult times.
- Feel free to write the case study like a normal blog post, but be sure to test different methods to find the one that best works for you.
25. " Discovering Cost Savings With Efficient Decision Making ," by Gartner
You don't always need a ton of text or a video to convey your message — sometimes, you just need a few paragraphs and bullet points. Gartner does a fantastic job of quickly providing the fundamental statistics a potential customer would need to know, without boggling down their readers with dense paragraphs. The case study closes with a shaded box that summarizes the impact that Gartner had on its client. It includes a quote and a call-to-action to "Learn More."
Key Learnings from the Gartner Case Study Example
- Feel free to keep the case study short.
- Include a call-to-action at the bottom that takes the reader to a page that most relates to them.
26. " Bringing an Operator to the Game ," by Redapt
This case study example by Redapt is another great demonstration of the power of summarizing your case study’s takeaways right at the start of the study. Redapt includes three easy-to-scan columns: "The problem," "the solution," and "the outcome." But its most notable feature is a section titled "Moment of clarity," which shows why this particular project was difficult or challenging.
The section is shaded in green, making it impossible to miss. Redapt does the same thing for each case study. In the same way, you should highlight the "turning point" for both you and your client when you were working toward a solution.
Key Learnings from the Redapt Case Study Example
- Highlight the turning point for both you and your client during the solution-seeking process.
- Use the same structure (including the same headings) for your case studies to make them easy to scan and read.
27. " Virtual Call Center Sees 300% Boost In Contact Rate ," by Convoso
Convoso’s PDF case study for Digital Market Media immediately mentions the results that the client achieved and takes advantage of white space. On the second page, the case study presents more influential results. It’s colorful and engaging and closes with a spread that prompts readers to request a demo.
Key Learnings from the Convoso Case Study Example
- List the results of your work right at the beginning of the case study.
- Use color to differentiate your case study from others. Convoso’s example is one of the most colorful ones on this list.
28. " Ensuring quality of service during a pandemic ," by Ericsson
Ericsson’s case study page for Orange Spain is an excellent example of using diverse written and visual media — such as videos, graphs, and quotes — to showcase the success a client experienced. Throughout the case study, Ericsson provides links to product and service pages users might find relevant as they’re reading the study.
For instance, under the heading "Preloaded with the power of automation," Ericsson mentions its Ericsson Operations Engine product, then links to that product page. It closes the case study with a link to another product page.
Key Learnings from the Ericsson Case Study Example
- Link to product pages throughout the case study so that readers can learn more about the solution you offer.
- Use multimedia to engage users as they read the case study.
Start creating your case study.
Now that you've got a great list of examples of case studies, think about a topic you'd like to write about that highlights your company or work you did with a customer.
A customer’s success story is the most persuasive marketing material you could ever create. With a strong portfolio of case studies, you can ensure prospects know why they should give you their business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Posted at: 11/22/2023 1:30 PM
In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, staying ahead of trends, understanding industry challenges, and grasping the pulse of consumer behavior are paramount. If you're looking to gain valuable insights from the professionals shaping the marketing world, conducting surveys can be an invaluable tool. In this blog post, our online survey company shares our secrets to crafting effective surveys that resonate with marketing professionals and yield actionable insights. Value of Surveying
Customer Exit Surveys: Tips & Example Questions
Posted at: 11/20/2023 6:30 PM
In the dynamic landscape of business, understanding why customers choose to discontinue their engagement is just as crucial as attracting new ones. A great channel for collecting feedback is a customer exit survey which unveils insights into the minds of departing customers. In this blog post, we'll explore the significance of exit surveys, offering valuable tips on how to optimize your approach. Additionally, our intercept survey company provides you with a curated list of example questions th
Surveying Physicians: Process, Tips & Examples
by Emily Rodgers
Posted at: 10/23/2023 12:30 PM
In the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare, understanding the perspectives of physicians is invaluable. Surveying physicians can offer crucial insights into their experiences, challenges, and preferences, ultimately leading to improved patient care and more effective healthcare systems. Whether you're a healthcare administrator, researcher, or simply someone passionate about enhancing medical practices, conducting a physician survey can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. In this blog
How to Recruit Influencers for Market Research
Posted at: 10/10/2023 12:30 PM
Content creators and bloggers have taken the marketing world by storm. As a result, many brands are turning to social media influencers to promote their brand, products, and services. Recruiting influencers for market research is a great first step to mastering influencer marketing. It provides brands with the insights needed to target, plan, and launch a successful influencer referral program. Because this is a newer marketing strategy for most businesses, it is critical to rely on data-dr
Restaurant Focus Groups: Your Recipe for Success
Posted at: 10/6/2023 12:30 PM
In the ever-evolving landscape of the culinary world, understanding the preferences of your customers is incredibly important. Enter: Restaurant focus groups. These curated groups of diners offer a direct line into the minds (and palates) of your target audience, providing insights that can transform your eatery into a dining destination of choice. In this blog post, our restaurant market research company explores focus groups: what they are, their value in the restaurant industry, and exam
Copy Testing Surveys: How to Use Data-Driven Copywriting
by Tim Gell
Posted at: 9/18/2023 12:30 PM
In the fast-paced world of marketing, crafting compelling copy is an art form that can make or break a campaign. But how do you know if your words are truly resonating with your target audience? This is where copy testing surveys step in as invaluable tools, offering a window into the minds of your target customers and providing critical insights into the effectiveness of your messaging. In this blog post, our advertising market research company dives deeper into copy testing surveys, explorin
Recruiting Participants for Market Research [2024 Guide]
Posted at: 9/14/2023 12:30 PM
A critically important piece of market research is recruiting reputable, high-quality participants. But why? The group of people recruited for focus groups, in-depth interviews, in-home usage tests, or other types of market research methods represents a much larger target audience that a company or brand is trying to reach. To provide some guidance, this ultimate guide offers our greatest thinking about all elements of qualitative recruiting: best practices, common mistakes, step-by-step pro
Skincare Statistics and Trends in 2023
Posted at: 8/24/2023 12:30 PM
In an era where self-care and wellness take center stage, understanding the statistics and trends behind skincare can provide a fascinating glimpse into the evolving preferences, practices, and innovations shaping the way we nurture our skin. To discover the latest beauty industry trends, Drive Research surveyed over 1,000 women across the world. From the hours spent on skincare routines to unique beauty hacks, here is what our research found. Top Skincare Statistics [Editor's Choice] Moist
Market Research with Alternative Medicine Patients
by Ashley Reynolds
Posted at: 8/17/2023 12:30 PM
Alternative and complementary medicine is not that far out of the norm for the United States. In fact, studies show 38% of adults use some form of complementary and alternative medicine that's nearly half! With this on the rise, many healthcare professionals are looking to conduct market research with alternative medicine patients to learn more about their preferences, factors in choosing providers, and more. All with the intention of using the data to drive decision-making. For instance, ou
Brand Naming Research: How to Choose the Best Business Name
Posted at: 8/1/2023 12:30 PM
Finding the perfect business name is no easy feat, and it requires a strategic approach that combines creativity, market research, and a deep understanding of your brand's values and objectives. In this blog post, we will walk you through the essential steps of brand naming research, providing valuable insights and practical tips to help you make an informed decision that resonates with your audience and sets you apart from the competition. Interested in conducting brand naming research? Dri
Conducting a Diversity and Inclusion Survey [+ Example Questions]
Posted at: 7/7/2023 12:30 PM
Conducting a diversity and inclusion survey is a powerful tool for organizations seeking to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace or community. By gathering valuable data on the representation, experiences, and perceptions of different groups, these surveys provide insights that can inform strategic initiatives, policies, and programs. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of conducting a diversity and inclusion survey and provide you with the step-by-step survey proces
Conducting Market Research for Alcohol Brands [With Examples]
Posted at: 6/13/2023 12:39 PM
Market research is a vital tool for alcohol brands seeking to understand their target consumers, identify emerging trends, and make data-driven decisions in a highly competitive industry. With ever-evolving consumer preferences and a dynamic market landscape, conducting thorough research is crucial to gain a competitive edge. From surveys and focus groups to observational research, this blog post explores the various market research methods available to alcohol brands and highlights their va
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Below is a list of case studies detailing some of Decision Analyst’s experiences, from innovation and qualitative research to quantitative research, to advanced analytics and predictive analytics. You can view each article by clicking on the title.
A Decision Analyst Proprietary Panel of Users
Category: Tanning Products Methods: Proprietary Panel; Custom Research Panel; Tracking Research; Qualitative Research; Quantitative Research; Attitude, Usage, & Behavior Research Summary: A large consumer packaged-goods company wanted to gain insights into two consumer groups’ attitudes, usage, and behaviors toward tanning products over a period of 16 months.
A Fistful of (Electronic) Dollars
Category: Gift Cards Methods: Market-Share Tracking, Consumer Trends Summary: Decision Analyst recommended using quantitative surveys among both purchasers and recipients to capture gift card market share, as well as a deep dive into the motivations and behaviors surrounding a gift card purchase.
A Hair-Raising Global Tracking Study
Category: Beauty Products Methods: Product Awareness and Usage, International Research, Product Attributes, Incidence, Customer Target Profile Summary: An international innovator of premium beauty products targeted to women wanted to better understand hair care needs and product usage among females in four countries.
A Model of Customer Loyalty
Category: Insurance Methods: Advanced Analytics, Brand Equity Modeling, Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty, Customer Loyalty Modeling, Customer Loyalty Simulator™ Summary: Decision Analyst’s Customer Loyalty Simulator ™ was integral in empowering the client to make decisions about how to improve the brand.
A Qualitative Approach to Understanding the Path-to-Purchase
Category: Cosmetic Methods: In-Person Focus Groups, Virtual-Ethnography (Remote Desktop Viewing), Path-to-Purchase, Time- Extended™ Qualitative Summary: Management wanted to identify and understand why cosmetics’ users read reviews, shop and buy online vs. in store and how they might stop or reverse this trend to online, or possibly take better advantage of the online channel.
A Rose of Any Other Color...
Category: Children's Toys Methods: Package Testing, Virtual Shopping, Advanced Analytics, Quantitative Research, Shopper Insights Summary: Consumer research was carefully crafted to understand shoppers’ reactions to the revised packages, and ultimately revealed that the proposed changes would benefit the brand.
Advertising Research: Benchmarking New Ads for a Restaurant
Category: Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Methods: Quantitative Research, Advertising Research, Benchmarking Summary: The client wanted to understand consumers’ attitudes about the advertisements in order to determine if the advertisements were up to the company’s standards and were communicating the intended messages and positioning.
Advertising Testing Among Hispanics
Category: Retail Methods: Advertising Research (Copy Testing), Hispanic Research Summary: Decision Analyst’s CopyTest® system and proprietary SellingPower™ analytical model calculated overall advertising effectiveness and suggested how to increase the ads’ cultural relevance.
Benefit Pricing: Optimizing The Price Point for a Product Line Extension
Category: Consumer Health and Beauty Products Methods: New Product Concept Testing Summary: A leading global manufacturer of consumer health and beauty products was considering adding a new product to its current line.
Card Sorting and Concept Testing Among Seniors
Category: Insurance Company Methods: Concept Testing, Market Evaluation Summary: Decision Analyst recommended a two-part project: a card-sort survey to determine the market potential and identify the most desired benefits, followed by a concept test to identify the most promising concept and determine the optimal price points.
China: A New World of Possibilities
Category: Skincare System Methods: Time-Extended™ Online Focus Group, Global Research, Research in China Summary: A multinational personal-care products manufacturer was interested in expanding its skincare business in China and wanted to identify the unique needs and applications to deliver a pipeline of skincare products specially designed for Asian consumers.
Changing The Game In The Electric Vehicle Arena Accelerating Consumer Adoption Of The Electric Truck
Category: Automotive Research Methods: Choice Modeling, DecisionSimulator™ Summary: Our client wanted to know what consumers wanted, but more importantly, what they “needed” in an electric light-duty truck that would make it more appealing than competitor models.
Choice Modeling: Testing Product and Service Bundles
Category: Technology Products and Services Methods: Advanced Analytics, Choice Modeling Summary: Decision Analyst conducted research to develop a consumer-configured list of preferred product and service bundles to offer.
Choosing Advertising Approaches Between Alternative Storyboards
Category: Automotive Parts Manufacturer Methods: CopyTest®, Advertising Research Summary: Our client asked us to conduct a study that would determine which ads would be the most effective at communicating the message to their target audience.
Combining Survey Choice Modeling With Customer-Database Predictive Modeling
Category: Utilities Methods: Advanced Analytics, Customer-Database Predictive Modeling, Hierarchical Bayes Choice Modeling Summary: Decision Analyst’s client wished to directly predict the receptivity of its customers and prospects to a wide variety of promotion and pricing features of electricity plans.
Category: Automotive Aftermarket Methods: Concept Testing, Purchase Motivation, Brand Positioning Summary: A leading producer and distributor of aftermarket fluids and additives was considering a reformulation of its top-selling, trademarked product.
Consumer Health-Monitoring Device Optimization
Category: CPG – Health & Beauty Aids) Methods: Discrete Choice Exercise, Hierarchical Bayes Choice Model, Price Elasticities, Optimization Model, Sales Forecast Summary: An company was launching a new, noninvasive health monitoring device and wanted to assess and optimize the product’s features and understand the optimal product’s likely performance in the market via a sales forecast.
Convenience Store Product Assortment Optimization
Category: CPG–Beverages Methods: TURF Summary: A dairy product company was interested in determining the optimal assortment of coffee creamer flavors to maximize reach and usage frequency in the convenience store channel.
Consumer Pulse Tracking In The Paper-Product Market
Category: Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Methods: Attitude & Usage, Purchase Behavior, Key Drivers Summary: A leading manufacturer of sustainable household products wanted to better understand consumers’ usage and perceptions across four household categories.
CopyCheck® of Animatic Ads
Category: Insurance Methods: CopyCheck®, Advertising Research Summary: A major health insurance provider wanted to know which of its new advertising concepts would resonate the most with potential customers. Decision Analyst recommend our proprietary CopyCheck® system.
Database Analytics: Developing Strategic Value From a Consumer Affairs Database
Category: Food Product Manufacturer Methods: Database Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Geospatial Analysis, Data Cleaning, Customer Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction Summary: The Consumer Affairs department wanted to develop the strategic value of the database and also wanted to improve methods used to deal with consumer inquiries and potential problems. Using sophisticated data cleaning and exploratory methods, geospatial analysis, and standard market research analysis methods, Decision Analyst was able to illuminate patterns in the data.
Determining the Relationship Between Consumption and Household Income
Category: Utilities Methods: Advanced Analytics, Predictive Modeling, Predictive Analytics Summary: A major utility company wished to understand the relationship between consumption of their product and their clients’ household income in order to address pricing issues raised by the regulatory authority. S
Category: Personal Care Product Manufacturer Methods: In-The-Moment Research ; Diary Panel; Tracking Research ; Market Assessment, Ethnography Summary: A personal-care-product manufacturer wanted to understand and quantify consumers’ personal hygiene routines in order to identify new opportunities or marketing campaigns for an existing product.
E-Commerce Econometric Modeling of Promotions and Media Mix
Category: E-Commerce, Consumer Goods Methods: Econometric Modeling, Advanced Analytics, Predictive Modeling Summary: A Fortune 1000 consumer-goods firm wished to identify patterns and trends in its retailer’s e-commerce sales and promotions.
Finding That Revolutionary New Product! Using Choice Modeling to Refine a New Product Concept
Category: Automotive Methods: Choice Modeling, Latent-Class Segmentation, Volumetric Forecasting, Market Simulation Summary: The OEM asked Decision Analyst to design a consumer research program to help them understand the potential for this new product concept they envisioned.
Food Ingredient Consumer-Opinion Research
Category: Food Manufacturer Methods: Online Consumer Survey Summary: A manufacturer of food and beverage products wanted to gauge consumer reactions to various nutrition and ingredient labels listing different sugars, fibers, and starches.
Forecasting: Alternative-Fuel Vehicle Research
Category: Automotive Methods: Advanced Analytics, DecisionSimulator™, Market Simulation Summary: Forecasting consumer demand for several alternative-fuel technologies within five segments.
Fueling Up: International Advertising Research
Category: Retail Automotive Fuel Products Methods: Global Marketing Research, Advertising Research (Copy Testing) Summary: A global automotive fuel company tested its advertising in multiple countries to improve clarity, recall, brand registration, persuasion, and other key elements. Insights taken from Decision Analyst’s monadic CopyTest® made the ads more successful.
Games People Play
Category: Electronic Games Methods: Focus Groups, Depth Interviews, Projective Techniques, Motivational Research Summary: At the dawn of the digital age, a major international manufacturer of electronic systems and components assigned a team of engineers to develop digital games for the new electronic devices then emerging.
Category: Gift Cards Methods: Customer Loyalty, Awareness and Usage, Customer Satisfaction, Tracking Study Summary: A multinational food and beverage chain wanted to measure over time the awareness and usage of its frequent user/gift card program and its impact on customer loyalty.
Global Celebrity Index—An International Star Search
Category: Health and Beauty Aids—Cosmetics Methods: Global Marketing Research, Custom Indexing Methodology Summary: A major multinational cosmetics manufacturer sought a celebrity spokesperson to use across global markets. Decision Analyst developed a comprehensive index score based on over 15 variables and collected data simultaneously in 11 countries and in 9 languages.
Hospital System Advertising Testing Better And Faster With Big Qual
Category: Hospital System Methods: Sequential-Monadic Testing, Big Qual, Qualitative Research, Advertising Testing Summary: A hospital system was interested in assessing four advertising concepts at the storyboard (post-scripts) phase before moving into final television production of the winning ad.
Hospital System Improvement Qualitative Research Among Hospital Customers
Category: Hospital System Methods: Customer Research, Qualitative Research Summary: A hospital system was interested in conducting exploratory qualitative research among past-5-year customers and potential new customers to understand their hospital-selection process, perceptions of each hospital, and associations and gaps among 3 hospitals within their system and competitor hospitals in the area.
Hotel Services Innovation Program
Category: Hospitality Methods: Qualitative Research, Ideation, Quantitative Research, New Product Concept Development & Refinement, Advanced Analytics, MaxDiff Latent Class Choice Model Summary: A major hotel chain was interested in developing relevant and actionable new products and services designed to target the business traveler, and to project potential market appeal for each concept.
I Beg Your Pardon? (The Value of Unexpected Research Results)
Category: Business-to-Business (B2B) Electronics Methods: Profiling, International Research, Business-to-Business (B2B) Research, Attitude/Awareness/Usage Research, Diagnostic Research, Problem Solving, Teamwork Summary: A leading device manufacturer discovered that previously-held beliefs about the philosophical differences between U.S. and Italian office workers that were driving marketing simply weren’t accurate at all. The research that was originally designed to identify how to penetrate a market was ultimately used to identify how to encourage switching from a competitor’s product.
Identifying the Product Claims that will Drive Consumer Interest
Category: National Food Manufacturer Methods: MaxDiff, Claims Testing Summary: The client had a list of more than 50 product claims that were applicable to multiple grocery categories. They needed an efficient way to determine which claims their marketing should focus on.
Improving Customer Satisfaction for a Utility Company
Category: Utility Methods: Customer Satisfaction, Customer Segmentation, Business-to-Business Research, Consumer Research Summary: A major national utility company was suffering from low customer satisfaction ratings and needed a plan to identify problems and address the issues in a timely manner.
Ingredients for Success: A Global Look at Health- and Beauty-Care Ingredients
Category: Health and Beauty Care Methods: International Research, Analytical Modeling Summary: A major multinational consumer health-and-beauty product manufacturer wanted to determine and anticipate the next big “ingredient” that could revolutionize its segment of the health-and-beauty industry. Leveraging the American Consumer Opinion® panel an online survey was conducted across several countries.
Key Drivers of Store Sales
Category: Retail Methods: Advanced Analytics, Predictive Modeling, Sales Predictive Modeling Summary: Decision Analyst developed a predictive model of store sales per square foot from customer-satisfaction surveys, 9.4 million records. The model was used to identify key drivers of sales and indicators of store performance, enabling the client to prioritize stores for improvement initiatives.
Look Before Leaping
Category: Salty Snacks Methods: Concept Testing, Product Testing, In-Home Usage Testing, Pii® Product Improvement Index, Volumetric Forecasting, Sales Forecasting, Conceptor® Forecasting Models Summary: Decision Analyst conducted a large concept test, followed by in-home usage product tests for each major flavor of the new salty snack, and forecasted in-market sales volume with its Conceptor® forecasting models.
Life & Disability Insurance Abandoners Exploratory Qualitative
Category: Life & Disability Insurance Company Methods: Qualitative Research Summary: An insurance company noticed that an increasing number of potential customers abandoned their new insurance purchase after underwriting and approval but before paying their initial bill to begin their new policy. Qualitative research was leveraged to uncover the reasons for policy abandonment.
Category: Automotive Methods: Market Evaluation, Quantitative Research, Market Overview Summary: A multinational automotive manufacturer (OEM) with no previous experience in the U.S. market was considering whether or not to attempt to introduce an all-new vehicle into the U.S. The need was to gain a fundamental understanding of the U.S. owner and intender of vehicles in one particular segment of the market.
Market Mix Modeling: Measuring Return From Advertising in the Fresh-Food Industry
Category: Fresh Food Manufacturer Methods: Advertising Research (Copy Testing), Promotion Research, Marketing Mix Modeling, Econometric Modeling, DecisionSimulator™ Summary: A major manufacturer of a fresh-food product wanted to know how much stimulation of sales could be expected per Target Rating Point of advertising.
Market Needs Assessment: Qualitative Research Among Physicians
Category: Pharmaceuticals Methods: New Product Development, Qualitative Research, Physician Research Summary: A pharmaceutical company was interested in developing a new product for the treatment of a cronic disease.
MaxDiff Modeling For Healthy Snack-Food Flavor Optimization
Category: Health Snack Food Manufacturer Methods: MaxDiff Analysis, Analytical Consulting, Choice Modeling Summary: Decision Analyst used MaxDiff modeling to determine which new flavors would increase sales.
Maximum Difference (MaxDiff) Scaling
Category: Cooking Oil Methods: MaxDiff Analysis, Analytical Consulting, Choice Modeling, Hierarchical Bayes Estimation, Claims Testing Summary: A Choice Modeling project was conducted to identify the table spread products most likely to experience an increase in sales by including the cooking oil as a key ingredient.
Measuring Customer Satisfaction Among Preowned Vehicle Buyers
Category: Vehicle Dealer Methods: Customer Satisfaction Tracking, Online Survey, Preowned Buyer Survey, Quantitative Mail Survey, Tracking Research Summary: As a premium automobile retailer with multiple locations, our client has a very strong customer service culture. Decision Analyst updated and automated their customer satisfaction program for preowned cars.
Millennial Imaginators®: Ideation and Concept Refinement In the Hotel Industry
Category: Hospitality, Tourism, Innovation, Millennials Methods: Concept Refinement, Millennials, Imaginators®, Innovation Summary: A leading, global hotel chain wanted to engage creative, forward-thinking Millennials to cocreate some distinct urban-hotel concepts with them.
Mother Knows Best
Category: Childcare Products and Accessories Methods: Concept Testing, Product Testing, In-Home Usage Testing Summary: The research was designed to help diversify, expand, and improve the product line, and, ultimately, to refine and optimize the growth strategy that would allow the company to develop into a global brand.
Category: Healthcare System Methods: Ideation, Name Generation, Name Testing Summary: A large healthcare system asked Decision Analyst to generate, iterate, and then quantitatively test new names for several new healthcare facilities.
Never Trust an Engineer
Category: Electronic Calculators, Mathematics Training Methods: Focus Groups, Depth Interviews, Ethnography, Telephone Survey Summary: A large, worldwide manufacturer of electronic components and devices developed handheld calculators and mathematics training program for children in the first, second, and third grades.
New Car Clinic
Category: Automotive Methods: Advanced Analytics, Discrete-Choice Modeling, Focus-Group Qualitative Research, Quantitative Static Clinic Summary: A multinational automobile manufacturer sought to introduce a new vehicle into a segment of the market that technically did not exist at that time.
New Employee Onboarding: Measuring Training Satisfaction
Category: Package Goods Company – Human Resources, Employee Retention Methods: Online Quantitative, Employee Research, Tracking Research Summary: The overarching objective was to help optimize the onboarding process and reduce turnover. Decision Analyst designed a 2 phase research program to help improve the training and onboarding program and increase employee retention.
New Therapy Development & Optimization Research
Category: Medical Device Methods: Feature Optimization, Conjoint Modeling, Choice Modeling, Multi-Phase, Multi-Audience (Consumers & HCPs) Summary: A cross-functional team of academics, scientists, and researchers from a private research university received an NIH grant to develop a new medication. To help the new medication be successful and widely adopted in the marketplace, research was conducted to decide which features needed to be included in the product.
New Product Concept Test: Discovering Key Drivers of Product Preference
New product development.
Category: Medical Devices Methods: New Product Development Research, Concept Testing, Physician Research, Needs Assessment Research Summary: An implantable device manufacturer was interested in bolstering its new product development process by conducting unmet-needs research among implanting physicians.
New Product Positioning and Name Testing Among Professionals
Category: Medical Devices Methods: New Product Development, Positioning Test, Name Testing Summary: A global healthcare company that develops products and systems for in-home use and testing was planning a new product introduction. The company wanted to determine the best product name and to identify a compelling positioning statement to use in marketing the product.
New Vehicle Launch Evaluation
Category: Automotive OEM Methods: Automotive Research, Quantitative Research, Intender Survey, New Buyer Survey, Competitive Buyer Survey Summary: A global automotive OEM was launching a redesigned version of its best-selling vehicle in the U.S. In order to provide a holistic view of the market reaction, Decision Analyst partnered in designing and implementing a research program that provided insights.
Niche Market Opportunities Research Among Healthcare Professionals
Category: Health & Wellness Product Methods: Market Perception Study, Needs Assessment Survey, Healthcare Professionals Survey Summary: A leading maker of health and wellness products wanted to identify barriers and opportunities in a niche market in order to improve its market position in the industry.
Category: Premium Packaged Goods Methods: Depth Interviews, Projective Techniques, Motivational Research, Survey Research, Advanced Analytics, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Packaged Goods Summary: Our client’s brand was among the first of its kind, had been on the market for decades, and had maintained market share, yet our client wanted the brand to do more than just survive. Our consumer research identified “key pillars” for the brand, which have helped propel it far beyond previous success and into new markets around the world.
Omnichannel Shopper Experience: Multiphased Qualitative Research
Category: Beauty Products Manufacturer Methods: In-Person Focus Groups, Qualitative Research, Remote Desktop Viewing, Screen Sharing, Time-Extended™ Online In-Depth Interviews, Virtual Ethnography Summary: A multiphase qualitative approach was used to gain a deep understanding of consumers’ needs, desires, shopping experiences, and shopping decision-making behaviors, both in store and online.
On the Right Track: Consumer Packaged Goods Brand Tracking
Category: Consumer Packaged Goods Methods: Advertising Research (Copy Testing), Analytical Consulting, Choice Modeling, Attitudinal Research, Brand Equity Monitor™, Key Driver Analysis, Tracking Research Summary: A domestic tool manufacturer wanted to track the category’s (and its own) brand and advertising awareness, in addition to attitudes and usage.
Online Qualitative, Time-Extended™: Acheiving Deeper Insights After Quantitative Research
Category: Casual Dining Methods: Casual Dining Positioning, Menu Evaluation, Online Depth Interviews, Time-Extended™ Online Qualitative Research Summary: Time-Extended™ online depth interviews were conducted to provide an intimate understanding of the consumer relationship with the brand and its current menu offerings.
Package Testing With A Shelf Set
Category: Packaged Goods (CPG) Methods: Online Survey With Shelf Set, Package Testing, Shopper Research Summary: The brand was very successful at retail, and changing the packaging could potentially have a negative impact on sales if consumers were confused by the change. The company was planning for the next sales cycle and needed to quickly determine in an efficient way which package option they should move forward with in manufacturing.
Paving the Path to Purchase: Identifying the Decision-Making Process for B2B Customers
Category: Manufacturer Methods: Business-to-Business Research, Key Driver Analysis, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Path to Purchase, Time-Extended™ Online Research Summary: A manufacturer of products for workplace usage wanted to increase its knowledge about the path to purchase—how and why business customers buy their products—in order to effectively reach them with the right content at the right place and time.
Physicians Insurance Brand Equity Segmentation
Category: Insurance Company Methods: Physician Research, Brand Equity, Market Segmentation Summary: In addition to understanding awareness, attitudes, and usage habits, brand equity analysis and a market segmentation were also needed to fully assess the company’s current place in the market, and which groups of physicians may be the best targets for certain products and messages.
Category: Retail—Toys Methods: Qualitative Research, In-Person Qualitative Research Summary: An American production and distribution company needed to explore consumer attitudes, usage, and perceptions of its line of plush toys that accompanied its popular children’s TV show. Insights from the focus groups improved the toy, its marketing, and the show, and the client even gained merchandising opportunities.
Point of Presence Research
Category: Telecommunications Methods: In-Store, Digital Display Testing, Customer Experience Optimization, Promotion Testing Summary: Decision Analyst’s client was introducing informational and advertising-oriented, digital display kiosks in its stores nationwide. Prior to rolling out these free-standing digital fixtures, management wanted to test the overall impact of their digital display screen content, as well as the effectiveness and operations of display orientation, sound, and interactivity.
Positioning Test With Segmentation
Category: Kitchen Appliance System Methods: Positioning Test, Market Segmentation, Latent Class Cluster Analysis Summary: A major consumer-packaged-goods company and a large appliance manufacturer sought to identify a compelling, differentiating positioning for its kitchen system. Decision Analyst’s segmentation technique enabled the client to select an attractive, ownable positioning for the product’s successful launch.
Predicting and Optimizing Website Lead Generation
Category: Online Lead Generation Methods: Correlation/Cluster Analysis, Predictive Modeling, Cross-Validation, Simulation Modeling, Advanced Analytics Summary: Predictive analytics was applied to data obtained from forms filled out on the website, page views, and lead generation. The resulting predictive models were used to adjust relative spending on different clusters of web pages, maximizing ROI in terms of lead generation.
Predicting Patient Noncompliance Based On Geographic Location
Category: Healthcare Methods: Predictive Modeling, Logistic Regression, Random Forest™, Advanced Analytics Summary: Decision Analyst explored the use of self-reported behavior from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) to develop predictive models of noncompliant patients.
Product Line Extension
Category: Over-The-Counter Medicine Methods: Choice Modeling, Advanced Analytics, DecisionSimulators™ Summary: An over-the-counter drug manufacturer was interested in understanding the market implications of offering a new, higher-strength product to supplement their product line.
Product Line Optimization
Category: Personal Care Manufacturer Methods: Choice Modeling, DecisionSimulator™, Product Line Optimization Summary: A global manufacturer of specialty personal-care products needed to develop a response to major changes made to the category leader's product line.
Proprietary Panel for Customer Satisfaction
Category: Managed-Care Company Methods: Customer Satisfaction, Private Online Panel Summary: Decision Analyst created, managed, and hosted an online survey panel for the managed care company. The panel allowed easy access to representatives in the PPN and provided a mechanism for feedback on a variety of planned changes and improvements in the ways that providers interact with the company.
Purchase Probability Modeling: Lead Classification System for a Cloud-Based Product
Category: B2B Software Methods: Purchase Probability Modeling, Predictive Modeling, Business-to-Business (B2B) Research, Sales Lead Classification, International Research Summary: A logistic regression model was developed that predicted the likelihood that a prospect would consider subscribing to the hosted service. The model was incorporated into an interactive scoring tool that allowed the sales force to enter prospect responses for each of the model predictors and forecast the likelihood of prospects to accept an offer of service.
Qualitative Research Among Unacculturated Hispanics in U.S.
Category: Prepaid Services Industry Methods: Qualitative Research, Hispanic Research, In-person In-Depth Interviews Summary: A large U.S. company believed that unacculturated Hispanics might represent a viable target market for its services, but marketing efforts to this segment had largely failed. The firm asked Decision Analyst to propose research that would lead to an improved marketing strategy to reach and convert unacculturated Hispanics in the U.S.
Reaching Young, Tech-Savvy Investors
Category: Financial Services, Investing Methods: New Product Development, Qualitative Research, In-Person Focus Groups, Depth Interviews, Quantitative Surveys Summary: Decision Analyst executed a two-phase research program, including quantitative concept screening as well as qualitative discussions, designed to help refine the final communication strategy.
Real Estate Site Selection With Predictive Modeling in the Open-Source R Language
Category: Retail Methods: Advanced Analytics, Decision Tree, Linear Regression, Predictive Modeling, Random Forest™, R Language, Real Estate Site Selection Summary: We explored the use of the open-source R Language to develop alternative types of predictive models for retail-site sales forecasting. Alternative model types included decision tree, linear regression, and Random Forest™.
Rebate Offer Ad Test
Category: Optical Products Methods: Promotion Testing, Marketing Communications, Medical Research Summary: A leading maker of optical products wanted to gauge likely consumer response to several product discount offers.
Retail Point-of-Sale Tracking
Category: Retail Methods: Point-of-Sale Surveys, Tracking, Customer Satisfaction Monitoring Summary: A major retailer needed a way to better understand the experiences of their customers in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
Retail Sales Forecasting: Using Spatial Analytics to Identify New Market Opportunities
Category: Fashion Retailing Methods: Retail Store Location Analysis, Spatial Analytics, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Summary: A national retail apparel chain sought help from Decision Analyst in identifying new market opportunities. Decision Analyst combined survey research, competitive analyses, and geographic analyses and modeling to forecast sales of new stores in smaller markets.
Category: Restaurant Methods: Segmentation Analysis, Key Driver Analysis, Gap Analysis, Spatial Analysis, Media Analysis Summary: A major U.S. restaurant chain derived substantial added value from its market segmentation study by commissioning Decision Analyst to re-analyze the segmentation data and conduct additional analyses.
Sell Those MBAs
Category: Graduate Education Methods: Syndicated Data Analysis, Secondary Data Analysis, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Spatial Analytics, GeoMapping, Site Selection, Sales Forecasting, Concept Optimization, Choice Modeling, DecisionSimulator™ Summary: A major university in a large midwestern metropolitan area offered an array of MBA graduate degrees at its downtown campus. Decision Analyst was asked to help identify optimal locations for satellite classrooms to offer the EMBA degree. The results revealed complex interactions among the site-location variables.
Skincare Product Claims Development Research
Category: CPG Via Dermatologists Methods: Claim Ratings, Brand Usage & Awareness Summary: A manufacturer of skincare products was interested in assessing the behaviors and opinions of dermatologists in order to develop claims for its brand.
Socially Distanced Menu-Item Testing
Category: Restaurant Methods: Menu Evaluation, Central-Location Test Summary: An upper-end casual-dining chain with limited locations sought to increase its delivery footprint, and came to Decision Analyst for help in testing new versions of several menu items that could be more easily executed in ghost kitchens. Decision Analyst designed an in-person taste test that was COVID compliant and safe for the particiapants and the researchers.
Strategic Global Research: Qualitative Research in China
Category: International Retail Methods: International Research, Strategic Research, Depth Interviews, Ethnographic Research, Focus Groups, Quantitative Research, Qualitative Research Summary: A U.S.-based retailer wanted to evaluate an emerging market as part of their long-term expansion strategy. This research was undertaken to provide strategic direction for markets in China.
Strategic Market-Entry Optimization Plan Research
Category: Vision Care Methods: Choice Task, Optimization, Eye Care Professional Summary: A manufacturer of lenses wanted to gauge how their current eye care professional customers would react if the manufacturer’s brands became available in other competitive channels.
Taking Advertising to the Next Level
Category: Discount Retailer Methods: Quantitative Research, Brand Awareness, Advertising Research (Copy Testing), Tracking Research Summary: A large discount retail chain wanted to track company, brand, and advertising awareness as well as consumer attitudes to help increase advertising effectiveness.
Time-Extended™ Online Qualitative Research
Category: Vehicle Loan Financing & Services Methods: Time-Extended™ Online Qualitative Research, Online Qualitative Research in a Bulletin Board Format Summary: An industry-leading company specializing in auto loans wanted to develop a targeted advertising campaign. The insights from Decision Analyst’s online, Time-Extended™ depth interviews became the foundation for the advertisements and new communication strategies.
Time-Series Econometric Forecasting: Global Forecast of the Price of a Raw Material
Category: International Manufacturer Methods: Autoregressive Time-Series Regression, Decision Tool, Econometrics, Ensemble Model, Model Validation, Time-Series, Forecasting, Variable Selection Summary: A client company (an international manufacturer) had experienced unprecedented volatility in the price of a primary raw-material input used to produce several of its products. Decision Analyst build an ensemble of Autoregressive Time-Series Models to predict future prices.
To Launch, Or Not To Launch: What Is A Marketer To Do? Leveraging Concept Testing for Optimal “Payback”
Category: Organic Food Manufacturer Methods: Concept Testing, Brand Name Testing, Packaging Research Summary: A large organic-foods manufacturer had to decide how to package, name, and introduce a healthier product formulation targeted to moms with young children.
Too Much Of A Good Thing Costs Too Much: Choice Modeling for Health Insurance Products
Category: Health Insurance Methods: Choice Modeling, Simulation Modeling, Concept Testing Summary: A large health insurer sought to increase profitability for a specified group insurance segment by reducing the number of insured health products and the overhead and low profit margins associated with them.
Turning Providers Into “Patient Satisfiers” Measuring Satisfaction Using Mail Surveys
Category: Health Insurance Methods: Automated Reporting, Mail Survey, Customer Satisfaction, Tracking Research Summary: A health insurance carrier wanted to incorporate patient satisfaction measurements as a quality outcome indicator when recredentialing each member of its network.
Uncovering the Paramount of Grooming
Category: Personal Care and Grooming Methods: Time-Extended™ Online Forums, Home Usage, Online Journaling Summary: A multinational personal care manufacturer had developed a revolutionary home grooming product. Decision Analyst was tasked with designing and conducting a two-phased research approach. Striving to surpass the competition, the company made testing competitors’ similar products the focus of the research.
Using Automated Reporting to Track Restaurant Performance Across the U.S.
Category: Restaurant Industry Methods: Automated Reporting, Tracking Research Summary: A regional restaurant chain with locations in 8 markets across the Southwest asked Decision Analyst to conduct quarterly tracking studies for each of its 50 eateries. Automated reporting technology was used to efficiently and accurately create the reports for the multiple markets, taking into consideration the local competitors for each unit.
Using MaxDiff to Understand Investors’ Decision to Hire A Financial Advisor
Category: Financial Services Methods: Maximum Difference (MaxDiff) Analysis Summary: A financial advisory firm wanted to understand the reasoning behind investors’ decisions to hire (or to not hire) a financial advisor. Decision Analyst conducted an online quantitative survey featuring MaxDiff analysis to determine the attributes that have the most impact on potential customers’ decision to hire (or not hire) a financial advisor.
Using Exploratory Research to Formulate Quantitative Research and a Discrete Choice Modeling Design
Category: Auto/Captive Financial Services Methods: Exploratory Research, Quantitative Research, Discrete Choice Modeling, In-Person Focus Groups, Simulated Purchasing Decisions Summary: The Captive Finance arm of a Global Auto Manufacturer had historically relied on a traditional approach to developing new business, utilizing the value of its automotive products as the primary conduit for attracting customers. The client was looking for new ways in which to grow and add value to its business.
Using a MaxDiff Analysis to Make Decisions
Category: Insurance Company Methods: MaxDiff Analysis, Message Evaluation Summary: Our client, a health-insurance provider, wanted to know how best to communicate with their customers about the Affordable Care Act and what messages they need to use. Decision Analyst conducted a MaxDiff analysis on the proposed message statements to determine which messages consumers preferred.
Virtual Shelf-Set Research Among Children
Category: CPG Manufacturing Methods: Online/Virtual Shelf Set, Research with Children, In-Store Display Research Summary: A manufacturer created a new product line that was targeted to children aged 6 to 12. For this new product line, they created several merchandising-display options and wanted to know which one would resonate most with children and their parents.
Vision Product: Global Messaging Optimization Research
Category: Lens Manufacturer Methods: Message Testing, Choice-Task, MaxDiff, International Research Summary: A lens manufacturer wanted to measure unbranded preference for potential messages (including both current messages and potential new messages) across two key products. They also wanted to optimize messages for each product when branded.
Volumetric Concept Testing
Category: Toy Industry Methods: Volumetric Concept Testing, Latent Class Choice Modeling, Calibration, DecisionSimulator™, Online Simulated Shopping Summary: During an online survey, respondents were taken through two shopping exercises and made purchase decisions based on the available toys. Several latent-class choice models were developed, measuring price and product utilities.
What Do The Members Really Need? Customer Needs Assessment
Category: Health Insurance Methods: Focus Groups, Affinity Diagramming, Multivariate Analysis, Needs Assessment, Loyalty Measurement Summary: A health insurance carrier sought to get closer to its members by understanding more about their needs related to the consumer experience and the employer experience. They also wanted to know how well they were meeting the needs they identified versus how well their competition was meeting similar needs for its customers.
When Customer Service Needs A Boost Measuring Consumer Expectations of Customer Service
Category: Health Insurance Methods: Focus Groups, Telephone Survey, Nonlinear Regression Analysis, Quadrant Mapping Summary: A national health insurance carrier established a task force to optimize consumers’ experience with its customer service operation. Prior to developing a change plan, it was important for the task force to understand the customers’ expectations and needs.
Why Can’t We Compete? An Ethnographic Evaluation of the Brand Image
Category: Automotive OEM Methods: Ethnography , Extended Drive Experience with In-Vehicle Mounted Video Camera, In-Depth Post-Drive Interview, Online Follow-Ups, Qualitative Research Summary: Decision Analyst conducted a multistage qualitative study for a Premium division of an OEM to determine their position relative to the competition and to identify action steps for tangible improvement.
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If you would like more information on Marketing Research, please contact Jerry W. Thomas by emailing [email protected] or calling 1-817-640-6166.
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14 Market Research Examples
This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter .
Example #1: National bank’s A/B testing
You can learn what customers want by conducting experiments on real-life customer decisions using A/B testing. When you ensure your tests do not have any validity threats, the information you garner can offer very reliable insights into customer behavior.
Here’s an example from Flint McGlaughlin, CEO of MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute, and the creator of its online marketing course .
A national bank was working with MECLABS to discover how to increase the number of sign-ups for new checking accounts.
Customers who were interested in checking accounts could click on an “Open in Minutes” link on the bank’s homepage.
Creative Sample #1: Anonymized bank homepage
After clicking on the homepage link, visitors were taken to a four-question checking account selector tool.
Creative Sample #2: Original checking account landing page — account recommendation selector tool
After filling out the selector tool, visitors were taken to a results page that included a suggested package (“Best Choice”) along with a secondary option (“Second Choice”). The results page had several calls to action (CTAs). Website visitors were able to select an account and begin pre-registration (“Open Now”) or find out more information about the account (“Learn More”), go back and change their answers (“Go back and change answers”), or manually browse other checking options (“Other Checking Options”).
Creative Sample #3: Original checking account landing page — account recommendation selector tool results page
After going through the experience, the MECLABS team hypothesized that the selector tool wasn’t really delivering on the expectation the customer had after clicking on the “Open in Minutes” CTA. They created two treatments (new versions) and tested them against the control experience.
In the first treatment, the checking selector tool was removed, and instead, customers were directly presented with three account options in tabs from which customers could select.
Creative Sample #4: Checking account landing page Treatment #1
The second treatment’s landing page focused on a single product and had only one CTA. The call-to-action was similar to the CTA customers clicked on the homepage to get to this page — “Open Now.”
Creative Sample #5: Checking account landing page Treatment #2
Both treatments increased account applications compared to the control landing page experience, with Treatment #2 generating 65% more applicants at a 98% level of confidence.
Creative Sample #6: Results of bank experiment that used A/B testing
You’ll note the Level of Confidence in the results. With any research tactic or tool you use to learn about customers, you have to consider whether the information you’re getting really represents most customers, or if you’re just seeing outliers or random chance.
With a high Level of Confidence like this, it is more likely the results actually represent a true difference between the control and treatment landing pages and that the results aren’t just a random event.
The other factor to consider is — testing in and of itself will not produce results. You have to use testing as research to actually learn about the customer and then make changes to better serve the customer.
In the video How to Discover Exactly What the Customer Wants to See on the Next Click: 3 critical skills every marketer must master , McGlaughlin discussed this national bank experiment and explained how to use prioritization, identification and deduction to discover what your customers want.
This example was originally published in Marketing Research: 5 examples of discovering what customers want .
Example #2: Consumer Reports’ market intelligence research from third-party sources
The first example covers A/B testing. But keep in mind, ill-informed A/B testing isn’t market research, it’s just hoping for insights from random guesses.
In other words, A/B testing in a vacuum does not provide valuable information about customers. What you are testing is crucial, and then A/B testing is a means to help better understand whether insights you have about the customer are either validated or refuted by actual customer behavior. So it’s important to start with some research into potential customers and competitors to inform your A/B tests.
For example, when MECLABS and MarketingExperiments (sister publisher to MarketingSherpa) worked with Consumer Reports on a public, crowdsourced A/B test, we provided a market intelligence report to our audience to help inform their test suggestions.
Every successful marketing test should confirm or deny an assumption about the customer. You need enough knowledge about the customer to create marketing messages you think will be effective.
For this public experiment to help marketers improve their split testing abilities, we had a real customer to work with — donors to Consumer Reports.
To help our audience better understand the customer, the MECLABS Marketing Intelligence team created the 26-page ConsumerReports Market Intelligence Research document (which you can see for yourself at that link).
This example was originally published in Calling All Writers and Marketers: Write the most effective copy for this Consumer Reports email and win a MarketingSherpa Summit package and Consumer Reports Value Proposition Test: What you can learn from a 29% drop in clickthrough .
Example #3: Virtual event company’s conversation
What if you don’t have the budget for A/B testing? Or any of the other tactics in this article?
Well, if you’re like most people you likely have some relationships with other human beings. A significant other, friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, customers, a nemesis (“Newman!”). While conducting market research by talking to these people has several validity threats, it at least helps you get out of your own head and identify some of your blind spots.
WebBabyShower.com’s lead magnet is a PDF download of a baby shower thank you card ‘swipe file’ plus some extras. “Women want to print it out and have it where they are writing cards, not have a laptop open constantly,” said Kurt Perschke, owner, WebBabyShower.com.
That is not a throwaway quote from Perschke. That is a brilliant insight, so I want to make sure we don’t overlook it. By better understanding customer behavior, you can better serve customers and increase results.
However, you are not your customer. So you must bridge the gap between you and them.
Often you hear marketers or business leaders review an ad or discuss a marketing campaign and say, “Well, I would never read that entire ad” or “I would not be interested in that promotion.” To which I say … who cares? Who cares what you would do? If you are not in the ideal customer set, sorry to dent your ego, but you really don’t matter. Only the customer does.
Perschke is one step ahead of many marketers and business leaders because he readily understands this. “Owning a business whose customers are 95% women has been a great education for me,” he said.
So I had to ask him, how did he get this insight into his customers’ behavior? Frankly, it didn’t take complex market research. He was just aware of this disconnect he had with the customer, and he was alert for ways to bridge the gap. “To be honest, I first saw that with my wife. Then we asked a few customers, and they confirmed it’s what they did also. Writing notes by hand is viewed as a ‘non-digital’ activity and reading from a laptop kinda spoils the mood apparently,” he said.
Back to WebBabyShower. “We've seen a [more than] 100% increase in email signups using this method, which was both inexpensive and evergreen,” Perschke said.
This example was originally published in Digital Marketing: Six specific examples of incentives that worked .
Example #4: Spiceworks Ziff Davis’ research-informed content marketing
Marketing research isn’t just to inform products and advertising messages. Market research can also give your brand a leg up in another highly competitive space – content marketing.
Don’t just jump in and create content expecting it to be successful just because it’s “free.” Conducting research beforehand can help you understand what your potential audience already receives and where they might need help but are currently being served.
When Spiceworks Ziff Davis (SWZD) published its annual State of IT report, it invested months in conducting primary market research, analyzing year-over-year trends, and finally producing the actual report.
“Before getting into the nuts and bolts of writing an asset, look at market shifts and gaps that complement your business and marketing objectives. Then, you can begin to plan, research, write, review and finalize an asset,” said Priscilla Meisel, Content Marketing Director, SWZD.
This example was originally published in Marketing Writing: 3 simple tips that can help any marketer improve results (even if you’re not a copywriter) .
Example #5: Business travel company’s guerilla research
There are many established, expensive tactics you can use to better understand customers.
But if you don’t have the budget for those tactics, and don’t know any potential customers, you might want to brainstorm creative ways you can get valuable information from the right customer target set.
Here’s an example from a former client of Mitch McCasland, Founding Partner and Director, Brand Inquiry Partners. The company sold a product related to frequent business flyers and was interested in finding out information on people who travel for a living. They needed consumer feedback right away.
“I suggested that they go out to the airport with a bunch of 20-dollar bills and wait outside a gate for passengers to come off their flight,” McCasland said. When people came off the flight, they were politely asked if they would answer a few questions in exchange for the incentive (the $20). By targeting the first people off the flight they had a high likelihood of reaching the first-class passengers.
This example was originally published in Guerrilla Market Research Expert Mitch McCasland Tells How You Can Conduct Quick (and Cheap) Research .
Example #6: Intel’s market research database
When conducting market research, it is crucial to organize your data in a way that allows you to easily and quickly report on it. This is especially important for qualitative studies where you are trying to do more than just quantify the data, but need to manage it so it is easier to analyze.
Anne McClard, Senior Researcher, Doxus worked with Shauna Pettit-Brown of Intel on a research project to understand the needs of mobile application developers throughout the world.
Intel needed to be able to analyze the data from several different angles, including segment and geography, a daunting task complicated by the number of interviews, interviewers, and world languages.
“The interviews were about an hour long, and pretty substantial,” McClard says. So, she needed to build a database to organize the transcripts in a way that made sense.
Different types of data are useful for different departments within a company; once your database is organized you can sort it by various threads.
The Intel study had three different internal sponsors. "When it came to doing the analysis, we ended up creating multiple versions of the presentation targeted to individual audiences," Pettit-Brown says.
The organized database enabled her to go back into the data set to answer questions specific to the interests of the three different groups.
This example was originally published in 4 Steps to Building a Qualitative Market Research Database That Works Better .
Example #7: National security survey’s priming
When conducting market research surveys, the way you word your questions can affect customers’ response. Even the way you word previous questions can put customers in a certain mindset that will skew their answers.
For example, when people were asked if they thought the U.S. government should spend money on an anti-missile shield, the results appeared fairly conclusive. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed thought the country should and only six percent were unsure, according to Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls .
But when pollsters added the option, "...or are you unsure?" the level of uncertainty leaped from six percent to 33 percent. When they asked whether respondents would be upset if the government took the opposite course of action from their selection, 59 percent either didn’t have an opinion or didn’t mind if the government did something differently.
This is an example of how the way you word questions can change a survey’s results. You want survey answers to reflect customer’s actual sentiments that are as free of your company’s previously held biases as possible.
This example was originally published in Are Surveys Misleading? 7 Questions for Better Market Research .
Example #8: Visa USA’s approach to getting an accurate answer
As mentioned in the previous example, the way you ask customers questions can skew their responses with your own biases.
However, the way you ask questions to potential customers can also illuminate your understanding of them. Which is why companies field surveys to begin with.
“One thing you learn over time is how to structure questions so you have a greater likelihood of getting an accurate answer. For example, when we want to find out if people are paying off their bills, we'll ask them to think about the card they use most often. We then ask what the balance was on their last bill after they paid it,” said Michael Marx, VP Research Services, Visa USA.
This example was originally published in Tips from Visa USA's Market Research Expert Michael Marx .
Example #9: Hallmark’s private members-only community
Online communities are a way to interact with and learn from customers. Hallmark created a private members-only community called Idea Exchange (an idea you could replicate with a Facebook or LinkedIn Group).
The community helped the greeting cards company learn the customer’s language.
“Communities…let consumers describe issues in their own terms,” explained Tom Brailsford, Manager of Advancing Capabilities, Hallmark Cards. “Lots of times companies use jargon internally.”
At Hallmark they used to talk internally about “channels” of distribution. But consumers talk about stores, not channels. It is much clearer to ask consumers about the stores they shop in than what channels they shop.
For example, Brailsford clarified, “We say we want to nurture, inspire, and lift one’s spirits. We use those terms, and the communities have defined those terms for us. So we have learned how those things play out in their lives. It gives us a much richer vocabulary to talk about these things.”
This example was originally published in Third Year Results from Hallmark's Online Market Research Experiment .
Example #10: L'Oréal’s social media listening
If you don’t want the long-term responsibility that comes with creating an online community, you can use social media listening to understand how customers talking about your products and industry in their own language.
In 2019, L'Oréal felt the need to upgrade one of its top makeup products – L'Oréal Paris Alliance Perfect foundation. Both the formula and the product communication were outdated – multiple ingredients had emerged on the market along with competitive products made from those ingredients.
These new ingredients and products were overwhelming consumers. After implementing new formulas, the competitor brands would advertise their ingredients as the best on the market, providing almost magical results.
So the team at L'Oréal decided to research their consumers’ expectations instead of simply crafting a new formula on their own. The idea was to understand not only which active ingredients are credible among the audience, but also which particular words they use while speaking about foundations in general.
The marketing team decided to combine two research methods: social media listening and traditional questionnaires.
“For the most part, we conduct social media listening research when we need to find out what our customers say about our brand/product/topic and which words they use to do it. We do conduct traditional research as well and ask questions directly. These surveys are different because we provide a variety of readymade answers that respondents choose from. Thus, we limit them in terms of statements and their wording,” says Marina Tarandiuk, marketing research specialist, L'Oréal Ukraine.
“The key value of social media listening (SML) for us is the opportunity to collect people’s opinions that are as ‘natural’ as possible. When someone leaves a review online, they are in a comfortable environment, they use their ‘own’ language to express themselves, there is no interviewer standing next to them and potentially causing shame for their answer. The analytics of ‘natural’ and honest opinions of our customers enables us to implement the results in our communication and use the same language as them,” Tarandiuk said.
The team worked with a social media listening tool vendor to identify the most popular, in-demand ingredients discussed online and detect the most commonly used words and phrases to create a “consumer glossary.”
Questionnaires had to confirm all the hypotheses and insights found while monitoring social media. This part was performed in-house with the dedicated team. They created custom questionnaires aiming to narrow down all the data to a maximum of three variants that could become the base for the whole product line.
“One of our recent studies had a goal to find out which words our clients used to describe positive and negative qualities of [the] foundation. Due to a change in [the] product’s formula, we also decided to change its communication. Based on the opinions of our customers, we can consolidate the existing positive ideas that our clients have about the product,” Tarandiuk said.
To find the related mentions, the team monitored not only the products made by L'Oréal but also the overall category. “The search query contained both brand names and general words like foundation, texture, smell, skin, pores, etc. The problem was that this approach ended up collecting thousands of mentions, not all of which were relevant to the topic,” said Elena Teselko, content marketing manager, YouScan (L'Oréal’s social media listening tool).
So the team used artificial intelligence-based tagging that divided mentions according to the category, features, or product type.
This approach helped the team discover that customers valued such foundation features as not clogging pores, a light texture, and not spreading. Meanwhile, the most discussed and appreciated cosmetics component was hyaluronic acid.
These exact phrases, found with the help of social media monitoring, were later used for marketing communication.
Creative Sample #7: Marketing communicating for personal care company with messaging based on discoveries from market research
“Doing research and detecting audience’s interests BEFORE starting a campaign is an approach that dramatically lowers any risks and increases chances that the campaign would be appreciated by customers,” Teselko said.
This example was originally published in B2C Branding: 3 quick case studies of enhancing the brand with a better customer experience .
Example #11: Levi’s ethnographic research
In a focus group or survey, you are asking customers to explain something they may not even truly understand. Could be why they bought a product. Or what they think of your competitor.
Ethnographic research is a type of anthropology in which you go into customers’ homes or places of business and observe their actual behavior, behavior they may not understand well enough to explain to you.
While cost prohibitive to many brands, and simply unfeasible for others, it can elicit new insights into your customers.
Michael Perman, Senior Director Cultural Insights, Levi Strauss & Co. uses both quantitative and qualitative research on a broad spectrum, but when it comes to gathering consumer insight, he focuses on in-depth ethnographic research provided by partners who specialize in getting deep into the “nooks and crannies of consumer life in America and around the world.” For example, his team spends time in consumers’ homes and in their closets. They shop with consumers, looking for the reality of a consumer’s life and identifying themes that will enable designers and merchandisers to better understand and anticipate consumer needs.
Perman then puts together multi-sensory presentations that illustrate the findings of research. For example, “we might recreate a teenager’s bedroom and show what a teenage girl might have on her dresser.”
This example was originally published in How to Get Your Company to Pay Attention to Market Research Results: Tips from Levi Strauss .
Example #12: eBags’ ethnographic research
Ethnographic research isn’t confined to a physical goods brand like Levi’s. Digital brands can engage in this form of anthropology as well.
While usability testing in a lab is useful, it does miss some of the real-world environmental factors that play a part in the success of a website. Usability testing alone didn’t create a clear enough picture for Gregory Casey, User Experience Designer and Architect, eBags.
“After we had designed our mobile and tablet experience, I wanted to run some contextual user research, which basically meant seeing how people used it in the wild, seeing how people are using it in their homes. So that’s exactly what I did,” Gregory said.
He found consumers willing to open their home to him and be tested in their normal environment. This meant factors like the television, phone calls and other family members played a part in how they experienced the eBags mobile site.
“During these interview sessions, a lot of times we were interrupted by, say, a child coming over and the mother having to do something for the kid … The experience isn’t sovereign. It’s not something where they just sit down, work through a particular user flow and complete their interaction,” Gregory said.
By watching users work through the site as they would in their everyday life, Gregory got to see what parts of the site they actually use.
This example was originally published in Mobile Marketing: 4 takeaways on how to improve your mobile shopping experience beyond just responsive design .
Example #13: John Deere’s shift from product-centric market research to consumer-centric research
One of the major benefits of market research is to overcome company blind spots. However, if you start with your blind spots – i.e., a product focus – you will blunt the effectiveness of your market research.
In the past, “they’d say, Here’s the product, find out how people feel about it,” explained David van Nostrand, Manager, John Deere's Global Market Research. “A lot of companies do that.” Instead, they should be saying, “Let's start with the customers: what do they want, what do they need?”
The solution? A new in-house program called “Category Experts” brings the product-group employees over as full team members working on specific research projects with van Nostrand’s team.
These staffers handle items that don’t require a research background: scheduling, meetings, logistics, communication and vendor management. The actual task they handle is less important than the fact that they serve as human cross-pollinators, bringing consumer-centric sensibility back to their product- focused groups.
For example, if van Nostrand’s team is doing research about a vehicle, they bring in staffers from the Vehicles product groups. “The information about vehicle consumers needs to be out there in the vehicle marketing groups, not locked in here in the heads of the researchers.”
This example was originally published in How John Deere Increased Mass Consumer Market Share by Revamping its Market Research Tactics .
Example #14: LeapFrog’s market research involvement throughout product development (not just at the beginning and the end)
Market research is sometimes thought of as a practice that can either inform the development of a product, or research consumer attitudes about developed products. But what about the middle?
Once the creative people begin working on product designs, the LeapFrog research department stays involved.
They have a lab onsite where they bring moms and kids from the San Francisco Bay area to test preliminary versions of the products. “We do a lot of hands-on, informal qualitative work with kids,” said Craig Spitzer, VP Marketing Research, LeapFrog. “Can they do what they need to do to work the product? Do they go from step A to B to C, or do they go from A to C to B?”
When designing the LeapPad Learning System, for example, the prototype went through the lab “a dozen times or so,” he says.
A key challenge for the research department is keeping and building the list of thousands of families who have agreed to be on call for testing. “We've done everything from recruiting on the Internet to putting out fliers in local schools, working through employees whose kids are in schools, and milking every connection we have,” Spitzer says.
Kids who test products at the lab are compensated with a free, existing product rather than a promise of the getting the product they're testing when it is released in the future.
This example was originally published in How LeapFrog Uses Marketing Research to Launch New Products .
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