Any company looking to position its brand and increase profitability, especially as consumers’ shopping habits are being altered due to Covid-19, needs to look for ways to reconnect with its customer base. While it’s always important for companies to maintain a connection with its customers, it matters now more than ever. Qualitative market research studies are one of the sure-fire ways to interpret changing trends and gain insights into changing consumer opinions and behaviours.
The recent headlines showing how Amazon overtook Walmart, in terms of dollars of merchandise sold, illustrates how dramatically consumer shopping behaviours have changed. Given the tectonic shifts in how people are shopping and working, if companies want to remain relevant, they need to be able to communicate and connect with their customers.
Some companies might think that given the ever-changing requirements for physical distancing and masking that now is not a good time to commission a market research study. This is wrong. Researchers have easily adapted to shifting market research to online and virtual formats. There are numerous platforms that allow researchers to conduct online focus groups, virtual in-depth interviews, and online ethnographic studies.
If you are still unsure about how to reconnect with customers during this time, and how market research can help, here are three tips below.
Updating Customer Personas
Many market researchers use customer personas to segment the various types of customers. Such personas can be based on demographics or geography, and they are as useful to market research recruiters as they are to the final market research study.
Reconnecting with your customers means rethinking and updating your customer personas. Consumers are behaving very differently now than they were last year, and to make sure your messaging and marketing resonates, you need to make sure your customer personas reflect the shifts in emotions, behaviours, opinions, and frustrations.
Being Responsive to Customer Concerns
Understanding and responding to customer concerns always makes business sense. What many companies are coming to realize is that what may have worked for customers prior to the pandemic, doesn’t work as well now given how consumers’ behaviours and habits have changed. Take UX design. Pre-pandemic your website may have sufficiently satisfied consumers and how they engaged with your UX design, but is that still the case?
There are a number of market research studies that can address not only how customers feel about UX design, but a number of other concerns or frustrations they might have that you aren’t aware of.
You can’t respond if you don’t know. Don’t be left behind because your customers have found it easier somewhere else.
If you’ve updated your customer personas and have found ways to respond to consumer concerns, don’t forget to look over your marketing strategies to make sure they’ve been updated.
We can’t emphasize enough how differently consumers think about and engage with brands since the start of the pandemic. Surveys are a great way to gain insights into how your company is perceived.
The bottom line is that companies can’t rest on their laurels or past successes with today’s consumer. Covid-19 has scrambled how people shop, live, work, and engage with one another. To keep your brand relevant, consider investing in market research to stay connected to your customer.