Why Social Listening Is the Best Market Research Tool
I am a veteran of nearly a decade of working in multiple agencies, so I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the inner workings of agencies. Agency life consists of trying to find enough hours in the day to provide meaningful work for your existing clients, as well as securing new clients, all while being an expert in every field that each of your current and potential future clients exist in. This means that agency employees need to use every tool at their disposal to do strategic and insightful market research into multiple different verticals and industries.
When I first started working, market research was still largely done by surveys and googling news stories. However, the surveys took too long to provide any type of meaningful consumer feedback, and the news reports were only helpful to identify newsworthy industry trends, but not able to get you inside of the minds of your customers. Today, the agencies that are providing the most insightful market research have a tool in their arsenal that not only gives them incredible real-time feedback, but it also is easy to use and doesn’t take a lot of time. This tool is Social Listening.
Below are just a couple of the many examples of how agencies can use a Social Listening tool for their market research to help them retain existing clients, and win new ones. There are many more examples, and if you have any specific examples that you’ve experienced, feel free to discuss them in the comment section!
New Ideas For Client Campaigns
Market research is incredibly useful when you are trying to think of a new idea for a campaign for your clients. Social Listening helps you do this market research in a quick and efficient way by being able to help you identify what your audiences are interested in right now. In other words, you can find out what your client’s audience cares about so that you can propose a campaign to your client that you can prove to them will resonate with their consumers. You can even find out what customers are saying about previous campaigns so that you can show your clients how you would change your standard campaigns to make them more impactful.
Secure New Clients
When an agency is responding to an RFP, they are likely one of many agencies competing, and all are likely explaining how their agency is the best fit to deliver results for this potential client. What better way to show this prospect, and stand above the pack, by proving that you are an expert in the field that this prospect exists in, and that you already have great concrete ideas that will benefit this lead? To do this, you need to either have months to prepare your market research to understand what consumers want, what the competitive landscape looks like, where this prospect fits into that landscape, etc. In my time at agencies, I was never a part of an RFP where we were given anything more than 3 weeks (at most) to respond, prepare and present. So what can agencies do to be able to secure the market research they need for all of that information? Social Listening.
Social Listening can give you all of the above information, and more, in real-time and in seconds. Your agency will never look more prepared for a new business presentation then you will when you have market research provided by Social Listening in your presentation.
Grow Your Agency
In a recent post on HubSpot’s website, they discussed how agencies who use market research grow faster. The article explains that market research causes this fast growth because it has a direct impact on the profitability of the agency. Social media is the best (and free) focus group, so when you want your agency to grow, you need to turn to social media to answer some main questions found in that article: what industry trends face your clients, where you have made mistakes, how you can fix those mistakes, and most importantly, what are the buying patterns of your clients?
All of this information is available online. Listening to your audience can tell you why they reacted negatively to a failed campaign, as well as what they would have liked to have seen. Social Listening will also easily identify what is trending in whatever industry your clients reside in, and it also gives you a unique insight into the actions and thoughts of your customers, thus helping you better understand their buying patterns.
Market research is crucial to the success of every agency, and Social Listening tools are the new market research tools that every agency must be using. If you want to learn more about how you can use Synthesio for your market research, check out our eBook that explains how to use Social Listening for market research.