Thanks to social media and other technology, a wealth of consumer opinions is at a company's fingertips these days. But Wharton experts say traditional market research still has a vital role to play in product development.
Joachim Scholz, PhD's insight:
Even though big data allows marketers to better see whether a product does well in a market, this does not negate the need for marketing research. This is because testing products "in the wild" and analyzing the data only tells you what product works better, but not why. It also does not tell you what product iteration you have not thought about yet would work best.
Psychological and especially cultural research methods can get to the deeper motivations and understandings of consumers, providing still eye-opening insights, even in the days of big data.
From the article: "Unprecedented access to big data does nothing to negate the need for deep market research, according to Wharton marketing professor Eric T. Bradlow, who along with Fader directs the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative. “Can you possibly predict what people are going to do?” he asks. “Yes, you can. However, the science of psychology — why people are doing what they are doing — in traditional marketing research provides a great complement to what can be measured.”"
This article details how data is used by online dating platforms to match members though social listening & observing ethnography. Three dating platforms with unique algorithms but similar objectives are described: Match.com & HowAboutWe observes member behaviors and patterns, while Coffee Meets Bagel uses mainly social listening and Facebook. Interestingly, Match.com found that consumers break their own rules about what they want in a relationship; for example, a woman would put money as an important factor, yet her social media activity would show her continually interacting with the musician or artist.
Evidently, consumer data paired with ethnography is important to the success of these dating sites. Big data is important for determining consumer preferences, whereas ethnography is incorporated through social elements and user inputs. Sites allow behavior to be easily observed, giving us great insights; for instance, having at least 1 mutual friend increased the probability of two people connecting by 37%.
When companies combine data and consumers’ social habits, they are able to better meet needs and preferences. This points to the significance of monitoring the type and accuracy of data collected to make credible matches because this methodology limits sites to only observing online behavior.
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