May 19, 2006

9 reasons that make blogs a serious market research tool

1.That consumers do express opinions about their experiences surrounding products on blogs

2.That other consumers read these opinions and to a certain extent trust these messages more than they would trust marketing messages since these come from an independent source and not the marketer

3.That opinions on blogs are unsolicited, spontaneous expressions by the user and there is a greater likelihood of finding the truth here - about what users think about your brand – than you would find in a focus group

4.That the immediacy of this medium is unbeatable. Blogs tend to be updated frequently…once in a few days, sometimes even several times in a day and there is a greater likelihood of finding immediate responses here than you would if you’d commission a research project

5.That once an opinion is expressed on a blog, it spreads very very quickly

6.People are more honest about their beliefs and opinions on this platform since the medium lends itself to protecting the identity of the blogger many a times. There is a greater likelihood of finding brutal criticism against your brand / product that you would not find within the contrived research setting

7.That information found on a blog about your product / brand - is not information in a vacuum. You can freely read the bloggers opinions / beliefs about other issues expressed on his / her blog to draw conclusions about what the person values in the larger context – without causing him the inconvenience of incessant interrogation.

8.That even if you will not read this information…may be your competitor will

9.That it’s there…up for grabs…easily and freely accessible and searchable!

Some food for thought….

Opinions on blogs are a gold mine of information since this medium has not been exploited enough yet and therefore it gives access to unedited, spontaneous thoughts (almost like a blogger’s stream of consciousness). As marketers start looking at blogs more seriously and bloggers become aware of this, would there be a tendency to post postured and socially correct responses even on this medium. Would the feeling of ‘being watched’ come in the way of a spontaneous expression of though!

And what about the intellectual property on such an opinion? Could marketers ‘freely’ and ‘without permission’ use information available on blogs to their commercial advantage?

research method, qualitative research, blogs and market research,


Khakra said...

yep, and blogs are killing traditional journalism too! hows cardiff? are you @ university there? i went to journalism school there...

Reshma Anand said... think we will see a convergence between blogs and MSM....i suppose in some ways this is already happening though i am inclined to think that this will be another medium that will survive rather than taking over...cardiff is a quiet little town from where i see it...except on days when there are rugby matches at the stadium - then it becomes like a war zone. I see less of 'black' here - which is a pleasure. No - I am not studying here - though have walked pass the university halls and would have loved to.

Khakra said...

cardiff sounds good old, like the way it used to. noisy when it needs to be, mellow at times. Traditional media will retain its "trust" factor, people will believe what they read and it will shape ideologies, as media has done over centuries. Make people superstars of those who aren't, and defame people overnight. TV came, but it never threatened print thought it was viewed as the big bad wolf. But I hope your hypothesis stands: that media remains alive! It feels threatening, a whole new strategy for media is how to adapt it and roll it into their strategy. Podcast etc. included.

Reshma Anand said...

with more people voicing opinions and bringing newer perspectives to issues, i wonder whether traditional media will continue to enjoy the blind trust that it did enjoy all these years. ofcourse MSM does have the air of responsibility to it - where content is (supposed) to be validated for authenticity before it is brought out in open - but it also sometimes suffers the images of just towing the popular / politically correct line. Atleast with the little bit i follow about the media in india - blogs and bloggers often correct / expose MSM - though i don't know whether these organizations are listening. The coverage of the recent disruption in banaglore (because of Rajkumar's death) by IBN Live was exposed as being exaggerated by bloggers who were closer to the ground. I guess competition only makes us all more accountable or atleast we hope that it does.