Tag Archives: Retail

The Marketing-Research Cusp

20 Jan

This is just one of the many contests floating around on Twitter (and other networking websites too) these days – a predictable fall-out of the Social Media penetration(actually – now expansion) – It really caught my eyes and I could not resist ruminating further.

A simple contest  by Cafe Coffee Day looks to me like an extension of Do-it-Yourself (DIY) research ( I am not sure whether it is intended or unintended). But this contest sure has an excellent multi-pronged usage:

1) Promotion of a new product,
2) Social Media Marketing (and hence, in my personal opinion current Word of mouth marketing) and increasing consumer connectivity,
3) Maintain and expand Loyalty,
4) Taste testing and Perception mapping – I agree, Perception mapping is not purely in its traditional, statistical approach but still, providing an image of the product and then seeking (collecting) Top-of-Mind reaction does give the coffee major a qualitative assessment of what their customers think of the new item. Additionally while traditionally taste testing meant contacting people, approaching them and then providing them with some incentive for taste testing, this is a kind of win-win situation where they assess consumer reaction, get a sense of the results with minimal cost and added marketing benefits.

Such promotion-research cusp essentially opens a huge scope for further creative ideas for marketers. However, there are certain pain points that I can think of:

1) Target – A very important aspect of traditional research/ data collection is that the sample ensures optimum representation of the average customer. But in this case, the followers have made the effort of searching  Cafe Coffee Day on Twitter themselves. Hence, in all likelihood they are ardent consumers of the chain. It is very difficult to track the demographic/ psychographic profile of the consumers from the website. Moreover, one also captures only the active social media user segment.

2) User Conversion – Also, a very important aspect of taste testing would be to convert non-visitors to their cafe into visitors. Hence, such taste-testing should be complemented with traditional research as well where one can test whether the new item would recruit new footfalls (especially with the growing cafe culture and growing competition in India)

3) Context – This medium of research also differs based on the context – We should keep in mind the Indian context where internet penetration stands at 7%-8%. Hence, we lose out on more than 90% people while carrying out research activities. The case would be entirely different in countries with high internet penetration.

In spite of the cons, this is just the beginning of social media exploitation for marketing. And even in the Indian context, think of a niche technology major or a study targeting marketers or journalists – Social Media is a great medium.
As for us, we need to think of the ways around these vices, which sure are present.

P.S : I have deliberately blacked out the tweets other than what I wanted to focus on.

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