Market research is crucial element for both traditional CRM and social CRM. CRM needs research to design the customer experience; Social CRM needs research to make sense of the millions of consumer-generated comments that are posted every day. Both CRM and social CRM put market research findings and consumer insights into actions.
Relevance of Market Research
In the world of social CRM, while companies are trying to respond to the diverse on-going customer conversations, it is very important to be aware of the fact that proportion of customers who are expressing their opinions on the social networks may be very small and may not represent the whole customer base. Recently, in an interesting article, Denis Pombriant notes that these opinions, being only a small sample, may not be indicative of the larger group. And, you can't gain real insight from sampling the opinions of people who happen to be mad enough to express them. If we fall into this trap, we end up reacting and reacting and reacting. He further notes, Ninety percent of tweets came from 10 percent of Twitter members, a Harvard Business School study recently revealed. The average Twitter member issued one tweet every 74 days, the same study showed. Be still my heart! Can the system handle all the input? And, that’s how one may get stuck in the piles of unstructured information.
Proactive Social CRM facilitates Market Research
Along with responding to the on-going conversations, as a part of your social CRM strategy, it is important to initiate and facilitate on-going converstations and engage diverse customers into real communities. The information we get out of these communities may be qualitative, however, it may help building relavant hypothesis. Through such communities, it is possible to ask your customers directly what they think and want before a crisis hits. That means through proactive social CRM, you may have ongoing deep market research into customer attitudes, biases and needs, that provides the necessary insights to make rational decisions about product, messaging and interaction.