Go Further Than Social Listening in Your Market Research

Social listening is a mainstay of any marketer’s toolbox. By scouring social media platforms for mentions of their brands, companies get a feel for how their product is used and what pain points consumers experience. The problem? Social listening can only go so far. While social listening has its place in market research, there needs to be more.

Social Listening is Just the Beginning

A quick web search of “social listening platforms” returns page after page full of companies (and countless listicles) all vying to help you discover your consumers’ wants and needs. These platforms set up their various algorithms to crawl Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and wherever else your customers live online in an effort to understand what they truly want.

Social listening definitely has its benefits. It’s important to understand the overall sentiment of your brand and strategize ways to address it. However, If you’re using it to help develop new products, you’re probably going to be left scratching your head. One of the biggest roadblocks to traditional social listening is the amount of noise it returns. In fact, estimates indicate that 80 to 90% of all social monitoring data is irrelevant. With as little as 10% of reliable data, how can brands hope to successfully bring that next big idea to market?

What’s more, the sentiment behind the relevant posts is not always clear. It’s easy to tell when your brand or a competitor pops up on social media, but to what end? Just knowing your brand or product is mentioned is a hollow metric. Understanding why it was mentioned is much more meaningful and beyond the grasp of traditional social listening. While most platforms offer sentiment analysis, you’re still not getting a full picture of your consumer’s true needs. One post by one user in a given timeframe can’t paint a full picture.

Many marketing departments treat social listening as an endgame. They collect the data, compare it to other metrics, and believe they have an action plan. The reality is, they’re not getting the full picture. Social listening is just the tip of the iceberg. Sure, you’re able to tell if people are talking about your brand and even how they may feel about it. But they do little in helping you achieve insights for new products.

Painting a Complete Picture of Consumer Needs

Every year, companies invest billions of dollars into market research. If you examine focus groups, surveys, product testing, and other consumer observations, you begin to get a sense of what consumers need. These are all valuable channels that provide swaths of information. The problem is, traditional market research is missing a big chunk of rich insights that are now available to them.

A Consumer Behavior Modeling (CBM) methodology goes deeper to paint a much richer and complete picture of your consumer. How? CBM takes a social listening platform and adds a blend of artificial intelligence and psychology to dig deeper into a consumer’s interactions with a product. It provides that crucial “why” behind consumer behaviors. Consumer Behavior Modeling even sheds light on compensating behaviors—the ways consumer actually use and react to products—the unarticulated or unrealized need.

CBM reveals how consumers interact with products on a daily basis, even without mention of a specific brand. This process digs into consumer motivations and sheds light on what will resonate with them. It enables consumers to go right to the bullseye of their consumers’ frustrations and desires. Social listening is only a piece of the puzzle. To fully engage your consumer, turn to a richer approach such as consumer behavior modeling.  

Want to learn more about how to apply consumer behavior modeling to your next project?

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