Socially assisted market research among the emerging advertising trends

DECEMBER 6, 2011 – Analyzing data and doing market research can go a long way in deepening a company’s understanding of its client base, but what do you do to convert that knowledge into sales?

As Bizcommunity reports, social media is playing a major role in how brands are expanding and advancing the conversations around their products. Peer-to-peer recommendations represent a new trend that allows people to share opinions and experiences with those in their networks.

“The thinking is that most people trust their peers more than they trust advertising and, as such, applications that increase store and product rating would grow rapidly,” the source explains.

Those recommendations can, in turn, become additional fodder for market researchers. Discussions about a product or brand can provide more insight on how consumers are responding and what kinds of items they are seeking out. It’s vital to take the time to carefully interpret the facts and figures a company collects, as this can be a key asset in creating targeted marketing and thus driving down advertising costs.

However, a corporation’s policies regarding proper handling of data must be robust and always aim to maintain consumers’ privacy. “Trading in data is one way to ensure that you ruin your name online,” the source warns. Maintain database security to protect the consumer, as well as the company’s reputation, and customers may be more willing to trust their information to the organization.

Manny Mandrusiak, the managing creative consultant for 4 Bravo Marketing, writes for AutomatedBuildings.com that there are some other trends popping up that can make promotional budgets go even further.

Social media marketing has gone from being a standalone project to one that’s considered just a tool among many in the advertising toolbox, and online videos are also rising to prominence in the industry. Mandrusiak cites research from Cisco that forecasts 80 percent of internet traffic will be comprised of video by 2015.

“Smartphones are being equipped with more and more tools to enable two-way video communications,” he says. “Users will no longer want to read information when they can watch it. That could lead to new marketing techniques like video newsletters or conducting training online in real-time.”