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8 Common Market Research Mistakes

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Anyone can be a market researcher with a little bit of training and understanding. One of the best practices a good researcher follows is avoiding any research blunders! To make it easy for you, we have listed down 8 of the most common mistakes made by companies during market research & how to avoid them. Read it through because this is your sign to avoid them all! 

 

  • Failing To Do Any Market Research 

Is it possible to launch a new product/service without knowing who your customers are and what they need? We say, absolutely not! Market Research is one of the most important things you can do to know whether a new product or service will be accepted in the market by your customers. One of the main reasons for new product failures is not doing any market research on target markets and what they need. So, before you plan on launching your revolutionary product, do your research!

Here are a few steps for creating successful market research. 

  1. Not Knowing Your Research Objective

“What are my customer’s needs?”, “What amount will they pay for my product?” or “How do I measure this research?” One of the most common mistakes researchers make is not knowing exactly what information their research should give them. Whether the objective is to know the price point or acceptance of the product, the researcher should be clear about his main goal to get the desired results. 

  1. Always Know Your Competition

Even though your product can be unique, there are similar products that not only exist in the market but are also extremely successful. Not looking into your competitor’s products, why they stand out, and what their pricing is, is a classic mistake. To gain an edge over your competitors, you need to know anything and everything about the way they conduct their business and work on your market research accordingly. 

  1. Flawed Questions

If your questions are not clear or do not convey what you are trying to ask the consumer, your results will end up being completely different from what you may have intended. Simple words that you think look okay can have different meanings and can be interpreted differently by different people. You would be surprised how much a professional researcher could make a difference to your market research and business. So feel free to hire help!

  1. Not Using The Right Research Tools

Conducting a survey is something all marketers do but just a survey is not enough! Depending on the objective of your research, there are various market research tools you can leverage. Using the right tool for your research is imperative so you know exactly who your customers are and what they need from you. 

Read more about the Market Research Tools You Can Leverage for creating a high quality report. 

  1. Cutting Costs By Using Small Samples

We have all been guilty of projecting our research on family and friends thinking it would be easier and faster to get desired results. What we miss here are unbiased opinions and honest answers. Cutting on incentives for people who are genuinely interested in your product/service and are willing to give their time to your research is a huge mistake. This broader sample will help you get unbiased opinions and honest feedback that will help your research and business in the long run. 

  1. Biased/Wrong Reference Materials 

The internet is a big pool of information and the best place to start your research. However, there are high chances that some information may be biased or wrong. So it is always recommended to research your research material and make sure it’s right and solid. 

  1. Wrong Interpretation Of Results

Data speaks louder than assumptions when it comes to market research, so believe in the data you have collected. Let it speak for your product/service instead of being overly optimistic. A professional market research agency can help give you an unbiased report that will help your company in more ways than one. 

 

How To Avoid These Mistakes

  1. Ask questions that are specific, explicit, and to the point. This practice will help you get the exact information that you need and also save your time, money, and resources. 

 

      2. Like I mentioned before, the internet is a huge pool of information and the data available on it is abundant but it is necessary for you to conduct your own primary and secondary research to be up to date. In short, do not completely rely on data from the internet! This will keep your data fresh and unique. 

Primary Research refers to collecting data from your target audience, real people. 

Secondary Research is collecting data from published and verified research studies. 

 

     3. It is always important to have a plan before you start any market research. Businesses are always in such a hurry to get answers when conducting market research that they often end up making mistakes that can be avoided. Planning and preparing in advance will help you avoid mistakes before they can even occur.  

 

     4. Ask for help when you need it. Market Research is an important part of your brand strategy and any mistakes or roadblocks can create a major impact on the product life overall. Hire a professional agency that can help you with your market research and understand the results so you can go ahead with the right insights. 

 

    5. Understand your bias about the subject at hand. It is very easy to make assumptions about your product so that you get the results you are trying to achieve. Control the urge to make these assumptions and listen to what people are saying, listen to your customer’s feedback, and then act on it. 

 

     6. Lastly, identify your target market correctly. A target market is a group of people who are potential customers and the base of your market research analysis. If you get this right, then you can get the rest of your research going smoothly. 

 

These are a few tips and tricks that will help you conduct your research with minimum pitfalls. When it comes to quality, there are no shortcuts! Releasing a new product/service is a huge step that requires a lot of effort, money, and time. One mistake and you are led to the path of failure. If you find it difficult to conduct research or have questions that are unanswered simply because you don’t have an in-depth understanding, it is time you reached out to a professional agency that will give you a better understanding of your market and customers!

Reach out to our research experts to know more about how you can create the right market research strategy for your business!

E-Commerce in India : After an era of change

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The pandemic, last year, brought about a wave of digital transformation in the country. Due to lack of choice or concerns about safety or just plain convenience, consumers started taking to digital ways to fulfill their needs. This change in behaviour boosted the growth of the e-commerce industry in India. The last few years had already witnessed a rapid growth in the segment due to increase in internet and smartphone penetration, but the pandemic accelerated that growth by 3x. Right from groceries to clothes to books to personal care products, every item was now being purchased online. The Indian e-commerce industry is expected to be a USD 200 billion market in the next 3-5 years.

An interesting thing to note here is that the consumer behaviour underwent massive changes at a very fundamental level. Most of them started adopting new ways of shopping online out of necessity first, but soon this changed into a habit due to the sheer convenience of sitting at home and having everything delivered to your doorstep. This caused a chain reaction to everything around – right from products, services, to brands and categories.

For marketers like us, consumers are the centre of our universe and therefore, it became imperative for us to dive a little deeper into their behaviour to understand how the growth of e-commerce changed their lives. In order to do this, we conducted a survey online and asked a series of questions to consumers to understand their shopping behaviour and patterns.

Our report on the E-commerce sector in India has a detailed account of the changing consumer behaviour pertaining to the e-commerce industry, key takeaways for brands and businesses in this space and some interesting insights. You may also find it interesting to read our recently published book, Decoding the Digital Jungle.

Key takeaways for brands & businesses in the e-commerce space –

1) The path to purchase is indefinite & complex –
The number of touchpoints in the digital environment for the consumers has increased, so has the number of avenues for a brand to be present at, innovate at and be interactive at. As per a recent Amazon report, consumers use 4 platforms on an average before making their decision. The report also says that more than half of the consumers visit Amazon with the purpose of research implying that the platform is not just a point of purchase/action area in the consumer journey. As per a study conducted by Google, the journey between Trigger and Purchase goes through a messy middle which consists of a process of exploration and evaluation. The loop can be broken only by a brand that is present at the right touch-points providing appropriate information to help evaluation quickly. An important marketing tool post-pandemic is to advertise on Amazon and Flipkart if the product and services are relevant. The advertising need not be limited to conversion objectives but it should be about driving consumers through the funnel. Brands also need to ensure that ad messaging is tailored to the needs of shoppers who are in the evaluation phase. As per a study conducted by Google, there are behavioral biases that influence our shopping decisions. We need to put out our messaging by aligning our biases and category aspects. For example, scarcity bias plays a role when it comes to the Lifestyle and Fashion/luxury/premium category. As stock decreases, the products become more desirable to purchase. Brands should also form tailored email marketing campaigns to aggressively engage with potential customers. Retargeting and basket abandonment message to engage with evaluative shoppers before they make a decision. Need of the hour is for brands to have a robust social media strategy and a full-funnel marketing plan to drive consumers to purchase. More Social Media platforms need to be explored and defined as per the target audience and objectives. This will assist consumers to evaluate and come out of the “messy middle” quickly.

2) Grocery Shopping : A clear winner!
When it came to understanding the key categories which were a boon to E-commerce, Grocery came out as a clear winner as per the survey results. Availability of items on grocery apps and websites is a major driver for a consumer to be loyal to that platform. Continuous non-availability can drive consumers to reconsider loyalty. Also, consumers have a strong affinity towards buying from local stores, familiar shops and brands they know about. The experience on the User Interface makes a lot of difference to a customer’s preference. There are instances where consumers expressed that they distinguish Zomato and Swiggy based on their user interfaces. A simple, self-guiding and clutter-free UI can change the game.

3) Brands with a purpose –

The global pandemic has elevated the idea of a company’s purpose or the idea of a meaningful business – how brands give back to the community and the environment. There were a few key attitude shifts during 2020. As per a research conducted by Google, 86 % of the respondents say that they have become more environment conscious due to the pandemic. Consumers have expanded their
horizons and hence, they are open to more choices, rather better choices. As it is rightly said, it takes one downfall to make you learn for life. As per our survey, 70% of the respondents said that they started using sustainable brands post pandemic. Giving a higher purpose to your brand is essential now as it is no more just a differentiating factor – consumers might place more importance on this
than on customization.

4) A shift towards Digital payments  –
As per a recent KPMG report, In October 2020, digital transactions jumped to 23.7 million amounting to around 4000 crores. Through our survey, we found out that 70% of the respondents preferred using digital payment methods while shopping online. People in India feel more secure while transacting with physical cash than paying digitally as per the prevalent consumer behaviour. The findings imply that there has been a phenomenal shift in consumer preferences. It is very evident that the consumers of today are experimenting and trying newer platforms for financial transactions. The brands in this sphere need to be very proactive in forming strategic partnerships with fintech platforms.

In conclusion, we’d like to say that today’s ecommerce brands cannot be complacent anymore. Consumers today are well-informed and smart and have very high expectations of brands. An E-commerce brand of today has many more touchpoints, many more potential consumers and a complicated consumer journey to look after. Let us get on with it and adapt better!

IPL 2021 – A Marketer’s Dreamland

Reading Time: 5 minutes

IPL – it’s that time of the year again and we are as excited as you are! Yes, it’s not the same as before and we can’t cheer our favorite teams directly from the stadium but we know our enthusiasm has not died. Also, the safer we are the better, right?

 

Who doesn’t love a good cricket match with some of the world’s best players and a side of outside-the-box advertisements that leave you awestruck? The marketing fever has already started with CRED doing something we never thought was possible and it’s safe to say that Rahul Dravid is now a marketing sensation. To understand this landscape a little better, our Consumer Insights and Market Research team conducted a small survey and we are here to tell you that this is just the beginning. 

 

Marketing on the IPL Platform has been growing ever since it started back in 2008 and it only knows one direction – UP! Throughout 13 seasons we have seen various brands leverage the IPL Platform to connect with their consumers on a large scale. This hasn’t been just through sponsorships but also specific advertising campaigns that brands came up with on their own using the IPL platform. According to our survey, 73% of brands think that IPL is one the most effective platforms to market their products and services. 

 

Why is the IPL a good platform for marketing? 

 

Since it started in 2008, the Indian Premier League has taken the internet by storm. The whole concept of having cities in one country play a sport that is loved by all, against each other has created an audience filled with love and passion for their home teams. The loyalty that was created by this league has only seen a rise, not just in India but the whole world. What better way to market your brand, right? You hit all your target audiences from kids, teenagers, adults to the aged on one single platform. It’s a JACKPOT!

Brands pour so much money into sponsorships that it has become one of IPL’s biggest revenue streams. As a result, the valuation of the league was 6.8 million in 2019 according to Your Story. Although we saw a lot of tension during 2020 around the league, they still pulled through. According to our survey, 90% of brands are spending their marketing budgets on Digital & Social Media Marketing this IPL season. So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t thought of it yet, it’s time you do! 

The IPL network is worth Rs. 47,500 crores and its brand value only keeps growing with a rate of 13.5% as of 2019. Brands are investing a huge part of their budget for marketing during this season, some spending Rs. 50 lakhs and above. Not only are they spending a lot of money but they are also increasing their budgets every year. 63% of brands have increased their budget this year as compared to 2020 with regards to Digital Marketing. 

 

What Digital Platforms to use for IPL Marketing? 

 

We have various platforms to advertise on starting from Instagram & Facebook to Twitter and YouTube. But before we start with which platforms, there is one thing you need to be sure of – who are you marketing to. Your key demographic plays an important role in selecting your ideal advertising platform. After this, choose a platform that is content relevant but make sure you don’t extend yourself to too many platforms. It’s always good to stick to quality rather than quantity. 

Facebook is a definite platform of choice even though it is not the newest or most interesting one. With over 2 billion monthly active users, it is one of the biggest platforms to advertise on. This followed by Instagram which has over 1 billion monthly active users is the best way to reach a younger audience. According to the survey conducted by Social Beat, 46% of brands are advertising on Instagram during this IPL season. Twitter & YouTube are two other platforms that would work great for IPL marketing and will help create a buzz to interact with your audience. 

 

What are brands looking to achieve through IPL Marketing?

There are various objectives and goals that a brand wants to achieve when it is marketing on digital platforms. They range from awareness, branding to sales and product launches. While conducting our survey, we found that during the IPL season, 57% are only looking towards branding of their product and services, while 22% prioritize product awareness. A small percentage of the business industry look at this as a Sales or Product Launch platform for their business. 

Brands That Have Leveraged IPL In The Best Way

 

  • CRED – RAHUL DRAVID’S NEW AVATAR

CRED is a credit bill-paying platform that is known for its creative advertising. Their most-awaited and recent IPL Campaign has blown the minds of every cricket fan, every cricketer, and every marketer. They unleashed a side of Rahul Dravid that we would have not even thought of and this has taken the internet by storm. The instant tweeting by cricket players, the memes made on the advertisement by many different brands have made this campaign a raging success. The immediate recognition and fame show that IPL is the right platform to gain excessive awareness and reach.

  • GULF OIL – CONSISTENT PERFORMERS

Gulf Oil India is a leading lubricant brand for automobiles in the Indian Lubricant Industry. They started their partnership with the iconic IPL Team Chennai Super Kings in 2011 and have been going strong ever since. Their most recent ad with MS Dhoni shows an interesting conversation between a young Dhoni and the present Dhoni and the fans love it because what’s better than one Captain Cool? Two! For Gulf Oil, cricket is not just a sport but an emotion and through this, they have won every Indian’s heart. 

  • VIVO IPL – INDIA KA APNA MANTRA

The Indian Premier League themselves have come out with an interesting ad to promote the league and teach us an important lesson. In their newest ad starring Captain Cool aka MS Dhoni who takes the avatar of a monk, VIVO IPL wants to show that India now has a new mantra for success. In the ad, MS Dhoni teaches his students how greed is not a bad thing if pursued in the right interest giving an example of Mumbai Indian’s Captain Rohit Sharma and how the team has won the league 5 times. 

  • CRED – JACKIE SHROFF’S SECRET

As mentioned earlier CRED is a credit bill-paying platform known for their creative advertising and they have held that reputation proudly. With an addition to their previous ad with Jim Sarbh & Rahul Dravid, they have created yet another eye-catching advertisement featuring Jim Sarbh & Jackie Shroff. CRED lets the audience in on a small secret about their credit bill-paying platform along with Jackie’s secret to staying fit – ZUMBA! Talk about how to get a customer’s attention, huh?

  • MAGICPIN – THE SPOOF

After the viral CRED ad with Rahul Dravid, Magicpin found a way to troll the brand by creating a spoof of their ad bringing out some interesting points. It is true that all things have a positive and negative side and Magicpin just hit the right spot! The ad is a perfect contrast of the CRED ad and has been executed brilliantly by Vijay Raaz in order to bring out how Magicpin is down-to-earth. 

The Indian Premier League 2021 started not long ago and we are already seeing some super innovative ads from brands all around India. We are excited to see what more is in store from them. Our small survey has led us to see that the Indian Premier League is a marketer’s dreamland and we sure will get lost in it!

Lesser known Indian marketing books that are worth reading

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The best marketers are the ones who constantly try to improve their craft, no matter how good they are at it already. If you are looking to read some offbeat, lesser-known marketing books that will help you in enhancing your marketing skills even more, here is a list of such books written by our very own Indian authors.

Decoding the Digital Jungle

Written by digital marketing experts from Social Beat, this book deals with the various aspects of digital marketing and the methods marketers use to leverage the medium to grow their sales and revenue. Much like the annual spectacle of millions of wildebeest and zebras migrating from the parched savannahs, humankind too witnessed an even greater migration over the last two decades where 500+ million Indians ‘migrated’ to the internet. Over the last few years, this migration has led to a phenomenal growth of digital marketing. This book will help beginners wade through this digital wilderness and is packed with case studies and infallible insights. Decoding the Digital Jungle takes the readers on a safari of marketing concepts transitioning from the traditional to the digital age. You can get a glimpse of the expertise of the team on their YouTube Channel which has a knowledge series called Digital Bytes.

Storm the Norm: Untold Stories of 20 Brands that Did it Best

Written by Anisha Motwani, this book is a unique collection of contemporary, true stories about Indian businesses and brands that rewrote the norms of their respective industries. All the twenty stories are not only inspiring, but they will also bring in some remarkable change in your approach towards marketing and business management.

Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles

This quirkily titled book written by Ambi Parameswaran, an ad veteran, discusses the story of Indian advertising over the past 50 years. Over a hundred ads have been studied and examined in this book by the author. This book will let you know how advertisements take inspirations and influences from politics, culture, society, etc. Reading this book will give you in-depth knowledge about Indian advertising scenario.

Pandeymonium

Written by one of the gurus of Indian advertising, Piyush Pandey, Pandeymonium is not just biography but also a brief history of advertising and how its evolved. He has put in some amazing tidbits and experiences from his life at Ogilvy as well his love for cricket. He shares how he helped build brands like Fevicol, Vodafone & IPL amongst others. Most importantly he talks how he draws inspiration from people and things around his daily life.

Marketing Unplugged – Spotting the Elephants in the Room

How interesting would it be if there is a toolkit of new techniques that you can use to come up with new, innovative marketing strategies? Well, that’s what the Marketing Unplugged book has in store for you. This book written by Suman Srivastava is a book full of scholarly yet delightful ideas for marketing.

The 30 Second Thrillers

From humble beginnings as a Bollywood film billboard painter to the National Creative Director of Leo Burnett India, KV Sridhar (or Pops as he is known as) has seen it all and today is widely respected as a creative leader in the Indian Ad-world.  He’s credited with the emergence of Leo Burnett as a creative powerhouse in India so that makes this book even more interesting.

The book is unique because it brings together behind the scenes of every loved ad, right from the Doordarshan days to today’s YouTube; right from ‘Chal meri luna’ to ‘Airtel smartphone ads’. It covers interviews of creative heads and directors of all generations, right from vintage to new age. Pops has handpicked each ad based on their popularity among viewers and met its creators and talked to them about the entire process. He had left out the marketing jargons and advertising sham and just weaved stories using wonderful stories.

IIMA-Why I Am Paying More: Price Theory and Market Structures Made Simple

Satish Y. Deodhar has written a series of management books under the IIMA book series title. If you are looking to read the series, Why I Am Paying More is the right choice. This book explains the dynamics of pricing with respect to demand, supply, market structures, etc. Beautifully illustrated through various case studies and examples, this book is something that you can never put down.

India Reloaded: Inside India’s Resurgent Consumer Market

Dheeraj Sinha’s book on Indian consumer market is something that every marketing professional should read. Some brands and businesses fail in the Indian market mainly because of their assumptions about the Indian consumers. This book tries to break all those myths and misconceptions. It gives a fresh, new, and a genuine perspective about the Indian consumer market.

Is Your Marketing in Sync or Sinking?

Have you wondered why some startups become hugely famous while some just fade away? This book published by Notion Press and written by Yaagneshwaran Ganesh gives you an in-depth knowledge of the various marketing principles. While most marketing books talk about the macro concepts, this book speaks of the micro concepts of marketing as well; this is quite crucial for new-age marketers.

The Sweet Spot: How to Maximise Marketing for Business Growth

As we all know the sweet spot is the optimum combination of factors or qualities to achieve success. True to the name, this book brings to your notice the sweet spots that you can explore and utilise in the field of marketing. In other words, just like how sportspeople make hardest shots or tasks look easy because of the sweet spot, this book also allows you to make your business grow in an innovative, seemingly easy way.

Brand Shastra: Use the Power of Marketing to Transform Your Life

Mainak Dhar has written a dozen of books in multiple genres. Considered to be one of the best-selling authors in India, Mainak Dhar primarily writes on science, marketing, and management. Brand Shastra is one of his latest books and is also listed under the Amazon’s list of Memorable Books of 2016 So Far. This book discusses the various aspects of marketing, ranging from primary promotions to B2B marketing. More than talking about the theories of marketing, this book explains the science and logic behind the various marketing tactics.

Don’t forget to check out our video on 7 Best Marketing Books Every Indian Marketer Needs to Read for a few notable additons to the list.

We hope, by now, you have a handful of books to be added to your to-be-read list. What are the other books published by Indian authors, that you would suggest for marketers to read? Let us know in the comments.

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