At the heart of an account planner’s role is the ability to listen to what customers knows about a brand, how they feel about it, and how they use it.
That’s why we always have looked for new and better techniques to understand what they like, what they say to their friends, what they associate the brand with, and how they experience the brand – all in hopes of moving toward brand loyalty.
No wonder social media insight is proving such a powerful qualitative research modality.
Today, account planners can observe and learn from online communities by following the real-world conversations that take place there. Through networks (LinkedIn, Facebook), blogs, forums (WebMD, PatientsLikeMe), bookmarking (StumbleUpon, del.icio.us), podcasts, visual content communities (Flickr, Pinterest, YouTube), and micro-blogs (Twitter), we can construct a more complete picture of how a brand fits into a customer’s life.
In addition social conversations already taking place, we can use social media platforms to create our own source of customer research. Here are just a few tools we’ve used lately in our Discover stage with clients:
- Online focus groups
- Webcam one-on-one interviews
- Content monitoring services and text analysis software
- Keyword search analysis
- SEO and linking research
- Brand story and concept evaluation surveys