5 Questions to Ask Social Media Market Research Consultants
Of all the firms rushing to provide Social Media consulting services, I’m most interested in the potential in new Market Research methods. If executed perfectly, Social Media Market Research will solve many problems with traditional market research: 1-Expense, 2-Bias, and 3-Confusing Data.
But, we’re not quite close to perfect execution yet. In fact, even though a Twitter Search is an easy way to find quick insights, quickly poll your Market Research leaders to see if they’ve done it. Chances are, they haven’t done much with this tremendous data set.
Bring in the Consultants
As any good manager knows, if you don’t have the talent, hire some brains (read: consultants). It’s easy to find a list of these firms, but to me, they all feel the same. Social Media is too new for any firm to have an established track record and most web sites and informational decks are going to look the same.
It will be tough to find the market leader in Social Media Market Research until we can better highlight clear results. Until then, you’re going to have to trust the consultants giving you the pitch and really question them to find the right partner.
Questions to Ask Social Media Research Consultants
Here are questions I think can reveal the expertise of Social Media Research Consultants. As always, watch out for answers at the extreme.
If my competitors have access to the same data, how can I turn this research into a competitive advantage?
- Bad Answer: We’re the best consulting company in this space so it’s our consulting output and a Non-Compete Agreement that provides the advantage
- Good Answer: This is a new approach that will be standard in the future. It’s best to build and embed capabilities now while the approach is in its infancy
How do you match and prioritize my business objectives to this research?
- Bad Answer: Social Media solves everything so we’ll customize the research to meet your business objectives
- Good Answer: We’ll consult with you to refine and select business objectives that can be fulfilled through Social Media Market Research
How will you help us research a certain demographic?
- Bad Answer: We can provide great detail on micro-demographic segments because Social Media is so awesome at defining people
- Good Answer: Social Media Market Research can provide higher quality insights on specific demographics by combining them with traditional research methods
Is your research quantitative or qualitative?
- Bad Answer 1: We only focus on quantitative data because qualitative data is so subjective
- Bad Answer 2: We only focus on qualitative data because quantitative data is not rich enough
- Good Answer: A good insight comes from triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data to explain the contradictions and inconsistencies between them
Which functions within my organization will benefit from your insights?
- Bad Answer: Social Media is so awesome that it impacts ALL parts of your organization
- Good Answer: It depends on your customers. If your product or service is information rich, your marketing or service department is going to benefit. If your product is highly technical, your engineering department will benefit from understanding customer dialogue.
Posted By Ben Foster
In: Leadership and Management, Strategy