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.

Posted By Ben Foster

Posted on April 29, 2009 at 10:43 am by Ben Foster · Permalink
In: Leadership and Management, Strategy

9 Responses

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  1. Written by Chris Brooks
    on April 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm
    Permalink

    Hey Ben,
    Very good article and some interesting points. I especially like that social media is so “awesome” it affects all aspects of your business. I agree with you last point 100%. Social media is a great tool to add to your marketing arsenal, but it isn’t the be all end all of marketing.

    The way firms will get ahead in this new time is by finding unique and innovative ways in combing existing and new marketing technologies into a customized package for their client. It is all about customizing the tools firms already have and focusing on one customer at a time.

  2. Written by Chris Brooks
    on April 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm
    Permalink

    Hey Ben,
    Very good article and some interesting points. I especially like that social media is so “awesome” it affects all aspects of your business. I agree with you last point 100%. Social media is a great tool to add to your marketing arsenal, but it isn’t the be all end all of marketing.

    The way firms will get ahead in this new time is by finding unique and innovative ways in combing existing and new marketing technologies into a customized package for their client. It is all about customizing the tools firms already have and focusing on one customer at a time.

  3. Written by John Rood
    on April 29, 2009 at 8:33 pm
    Permalink

    Hey Ben,
    Great post — I really like the “good answer” to your second question. My concern with some doing social media-based market research is that their claims tend to prove too much. SM can’t replace *all* of the benefits of traditional qual research, but it can definitely be integrated into an overall strategy in ways that maximize speed and reach while minimizing costs.

    The firms who win in this market are going to be those who can help companies integrate social media successfully into a complete research strategy.

  4. Written by John Rood
    on April 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm
    Permalink

    Hey Ben,
    Great post — I really like the “good answer” to your second question. My concern with some doing social media-based market research is that their claims tend to prove too much. SM can’t replace *all* of the benefits of traditional qual research, but it can definitely be integrated into an overall strategy in ways that maximize speed and reach while minimizing costs.

    The firms who win in this market are going to be those who can help companies integrate social media successfully into a complete research strategy.

  5. […] Objective – Act like a Social Media Market Research consultant to study what conversations are occurring on the web about y… […]

  6. […] Evaluate a Social Media Market Research Consulting firm and their ability to surface insights from listening to existing conversations. […]

  7. Written by gilescrouchwebconomist
    on December 2, 2009 at 10:34 am
    Permalink

    Ben; great and topical article. My firm is a research/insight firm analysing Social Media – and your points are very valid.

    Concur with John Rood and you; Social Media research cannot replace all the benefits of empirical methods, it just provides another level of insight. All have different values and it depends on what you need.

    The other main problem we encounter is that many of these “automated” reputation monitoring solutions only search via Google, which is a consumer search engine for consumers. There's a difference there.

    Thanks for your great insights.

  8. Written by gilescrouchwebconomist
    on December 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm
    Permalink

    Ben; great and topical article. My firm is a research/insight firm analysing Social Media – and your points are very valid.

    Concur with John Rood and you; Social Media research cannot replace all the benefits of empirical methods, it just provides another level of insight. All have different values and it depends on what you need.

    The other main problem we encounter is that many of these “automated” reputation monitoring solutions only search via Google, which is a consumer search engine for consumers. There's a difference there.

    Thanks for your great insights.

  9. […] Outsourcing work to experts is not only more resource effective, it typically leads to better results…Unless you didn’t ask your Social Media Consultants the right questions […]

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