Social Media and Customer Insight

In a previous post, I reported on the keynote speech by Charles Hofacker, at the Academy of Marketing conference – you can read it here. Charles noted how computers have been getting smaller but more powerful, and closer and closer to the users. As a consequence of smaller, more powerful and closer information technology, consumer behaviour is changing. And, with the changes in consumer behaviour come changes in how we can study that same behaviour.


Marketing researchers have long struggled with the cost of talking with consumers – regardless of the type of data collection: interviews, surveys, observations or experiments.


Not long ago, if I wanted to interview, say, 20 people, I would have to travel to their location, which would take money – as well as time. Sampling might be limited to one geographical location to make data collection more manageable – and, hence, insight would be limited, too. Nowadays, I can talk with people all over the world through services such as Skype or video conferencing.


If I wanted to conduct a survey, questionnaires would be printed and posted with self-addressed, stamped envelopes. Then, the research team would wait nervously for questionnaires to be returned in the post, before the results could be entered manually in a database. Nowadays, we can simply distribute a link to a web-based survey, obtaining feedback that is almost instant, relatively inexpensive and with limited opportunities for mistakes to occur.


Other data collection options like journals, diaries, observations or experiments, suffered from the same problems: time consuming, expensive, difficult to access certain groups and margins for error, to name a few.


The exciting news is that the digitisation of consumer behaviour creates opportunities for the digitisation of consumer research. That is, the time is right to consider new approaches to obtain consumer insights.


At the Academy of Marketing conference 2012 (Southampton, UK), I presented some of the thinking that Jan Kieztmann and I have been doing on this topic. I am delighted to share the presentation with you here and on slideshare.


<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”Am 2012 presentation canhoto and kietzmann” target=”_blank”>Am 2012 presentation canhoto and kietzmann</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Ana Canhoto</a></strong> </div>


As an aside, I am also delighted to report that we received a ‘Best Paper’ award for this same work – or, as my youngest put it, a “special achievers” certificate 🙂




One thought on “Social Media and Customer Insight

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s