Slashed research budgets should not stop you from talking to your customers

The impact of Covid-19 on the way we work has been extraordinary. Talking with people in the businesses that BrandHook work with, it’s pretty clear that things look very different to the projections they had last year. And in Victoria, we are very much feeling like these changes are here to stay for a while yet; working from home, reduced revenue, smaller teams, and slashed budgets to spend. It can all feel pretty grim for many brands right now.

What I love hearing about though is how clever, creative and determined marketers, and CX people are fighting through all the challenges that are being thrown at them. They know that their customers will be thinking, acting, feeling, buying and planning completely differently compared to even 6 months ago – they have to be, this global pandemic is changing the way we approach so much in our worlds.

A recent report published by SurveyMonkey states that ‘70% of market research professionals say they are likely to transition to more DIY tools in the next year’ and that ‘pandemic-fuelled budgetary cuts are contributing to more organizations considering agile, do-it-yourself research.’

Those clever marketers I was talking about are getting out and doing-it-themselves. Customer research gives you clarity and confidence to make business decisions – the golden rule that ‘you are not your customer’ is more important now than ever. Slashed research budgets is not a barrier for stopping customer research.

Sending out a survey is easy and there are many DIY tools to help you do this. Some well-designed questions can give you a solid understanding of what is going on with your customers and can start to build a framework as to where you should be focusing your efforts.

But, it is by having deeper and more exploratory conversations with your customers that gets you intimately closer to who they are, what is important to them and how your brand can align with their revised set of values. When you and your team start having focussed and meaningful conversations with customers three things start to happen:

  • You start to understand ‘why’ – giving reason to the survey numbers
  • You start to think and feel like a customer – not a marketer (this is the ‘empathy’ holy grail everyone talks about)
  • Opportunities for your brand you never thought existed can become apparent

We have built a DIY tool called Hearsay to support brands in having meaningful one-to-one conversations with customers. It’s an online, video based, tech product. It’s built on all we know about the rigour and science of qualitative research, and it’s DIY – so just perfect for this crazy time when we find ourselves with no money, but a huge desire to getting talking.

Get in touch if you want to know more.

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