Looking back: 5 great ideas from marketing researchers 

As we near the start of summer, many marketing researchers are knee-deep in working toward the goals they wrote down in December 2022 – and with the rise of ChatGPT (and other generative AI), some insights professionals may be rethinking their Q3 and Q4 strategies.

We thought it wise to look back at the articles published in Quirk’s e-newsletter, magazine and blogs in the past six months and highlight a few that introduced interesting ideas or thought-provoking approaches. We hope you find an actionable tip or two!  

This compilation touches on the following topics: customer satisfaction studies; generative AI; consumer research in 2023; multigenerational workforce; bias and consumer research. 

The benefits of soliciting feedback from lost or defecting customers 

“Customers generally develop an emotional attachment or an association of convenience with a vendor/supplier. Even though they may stop conducting regular business with a supplier, chances are they still feel a bond with the company, so an outreach from the company isn’t considered that unusual; it may actually be appreciated. There’s also the feeling of flattery – being contacted and asked for their help and opinion. Plus, any contact gives them the opportunity to vent directly to the company rather than letting off steam by complaining to friends and family about it. Finally, their defection may have been under duress but made necessary by the absence of response to a prior question or outreach or the lack of appropriate information.

“Ideally any outreach to defecting customers should include: an identification process; a communication tool; a data collection survey; a diagnostic stage; and an action-planning sequence.”

Takeaway: It’s vital to consider the bias of your current customer satisfaction studies. Lost customers may offer a new perspective on a brand or service. Read the full article. 

ChatGPT and its impact on marketing research

“While ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it's not without its challenges and pitfalls. As with any new technology, it's important to be aware of them but we haven’t found them to be any kind of a barrier to use. 

“One of the biggest challenges is balancing AI with human expertise and creativity. For all that it can do, it's important to remember that it's not a replacement for human expertise and creativity. You’ll still need to refine, validate and size the ideas and hypotheses it generates using traditional methods. Use ChatGPT as a tool to augment both human skills and existing market research processes, not replace them. A good rule to remember is that you’ll always need to add to, edit, revise, reword and improve anything that ChatGPT generates. It always needs human strategic guidance and a human touch.”

Takeaway: As generative AI continues to enter the mainstream marketplace, marketing researchers need to work to be aware of its capabilities – and limitations – and how it impacts their everyday processes. Read the full article. 

The human experience: How consumers are reshaping marketing research in 2023

Trend cycles are getting shorter – marketing researchers are seeing shifts in markets that require changes to data monitoring practices.  

“Today, social media and consumerism are inextricably linked. Big picture values such as sustainability or social justice may be constant, but the smaller-scale interests of a brand’s consumer base are often in constant flux as driven by algorithms and trends.

“These continuous shifts – both in social media platform changes and consumer interests – require constant monitoring. This never-ending dance will continue to impact market researchers both as they interact with roadblocks presented by social media companies (such as restrictions on post collection) and work to keep their analysis of consumer preferences current.” 

Takeaway: The modern consumer is continuing to shift their behaviors, with many are still being heavily influenced by pandemic habits. Marketing researchers should look to near real-time data monitoring, as well as predictive analytics, as they work to widen their scope of information-gathering and analysis. Read the full article. 

Managing a multigenerational workforce: How to unify and support different generations at work

“Working with employees to set individual goals allows managers to support and encourage a multigenerational workforce because regardless of age, experience or demographic, there’s always a goal you can help them work toward. To amplify this concept further, you can identify individual strengths and focus on those by adding supporting skills. For example, if an employee in publishing has shown an eye for design, you can train them to use basic design software and slowly delegate simple design tasks to them as they develop their skills. If they enjoy this, you could continue to provide more testing and additional training and tasks to stretch them further.

“A few other notes:

  • Baby Boomers yearn to be recognized for their skills and experience. As such, they prefer a more structured approach to setting and pursuing goals.
  • Millennials want to be assessed based on their results. They may want to spend less time in the office than other generations but that doesn’t mean they aren’t focused on delivering. For them, the two tend to go hand in hand and they are much more likely to deliver above and beyond what’s expected when given flexibility.
  • Gen X wants more autonomy. When possible, give them the freedom to design their own work processes.” 

Takeaway: Multigenerational workforces are prompting managers to look below the surface to assist employees in working toward a common goal. By better understanding each generation – and their current life stage – companies can create environments where employees perform at their best. Read the full article. 

Researchers, are your biases holding back your brand? 

Positive consumer connections: Tailoring branding messages by audience 

“When we looked at the divergence between how seniors and caregivers perceive their needs, we saw that the overarching campaign needed to show how Allegro creates joyful living and fosters opportunities for active participation and contribution. Through this positive narrative, it would be easier to get the buy-in needed by the actual potential resident. Conversely, the caregiver’s point of view needed to be secondary and not forward-facing. The caregiver messaging needed to appear in targeted places for this specific audience or in requested materials. 

“Through these insights, Cannonball crafted the campaign Live Life Allegro: Live life on your terms and without limits. The messaging highlighted how Allegro encourages and fosters human connections that grow the human spirit. It focused on how Allegro’s concierge care and luxury amenities eliminate the little nuisances so residents can spend more time doing the things they want.”  

Takeaway: Brands and marketers must take the time to conduct in-depth consumer research to understand the biases and discrepancies that can cloud perceptions and decision-making. Read the full article.