September 23, 2020

The Achilles’ heel of traditional market research

These days, behavioral data is widely available – clicks, purchases, interactions, views, … Marketeers are pampered with a wealth of data. If harnessed right, behavioral data can provide dynamic insight in your customer. Unlike static, traditional methods, behavioral data can provide an answer to the everchanging nature of your customers.

Every marketeer knows that the only way to effectively market a product, is to understand your customer. Companies can only start to advertise their products or services, after they understand who they are communicating to. Traditionally, there have been three approaches to gain insight in the minds of the customer.

Traditional approaches

The first one is the easiest one, but surprisingly enough often forgotten. It is to simply place yourself in the shoes of your customer. Marketeers shouldn’t need complex deep-learning algorithms to avoid embarrassing mistakes. All too often, we see “marketing fails” that could have been avoided with a bit of common sense!

The second approach is to ask consumers what they think. Qualitative research has been paramount in marketing. It is particularly valuable in finding out about opinions, reasons and motivations. However, to be prudent, we need to combine this with our third approach: quantitative research. Quantitative survey research can validate our findings on a large enough sample of consumers. This way we are sure that our findings extrapolate to the real world.

These traditional approaches give companies a good understanding of how their customers reason and what their needs are. However, they have one crucial weakness. A weakness which becomes more and more apparent in today’s rapidly changing world.

From static to dynamic approach

The Achilles’ heel of the traditional approaches is that they are not able to cope with the dynamic nature of a consumer. Time and time again research has shown that a consumer is not a rational, consistent agent, but rather an impulsive, emotional being. We constantly change our minds. Consumer needs are shifting by the minute. Motivations and reasons are completely dependent on the context of the moment.

This is where a fourth approach comes in. Instead of analyzing how a consumer thinks, we continuously observe what they do. The best predictor of future behavior is still their past behavior. Behavioral targeting is the process of targeting your customers, based on customer buying, strolling and/or clicking behavior. Unlike traditional targeting methods, behavioral targeting allows you to dynamically change your strategy with every move your customer makes.

We help our clients incorporating behavioral methods, for instance by translating their behavioral data streams (purchases, visits, clicks, interactions, …) into valuable, dynamic segments for targeting. This way, we continuously identify loyal customers, promising leads, new targets, sleepers, and so on. We feed this intelligence back to our clients. These clusters can then be targeted with tailored marketing actions. For instance, loyal customers can be rewarded, sleeping customers can be reactivated and new targets can be persuaded with special offers.

Want to know more about how KWARTS helps you with behavioral marketing? Give us a call or get in touch via