Humanizing Market Research Process: Connect With Your Audience


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When dealing with products, services, and enterprises, it can be quite easy for researchers to sideline or even completely ignore the human aspect of research.

To acquire data efficiently with market research tools is a structured and meticulous process, but to gain actionable insights that actually work, you need to keep the human aspect at the center of your research process. You need to create surveys that are friendly and welcoming to keep respondents engaged. 

To truly become a customer-first brand, you need to first design customer-focused market research. In this blog, we’ll explore how to humanize market research and connect with your audience on a more human level.

7 Tips for humanizing market research

Humanizing the market research process is not straightforward, but with the right planning, it is a challenge that can be easily overcome. This approach helps you ensure that you don’t simply sell your brand but teach its impact to your audience. It enables you to sound humane and not automated. 

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

01. Generalize usage behavior, not people

Market research tools can generate an incredible amount of data. Depending on your requirements, you can be presented with NPS® scores, KPIs, and a whole lot more.

However, even within the parameters you’ve chosen for your target market, there can be multiple permutations and combinations. Take people aged 20-25, for example – you can generalize how they use a product or service (although it’s quite possible for there to be differences here, too), but you cannot assume that generally, youth in that age range will display the same behavior.

Gender alone can cause a huge disparity in their priorities and their requirements, and the more your age range increases, the bigger the disparity in behavior you need to keep an eye out for.

02. Read the entire market 

Evaluate the depth of your relationship with customers by surveying the entire market and not just a select few. While it might be efficient to survey a smaller sample, the funneling, however, only helps you understand the breadth of your brand. 

Capture how your consumers truly experience your brand by leveraging online panels. Get a representative view of the whole market beyond your advocates. Use market research panels and conduct surveys in a competitive context to gather unbiased and real feedback on what customers say about you based on their experience. 

03. Incentivize your respondents on a human level

Yes, you need to thank your respondents both before and after they take your survey, but it can be necessary to incentivize them from time to time. It doesn’t even have to be a particularly valuable incentive, either. Simply offering them a discount or a promotion towards a service or product that you know they like will go a long way in getting respondents to put more effort into completing your surveys.

04. Humanize your questions; it helps!

It can be natural to think that while drafting questions for market research tools, you need to be short and to the point, as this prevents bias from seeping into your survey.

However, it can help to frame the questions to be relatable, as it can help lower drop-off rates.

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05. Data speaks for itself, but is it the right language?

You’ve conducted your surveys, and now there’s a huge pile of data to glean insights from – but how do you present those insights to your stakeholders? Sure, numbers are impressive, but not all customer touchpoints are quantifiable. These attributes need to be represented with nuance, with hard data often playing second fiddle, to show the human aspect of your research.

Adapt storytelling and transform your data into a narrative that brings your customer’s perceptions and experiences to life. A narrative can help your stakeholders connect with the target market and help them understand the implications of business decisions. 

06. Feedback is a two-way street

Actively seeking your customer data can be more valuable once you establish a feedback loop. It allows you to continuously improve your research process and demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction. 

Adapt your research process to take action that aligns with the audience’s preferences and expectations. A continuous improvement approach will help you prioritize a customer-first strategy and maintain a strong human connection.

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07. Market research is a valuable source for the audience; communicate your findings 

Presenting data and making it accessible and comprehensible to your target audience will help in humanizing market research. It’s vital that your intended market can relate to the research findings. Showing them how your research insights are relevant to your audience’s lives and how they can make a meaningful difference ensures that your research is as valuable to the target market as it is to you.

Wrapping up

In this digital age, consumers care about their experiences when interacting with a brand. Humazing market research demonstrates that you as well care about experiences and are willing to go to great lengths to align your business process with their expected experience. 

Humanizing market research shouldn’t be considered as just a trend. It’s a transformational shift allowing businesses to transcend from a company-first to a consumer-first mindset. The approach paves the way for a deeper human connection, humanizing your audience, making meaningful relationships, and uncovering new opportunities.