If you keep up with news (or even if you don’t), you’ve probably heard a lot about Big Data. Big Data is the collection of massive data sets, usually gathered over time that can be taken in whole or in part and analyzed for patterns that produce insights into human tastes and behaviors.
U.S. companies spend billions annually on marketing research, which goes to show doing your homework can play an important role in the business world. After all, marketing research can help companies define their target audiences and trim the fat. Research allows marketing dollars to be focused on individuals most likely to provide a return on that investment.
But you don’t need an Amazon- or Target-sized budget – or even Big Data – to gather high-quality insights into your consumer base. Customized, primary insights such as surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews, alongside the examination of purchase habits and other company records, can reach into the hearts and minds of key stakeholders and pinpoint how their lives intersect with your brand.
There are a myriad of resources companies can pull from online to help them keep an edge in their industry and incorporate those trends into their marketing mix. Some of these outlets are expected, such as trade publications and websites, while others are well-known but may not be top-of-mind as marketing tools.
Here are a few that I keep bookmarked in order to stay on top of trends for our clients:
• Pew Research Center
• eMarketer (newsletter sign-up may be required)
• The Washington Post – Know More
Many of these entities offer eblast subscriptions, so you can receive regular digests of trends delivered effortlessly to your inbox. If you’ve found the right ones, they’ll never feel like junk mail.
By Kate Cunningham, Saxum account executive with specialized expertise in audience insights and research.