Scientific approach in marketing: basic tools and working mechanics

One of the key tasks of the marketing industry is to determine the customer request. However, in the modern world, there are so many factors that need to be taken into account that superficial analysis of the target audience (TA) will not help build effective communication with the consumer. The scientific approach allows you to explore the interests, patterns of behavior, lifestyle and values ​ ​ of potential customers in depth, opening up opportunities for entrepreneurs to create unique sales offers and attract a new audience.

The world is changing, customers are staying

A few years ago, marketing successfully existed and worked on the basis of several methods of studying customers, namely: quantitative and qualitative research, which today are more often called CustDev (Customer Development), and longitudinal research, which formed the theoretical basis. The latter format allowed the study of behavioral patterns and preferences of people for an extended period of time.

However, time has changed, now research in the long term has passed into the background and lost its relevance. Thanks to the impact of evolutionary marketing, a new driving force has emerged – triggers. Quick access to information that people began to receive through other users on social networks leaves a significant imprint on the speed of change in the reactions of customers of companies and, accordingly, on Customer Journey Map (CJM).

In the new realities, entrepreneurs need to act quickly, clearly and continuously in a stream of interaction with the audience. Therefore, the old methods of scientific research require modernization and the introduction of new approaches.

The emergence of a new section of analytics in research: Tone of Voice considers the noise of the market

In the era of active introduction of influence marketing, the audience is always under the influence of market noise. Potential and regular customers of brands perceive information through the prism of the information noise to which they have access. If earlier the consumer received information through a limited number of sources: newspapers, magazines, billboards, TV advertising, now thousands of sources are available: blogger pages, groups on forums, publics on social networks, channels on online platforms, and so on. And each of them is fighting for the attention of the consumer.

Prior to that, to attract the attention of the client, it was enough for businesses to know their competitors in the market and stand out from them using TOV. Now it is important to understand exactly how your audience consumes information – through social networks, traditional media or other channels. Only this approach to audience research allows you to create targeted and compelling content on behalf of the company. This not only improves brand visibility, but also creates a connection with consumers, promoting loyalty and trust. Therefore, now, in addition to TOV, which was already a section of your brand book, it is necessary to take into account the current information, through the prism of which your target audience looks at the world.

New words and even whole combinations stacked into concretized or native sentences can be the key to accessing the client as a meta-message. The scientific nature of the approach in this case is that it is not enough just to take into account the trend on meta-messages, it is important to build a predictive model based on empirical data obtained after studying the target audience and the information noise surrounding it. And then you will be able to create and set trends that the rest of the market will actively pick up, which means that viral content will spread, which can reduce the CAC (customer acquisition cost) tenfold.

Scientific approach to business and building predictive models to attract new TA

Building predictive models helps not only highlight your TOV amid all information noise, but also draw attention to the brand from a new audience that previously did not fall under the description of targeted portraits from marketers. The world is changing, the target audience is expanding, the consumer group is growing, which means that the sales funnel also needs to be expanded.

For example, at the start, you described the archetypes of your clients and their behavioral models in a certain way. At the moment, your company has been on the market for about ten years, and these descriptions have become outdated. You do not need to change completely the portrait of TA, it is enough to analyze the modern market and consumers and include only a few new data in the existing descriptions. And now people who previously did not enter your TA only due to the lack of several indicators become your most loyal customers.

Most successful entrepreneurs do not use new opportunities to attract potential customers, content with regular consumers. But those willing to push boundaries and scale businesses even more are exploring the scientific approach of econometric regressions and uncovering correlations that did not previously exist. In this way, they create their blue ocean inside the red one, and not just enter a separate market.

Brand haters as a “chronic disease” of business: how to work with haters and carry out risk prevention of economic and reputational nature

The scientific approach allows you to improve communication and increase the loyalty of not only TA, but also brand haters. In a world where one disgruntled client can destroy a decades-old business empire, neglecting to track the behavioral patterns of the company’s haters is dangerous for business.

To understand haters, you need to think like them, analyze their information field and views on the world, highlight inconsistencies between your TOV and their position. But it is also important to find intersections in the interests of the brand and the hater, so that in the future you can build a relationship between the negative trigger and the impulse to change behavior in order to change the trajectory of the hater’s actions and thoughts, turning him into the most important fan. In this regard, marketing is similar to physics, where the final results of the experiment also depend on the variables and their trajectory.

Scientific research allows you to track the dynamics of the appearance of haters and identify causal relationships based on an analysis of their interests, sources of information and environment. Paying attention to haters on a par with TA, you create conditions for the prevention of economic and reputational risks for the company with a reserve for the future. The fact that you may soon get sick is indicated by the results of your medical tests, even if you feel good now. So in business: with the company’s most excellent position today, tomorrow a crisis may begin due to hidden signs of problems to come that were not noticed in time.

How the number of purchased chocolates is associated with customer bank loans – macroeconomics in action

Another research field is the impact of macroeconomics on the consumer. With frantic dynamics, the changing world creates the kind of supply-demand relationships that the market didn’t have before. The research method allows you not only to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers’ market, but to track the dynamics of people’s behavior, while it changes based on the impact of macroeconomic indicators.

The indicators of customers’ sleep trackers are associated with the number of vouchers purchased in the Maldives in the summer season, and the purchased chocolate with loans taken from banks. These such different and seemingly unrelated measures in practice directly proportionally affect each other with minimal approximation error.

This scientific approach of building relationships through the lens of macroeconomics helps market giants, such as Amazon, know in advance which woman will become pregnant, although she herself does not suspect this, or which of the customers is waiting for a spontaneous trip with friends to the mountains. At one time, Amazon’s rapid growth was due precisely to the fact that the company began to collect carefully data about its customers, since its first priority was to find out what customers want and what is really important to them. Even one of the former executives of the trading giant, James Thomson, spoke about this, calling Amazon an information company, and any interaction with a client is another opportunity for collecting data.

Room for development is changing marketing for the better

Room for development is an approach to expanding business research areas that conveys the idea of having the potential for further development or improvement. That is, it implies that, despite the scale of the company, there is still space or the ability to do something better, whether it is a skill, process or result.

Previously, product managers created new functionality for a site or application based on user behavior on the platform and the actions of competitors, as well as technological innovations in industry benchmarks. Thanks to this, at one time, convenient players appeared in online cinemas as well as the OTP function to watch films on board of the aircraft. This approach may be sufficient now to maintain the business at an average level. But with the help of the Room for development approach, many corporate productologists have revised the old strategy and are now working on the basis of a scientific approach to building multidimensional models that were not taken into account earlier. This helps to take the business to a qualitatively new level and stand out among competitors in the niche.

For example, an updated approach using multidimensional models allowed the largest Netflix corporation to introduce gamification content on its platform so that the viewer can choose the further actions of the heroes of the film. And many film studios have found that hiring actors with a baby face does not attract, but repels modern viewers. Because of this, the old strategy has changed its focus to hiring actors with average looks or even actors with features, and now video content consumers can identify themselves with characters, which involves them watching much more.

Three problems that scientific research solves in business

1. Definition of blind spots.

The dynamics of business development is somewhat similar to the movement of a car: when you drive, then as a driver you have your own blind spots, where other cars fall, which you can not notice when turning or switching to another lane. The result of such an error is an accident. In the case of business, blind spots may be an underestimation of competitors, external factors and possible risks.

2. Use of personal data in marketing.

In many countries, companies have a large database of their customers and potential TA, but do not know how to use them, except for accounting for the valuation of the company’s capitalization. To expand the pool of possibilities for using data, each company conducting research must, for its own big data, remember to implement an approach to maintaining a “laboratory sheet” for use in marketing too.

3. Search for a social mission.

Social mission is a new orbit of profitability in ecosystems. Therefore, now research has begun to be actively carried out through the prism of a social mission. At the same time, asking a potential TA directly is not always a good idea. Because people can lie to a researcher or even to themselves because of their own brain traps. Social projects allow you to reveal emotions in people who in normal times they do not show, do not realize or deliberately hide. That is why such a strategy in research can become effective, allowing new points of contact with potential audiences and consumers.

A scientific approach is the basis of effective marketing for long-term business history. It transforms the art of persuasion into a structured process based on empirical evidence. Without research, marketing turns into a gamble, and in a competitive business environment, this game does not give a chance to win. To build a long-term business history with the company’s prospects and growth, it is necessary to implement a scientific approach while building its processes, using research as a catalyst for informed decisions and a strategic innovative approach.

By Olga Osokina, serial entrepreneur, investor

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