Traditionally market research has been built on claimed data. This could be surveys, interviews or focus groups. These research methods- although can and have uncovered fascinating insights- are expensive, time-consuming and questionable in their accuracy.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz book “Everybody Lies” is built on the disparity between claimed and observed data. He refers to countless times this has been proven, whether this is people over-recording their charitable giving, their grades, the happiness found within their relationships or their tolerance in politics. Some examples from a recent study in a university being, 90% of professors saying they work harder than average and 44% of students reporting they had donated to the university in the past year when in reality it was 28%.
Whatever the topic, and whether it’s deliberate or delusional, the stats rarely match.
Davidowitz refers to search data as a “truth serum”. It reveals shocking insights into the realities of what is going on in consumers heads. Whether that is the terrifying volume of racist searches or the fact that parents are more than 2.5x more likely to ask Google if their son is a genius than their daughter, and inversely 2x more likely to ask if their daughter is overweight than their son. The reality is, people are asking Google things they wouldn’t dream of asking their spouse.
Although this reality can be worrying it’s not doom and gloom for brands and marketeers. Search data provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand what is really going on in our consumers heads and how we can ensure our brands and products are the answer.
It is true that search is undoubtedly slightly skewed to those questions, opinions and insecurities consumers would be hesitant to share with others, but that’s where social data comes in. It is in fact the opposite. Social data is fundamentally curated. It’s a place for consumers to express themselves exactly how they want to be perceived.
This means social listening is fantastic for understanding people’s desires and aspirational selves. Listening and moving with social allows brands to connect with the trends and the aspects of a category their audience want to associate with, making it the perfect place for brands to learn how to build demand.
Netflix was the first content provider to understand what being data-driven means. They watched how people navigated and interacted with their offering and built content accordingly. Using observed data to proactively determine their investments and production decisions; down to actor preferences and cinematography choices. The results led to House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black and… becoming one of the world’s largest media companies.
At Mindjumpers we are fascinated by people and believe consumers should be at the centre of brands content and advertising. In the last 2 years, 90% of the worlds data has been created as humans become increasingly reliant on the internet. We take pride in digging into the data and the gaps between what people think and what people say. This fascination allows us to build a deep understanding of the motivations consumers have within a category and recommend content accordingly. If you would like to enquire about our data and insight services, please feel free to contact us on the “contact” tab.