Digital research – why it matters

Digital research can be confined to 5 areas: Audience research, Audience listening tools, Cultural research, Competitive research and Industry trend research.

1. Audience research: its size, composition and characteristics.

Types of data usually are:

Demographic: location, income, age, gender, occupation and education

Psycho-graphic: lifestyle,  life goal, beliefs, opinions, musical taste, personality

Behavioral: product use, product adoption, product testing, online activities and retail experience

The most common place for audience research are social media platforms. They are accompanied by a powerful social intelligence tools; gathering knowledge and insights, what removes the need of manual data processing.

Data can be also obtained from third parties, like research companies: Claritas (PRIZM), Nielsen, eMarketer, or Spark. Data can come as a free report, but usually require a business subscription.

Specific data related to a product or trend can be collected through online survey platforms.

Behavioral analytics provides insight  in the area of actions og the audience and/or customers. It gives an answer, where to optimize processes to realize specific business outcomes.


2. Audience listening tools (called as well “social listening”) is simply the process of monitoring of digital media channels. This monitoring concerns terms, products and concepts associated with the brand to develop a strategy to better influence consumers. The most popular software in this area is: Hootsuite, hashtags, Influencer, Tweetdeck, Talkwalker, SocialMention, Meltwater, K-Matrix, SocialPower


3. Cultural research: provides answers how a given culture creates and transforms a variety of life-related events: individual experiences, social relations, everyday life and areas of power.

Cultural influences are sourced from: geographic influences, language and memes, influential figures, cultural rules and past and current news.

Exporting a campaign marketers need to adapt their entire strategy to the cultural reality of a new market or community. Adapted must be messages, visuals and media choices.

Adaptation to a global context means that the message has to be global and not adapted to each particular subculture. Cultural research allows to find a common ground and patterns across audiences and address the message properly.

Cultural research allows to diminish the risk of offense or misunderstanding,  which can attract a negative publicity. Knowledge of cultural background allows to reduce risk and pass message successfully to a new culture.

Cultural research is conducted mainly on social media (conversations), by a research or through dedicated platforms.


4. Competitive research: simply provides knowledge about movements of the competition in the area of marketing (message, positioning, perception of the customers, market area targeted, results achieved online). It involves social media, search, competitor’s assets and content analysis.


5. Industry trend research: monitors changes and advancements occurring around the industry category in view to stay ahead of the competition. Benefits of the industry trend research are: identification of market opportunities, keeping pace with the audience’s communication style and media, planning of the next marketing action.

The most popular tools to follow industry trends are:

Social media: TweetdeckGoogle Trends, trending topics
Market research: Euromonitor, eMarketer, Nielsen
Search Analysis: Google Ads
Academics: Google Scholar Base