As international data protection regulations tighten and citizens' concern about privacy in the digital world increase, companies need to build customer strategies based on trust. Market research can help strengthen this trust. Here's how.
Concern about privacy on the Internet has grown significantly in recent years, which has led to a tightening of international data protection laws - the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States. In addition, general unease about the use of user data by technology companies has also led companies such as Google to move to eliminate third-party cookies.
In 2019, a Pew Research Center survey confirmed that 80% of US adults were concerned about how companies use their personal data. In 2021, David Temkin, Google's director of product management, advertising privacy and trust, said that "72% of users are convinced that almost everything they do online is being tracked by advertisers and 81% say the potential risks of having their data captured outweigh the benefits".
All this paints a picture in which the use of third party data and other invasive techniques such as online profile tracking to gather customer information are endangered strategies. Thus, companies should start looking for new methods to collect information about their customers.
Todo esto dibuja un escenario en el que el uso de datos de terceros y otras técnicas invasivas como el tracking de perfiles online para lograr información sobre los clientes son estrategias en peligro de extinción. Así, las compañías deben buscar nuevas formas de recopilar información sobre sus clientes.
In this sense, market research is positioned as a major methodology, since it is a way of knowing and connecting with customers based on trust, consent and proximity. Moreover, according to the latest trends in the subject, market research is also evolving towards techniques that promote consumer trust.
How to build customer trust with market research?
Unlike other common consumer research strategies in digital marketing and data-driven marketing —data analytics, customer segmentation, etc.— market research not only involves customer consent, but is also a way of interacting directly and listening to the voice of the customer (VoC).
While many companies already use market research occasionally —for example, before launching a new product or service— companies could take more advantage of it.
However, conducting regular market research can help us, among other things, to build customer trust, which is one of the most efficient methods to increase the customer lifetime value (LTV).
Below, we explain how we can apply market research to build customer trust.
1. Adapt questions and message to your target audience
When we apply any of the many techniques that market research includes - surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc. - we should use direct communication and talk to clients one-on-one.
It is also very important to adapt the message and its forma to the channel and target audience. Both the questions and the way we express them should approach the people we are addressing.
For example, if we carry out a survey on Instagram addressed to a young audience, we should use of images and emojis to attract the average Instagram user and, of course, we can use a more informal language than we would use if we were targeting business executives.
For all these reasons, we should take our time deciding what is the ideal customer profile for our market research. Before we start asking clients, we must be very clear about who we are asking, why and what is the best way to address that customer segment.
2. Take care of the customer experience
Uno de los motivos de más peso por los cuales muchas personas se niegan a participar en investigaciones de mercado es la certeza de que tendrán que responder a una gran cantidad de preguntas larguísimas, repetitivas y poco interactivas.
One of the most compelling reasons why many people refuse to participate in market research is the certainty that they will have to answer a large number of lengthy, repetitive and non-interactive questions.
Expectations regarding customer experience are on the high, in market research as well. Therefore, when creating market research, it is essential to take care of the customer experience and to make the process as enjoyable, fun, interesting and interactive as possible.
3. Promote honesty and transparency
According to a recent survey conducted by Global Research Business Network, only 34% of users trust market research companies. This is a worrying statistic and the reason why it is so important to explain our intentions from the outset when conducting market research. Participants should know at all times what the information they provide will be used for, who it will be shared with, what use will be made of their personal data, etc.
When conducting a market research, it is essential that clients know all the details of the process and what the research will be used for beforehand.
The main objective of carrying out market research is to improve some aspect of our company in order to provide a better service or customer experience. Thus, informing customers that our intention is to provide them with value and to know their opinion in order to better meet their needs and treat them the way they want to be treated is always a good idea.
4. Share results with participants
In relation to the previous point, sharing the results of our market research with the people who have participated in it is one of the best ways to build trust and make customers feel part of the project.
By sharing the results of our analysis with participants, we are rewarding their effort with value, while showing them what their input has been used for.
Customer trust will make the difference in the coming years. Only those companies that have managed to establish a bond based on transparency and mutual trust with their customers will be able to compete in a world where data protection will be increasingly enforced. In this context, market research comes handy as it allows companies to know their customers and helps them build customer trust at the same time.
Also, the latest trends in market research already include the use of trust-building techniques. Don't miss the 15 most important market research trends of 2022!