Purpose – The purpose of the study is to investigate the use of social media as a new investigative tool in marketing research. Design/methodology/approach – The paper's approach is an analysis of the existing social marketing literature and industry practice in marketing analysis. Findings – The market research profession has been affected by developments in social media. First, some of the traditional research methods suffer from changes in consumer communication patterns. As social media supplant communication methods such as telephony and even email, researchers have diminished capacity to reach consumer subjects. As a result, the social media have spawned a number of research techniques that overcome the problems that have started to affect the old techniques. Research limitations/implications – The article reviews the state of market research and its efforts to remain effective. The major new social media based market research techniques are described as well as their strengths and weaknesses. One limitation of the study is the focus on published research techniques. The study does not address proprietary techniques that may be used in practice. Practical implications – Social media have reduced the effectiveness of traditional market research techniques. Marketers can overcome that effect by employing some of the social media related techniques that have become available. Originality/value – To date, few, if any, academic studies have been done that assess the impact of social media on the use of market research techniques. The study draws conclusions that may aid practitioners in maintaining successful marketing research techniques.
Journal of Consumer Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 27, 2012
Keywords: Market research; Social media; Law; Techniques
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