Better customer insight - in real time : a new tool radically improves marketing research

H.N. Wilson, E.K. Macdonald, U. Konus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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To identify what influences the attitudes and behavior of customers, most companies rely on surveys, focus groups, and ethnographic research. The trouble is, surveys and focus groups tap customers’ memories, which are unreliable, and the presence of observers can cause customers to alter their behavior. The authors, three academics, believe they have found a new research tool without those flaws: real-time experience tracking. Conducted over mobile phones, RET allows companies to inexpensively collect instant, unbiased feedback from customers 24 hours a day. In RET, participants supply the answers to a four-question survey every time they encounter a brand, be it through a direct interaction, such as a purchase or ad, or an indirect one, such as a conversation with another customer. The process is incredibly simple: They need only text a four-character message. One major benefit is that RET allows firms to track campaigns as they unfold and readjust them toward the most effective tactics. [insert ref="callout-01"] This article describes how a growing number of companies, such as Schweppes, Energizer, and Fox, are using RET to inform their marketing decisions, increase sales, and help customers improve their own experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages6
JournalHarvard Business Review
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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