Social marketing: using desktop research v paid for research?

Posted by TeamPC on 3 Sep 2017

Social marketing: using desktop research v paid for research?

To be successful, social marketing agencies must first get to grips with their target audience.  In fact this doesn’t just relate to social projects, it’s a fundamental principle of any form of marketing.  So how do you go about understanding your target audience and seeing things from their perspective?


Quantative and Qualitative research are essential - however it’s delivered


Whether you do your own desktop research (based on what people have already done or produced), or commission a specialist research body, group of people, or business, to tackle specific questions, using a combination of desktop, field and other research techniques, it’s important that you develop detailed behavioural insights of your target audience.


Combination approaches work well


While paid for research takes different forms, it very often extends to activities like: user groups and brainstorming with people within a target group, street surveys, assessment of opinions, postal research and other online questionnaires.  It’s varied and different combinations really work.


The point is, research needs to be thorough and cover the opinions, thoughts and ideas of a good proportion of your proposed target audience.  General desktop research can then be used to provide an additional layer of detail.


In combination desktop and paid for research compliment each other and provide a more detailed insight into a target audience, or specific behaviour.


There are times when you may not have sufficient budget to commission your own research and that’s when you should consider using desktop research.  I can provide you with supporting data to understanding your target audience by browsing previous pieces of relevant research and identify the valuable behavioural insights you need to build a successful campaign.


Don’t cut corners by trying to do the research yourself


While the internet has made different research tasks much easier, don’t be afraid to ask your social marketing agency for help and support - whether your considering commissioning or using desktop research .  For a social marketing project to move on, it will require time, commitment and finance – don’t rush your research, guess the outcome, or influence what people think before you have heard it from them. 


Listening, learning and them finalising your social marketing health, education or sports strategy is the way it should be done - not the other way around.

We’re Perfect Circle – an open and honest social marketing agency that delivers life-changing behavioural change campaigns.

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