And as most SMEs can't afford to shell out tens of thousands of dollars on the latter, a good number of them have historically launched their wares on an unsuspecting public with almost no reliable feedback from the consumer groups they are actually targeting.
Today, however, if you want validation from consumers other than your best friend and the guy sitting next to you at work, but don't have a five-figure budget for research, there are a lot more options, Chris Kelly, co-founder and CEO of consumer survey specialist Survata told FoodNavigator-USA.
Thanks to firms such as Survata and rival Instant.ly (click HERE), CPG companies of all sizes - from entrepreneurial start-ups to multi-nationals - can now get rapid and affordable insights at every stage of the product development process that can help them develop better products, and deliver more data-driven pitches to potential customers (or the boss), said Kelly.
Avoiding ‘survey addicts’
San Francisco-based Survata - which was founded in 2012 and works with a growing number of clients in the food & beverage sector - enables marketers to develop short surveys to determine demand for new products, get feedback on label or other changes, test which ad slogans resonate best with target consumers … and anything else.
While it does sometimes use online consumer panels developed by market research groups, Survata’s primary audience comprises readers of websites where paid-for content (eg. news stories behind a firewall, e-books, videos etc) is ‘unlocked’ for free if they agree to take a short survey.
Respondents, therefore, are not ‘survey-addicts’ or potentially biased sets of consumers that already like your brands because you are incentivizing them with your products - but “people that are not usually reached by market researchers”, claimed Kelly.
Marketers can use their first survey question for screening purposes
But how do Survata’s clients know who is taking their surveys and if they are the kind of consumers it wants to target?