Working on a project with a new client recently, we were deep-diving into a consumer segment they wanted to target but, as a business, had only really approached at a superficial level.
We had a wonderful presentation by their Insights Manager on the segment which really helped to get our heads around the target - but were still really struggling with deep, meaningful insights into this group.
Resources we drew on (with no time or budget to devote to market research at this stage in the process) were blogs detailing the day to day lives of the people we were trying to understand. And it clicked.
While not suggesting this kind of 'desk research' can take the place of good quality in-depth research, the internet offers a wealth of people, from all walks of life who are keen to share the details of their lives to anyone who will listen via blogs, video and photos. These bloggers, vloggers and instagrammers are not just a spokesperson opportunity for our brands, they are an insight into the very consumer we are trying to market to.
And, like old friends, we can lose touch even our target consumer that we know so well, blinkered by our products, pack changes and the needs of the business.
Do yourself a favour - subscribe to the blog or posts of an open, honest and prolific content provider in your target market - real insights will pop into your inbox almost daily.