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2 min read

Do I want Market Research, Consumer Insights, or Content Prediction?

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These terms of art get thrown around a lot in conversations I am having with customers and partners.  But it seems like we are rarely talking about the same thing.

So, I thought I would try to clear up some of the overlap and set a few rules for how to know what you are really ask for from your software or Consumer Insights team.

Let’s start with what each of these things will do for you.


Market Research

When people talk about market research, they are really talking about the hard data that is collected through surveys (quantitative) or focus groups (qualitative).  This could be raw data or some boiled down analysis of the data that may reveal some truth about your customers if you are good at reading spreadsheets and graphs.   Think of this as the formula, not the answer.

When do you want Market Research?
  • I have a very specific question that could be answered with a fact or trend
  • I need to compare what I know now against what I thought I knew then…
  • I want many discrete facts or inputs and I will sort it out later
  • I just want the data so I can form my own conclusion


Consumer Insights

Many of us will call Market Research “Consumer Insights” because it sounds waaaay more sophisticated.  In fact, they are different things all together.  Consumer Insights will often use Market Research to extract a story or deeper conclusion about the state of your audience.  Think of it as the answer, not the formula.

When do you want Consumer Insights?
  • I want the brass tacks and bottom-line of the situation
  • I am looking for someone to give me the story of the data, not the graph
  • I want a thing to share with others, but don’t want to overwhelm them with numbers
  • My focus is on the “why” and not the “what”


Content Prediction

Of the three, this is my favorite.  Content Prediction is all about being able to tell the future about subjective content based on objective data.  This could be a single metric, or a metric presented second-by-second for something like video.  The reason Content Prediction is so powerful is that it takes the hard data of Market Research and the storytelling of Consumer Insights to create a proven prediction of how the market will respond to the subject of your test.

When do you want Content Prediction?
  • I want more certainty for a specific decision
  • I want to know how something will perform in market before I launch
  • I don’t care “why it might” perform, I need a solid answer to justify my decision
  • I have limited budget and need to know where specifically to point my ad spend



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