Does my bum look big in this?

Let’s face it most of your friends won’t tell you and your partner almost certainly won’t.

But, great organisations need people to tell them what they might not want to hear or think to ask.

We need to hear the voices of people talking about us when they don’t think we’re listening.

A challenge

Is the way we conduct traditional market research creating our own echo chamber?

It’s not just Facebook and Google algorithms that curate our worldview – but our desire to find insight that matches how we work – that limits how open we are to different ways of seeing things.

We want to ask about the customer experience in ways that work for us and our stakeholders. We want structured, focused, timely insights that fit our KPIs, our business model and our internal understanding of the world we operate in – and that aligns with our reporting timescales.

Asking your ‘friends’ for feedback

Online Consumer panels are a good example. There’s lots of good to them, but it’s important to think of them as a different type of echo chamber. You build the walls of this chamber by attracting a self-selecting audience that wants to engage with you. You then put them through research and community activities shaped by you.

This poses two questions:

  • How honest will they be, they love you (or are incentivised by you) and don’t want to hurt your feelings!
  • How honest can they be, when it’s you (not them) that decides what to ask? They can’t comment on the all-important ‘bum to clothing ratio’ if you don’t let them.

We’re not saying these tools aren’t useful. It’s just… they only show the crescent, you need to see the whole of the (*cough*) moon.

Quick case study

One of our clients takes data from a wide range of sources. One of these is an online community. When they ask this community to give feedback on its staff – the results were really positive. Not only did they rate them more highly (than other quant studies) they also bought into the projected ideals behind them. They saw what our client hopes people will see.

But when we helped them test perceptions in social, the results were much less favourable and the importance of staff as a factor in the overall experience was much less noticeable.

The point

Social data has the power to help you test the validity of your other internally-focused insight tools.

It can expose you to:

  • Raw honesty about your brand and its place in the market. Maybe the hardest lesson here is how little people actually care…
  • Rather, it can show you what they do care about (spoiler alert – it’s themselves).

The nature and quality of our last interaction with a brand shapes how we approach the next one. So, it’s vital that we understand this in the most fulsome way – opening ourselves up to insight and feedback in as many ways as possible.

Social data can show you what’s really hurting, where you’re pushing the wrong buttons – or where you’re absolutely smashing it and how to keep this up.

This is what we do and we’d love to have a chat about how you could benefit from it.


About L+LR

We are the Social Insights agency.

We make social data simple. Simple for you to know what’s meaningful, to find new insights, to see opportunities and to spark inspiration.

We’ll help you use social to find and understand the people that matter to you. So you can create the right experiences, engage new audiences and appeal to people in the best way.

People are busy, we’ll help you become something they want to be part of.


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