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market research through user generated content

Human Understanding: boost market research with user-generated content

Market research has recently been enriched with user-generated content, which gives further elements to know and understand the choices and decisions that move consumers, giving useful insights to deepen trends or expectations.

Two different worlds that work together to reach a common goal: human centricity. We will find out how this fusion can take place in our new webinar “Human Understanding”, with guests Teleperformance Knowledge Services, a consulting and MR company specializing in CX and HX, and Sisal Group, the first Italian company to operate as a State Dealer.

Join our webinar

This webinar will be held in Italian

Market Research starting from Solicited data

Market research could be seen as gold for each company. A set of techniques used to gather information and better understand a company’s target market. Businesses use this information for different goals: to design better products, improve user experience, and craft a marketing message that attracts quality leads and improves conversion rates.

Without research, it’s impossible to understand your users. Each company has to dig deep if it wants to win its loyalty. There are lots of different ways you could conduct market research and collect customer data. Four common types of market research techniques include surveys, interviews, focus groups and customer observation.


With concise questionnaires, you can analyze a sample group that represents your target market. 

They could be:

  • Telephone surveys: they are less expensive than in-person surveys but costlier than mail. However, due to consumer resistance to relentless telemarketing, convincing people to participate in phone surveys has grown increasingly difficult.
  • Mail surveys are a relatively inexpensive way to reach a broad audience. 
  • Online surveys usually generate unpredictable response rates and unreliable data, because you have no control over the pool of respondents.


The one-on-one interviews are typically conducted in high-traffic locations such as shopping malls. They allow you to present people with samples of products, packaging, or advertising and gather immediate feedback. By speaking directly with an ideal customer, you’ll gain greater empathy for their experience, and you can follow insightful threads.

Focus Groups

Focus groups bring together a carefully selected group of people who fit a company’s target market. A trained moderator leads a conversation surrounding the product, user experience, and/or marketing message to gain deeper insights.

Customer Observation

Individual responses to surveys and focus groups are sometimes at odds with people’s actual behavior. When you observe consumers in action by videotaping them in stores, at work, or at home, you can observe how they buy or use a product. This gives you a more accurate picture of customers’ usage habits and shopping patterns.

Criticalities and disadvantages of traditional methods

Methods commonly used for market research may contain cognitive bias: the person interviewed may respond as they would like to be and not as they really are.

  • In some cases, the respondents have particular characteristics that make them unique compared to those who normally refuse to answer;
  • In building the sample of users there may be problems with coverage of certain segments. For example, those who are too young may not answer or others may not have the means to do so, creating holes in the representativeness of the sample itself;
  • Problems related to high costs, inaccurate information, time constraint and constantly changing markets.

Unsolicited methods and data for market research

Social media and the web can be a perfect source to get complete market research: it is a representative sample that can be used for both small and large companies

The web is also a rare source of truthful consumer opinion: 80% of social media posts are about ourselves and those opinions and beliefs, expressed individually and within a community, are not interrupted or influenced by participation in a formal study or corporate focus group.

Additionally, consumers crave communication with brands on social media: 95% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are likely to follow a brand through social media channels; Shoppers report spending 20-40% more money on brands who interacted with them on social media; 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to friends and family. (Megamarketing)

Companies should resort to Web research (web listening or web monitoring), that is market research or opinion poll that consists of listening or monitoring the web, understood as interception, measurement, analysis, and interpretation of what is written on the net on a given topic, product or service.

Social media and the web are useful to market research tools to get instant feedback on customer experiences and beliefs, ask consumers about potential product improvements, get in-depth feedback, and target specific audiences within. or outside your social media.

Technology in Web Research

The web listening and analysis algorithms are made using an artificial intelligence software. Web research is based on the work of both the quantitative researcher, the statistician, and the qualitative researcher, the psychologist.

Born with the aim of measuring the relationships between digital channels and the estimation of an audience by digital channel, web research has become an important method for analyzing general attitudes or opinion mining, based on the processing of natural language, on computational linguistics and on text analysis, aimed at identifying and extracting measurable information from a document, such as sentiment analysis on a particular topic or trend detection , until the definition of personality traits if an audience.

The perfect Market Research: Solicited + unsolicited data

It is important to create an effective communication bridge and to relate two worlds as different as Market Research and the unsolicited methods provided by human and consumer understanding tools.

The union of the two worlds passes through the convergence of languages, methodologies, and results in a process of complementarity, peculiarities, points of contact, creating an added value in terms of “Return of Insight”.

An interesting merger that we will talk about in our new webinar “Human Understanding”, with guests Teleperformance Knowledge Services, a consulting and MR company specializing in CX and HX, and Sisal Group, the first Italian company to operate in the gaming sector as a State concessionaire.

Combination of solicited data and user-generated content

There can be various scenarios in which to use a combination of both data and methodologies to carry out our market research, such as obtaining information on a specific product or topic.

It is important to start with an exploratory survey on social networks and on the web on the channels where we can collect spontaneous opinions from users (comments, posts, reviews) with the aim of identifying the main pains and trends of a given context (eg: intercepting all the online conversations of people talking about beard shaving and shaving products).

By analyzing the conversations encountered, using artificial intelligence algorithms such as sentiment analysis or image recognition, it is possible to highlight some interesting insights (such as the interest in some specific skincare products) from which it is then possible to establish a focus group to explore and deepen the scenario with live people from which the questions for a more massive questionnaire can emerge.

A mixed methodology where we can use web research at the beginning of the approach and reuse the data deriving from user-generated content after the standard market research methodology.

Adding useful information to your strategy

Having a complete overview of solicited and unsolicited data, and therefore knowing the dynamics of consumption or having already planned the launch of a new product, it is possible to continue testing the propensity to adopt the product, the success of the launch using user-generated content, to understand the impact on a larger scale than that of the respondents previously.

All social networks and the web have data on your customers. While this data is not a representative sample of your total customer base, it is a source of un-violated opinion from passionate fans. If you want to understand the reasons, opinions and motivations for buying or not buying your product, social media is a rich and public source of market research material.

Human Understanding: boost market research with user-generated content

Market research finds in user-generated content, not only further elements to know and understand the choices and decisions that move individuals, but also a way to deepen trends or expectations.

The analysis of unsolicited data, on the other hand, is enriched with interpretations, and insights that help to understand and explain trends, sentiments and hot topics that naturally arise on the web.

Two different worlds, therefore, which when they collaborate reach a common goal: human centricity which today has become indispensable.

We will find out how this fusion of worlds can take place within our new webinar “Human Understanding”, with guests from Teleperformance Knowledge Services and Sisal Group.

Attend our totally online event to understand how to integrate web data into your market research and make the most of social platforms to understand your consumer, or to find new ones.

Join our webinar