29 September 2009

Viewpoint - Facebook: the future of networking with customers

Ray Poynter, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 50, No. 1, 2008, pp.11-12

In this Viewpoint article, Ray Poynter looks at the increasing importance of social networking websites. He argues that portals such Facebook could pose a challenge to traditional market research, a fact demonstrated in its simplest form by the opportunities they provide for finding out quick answers to simple questions at low cost. More radically, such sites could result in entirely new ways of working, by allowing researchers to refine the scope of their problem through interaction with actual customers before designing their brief. The flourishing of user groups around any and every topic, such as the one that successfully lobbied for the reintroduction of Cabury's Wispa chocolate bar, also shows that the way brands communicate with consumers is changing, and brand owners may have to give up some control to customers if they are to flourish in the new digital environment.