The Value of Market Research: Examples from the Alcohol Industry

trends brands and ethics on alcohol

Why research?

Market research is something all organisations, in all areas of business, can and should participate in. Anywhere where there are competitors to consider, consumers to understand, and business context to work with, research can only help. The alcoholic beverages market is not just a highly competitive area, it’s also a heavily regulated industry, and one with significant social considerations and implications. So understanding the market is perhaps even more important here than anywhere else.

Learning from the Online World

Social media analysis allows for a more wide-ranging form of market research than ever before: scaling up the principles of traditional surveys or focus groups to larger groups of people, and listening to their unsolicited opinions. Combine this breadth with significant depth of insights, and it’s clear that understanding online customer opinions is hugely valuable.

And that’s what this case study demonstrates. Using the ForSight platform, millions of online posts were analysed in terms of a variety of aspects of the alcohol industry. Areas covered include:

How people drink

Through nuanced text analysis, it’s possible to get an understanding of consumer behaviour. In this study, we look at what aspects of pubs appeal to people in the UK, and also at how consumers describe the reasons for drinking alcohol: is it a social thing? At home or out at a bar? To relax and unwind or party all night?

What people drink

Simply looking at ‘share of voice,’ using mentions, hashtags, or similar, will give insights into how different types of drink, or brands, are fairing. Wine or Beer in the UK? Pelforth or Kronenbourg in France? Jack Daniels or Jim Beam in Rhode Island? Once there, dive deeper to ask what’s driving people’s positive (or negative) sentiment towards their drinks: establish why consumers do what they do, and buy what they buy.

Who the consumers are

Demographics, such as gender, geography, age, or income bracket, have traditionally been the way to segment people, including respondents in market research. Here, however, we use Crimson hexagon’s Affinities tool to look at the actual, granular, interests of individuals. Rather than making assumptions about people based on demographics, why not look at who they really are, and what they are genuinely interested in?

Social implications

Alcohol has real, and serious, social implications. There are considerations that marketers and researchers should strive to understand, such as ‘binge drinking’, health issues, and under-age drinking. In this study, we take one such example, drink driving, and look at both attitudes (from condemnation to jokes) and effective messaging for prevention.

Download the full study now to see how knowledge, of the kind made possible by social media analytics, can be far more than just metrics or sentiment. It can be nuanced, detailed, and allow for both the avoidance of failure and, more importantly, the achievement of success.









Written by

Tom Whitney (@tw9449) is UK pre-sales manager at Crimson Hexagon. He has over eight years of experience as a marketer and pre-sales consultant with data analytics, campaign management, and social media software.

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