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The Rise of Guerrilla Market Research


Have you ever heard of “guerrilla market research?” It is an unconventional and agile approach to gathering insights from customers or target audiences. It involves using creative, low-cost, and often non-traditional methods to quickly collect qualitative data and feedback. A few years back at a market research conference I heard several corporate researchers lamenting on the fact that they had rogue marketing executives who wanted more research faster. The researchers, stated that these execs were so impatient they couldn’t wait for the quarterly research conducted. When I heard them talk I actually sided with the execs. They wanted feedback for each stage of their decision making, and their decisions weren’t made every quarter. They were made daily and weekly and they were finding ways to connect with customers more regularly to help them make these decisions. IC Customer Experience Platform was made for these rogue execs, because it allows to tap into a real customer base whenever they need to to help them make decisions.


The term "guerrilla" in guerrilla market research draws inspiration from guerrilla warfare, which emphasizes agility, resourcefulness, and adaptability. Similarly, guerrilla market research aims to achieve quick and actionable insights without the need for extensive resources, time-consuming processes, or large budgets.


There are several reasons why guerrilla market research is growing in popularity:

  1. Speed and Agility: Guerrilla research methods allow for rapid data collection and analysis. By bypassing traditional research approaches, such as lengthy surveys or formal focus groups, researchers can gather insights in a shorter timeframe, enabling faster decision-making and iterative product development.

  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Guerrilla research often relies on low-cost or even free tools and techniques. This makes it accessible to organizations with limited research budgets, startups, or teams looking for cost-effective ways to gather valuable customer insights.

  3. Authenticity and Context: Guerrilla research often takes place in real-world environments, allowing researchers to observe users' behaviors and interactions within their natural context. This authenticity can provide deeper insights into customer experiences and preferences compared to controlled lab settings.

  4. Direct Customer Engagement: Guerrilla research methods often involve direct engagement with customers or target audiences. This direct interaction fosters a deeper understanding of their needs, pain points, and desires. It also provides an opportunity for researchers to ask follow-up questions and probe further into customers' perspectives.

  5. Flexibility and Creativity: Guerrilla research encourages out-of-the-box thinking and creative approaches. Researchers can tailor their methods to specific research objectives, adapting techniques such as intercept interviews, mobile ethnography, online surveys, social media listening, or even participatory design sessions. This flexibility allows researchers to uncover insights that might be missed through more rigid research methodologies.

  6. Iterative and Agile Product Development: In fast-paced industries or highly competitive markets, organizations need to quickly adapt and iterate their products based on customer feedback. Guerrilla research aligns well with agile product development methodologies by providing continuous feedback loops and real-time insights, enabling teams to make informed decisions and prioritize improvements rapidly.


While guerrilla market research offers numerous benefits, it's important to note that it may not be suitable for all research objectives or contexts. It is most effective for gathering qualitative insights and exploratory research, complementing more traditional research methods rather than replacing them entirely.


Overall, guerrilla market research is growing in popularity due to its speed, cost-effectiveness, authenticity, direct customer engagement, flexibility, and alignment with agile product development approaches. It empowers organizations to quickly gather meaningful insights and make informed decisions that drive innovation and customer-centricity.


If you would like to find out more how IC Customer Experience Platform can help your business please contact us!




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