Where does social media data analysis fit in the research budget?

On the first day of this year’s Market Research Event here in Orlando, Fla., I spent most of my time at the social media research-related talks, anxious to find out who’s doing what and what their takeaways are on taming the many-headed beast that is consumer-generated information.

Across a half-dozen or so presentations, the same question kept getting asked, indirectly and directly: If social media listening and analysis is here to stay as part of the corporate marketing research function, when it comes time to allocate scarce dollars in the research budget, which type(s) of research will lose out?

Will there be less money available for qualitative, since social media data is being used in the same kind of macro, directional way that focus group data can be? Will the quant portion of the budget be reduced, since the vast oceans of social media data may be viewed as a replacement for some larger-scale studies? Or will we see an entirely new line item?

Several of Monday’s presenters were posed those types of questions during the Q&A portions of their talks and no one had a definitive answer – which is understandable. In these heady early days, as marketing researchers grapple with what to make of this new source of information, many more similar questions will come up.

Where does the funding for social media data analysis come from in your organization?

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2 Responses to Where does social media data analysis fit in the research budget?

  1. Pingback: Where does social media data analysis fit in the research budget …Corporate Digital Marketing | Corporate Digital Marketing

  2. Taylor Lies says:

    It’s a fair question, but I think the questions you pose underscore that SMR is a method and methods are applied to questions, instead of blindly using a method and hoping it uncovers something interesting. SMR, like a focus group, in-homes, or surveys could potentially be relevant in answering many different questions. We seem very quick to pigeon-hole method (e.g., focus groups are taking a lot of heat lately), but all these methods probably still have a time and place. Ultimately, research start with the questions that need answering. From there you pick the most effective method that meets your constraints. Slotting money for SMR, qual, or quant is a bad way to start. Start with asking what does my organization, teams, leadership, etc. need to know then figure out how to get it.