<trp-post-container data-trp-post-id='26795'>Les studies marketing outdated ?

Is marketing research no longer useful? Some time ago, speaking at a conference at Adetem, Bruno Walther, founder of Captain Dash, was a little provocative: "With the new CRM and retargeting tools, we no longer really need to conduct research to understand the consumer; we hold all the cards to respond optimally to their expectations".

After all, when an Internet user is surfing TV websites this festive season, they don't need to know anything more to send them a discount voucher for a particular brand to spend in the TV department of their favourite e-tailer.

A small - but important - limit to the technique: after the customer has made a purchase - not necessarily online, incidentally - the retargeting pros will continue to bombard them with offers, each more tempting than the last... and totally useless! CRM provides a good understanding of the past. But what about the future?

Still marginal until the last few months, this kind of talk about the uselessness of in-depth knowledge of customer expectations, and of marketing research in general, has developed rapidly in recent months with the craze for artificial intelligence. However, we have no experience of its performance in terms of predictability.

AI is great: we feed it everything that's being said and happening on the Web, it digests it all in a very short space of time, and then proves itself capable of sending everyone the offer that suits them best at the optimum time: no more need for research, no more need for marketing even! Long live automated commerce!

Otherwise, they'll probably opt for something more or less similar, but in desperation - and their satisfaction will never be complete.

Take the elderly: they are of great interest to retailers because their purchasing power is often greater than that of many working people, and when they buy a television set they tend to go for the top of the range.

Many of them suffer from hearing problems and often display the subtitles of their favourite programmes; another feature of this target group is their relative incompetence when it comes to technology... which means that they often struggle to access the menu enabling them to activate the subtitles.

Fortunately, there's always someone close to you, a friend or an installer - for a small extra charge - to set everything up... until the day an update resets everything!

We could, for example, imagine a specific button on the remote control to automatically activate a number of pre-settings to make life easier for senior citizens: certainly a good selling point to tip the balance in favour of one product over another - provided it is not exorbitantly over-priced.

This kind of approach requires a more detailed knowledge of its customers, going beyond the simple online or in-store purchasing process.

To the question: "Can we do without marketing research?the answer is... "Yes" if you don't hope to do better than your competitors, and fight in the same swamp, ignoring uncharted territory.

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