For market researchers in the know, text mining tools aren’t just a nice-to-have, they’re a crucial fixture. Text mining tools are popular for their ability to efficiently make sense of qualitative text data in ways that other business intelligence tools simply can’t.
Common sources of text data for researchers include free-text survey responses, social media conversations, online reviews, and focus group transcripts. When harnessed properly with the right tools, these sources of text data are used to boost understanding of target audiences, existing customers, and competitors to great effect.
Companies that use text mining as part of their market research efforts are saving invaluable time and money by taking the manual labor out of the analysis process.
1. Discover trends in topical online conversations
Consumer behavior is always changing. Analyzing public discourse about topics that are relevant to your brand can help you stay on top of these changes.
An electric vehicle manufacturer, for example, could use a text mining tool to monitor social media conversations about EVs over time. This would equip them with the insights they need to develop a resonant marketing communications strategy that reflects up-to-date consumer attitudes – including how consumers are thinking about issues around sustainability and growing fuel prices.
2. Spot trends and changes in how people discuss your brand or products
In a consumer landscape where almost 9 in 10 people check online reviews as part of their online buying journey (as indicated by Trustpilot), monitoring online mentions of your brand is more important than ever. Because of this, review analysis has become one of the most popular applications of text mining.
You could use a text mining tool, for example, to pull out key themes in your customer reviews (or brand mentions on social media), enabling you to spot worrying trends early, such as an increase in complaints about product quality.
3. Assess the real impact of a campaign or event
Shock events – like pandemics or natural disasters – can lead to major shifts in consumer behavior in short periods of time. Text analysis can help you conduct effective ‘before and after’ comparisons to understand the impact of such events, using survey data or social media conversations.
Being able to identify changes in fans’ language and behavior before and after the sacking of a football or soccer coach, for example, could help you and your stakeholders understand the impact on team allegiance and respond in the most effective and appropriate way.
4. Identify consumer differences across regional or international markets
Markets are rarely the same, with different markets requiring differentiated approaches to marketing and product development.
Take a brand operating in both the US and the UK, for example. By comparing survey responses or social media conversations from both markets through text mining, the brand could pinpoint important differences and understand how to localize its offering and communications on a granular level to best suit each audience.
5. Pinpoint differences and similarities between target audiences
In the same way that people within different markets can have different expectations, so too can different target audiences within a particular market. Through text analysis, you can look at age, generation, gender, buying behavior, and a host of other demographic or behavioral attributes to segment survey responses or social conversations.
This approach is among the most common text mining examples and could help an organization understand, for example, how Gen Z and millennial audiences differ in their expectations around a key topic, such as corporate sustainability.
6. Extract key themes from focus group transcripts
It’s no big secret that focus groups are a powerful way to get to know your audiences. But analyzing focus groups is more often than not a subjective exercise.
Text analysis can help return objectivity to the process, enabling you to easily identify the topics, for example, that occur most and least frequently throughout transcripts, rather than having to comb through them manually or rely on the anecdotes of focus group facilitators.
7. Analyze competitor brand messaging
Before you can get ahead of the competition, you need to get to know them. Analyzing competitor brand messaging from social media, websites, blog posts and more, can help you understand how they are positioning themselves in the market – and therefore understand what you need to do to both fit in and stand out.
If you learn through text analysis that your competitor is more likely to discuss product quality in their marketing communications, for example, it’s a good indicator that they view superior quality as their USP.
8. Explore customer reviews of competing products
Analyzing competitor reviews can help you understand how your brand is perceived in the eyes of your target audience, in relation to your top competitors. Being armed with this knowledge can help you hone your USP and inform everything from your marketing comms to your product development and sales strategies.
As an example, comparing customer reviews through text mining could show that people value the durability of your product compared to competitors, an invaluable piece of information you could then incorporate into your advertising.
9. Conduct whitespace analysis to inform new product development
Launching a new product or products can be scary, but text analysis can help you learn everything you need to know to put yourself in a great position for success.
An alcohol brand wanting to get into the hard seltzer market, for example, could analyze reviews of existing products in the market to gain a deeper understanding of what people like and dislike – perhaps observing trends in low/no alcohol beverages, or identifying the next big spirit craze. This information could then be fed into their product development.
10. Compare positive and negative reviews
Here’s the last of our text mining examples: Knowing what people like – and often even more illuminating, dislike – about a product or category, can be priceless for informing product and marketing strategy.
With the help of a text analysis tool, you can unearth positive trends in reviews, for example, to help articulate your brand’s value in messaging, and unearth negative trends to help inform future product development.
The sure-fire way to elevate your market research
And there we have it, 10 brilliant text mining examples that the savviest market researchers are using to great effect. From the varied applications of text mining in social media analysis to the infinite possibilities hidden within survey responses and customer reviews; the advantages of text mining within the world of market research are plentiful.