Willingness to participate in surveys declines
The success of a company depends heavily on how well it can respond to signals from the market. Surveys and market research methods in general are an important tool to find out exactly that and adjust developments, decisions and communication accordingly. However, brands today are often reminded that change is constant and that non-personalized incentives to participate in surveys or disclose data are no longer enough. Rising customer expectations, evolving technologies, and new competitors are shaking up the market for high-quality market research results and limiting consumer willingness to participate, often necessitating the hiring of expensive market research firms.
Regular feedback is essential for customer-centric focus
High-quality, customized market research is an advantage that can pay off for companies. For example, once the results are analyzed, companies gain insight into customer behavior, brand popularity, product development, market size, marketing strategy design and other information that can be critical to brand success. This information is important for companies to ensure targeting of the target audience by means of the right products or services. In addition, a customer-centric approach makes it easier and faster to identify trends and signals in the market that offer concrete added value for companies. In this way, customer behavior can not only be identified, but at best also predicted.
Thus, for almost every company, the developments and decisions about marketing strategies or product launches are primarily about connecting with and understanding the customer base. Successful brands know that regular feedback from customers is essential for customer-centric alignment to offer identification potential for consumers. But creating exceptional brand experiences requires consideration of many more factors than a product's launch. Only brands that listen to their customers and, most importantly, connect and engage with them can truly understand what influences their behavior and, accordingly, their decisions.
Valuable market research results are often time-consuming and costly
Valuable market research results are necessary to achieve results that sustainably improve brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, and make the development of products and marketing strategies customer-centric. Due to their expertise, many companies resort to the support of professional market research companies. However, in addition to low response rates, high time and cost expenditures, imprecise targeting in particular repeatedly stands out as the biggest problem. This is because the market research process by third parties is often based on consumer groups that are only representative of the actual customer group. As a result, it is often not possible to guarantee 100% that the information obtained is applicable to actual customers. Of course, it is precisely this data that is most valuable to companies. This can very easily lead to frustration if subsequent product launches or marketing campaigns do not meet the expectations of the target group.
In addition, consumers often do not feel the necessary incentive to share data with third parties or to actively participate in surveys at all. It is therefore not surprising that, according to several studies, less than a third of those approached online actually participate in surveys. Offline, the rate looks even worse. Today, discount codes, free shipping or loyalty points are often no longer enough to build a relationship with a company's own customers, attract new customers and offer them outstanding brand experiences. The high costs that often accompany this are difficult to compensate for many brands above a certain scale and corresponding quality, which is why it is obvious to use new technologies.
Consumers have been quick to adopt a number of new technologies in recent years, increasing their hunger for change. This also applies to the way they interact with businesses. To make a lasting impression, especially on younger consumers who are constantly on the lookout for new opportunities, mail surveys are no longer an option.
Verify and survey customers with token-gating technology
Given the high time and cost involved, low engagement rates and, most importantly, inaccurate targeting, it is worthwhile for companies to deploy technology that addresses these very issues. Using an in-house platform that can only be accessed by the company's own target group, and that can be approached and surveyed as often as desired, can overcome the problems that often arise with external research companies. One way to do this would be to introduce a token gate. This allows companies to efficiently, quickly and cost-effectively survey their target audience and collect valuable data. In turn, this data and information can be used directly and without detours to optimize customer loyalty programs, marketing campaigns and product development. We have already reported in detail on the token-gating principle as an innovative way to retain customers in this article. Basically, a token gate grants only certain customer groups access to areas of a website or app. Any content can be implemented behind a token gate, such as the placement of surveys, polls and feedback conversations. This can ensure that survey participants are verified customers who support the brand's development process for either intrinsic or monetary reasons. After all, in order to keep the motivation to participate in the surveys behind the token gate constantly high, it makes sense from a business perspective to distribute rewards or loyalty points, which in turn can be used for other added values.
What is special about conducting market research behind a token gate is that, on the one hand, there are no intervening third parties between the researching company and its customers, and on the other hand, only verified customers can be surveyed. This is exactly what makes the technology so valuable and innovative in terms of information gathering through market research.
Building brand ambassadors
It's not always easy to create genuine and meaningful brand connections. It is even more challenging to build an enthusiastic community of followers and advocates of the brand who are also willing to help the brand with their participation in surveys. A major benefit of the technology addressed is that it can help companies build a sense of community. Since companies decide which group of customers can participate in which market research campaign, the distribution of the 'keys' that grant access to the token gate can be customized. This quite quickly opens up an exclusive group of people in the company's target audience who can enjoy access and the associated survey participation and added values. If the associated added values are customer-oriented, which can be achieved through direct questioning, for example, possession of the access keys conveys a sense of exclusivity and brand affiliation, which can turn them into brand ambassadors. In addition, consumers' active co-creation of a brand to which they feel they belong can trigger a sense of appreciation and specialness.
What are NFTs needed for in this context?
The accesses that the company distributes to the customer group are based on blockchain technology and are classified as NFTs. This means that the access keys cannot be forged, cannot be copied, and are therefore unique, as unique ownership can be proven. In addition, NFTs are tradable and thus able to unlock interest from potential new customers.
Suppose a fictitious soft drink manufacturer collects feedback from 100 brand enthusiasts by providing them with an NFT as an access key. This NFT grants access to the beverage manufacturer's token-gate website, which is equipped with specific questions about the taste of the new flavor. The brand also shares that after participating in the survey, customers will have a small sample pack sent to their homes as a thank-you gift. Through this involvement, the brand is focusing the launch of the new product 100% on the customers, who, through their active participation, are very likely to become future consumers and, ideally, brand ambassadors. This exclusivity makes the NFTs very attractive to fans of the brand or even to potential customers, who therefore consider buying them. At this point, the company benefits not only from valuable data and strong customer loyalty, but also from new customer acquisition and marketing opportunities.
The possibilities that the NFT can offer customers in this regard are almost unlimited. This particular access key thus belongs not only to a group of fans or followers that the company can easily identify, but also to a community that can now share and interact with each other on social media, show its belonging, and feel part of something truly special.
Alignment between strategy, business goals, and customer focus is essential
NFTs offer almost limitless opportunities to build deep customer engagement. From creating an innovative brand story to rewarding survey participation to offering special privileges and community access rights. However, to successfully launch a project and align it with corporate goals, it is critical to develop a strategy in advance. A market entry without a detailed presentation of the goals, customer requirements and project plan could damage the brand image. For this reason, we recommend a no-obligation discussion to first find out how your company will benefit in the long term with NFTs and especially in the Web3 world.