Our clients come to us for many reasons, one of which is to better understand their audiences or customers. In many cases, however, they need convincing that this issue is worth investing in. That is where the power of analytics and the voice of the consumer comes into play in something that we at Tahzoo call “audience research.” In order for us to achieve our goal of developing and designing a new website that enables end users to find the knowledge they seek or make a purchase through an efficient and enjoyable end-to-end experience, we need to better understand how these audiences work, search, consume or process information, and shop. In this two-part series, we discuss how audience research can be conducted with or without a live audience.
Getting in front of real live users:
In the case that your client’s audience is an internal employee, getting in front of them and capturing real live feedback is crucial. There are only 24 hours in a day, so taking an hour away from a busy professional to use them as a guinea pig for conducting research is a tall order. While it may seem unappealing to them at first, once they realize that their feedback will be taken to heart and make a difference, the ask often becomes easier. A business that offers a service depends on its employees to perform quality work and to maintain the status quo. Similar to how an Olympic runner is always encouraged to run a little faster, the work and the means by which an employee completes that work can always improve.
Meeting with individual consumers in person and capturing their feedback real time through a variety of methodologies during audience research or user testing is the most valuable form of live feedback. Not only can we see where someone clicks on a page or what happens when they search for a keyword or phrase, but we can see where their eyes are drawn on the page and understand what they are thinking – both positive and negative – as they verbalize their thoughts about their experience. In addition to in person user feedback sessions, these sessions can also be done remotely via Zoom or Skype, yielding the same results (though not as much fun for our consultants since they love to travel and meet consumers in person!). Other ways of capturing live feedback from users include user acceptance testing (UAT) or surveys. While we can get valuable feedback from appropriate sample size of individuals through in person audience research sessions, data on hundreds to thousands of end users is available through analytics and user behavior tracking tools.
No live audience? No problem.
We know that there are circumstances when assembling a group of users face to face is not possible. Stay tuned for part 2 of this segment to learn about how to use people data in audience research without seeing them in person.