Power to the people” we used to shout whenever demanding our rights and expressing our needs. Because people have power, and the will of the many makes the world go round.

Marketers who will reach this conclusion, will secure their success by simply giving the people what they want.

Early Concept Origins

The concept Wisdom of the Crowds has been made widely popular by James Surowiecki’s book: The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations.

The book argues that the aggregation of information in groups leads, in many situations, to better decisions than individual judgement.

There are numerous arguments, examples, and anecdotes used to support this statement. The book mainly touches fields such as economics and psychology.

However, this does not mean support for crowd psychology or follow the crowd attitude. The point is made in favour of wise crowds, their members being rational, independently deciding individuals.

According to Surowiecki’s analysis, there are five main differences between rational and irrational crowds: diversity of opinions, independence, decentralization, aggregation, and trust.

Crowd Intelligence in Practice

The most common applications of this concept are used in various attempts of predicting and choosing the best possible outcomes in a given situation. They can be observed in prediction markets (speculative or betting market created to make verifiable predictions) and in rather sophisticated forecasting methods.

There is also controversy and criticism linked to this presumed wisdom of the many. There are, of course, situations in which the crowd may deliver very poor judgement, however independent and rational the individuals may be. Limitations of information, social pressure, and mob manipulation may determine the collective decisions to be biased and their predictions to prove false.

Some argue that crowd wisdom is best fitted for solving matters of optimization, rather than innovation. So, using collective opinions may be a good choice when the questions asked are already predefined and answers can be evaluated through simple, preferably numeric results – such as in the case of market research studies.

This perspective makes wisdom of the crowds a very useful tool to be considered in marketing and market studies.

Relying on collective input to design your business strategy and to forecast the way in which new products shall be received perfectly fits with the basic concept of putting the customer in the center of your marketing efforts.

Listen before you speak, understand before you sell

In any area of life, the key to understanding someone begins with active listening. And in marketing, which focuses specifically on people’s needs, wants and demands, a deep understanding of what the customers expect from you is essential. It usually makes the difference between a success and a failure regarding a product, service or brand itself.

Let’s put it this way: your company may make the best beef steak in the world, yet if you try to sell it in a vegetarian restaurant, nobody will buy. A mediocre salad will win against your scrumptious steak every time because the salad is what those people want.

On the other hand, if you indeed cook delicious steak and you manage to find some meat lovers’ restaurant, then your business will soon thrive. The lesson here is that is not only the product in itself that matters, but people finding use in that product.

Needs, Wants & Demands

You should reach what is called the consumers’ black box, meaning those stimuli and factors which influence the person in their buying decision. People will buy what they need and want, not what you present as a great product. If you can convince them that what you offer is a great solution to what they demand, then marketing has accomplished its goal.

But how do you actually reach this wisdom of the crowd in this context? Not all people think and feel the same, and with this in mind, you should decide from the beginning what kind the people you wish to serve (market segmentation).

Then, it is for certain not enough to ask for the opinion of only one person. If you’re singing for a crowd, and only one person sings along with you, then maybe you haven’t chosen the best song. Find that melody which you love and can confidently sing, and to which the whole crowd reacts to.

In the business environment, your product is your song, and your market segment is your crowd.

Gain Wisdom through Market Research Studies

A market research study is a tool commonly used to gather information and insights about your potential customers’ preferences. An essential part of any business strategy, it can help you to better understand who you are addressing to and how to best address them in your marketing efforts.

And, as the saying goes, the more, the merrier. You want to have your initiatives confirmed by as many members of your target market as possible before launching on the market.

The process behind such a research study, as well as how it works and what results are expected to be delivered, were presented in more detail by our team here. The complete guide (free download) will help you grasp how market research works and how it can impact your growth in business.

Keep this in mind: supply only comes to answer the demand. Market research is the tool that any business needs to pinpoint the demand, to understand it deeply and measure it.

As Peter Drucker perfectly put it: The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.


The Power of Digital

As technology radically improved (or at least changed) the way in which we communicate, it should come as no surprise that digital marketing is becoming more and more of an omnipresent and omniscient force.

The digital environment is especially useful in market research. According to recent statistics, in 2018, in this industry 79% of respondents have been surveyed online and 53% on mobile devices. The ones participating in face-to-face quantitative research? Only 23%.

Our surveys are filled in from mobile devices by 75% of the respondents.

These numbers paint a much bigger picture. Marketers must see the usefulness and efficiency provided by online methods of getting in touch with a digital savvy population.

Technology offers not only a new way of interaction but a different perspective of the world which reflects in demand habits and consumption patterns.

Ask the Crowds through Consumer Panels

Another great marketing application of the wisdom of the crowds is through consumer panels. These consist of groups of individuals giving their opinions and insights on various products, services, and business ideas; this information is used by brands and organizations in their market research efforts.

We, at MKOR Consulting, really do acknowledge the power of collective judgement and like to connect with people and have a deep understanding of their needs. This is the reason why we created our own consumer panel.

In 2016, we noticed that on the Romanian market, there were not many easily accessible consumer panels, and definitively not at very competitive prices. Fast forward to 2019, MKOR’s proprietary Panel has currently over 40,000 active respondents from all over Romania, acting as a reliable resource for companies.

Our respondents are real people eager to participate in all kinds of market research studies and initiatives.

In return, we take keeping our respondents happy and engaged very seriously. For their highly valuable input, we give people our gratitude and offer open communication and attractive incentives; we make sure that our surveys are approachable and user-friendly – and mobile friendly, too!

For more details, we invite you to explore our free-to-download Panel Book, which we consider an informative guide to honest market research in Romania.

Tell us what you want, what you really really want

At MKOR Consulting, market research is what we do best. We are assisting companies large and small to better understand and deliver high quality to their clients.

We provide information and guidance during the whole business process, from understanding the needs of your customers, creating and implementing the most suitable business strategy and assessing the results for further improvement.

We do believe that more minds think better than one – this is why we also highly value working as a team, not only for ourselves but also with our customers. And our extended team represented by our wise and creative consumer panel is always ready to deliver input to any problem you may have.

Do you want to reach your target market’s black box? Or, first of all, you are trying to identify exactly what your target market is? Whatever you have in mind, it would be our pleasure to discuss it together here.