When it comes to gathering market research, it's all about guerrilla marketing. This process refers to creative, real-world strategies for promoting a product or service - be it through physical displays, non-traditional billboard ads or mystery shopping.
Of course, mystery shopping is different from other marketing strategies in that it is not about directly promoting a specific product. Instead, it is about gathering data that can help inform promotional strategies and ideas.
Even so, employing secret shoppers doesn't have to be a daunting or costly task. The important thing is to hire a mystery shopping firm with solid experience and a team of reliable, dedicated secret shoppers. Mystery shopping may even help put your company ahead of the competition.
"Keeping track of who your competitors are, what people are saying about them and what they are saying themselves can help you differentiate your business and stay ahead of trends that could impact your business," Michele Levy, an independent brand strategy consultant, told Inc. magazine.
While secret shopping is certainly not a direct marketing strategy, its importance in influencing marketing trends and strategies is unquestionable.