It’s clear that the world of market research is seeing some dramatic changes. Below are some ways in that we have seen it evolve:
1. It’s getting even more important to include research throughout the creative process.
Before, market research may have been considered a “nice-to-have” for marketers. It was something that could prove the efficacy of advertising and PR campaigns, but was reserved for development of products more often than anything.
However, as Paquette noted in his post, the rapid evolution of technology, mobile, and social is turning the marketing world upside-down (i.e. digital is replacing broadcast, content is key) and taking market research with it. Now, we need to research not only perceptions, but actual thought-processes and stories, because thoseare what resonate with the target audience in the end.
Research and development isn’t just relevant for potential products anymore, it’s relevant for marketing campaigns.
2. The numbers are not an exact science.
I’ve only been in the field a few years, and I’ve seen this for myself: the quantitative vs. qualitative differentiators for research are not as relevant today as they were even just one year ago. I have seen media pick-up of anecdotes in conjunction with hard statistics. As Greg Heist, a VP at Gongos Research puts it, “Quant or qual will be replaced by quant and qual. The worlds will collide. Both will occur simultaneously. The result will be research that is deeper, faster, and more insightful than today.”
3. More of market insights will be about researching what is already there.
Larry Friedman, Ph.D and Chief Research Officer at TNS, wrote a great post about how there’s plenty of data out there that researchers can use to answer unique business questions. Take it from me, though – this isn’t as easy than it sounds. There is no standardized process for analyzing data like there is for writing a questionnaire. It’s something to consider for everyone, however, because we live in a very accessible and data-saturated world.
The bottom line today, really, is that there’s no excuse for going into any strategy –including marketing strategy –on intuition alone.
Thanks for March Communications.