How the world of Market research is evolving?

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 broadcastcontent 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.


Common Data Analysis mistakes

Here are five things to watch out for when doing data analysis:

  1. Apples and oranges: Comparing unrelated data sets or data points and inferring relationships or similarities.

  2. Poor data hygiene: Analyzing incomplete or “dirty” data sets and making decisions based on the analysis of that data.

  3. Narrow focus/not enough data: Analyzing data sets without considering other data points that might be crucial for the analysis (for example, analyzing email click-through rate but ignoring the unsubscribe rate).

  4. Bucketing: The act of grouping data points together and treating them as one. For example, looking at visits to your website and treating unique visits and total visits as one, inflating the actual number of visitors but understating your true conversion rate.

  5. Simple mistakes and oversight: “It happens to the best of us.”




BIG DATA, BIG QUESTION

Big data does not mean big insight.

Examining the tactics for building a unified view of the customer, Market leaders were united in thinking that although the amount of data available is greater than it ever has been, the key to understanding was to drill down by asking the correct questions.

Google group product marketing manager Mark Riseley said that: “At the moment, the analytics explain less about the why. This will get better but at the moment this is a problem. “

 Lucien Bowater, director of strategy and insight at BSkyB, agreed and said that although having this data was good, the conclusions made solely from big data were not “what they ask for”. He continued: “You have to choose what business question you are trying to answer and choose how you answer it.” RBS head of customer experience Steve Whitty commented: “How do we grapple with fragmented data? Can we plot strategy out of it? It is less about how to measure more, but what are we going to do about [data]?”

Bowater added: “I don’t need three decimal places [in the researchers’ report], I just need to be told where to dig.”

Published by MRS Annual Conference 2013