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Why market research will never be the same again

20th Jan 2020
Rioks
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Market research has been long used to scrutinize market viability of a business idea, find target audiences and make strategic decisions for running a business. However, to attract clients and ensure your business becomes a strong profitable entity, you’ll need something more than just traditional market research. 

Proof of this is a report released by IBISWorld, which shows how much modern technology has disrupted traditional market research. According to it, the online survey software industry has been progressing year to year now being characterized by about 477 new businesses in the field, 11.9% annual growth (2014-2019) and total revenue of up to $1billion. 

Let’s look at what has been changing the landscape of market research lately and what to expect of the industry of insights in the years to come. 

Traditional Market Research and Why it’s Not Enough 

Market research dates back to the 1930s. Traditional market research is mainly concerned with the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from the target audience. Quantitative research involves reaching answers to questions like how many, when, where, how often consumers buy particular products or services. Qualitative analysis, in its turn, figures out the opinions, attitudes, beliefs, and intentions of buyers. It answers questions about the who, why and how of consumers.  

Even though traditional researching methods have been used by researchers, new findings have that they're no longer enough. So, what’s wrong with traditional market research?

  • Unreliable: It is too quantitative. The collected data seems biased because the majority of survey answers are not emotionally stimulated. Contrarily, in today’s marketing, we have to pay attention to emotional triggers of the target audience and look for even the slightest reactions to products, the deepest reasons why people buy. 

  • Shallow customer insights: Traditional research mostly overlooks the level of user involvement with the product or service. Generated results, in this case, can be either false-positive or false-negative. Thus, deeper-customer insight methods are more important than traditional research methods 

  • Opinion generalization: It’s difficult to use the opinion of a particular focus group to determine the preference of a market. Unfortunately, shadowing is a static problem of traditional market research. 

While it appears that the market research industry still holds on to conventional strategies, mainly its qualitative analysis aspect, there has been a notable shift towards the use of Artificial Intelligence, neuro research and automation technologies too. Thus, at the moment, market research is performed with a mix of traditional and machine learning methods, a technique otherwise called mixed-mode market research

Latest Trends in Market Research

The use of enterprise software for market research creates the possibility of digging into massive amounts of data and delivering a user-structure from it. This is interesting because a few years ago, all of this data was mostly gibberish. With the entrance of distributed computing and parallel computing, all that's changed. 

Other technological trends influencing the change of market research include:

  1. Webcam eye-tracking

Eye-tracking provides valuable data for exploring the user-experience of websites, games and applications and virtually any kind of user systems. By using this methodology during a usability test, you can see live what the user sees and immediately understand where usability problems occur. You can also identify what features of your website capture the most interest. 

  1. Artificial Intelligence and automation

AI applications are in action today. For example, banks have been using predictive modeling to approve or decline credit cards or personal loans. This kind of market research software allows marketers to on the team’s effort on leads with the highest ROI. This will also imply growing from quantity metrics to quality metrics. 

  1. Mystery shopping apps

The best market research automation software no longer uses sheer features. The mystery shopping app facilitates fieldwork and getting reviews about products from their users. This technology saves businesses ample time and money and also launches an opportunity to control the validity of the research. 

The Future of Market Research

The future of market research seems to be defined by AI, automation and data blending. As per Tractica, global Artificial Intelligence is expected to experience a shoot up in the coming years and its revenues will go from $9.5 billion in 2018 to an expected $118.6 billion by 2025. 

Market research software tools will continue to revolutionize consumer-company relationships. Overall, the potential to leverage market research automation software gives organizations four elements of privilege. These are:

  • Processes optimization: market research software recommends on the best practices and workflows and automates many mundane processes reducing workload and human error 

  • Access to the right data: since the amount of data is increasing dramatically - 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the last 4 years - the ability to access and interpret the right data becomes a major concern 

  • Actionable insights: With Artificial Intelligence, marketers are able to predict the demand and ensure that the company has the right level of stock and staff to meet it 

  • Testing and experimentation: Software gives the ability to experiment and set up complex AB testing the results of which will be analyzed in just a few seconds

Conclusion

Modern technology has made researchers reconsider traditional market research techniques changing the industry of insight forever. Obviously, the industry winners will be those who follow the trends and utilize the best market research platforms to bolster market research value.

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