You often hear that market research is diminishing. Some have said that the need for market research services have dwindled as data collection and analysis become open to everyone. But this isn’t entirely true. It’s more a case that customer-centric business practices are opening up areas of market research that require newer, up-to-date methods. The development of advanced tools for data analysis coupled with growth and change in technology (such as the growth of mobile use) means that market research will grow in the following areas:
1. Text Analysis
The development of advanced text analysis tools has made it easier to use computer-assisted text analysis to understand the broader patterns in large volumes of natural text. As it becomes easier to distil key takings from large swathes of public or user-specific text, businesses can turn qualitative data (what customers are saying) into quantitative insights (how many customers have written similarly, for example).
As the result of improving text analysis, researchers need to develop new skills such as asking more open questions. Questions will no longer be limited by the need for hard, quantitative data, but instead will be driven by the need to gather individual customer stories and extract vital insights.
2. Agile Research Project Management
In project management of old, the standard approach was to plan every detail of your research strategy in advance and then execute it. This has become out-dated, as agile research has gained ground.
Agile research involves creating a research plan and responding to data gathered in real-time, so that research methods are flexible, iterative and adaptable. There is little use in following a research plan to completion that will only guarantee thin understanding, so this approach is effective for maximising useful insights.
In the near future, there will be substantial growth in companies that focus exclusively on offering agile research services. Services such as test of concepts and customer feedback surveying will be built around fast, adaptable research methods.
3. Increasing Analytics Options
As technology advances there are more types of data to collect and ways to collect it. The growth of social media will continue making crowdsourcing a valuable source of actionable data. Longitudinal information – tracking customer or user data over a long period, in contrast to once-off surveys – is another analytics option that gives detailed
insights. Increasingly, researchers will need to master data analysis software that empowers them to gather core, actionable insights from big data.
4. Customer-focused Research
Past attitudes to research have positioned businesses as guardians of research data but there is an increasing shift towards inviting customers to the table. Businesses are now partnering with their most active and invested customers to get direct input on how to shape brands, products and services. Researchers and customer experience analysts in the future will need to be more proactive about collecting and reporting on direct customer inputs.
If you want to integrate future-oriented market research that provides detailed insights into how you develop your customer experience, speak to Interact RDT today