According to a recent study, only 45% of market research has an actual impact on business decisions. Clearly, market research has a considerable way to go in terms of keeping up with changing business needs – which is where technology comes in. The application of modern technology has brought about a paradigm shift in the way research is conducted, analysed and applied. Technology, moreover, is constantly evolving, which opens up new avenues for market research to explore as we enter the new decade.
Factors driving change in market research
Market research begins with the collection of relevant data to draw insights from. The traditional methods of paper-based surveys are time-consuming and prone to loss and error. By contrast, modern survey collection software allow for real-time connectivity and instantaneous transfers of data, be it from email leads or live data captures at events. For instance, machine learning can be used to develop algorithms that identify multiple or fake accounts in survey responses as well as irrelevant responses on the basis of how quickly they were submitted.
Data processing and analysis
Artificial intelligence has immense significance in the world of market research. AI can identify patterns in data, draw comparisons with similar data sets and make predictions on how data will behave in different scenarios. By leveraging the power of AI, market researchers can filter out the relevant data and analyse it faster and more accurately than through traditional methods.
Today, the vast majority of people around the world own smart devices and are connected through them round the clock. This means that data collection is no longer bound by time or geography, but can happen anytime and anywhere through online connectivity. This factor alone has reduced the time required to conduct market research to a fraction of what it used to be.
According to Smart Insights, about 500 hours of YouTube videos and 65792 Instagram images are uploaded every 60 seconds. Social media has become the main channel through which people connect, which makes it a highly useful tool for market researchers. Through LinkedIn or Facebook surveys, researchers can collate genuine customer data without intruding on user privacy or taking up too much of the user’s time.
Key tech trends to watch out for
For real-time data capture, virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri have a distinct advantage over Google Analytics or other reporting software. Within seconds, these assistants can pull up detailed data based on specific voice queries, such as the number of website visitors during a week or the average time spent by visitors on a given webpage.
By setting up an interactive chatbot, data can be collected from millions of users with minimal human intervention. Users can answer survey questions through these chatbots on their mobile browsers without having to download a separate application. Chatbots can also be set up to send instant notifications to users whenever a new survey is ready.
While blockchain is yet to become universally accepted as a means of data sharing and collection, its applications in market research are potentially impressive. By setting up a blockchain, data can be stored and shared instantaneously on a transparent network that all its members have equal access to. There is potential for researchers and consumers to collaborate in new ways by making data sharing a two-way process rather than simply a matter of data collection.
Advantages of using tech
Technology is allowing market researchers to connect with customers on a global scale like never before. This not only allows researchers more flexibility in terms of how, where and when to conduct research, but also allows users to answer surveys and provide feedback as per their convenience. Technology also connects researchers with new demographics and ethnic groups that may have been difficult to reach out to earlier.
Cheaper and faster processes
Thanks to new research techniques that allow users to respond on the go from their preferred devices, data can now be collected faster than ever before. Researchers also save hugely in terms of costs – instead of sending out entire teams to do field research and collect responses on paper, everything can now happen online with a simple survey form.
Improved data quality
Mere data collection is not enough. Much of the data will be irrelevant or incorrect, and the process of filtering out the relevant parts is extremely prone to human error. Machine learning algorithms can sift through all the data and strain out what is necessary much faster and more accurately than humans or traditional software can.
It is important to remember that market research is still in a transitional phase. Many professionals still struggle to apply ever-evolving forms of technology within their business, preferring more traditional options instead. However, as the demand for high-quality consumer insights continues to grow, the market research industry will adapt and embrace technology in newer and more effective ways each year. Realising this very early, we, the early adopters of online data collection in India provide businesses with real-time intelligence using best-in-class market research techniques and the latest methodologies. The integration of technology in our research process has removed redundant steps thereby reducing timelines considerably, apart from increasing the data quality.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.