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Agile Market Research: What Does It Mean & Which Techniques are Used

Male student carrying heavy books at the library-322416-edited.jpegPeople around the world over want more: more money, more information, more stuff. And in the past, it was thought that to get more, you had to do more: research more, work more, reach more, produce more. But what if doing more to get more could be replaced by doing only the things that get you more? What if, instead of wasting time and energy on exercises that don’t yield quality results, you could focus on what really matters? And the pièce de résistance: What if you could generate outcomes faster? Agile market research is a tactical approach that seeks to address the urgency engendered by changing trends and consumer views by providing ongoing critique and modification of business practices in real-time. It replaces historically formulaic and lengthy market research campaigns with techniques that are quick (“agile”) to identify and remedy gaps in a company’s performance in order to drive results and improve ROI.

Take a look at four techniques used during agile market research projects:

Thinking Small

Instead of a large-scale market research campaign that takes a lot of time to develop and execute, agile market research breaks research bids in to short cycles (or sprints) that focus on what works and what doesn’t. If you’re waiting until a campaign is over to draw conclusions, you’re often wasting a lot of effort and expending time and resources needlessly.

Responding to Change Organically

Because projects are small and short-lived with agile market research strategies, any action that isn’t producing results can be identified quickly and efforts can be redirected. For instance, agile market researchers frequently upload multiple types of blog posts and content offerings on their websites to see what resonates with their consumers. Based on routine evaluation of their effectiveness, they can tweak subsequent actions to better fit their audience. If one type of content works, they capitalize on it by providing more of the same. If it isn’t generating traffic, or worse, it prompts harsh consumer response, researchers know to try something different.

Valuing Data Over Opinion

While qualitative data has its benefits, agile research is more focused on using hard facts to drive decisions. It continually seeks feedback regarding the effects of any changes and tracks ROI based on knowledge of past experiences, best practices and quantitative data.

Collaborating to Share Intelligence

Traditional market research efforts focus more on a singular course of action managed by people who follow a hierarchical chain of command, but agile market research makes use of a team environment to collaborate and share intelligence. Each team member is required to jointly address issues as they arise, enriching the decision-making process by preventing the tunnel vision that often accompanies a top-down approach. Collaboration also speeds up response times by allowing more than one person to take the reins should another be busy.

Learn More

Agile market research uses the strength of a team effort to shorten decision cycles. By uncovering data organically and identifying issues to address immediately, businesses can take fast and meaningful action. It’s not always the solution, though. Contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR) and speak to co-CEO Colson Steber who can help you determine whether agile strategies can work for you, or if a more traditional research plan would be a better approach.

You may also wish to download our FREE eBook, "How to Communicate the Value of Market Research to Your Clients", for additional information:

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Topics: agile market research

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