A few years ago when big data arrived on the scene, there was some speculation (such as this) that big data signaled the end of the market research industry.
At Communications For Research we have been leaders in the market research industry for more than 20 years. Throughout this time, we have lost count of how many “disruptive game-changers” were supposed to turn professional-grade market research into a thing of the past including perceived threats such as the web, social media, cell phone-only homes, Millennials and the list goes on.
Here’s the thing: rather than triggering the beginning of the end, these disruptive changes have INCREASED the need for professional-grade market research -- and our ongoing success and growth (as well as many other reputable firms nationwide) is evidence of this. We run over 600 unique market research projects a year, and demand for our services is growing; not shrinking.
Are we bucking the trend? No. Rather than killing market research, these innovations have lowered marketplace barriers to entry, driven up competition, fragmented traditional marketplaces, and turned the conversion-based sales funnel into a relationship-based buyers journey. The end result is that businesses need more market research intelligence to survive and thrive; not less. And that brings us to big data!
Like its disruptive predecessors, big data has not, is not, and will not signal the end of the market research industry. Rather, it will continue to be INTEGRATED into professional-grade market research to make it even more reliable, insightful, intelligent and actionable.
Here are the 3 reasons how big data market research improves -- rather than impedes – business decision making, and why it is one of the best things to happen to market research in decades:
1. Greater Visibility of Customer Behavior
Big data market research enables businesses to look beyond how customers interact with them, and see how their target market interacts with competitors. This 360-degree visibility paints a clearer and more detailed picture of the marketplace.
2. Predict Future Actions
Many businesses are overloaded with customer data, but they have little insight on what their customers are likely to do (or need, want and demand) in the future. Big data market research connects the dots and provides valuable context, which can be used to create robust models that predict future customer behavior – and help businesses get ahead of the curve and their competition.
3. Improve Marketing & Messaging
Big data market research goes beyond the “what” customers are doing, and sheds light on the “why” by revealing aspects and characteristics associated with factors like intent, perception and motivation. All of this can be leveraged to improve marketing and messaging, and ensure that the right communications are being sent to the right target audiences, at the right times and in the right ways.
The Bottom Line
Big Data has never been (and never will be) a threat to the market research industry. On the contrary, it is a compliment that elevates and enhances market research data -- both quantitative and qualitative -- to tell a deeper, wider and clearer story that paves the way for better business decision making. Frankly, the only entities that are worried are agencies, consultants and employees that are not doing actual market research.
To learn more about the integration of Big Data and market research, contact the Communications For Research team today. We have been utilizing Big Data approaches and technologies for years, and the outstanding results we have generated for our clients confirm beyond any doubt that rather than being on its last legs, this is the beginning of a Golden Age for the professional market research industry!
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