2020 could have been a disastrous year for market researchers, with no in-person focus groups or in-depth interviewing and drastically reduced marketing budgets. But agile researchers pivoted, and methodology utilizing technology is not only here to stay but exploding in 2021.
Both structured and unstructured data overwhelm businesses from every angle. Finding faster, more consistent methods to sort, combine, and analyze "big data" is a large part of a market researcher's job, so perhaps it is no surprise that we are quickly adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) in this herculean effort.
Target Your Audience with Foresight
Businesses need to know their customers' minds: social listening and the various touch-points along the customer journey to purchase are key to predicting their next move. Our buying is online these days, so even a customer with the most modest purchase leaves a massive amount of data to assimilate in their wake. Gold mine. Brands that can curate and unite disparate information from various sources survive and thrive because they can comfortably forsee customer behaviors and lure customers into repeating the purchase process. These savvier players also anticipate what customers want next by building a deeper understanding of their customers' values and psycho-social demographics.
AI for MR
AI for market research analyzes a brand's consumer opinions and sentiment much quicker and easier than manual analysis. It is also able to handle a massive amount of data more effectively and with less bias. In the past, open-ended feedback in comment sections of surveys had to be evaluated and tediously coded by humans to impart meaningful consumer insights. Now, AI can determine whether the comments are positive or negative AND the nuanced tone of the feedback. Google clouds' Natural Language API is a real-world example of this open-end text interpreting tool. This type of interpretation is critical for brands looking to boost their messaging or engage target audiences on social media without spending the time to do it manually.
From predictive analytics to assessing websites and media, AI's role in market research is growing. Believe it or not, AI can even assist in the report-writing and analysis portion of the process. Certain judgments about data points can be learned and adjusted in the algorithms so that AI can spit out first drafts of reports. AI-driven behavioral predictions will also help market researchers understand which members of a focus group or bulletin board are disengaging so that a moderator can inspire and encourage them into participating. Did I happen to mention AI is more cost-effective too?
Insights Via Video
Video is not just for Zoom calls these days. Market researchers have heavily turned to video for online focus groups, in-depth interviews, and bulletin board/online community research methods for real-time insights. While technology and digital are increasing, there is still a need to connect human-to-human, but how we do that has changed significantly. Video offers more efficiency, lower facility cost, and no limit to participants based on geography. It is mobile and provides a built-in convenience. As those in strategic positions continue to work from home due to work-life balance and feasibility, video is the go-to research methodology. Researchers can instantly caption the recording for the hard of hearing and record for immediate distribution among all stakeholders.
Research On the Go
Over 95% of the world's population owns a phone, and most people get nervous the minute theirs is not within arm's reach. Our mobile device is our trusted friend, our connection with loved ones, an instant library, the way we make plans, reservations, find events, and order food. Most of us impulsively check it with every ding, hum, or ring.
Research has moved mobile too. With all the noise out there, it is hard for respondents to hear about research without hearing about it through their mobile devices. But notification aside, mobile phones provide firsthand, user-generated, primary data. This data provides more accuracy because it allows for insight close to and into users' daily lives. Since there is incremental, continuous data related to the users’ reactions over time, this translates to better accuracy in predictions of behavior in the future.
On the Go Data Analysis
Fatigue due to too many questions is one of the most significant challenges researchers come up against, but mobile research and mobile app-based research prevents that worry. Due to physical size and means, mobile analysis is concise and direct, which allows researchers more opportunities to provide answers that are precise and easier to digest. The faster, more direct turnaround provides for better quality and actionable results all around.
The larger volume and variety of data are hitting researchers daily. The brightest, most robust market research companies have embraced technology to react swiftly to our clients' needs.
Interested in Learning More?
To learn more about the latest market research trends, and how to exploit the advantages for your organization’s market research needs, contact Communications For Research today.
You’ll speak with co-CEO Colson Steber about your business goals and if market research can help you reach them.