With trends like big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation clouding the industry, it’s hard to get a word in on anything else new and exciting going on. While some innovations aren’t seemingly as impactful as those above, for us market researchers, small innovations in our industry can sometimes have a huge effect on our day-to-day work. Here are just some of the forgotten innovations of market research continuing to change our lives as market researchers.
The benefits of video response are numerous, including perks like increased reliability, higher quality of responses, and a deeper emotional understanding of consumers. But it’s not just those benefits of video that qualify it as an innovation. Greater penetration of smartphones and new technology with video has expanded its use to include tools for faster analysis and deeper insights. For example, we now have video capabilities that are not only able to quickly capture respondent videos, but provide a transcribed analysis and sentiment coding simultaneously. This means an additional increase in speed and quality of reporting and a new approach to the way we ask about, observe, and analyze respondent behavior— breaking down the wall technology builds around human emotion and interactions.
Text analysis isn’t anything new, so why are we talking about? In the past, analyzing open-ends or verbatims from respondents likely required sifting through the responses by hand or uploading the results to excel and categorizing them from there. Manually coding open-ended responses is a very time consuming and exhausting process for anyone who’s familiar with it. But once again, technology has come to the rescue with a wide variety of textual analytics tools now available to market researchers. Similar to transcribing video responses, new text analytics tools for both qualitative and quantitative text responses can tag, categorize, and quickly pull out key themes among responses. While this again reduces the time spent on analysis, it also creates more consistent results through the use of standard tags from study to study and improves the quality of results through the removal of human error and bias.
Combined and Blended Methodologies
Getting creative with methodologies isn’t necessarily a technology or product related innovation, but an adoption of new processes and ways of looking at things that certainly leads to innovation. We utilize a wide variety of research methodologies and do partake in shaking them up a bit. Combining qualitative and quantitative research phases is just one way we approach insight and innovation. Often it’s not just a question of qual or quant, but rather what combination of the two, when, and how. For example, an in-home usage test could be utilized with an attitudes and usage study to determine how a product is being used, by whom, and why.
Social media listening, while most applicable to advertising and branding, is an important innovation for market research as more consumers put themselves out there on social media. It’s typically the use of a technology to monitor what conversations are taking place among consumers about a brand or product in order for the brand to develop a stronger positioning, advertising, social campaign, or improve upon products. Getting its start before big data, many social media behavior and profile information can be incorporated into survey data. So it’s important to market research as we continually seek to gain a deeper understanding of consumer perceptions— outside of just asking for self-reported feedback.
In the end, don’t let the buzzwords be the only representation of what’s going on in the world. Learning about exciting new developments in the market research industry, no matter how big or how small, is always important to be able to improve upon the status quo. To see an example of how a major financial company used a combined, three phase, quantitative and qualitative approach to their research, download the case study below.