Shantanu Ingale is an experienced media and communications professional at Future Market Insights, an ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firm, who recently conducted a study to determine which trends are currently reshaping the market research industry and are predicted to be there in the future.
Which trends are reshaping market research and how?
In the long run, organisations continue to chart their growth strategy and resilience through new avenues of profitability and dominance in new markets. Strategy & Market Research organisations and teams will continue to play critical roles in achieving these business growth goals through data and insight-driven decision making.
Market Research continues to play a crucial role in analysing real-time market trends, competitive benchmarking, customer intent behaviour to provide that niche insight on which business decisions can be based. And it’s a data ocean out there looking for the right-insight may seem like looking for a needle in the haystack.
Therefore it’s not surprising why this industry is adapting technology to sharpen data collection processes, research methodologies, and presentation of insights to its clients. Some of the technologies at the forefront of reshaping this industry are the leverage of automation & AI, Machine Learning & neural techniques, and others. These disruptive technologies are behind some of the cutting-edge Market Research Platforms designed like, cloud-based, enabling on-demand, and on-the-go research consumption. And some of the bold innovations in this area are coming from the Indian market research industry.
Disruptive technology trends that embrace market research procedures
1. Augmented reality and virtual reality are tools of the future
The introduction of virtual environments has presented us with a new dimension for research methodologies. Today virtual environments are being used for product concept testing, early-stage product feasibility analysis, and understanding consumer behaviour about a nascent product
Virtual environments or virtual reality as a research method could be the next progressive progression for the market research industry, owing to the increasing accessibility of such technologies in the research industry.
2. Future of Artificial Intelligence in market research
Artificial intelligence (AI) is assisting people in the market research industry in three ways:
- Task automation that aids in the efficient and successful completion of a job
- The ability to derive insights from a large amount of data indicates that the more data, the better
- And, last but not least, the capacity to provide interactions using natural-language discussions with the aid of technology.
All in all, for the future, artificial intelligence in market research is considered to influence and deliver marketing strategies, business models, customer service solutions, business results, and in-depth consumption patterns in the future.
3. How microdata is gaining prominence
Big Data has earned its fair share of skirmishes, but it is arguably the most talked-about subject amongst market researchers. "Microdata" on the other contrary, is now more important than big data. Although big data remains an integrate information for every research company, businesses have started to acknowledge that the most effective and targeted business decisions are inevitably supported by the empirical on individual customers' behaviours. As a result, a detailed understanding of the market and customers is required, which cannot be obtained by utilizing macro-level data patterns.
While large data remains a top goal for many market research organizations, others have recently become interested in "microdata" or data about individual customers' activity.
4. Role of online qualitative research and social listening
Online qualitative research is one market research trend that has been a clear by-product of the pandemic. Due to resource restrictions of in-person focus groups and other qualitative research methods, the only thing to retain track of this model is to migrate it online. Nonetheless, now that online focus groups are becoming more extensively used during methodological approaches by research professionals around the globe. There are substantial benefits of shifting your offline focus groups online, from adopting the right tool to manage data collection to engagement and digital rewards.
Due to the obvious broad social media footprint, it is becoming increasingly vital to listen to what is going on social media and to infer thoughts from dialogues. Due to the highly emotive nature of social media, there is a greater opportunity to get to the base of ideas, complaints, buying behavioural, macro and micro trends, and so on. You may isolate the data you care about and keep an eye out for short-term indicators around consumer research using social listening. This is indigenous research's future. While social listening may not be appropriate for all researchers and businesses, when done correctly, it can contribute to the early recognition of relevant channels.
5. Real-time vs. Agile
When it comes to agile and real-time market research, there shouldn't be a decision between the two; rather they should complement each other. In order to be successful in the market research industry, real-time research must be combined with primary research. Then and only then will we be able to put it to better use. For example, because real-time data indicates when a customer is looking for a product, survey data may help prioritise the triggers and marketing efforts that will most likely lead to a purchase.
Keep in mind that real-time market research is intended to be an additional source and type of data that provides a multi-dimensional view of customers, and it won't be useful if companies can't change quickly enough to include real-time results. However, combining the capabilities of real-time research and agile market research could result in a comprehensive perspective of a consumer's past, present, and future habits at the rate at which they change.
In conclusion, the market research industry confronts significant challenges and opportunities in the future. Faster analytics and report production will indeed be possible due to advances in technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. To be efficient, the researcher must take advantage of emerging technologies that expedite and streamline data collection and analysis, enabling researchers to dedicate more resources to higher-level problem solving and narration. New technology on the other hand, entails the mastery of technical skills and the evolution of skills and expertise that is often not traditionally associated with researchers.