Skip to: Main Content / Navigation

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Add This

Trade Talk: More proof that MR needs to adapt



Article ID:
20130502
Published:
May 2013, page 10
Author:
Joseph Rydholm, Quirk's Editor

Article Abstract

This article looks at a survey conducted among customer experience professionals and why they are more focused on increasing text analytics and VOC software than traditional marketing research.

A couple of things jumped out at me as I read summaries of findings from recent studies on customer experience (CX) professionals conducted by the Temkin Group, a Waban, Mass., customer experience research and consulting firm.

The first is, these people really seem to love their jobs. Among the 283 respondents surveyed for one of the studies, 98 percent of CX pros said they think they are in a great industry. Further, 49 percent think their efforts had a positive impact in 2012 and 75 percent expect to have a positive impact in 2013.

Customer experience also seems like a growth area, as 46 percent of CX pros expect their firm to expand their full-time CX staff this year, up from 40 percent last year. And just over half (54 percent) expect their companies to spend more on CX in 2013 than they did in 2012.

Which brings me to the other noteworthy data bit. When asked to indicate the vendors whose services they expect to increase spending on in 2013, the CX workers put text analytics and voice-of-the-customer software vendors at the top of the list. At the bottom? Market research firms.

Falling behind

For some insights on the reasons for MR’s poor showing, I checked in with Bruce Temkin, managing partner of the Temkin Group. In his view, many market research firms are in danger of falling behind if they don’t keep up with a radical change happening in the world of customer insights – one that has seen a host of other sources supplant marketing research as a key vehicle by which to monitor customer behaviors, opinions and needs.

“In the ‘old world,’ companies would periodically do research on customers that would lead to analysis by market research people, who would analyze the data and create some PowerPoint slides. The results might have initiated some action by the company but all too often the good intentions for making change dissipated quickly after the presentation of results,” Temkin says.

“In the ‘new world,’ customer insights are delivered to people who run the operations on a regular basis. Instead of a single set of PowerPoint slides, store managers, call-center supervisors and retail category managers receive an ongoing set of insights that are tailored to their specific roles.”

Thus it would seem that the need for the data-generating services of traditional research firms is decreasing as companies have access to more and more real-time (or nearly real-time) data on their customers from sources other than the usual ad hoc research study, such as e-mails to the company, conversations with call-center agents and social media dialogues.

“As companies get a better handle on this unstructured data and combine it with other things that they know about customers from feedback systems, CRM and ERP applications, then the amount of useful operational insights will grow dramatically. Companies will increasingly depend on these ongoing operational insights to run their businesses,” Temkin says.

Which is where the text analytics firms have stepped in. “The text analytics vendors have dramatically improved the ability of companies to analyze large volumes of this free-form data. This is an area that will continue to increase in importance as companies look for new insights in different areas of unstructured data.”

All of this is yet another indication that research firms – and in-house corporate research departments – need to move beyond “merely” serving as facilitators of data-gathering. There is no shortage of data. In fact, there’s too much of it. Rather than helping clients get more data, researchers need to help them analyze and maximize the information they already have.

Comment on this article

comments powered by Disqus

Related Glossary Terms

Search for more...

Related Events

ESOMAR ANNUAL CONGRESS 2014
September 7-10, 2014
ESOMAR will hold its annual congress on September 7-10 in Nice, France.
RIVA COURSE 202: SKILL ACCELERATION
September 8-10, 2014
RIVA Training Institute will hold a course, themed 'Skill Acceleration' on September 8-10 in Rockville, Md.

View more Related Events...

Related Articles

There are 1834 articles in our archive related to this topic. Below are 5 selected at random and available to all users of the site.

A framework for understanding ad effectiveness
The author outlines her 4Cs of Truth in Communications process to explain how it can help frame and inform ad research projects. Marketers can use the concepts of comprehension, connection, credibility and contagiousness to make sure their ads resonate with consumers.
Research Industry News March 2004
A compilation of recent news about marketing and marketing research companies and organizations
Using online focus groups for e-commerce research
E-commerce represents an unprecedented direct-to-customer marketing opportunity. The problem with e-commerce is the large number of players. This article discusses how online focus groups can be used to learn what motivates Internet customers and prospects, including how the technique can help determine how the target audience gathers information on the Web, how they feel about messages companies are sending, some of the benefits and concerns of using this technique, and a few key tips for using online focus groups for e-commerce research.
IVR: How is it different from telephone interviewing?
While traditional data collection methods such as mail and phone continue to be widely used, other data collection methods are growing in popularity. This article discusses one such method: interactive voice response.
Qualitatively Speaking: A moderator's guide to working with the creative department
Evaluating creative elements in the focus group setting need not be fraught with tension. The author offers five tips for making things go as smoothly as possible, including starting on a high note, providing context and showing solidarity with the creative team.

See more articles on this topic

Related Suppliers: Research Companies from the SourceBook

Click on a category below to see firms that specialize in the following areas of research and/or industries

Specialties

Conduct a detailed search of the entire Researcher SourceBook directory

Related Discussion Topics

Online Focus Group sessions
10/28/2013 by Sally Hooper
Market research report
08/20/2013 by Aarkstore Store
Market research report
08/20/2013 by Aarkstore Store
SSI - Panel Quality
07/19/2012 by Paul Ponsford
E-mail reminders
04/03/2011 by Ruben Alcaraz

View More