Skip to: Main Content / Navigation

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Add This

5 marketing trends and how MR must respond



Article ID:
20140426-3
Published:
April 2014
Author:
Brian Fletcher

Article Abstract

Insights in Marketing LLC conducted research on research to create a list of potential MR trends for 2014. The author outlines five predicted industry trends and discusses how researchers can make the most of them.

Editor's note: Brian Fletcher is vice president at Insights in Marketing LLC, a Wilmette, Ill., research company. He can be reached at info@insightsinmarketing.com. This article appeared in the April 21, 2014, edition of Quirk's e-newsletter.

As 2014 rolls right along, it's filled with great promise and opportunity, as well as great challenges. With advances in technology, psychology, data collection and the manner in which we understand consumer behavior, it's important, as marketing researchers, that we do more than just track buyers. We need to make it a priority to understand the industry as a whole - and that includes understanding ourselves.

This year, as in past years, Insights in Marketing LLC committed to taking stock of what we, as marketers, learned in 2013. By delving into all of the data swirling at our fingertips, we've applied it to the future and devised a list of the top five trends impacting the marketing research world in 2014.

1. Less is more.

The Internet is changing how we consume information. Whether you think the Web is making us smarter or dumber, one thing is certain: Consumers prefer simple messages to in-depth screeds. Easily-repeatable messages and powerful images work better to tell stories while also increasing consumer engagement and sharing in digital and social media.

Marketing researchers must help marketers address this trend by identifying the briefest, most compelling and most motivating messages about a product or service. To support this objective, research projects themselves must be more focused and more flexible, driving directly to the heart of the issue. By designing studies with fewer respondents, smaller focus groups and shorter surveys, researchers adapt flexibly and nimbly to changing needs while providing streamlined information.

2. Content marketing becomes evermore useful.

Content marketing - the process of providing information online to drive traffic and inform and engage consumers - is growing in importance in nearly every industry. This type of marketing provides information and guidance without a blatant sales push. Content moves customers down the marketing funnel, providing the necessary information at each step to increase interest, answer questions and overcome objections. Because content marketing and traditional selling are so vastly different, marketers often struggle to find the balance between the two.

Marketing researchers must help marketers understand what content is helpful and engaging. MR also needs to identify what content is needed at various points throughout the purchase process and pinpoint what moves consumers most effectively to make a purchasing decision. Whether you're sharing survey results or telling stories uncovered in qualitative research, content marketing provides helpful and engaging information to consumers.

3. The integration of social, digital and traditional marketing grows in importance.

A decade ago, it wasn't unusual to find marketing and Internet activities managed by entirely different departments within a company. Those days are long gone, as technology and marketing integrate to create more effective programs for consumers. Providing the correct message through different channels can be difference between success and failure.

Marketing researchers must help marketers understand how consumers process information from all of the various channels to make purchase decisions and imprint the image of a brand. Research and tracking models and methodologies must adapt to include new communication channels and purchase behaviors, as well as help define new metrics for measuring success.

4. One size does not fit all.

As new marketing tools and techniques emerge, marketers must continually evaluate and use each to their best advantage, incorporating them within their overall marketing strategy and mix.

Marketing researchers must stay current and well-versed in all of the tools available to marketers. Traditional marketing research techniques and methodologies must evolve to accommodate these new marketing tools. Today, no single approach will suffice and often several approaches are combined for maximum impact. "Little data" must work with big data to turn numbers into insight, and insight into action. Mobile research must be used to understand the dynamics of mobile as well as traditional marketing, while taking advantage of video, geo-location and photos to help consumers convey their in-store experiences. Continual innovation in new technology in the application of our tools and techniques is a critical success factor.

5. Context is key.

It is no longer enough for marketers to understand consumer demographics and purchase behavior. To achieve a stronger competitive advantage, marketers must go below the surface to find strong connections with consumers. The traditional demographic and attitudinal models marketing researchers have used to segment and understand consumers is no longer sufficient.

Marketing researchers must uncover new and innovative insights into consumer behavior that are more predictive of buyer behavior and indicative of consumer motivations. New methods for going deeper to understand consumers' underlying values, habits and personalities (which are unlikely to change much over time) will steer us beyond demographics and establish a clearer picture of who the target consumer is, as well as enable marketers to create breakthrough messages. New views into consumer motivations for purchasing will deliver deeper insight and optimize consumer engagement, sales and loyalty.

A clear focus

As we move into the thick of 2014, it's obvious that an integrated digital approach that has a clear focus is crucial to success. And, as always, that focus should be on insights - and the consumer.

Comment on this article

comments powered by Disqus

Related Glossary Terms

Search for more...

Related Events

WEBINAR: DECONSTRUCTING DADS IN THE AISLE: A POWERFUL NEW INSIGHTS SOLUTION GETS THOUSANDS OF DADS TO SHARE THEIR STORY
August 5 1:00 p.m. CDT, 2015
iModerate is hosting a one hour Webinar, themed 'Deconstructing Dads in the Aisle: A Powerful New Insights Solution Gets Thousands of Dads to Share Their Story,' on August 5 at 1:00 p.m. CDT.
2015 SWMRA ANNUAL EDUCATIONAL FORUM
August 6-7, 2015
The Southwest MRA will hold its 2015 SWMRA Annual Educational Forum on August 6-7 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Austin, Texas.

View more Related Events...

Related Articles

There are 2261 articles in our archive related to this topic. Below are 5 selected at random and available to all users of the site.

By the Numbers: Using online software to train the next generation of Web surveyors
Professors from Coastal Carolina University explain how their program of training students to use online survey software is helping ingrain and enforce best practices in marketing research.
Retail study examines shopping habits in two ethnically diverse California cities
WSL Marketing conducted phone interviews to study women’s shopping patterns in two ethnically diverse California cities. This article reports on the study’s main findings.
The perfect fit: How to hire your next sales professional
From vetting résumés and preparing interview questions to role-playing and personality tests, this article offers suggestions on how anyone hiring to fill a sales or business development position can more effectively examine their candidates.
With QR codes, consider the consumer first
Indiscriminately placing QR codes without proper planning on the part of marketers has led to dismal usage by consumers. Understanding the behavior of the consumer is crucial to saving the QR code from extinction - but is it too late?
Don’t call me honey: 10 tips on how to sell to a corporate researcher
Drawing on her personal experience purchasing research services, Kristen Santos shares 10 dos and don’ts for market research providers selling to corporate researchers.

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

Industries

Conduct a detailed search of the entire Researcher SourceBook directory

Related Discussion Topics

Are you aware of Allen Solly's Colour Lab App? If yes, what is your opinion about it?
03/03/2014 by Star Glitter
Online Focus Group sessions
10/28/2013 by Sally Hooper
Market research report
08/20/2013 by Aarkstore Store
Informa Research Services
07/04/2013 by L Sampson
We need Shoppers ASAP...
07/04/2013 by L Sampson

View More