The evolution trend to consumer insight platforms

By Jordi Ferrer, Founder and CEO, Zinklar

Jordi Ferrer, Founder and CEO of Zinklar 2023The level of change in consumer behavior we have witnessed over the last few years is unprecedented. Managing a brand without an accurate and timely vision of how consumers react to sudden events has become a high-risk activity. In the current context, more companies are adopting consumer insight platforms to quickly access consumer insights and information. At scale.

The latest ESOMAR report published in October 2022 confirms the trend. It shows that insights platforms, also called DIY or self-service platforms, are growing fast (+28.1% in 2021) and gaining market share in the industry. Uncertain times always bring change. 2023 is perhaps the perfect time to make the trend a habit.

An urge to evolve: three key elements

At Zinklar, we have observed three key elements explaining the evolution of consumer insight platforms.

1. Consumer behaviors and attitudes are changing faster. Companies need timely/fresh/frequent information and insights for their marketing activities. Being consumer-centric is the only way for brands to remain competitive and succeed in the marketplace.

2. Brands require more answers. Now more than ever, organizations require fast and efficient insights. Continuously measuring the ROI of all marketing activities is a must, hence the need to refine constantly through an iterative process when developing campaigns, concepts and any other kind of marketing activity.

3. Insights and marketing teams need to cover more research needs. Agile market research platforms must provide high-quality results across all areas of the research cycle. All elements should be accessible in one easy-to-use platform, from usage and attitude studies to pre- and post-advertising or packaging tests, brand tracking studies and more. When this connects, it simultaneously increases the frequency and creates a virtuous cycle.

The transition from traditional approaches to platforms is already taking place in big corporations. Luciana Procopio, consumer insights manager at Panasonic Europe, recently confirmed during a panel discussion we held with Zinklar’s clients that, “expectations for insights are higher in challenging times. It is even more important to make informed decisions. That’s why insights teams are expected to be more agile.”

But SMBs are not to be outdone. Customer insight platforms allow them to access and leverage high-quality consumer insights, something they could not do before due to the cost and complexity of traditional suppliers.

Despite the cultural barriers to changing the way things have always been done and the impression of not having enough expertise or time to manage their market research projects, companies across all markets and industries are overcoming challenges to improve their decision-making and cover more and more of their consumers’ needs.

Zinklar Evolution to Consumer Insights Platform chart.

The future belongs to those who adapt successfully to change

Evolving in the world of consumer insight platforms is not new for us at Zinklar. Every day, we guide companies to manage their projects in-house and help them see opportunities in changing times.

More than just conducting market research, it is critical to be aware of available solutions and know which one fits your research needs. Beyond DIY, we are convinced that a customized approach, based on simplicity and guidance, is key to making consumer insight platforms vital in the coming years. At Zinklar, we have created guided solutions to democratize market research and make it easier to launch high-quality surveys to any brand. With no limits.

Companies are facing trends that will grow even faster in the future:

  • The imperative need to be consumer-centric to succeed in the fast-changing and hyper-competitive market.
  • More need for frequent consumer insights with limited budgets and the growing need to ensure ROI. Zinklar client Vanessa Bougla, head of insights at Avanti West Coast UK, stated that, “There’s an appetite for more: more data, more quickly, more actionable answers.” 
  • The development of technology and artificial intelligence/machine learning to integrate and cover more insights needs, deliver better quality of data and automated insights and improve the ease of use for non-experts (NPD, marketing). Platforms like Zinklar integrate AI to ensure fraud detection, a trusted audience and reach a broader, more representative public.

It is easy to develop a platform that works. The challenge is to adapt this platform to the best practices of thousands of insight professionals and non-insight experts. Platform providers now need to offer a powerful tool but also listen and adjust it to their users' needs. Since insights should be managed efficiently, platform usability should be at the core of their features and developments. Researchers can become more efficient by automating the entire process, from sourcing the sample to data collection to reporting, ensuring data quality and the possibility to iterate on new studies faster.

Designing and analyzing a project can be challenging. Consultants are here to smooth the process and deliver more qualitative and actionable data. The team at Zinklar has years of experience in programming, launching and analyzing studies and always provides practical recommendations on the next steps, from launching a new study to preparing presentations for key stakeholders.

For insights platform providers and for market research as whole, the future is about adapting to change. We must show brands where the market research industry is moving by demonstrating how things should be done.

Worldwide events have shaped the trends and habits seen in the market research industry. We need to take the reins and guide the way to the future of consumer insights, including consumer insights platforms. 

Contact us to learn more about the DIY revolution.

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