By Nick Langeveld, Managing Director, North America, Toluna
Market research has always been an important business function – and it’s going through a complete transformation, again. Over the last few years, interest in research has been renewed as businesses realize they can’t afford to make the wrong decisions and they can now access insights more efficiently – company-wide.
To understate things, 2020 has been a whirlwind. Given dramatic and ever-changing consumer behaviors, market researchers find themselves more pressed for time and more involved in more critical decision-making than ever before. Entire industries have pivoted on a dime, adjusting swiftly in light of COVID-19. As a result, researchers have been called on to test messages in near real time (over time) and validate new business ideas, distribution concepts and more. In short, we’re doing more than adapting. We’re helping to chart the course for our organizations, presenting to our executive teams more often and in the process collaborating with new stakeholders along the way.
The good news? We are ready for this heightened responsibility. We’ve already adapted, using smart automated insights solutions that empower us to collaborate with key stakeholders and ultimately relying on output quality so we can spend our time answering critical questions. Automated technologies have made market research more accessible and easier to deploy, allowing teams to perform 25% more work with 25% less staff and infrastructure. As businesses face pressure to increase or defend their market share by intelligently unlocking consumer insights, the role of market research is even more integral to business.
Workflow efficiency and information-sharing provide efficiencies
Platform-based consumer insights approaches enable teams to work together seamlessly, collaborate and build upon each other’s knowledge base. Companies can share surveys and reports through the same platform to ensure quality, consistency and accessibility of insights.
Collaboration is crucial as research becomes cross-functional
The rise of market research’s accessibility and perceived value has driven a corresponding uptick in company collaboration and a renewed interest in the role of research – and researchers. What’s more, today’s market researchers are leading global automation initiatives and understand that to ensure these initiatives are successful, they must be able to share best practices and collaborate with other stakeholders. Those stakeholders include other researchers and chief data officers, who fuse claimed data with behavioral data, customer experience data and survey data. This type of collaboration means better decision-making, marketing outcomes, customer service and monetization.
More access to data (and thinking) than ever
Market research has evolved into part of a richer, broader business story and strategy. From customer data to social media and other qualitative data, insights can tell a deeper story when coupled with additional information. As researchers, we’re now working with new teams – within the marketing team to data scientists and more. Businesses extract more value from their research initiatives, intelligently power decision-making and identify new opportunities.
Quality and scalability provide opportunity
As platforms have evolved, they’ve empowered researchers to provide trusted resources to marketers, executives and other stakeholders to easily conduct and access high-quality research and instill confidence that their next business decisions are based on tangible data. With market research gatekeeping eliminated, more employees can access insights that drive real business outcomes, not merely validate preconceived opinions.
As market research continues to evolve, it represents a unique opportunity for research and researchers to play a pivotal role in the business and help accelerate change. Today’s consumers are increasingly complex and only through data can we truly understand them and their requirements. With new easily accessible and real-time platform-based research offerings, researchers can collaborate across their organizations to help drive the customer engagement lifecycle, contribute to critical business transformation and ensure the most informed decision-making.
Want to learn more? Visit www.gotostage.com/channel/q-report.