It’s almost 2023. Digital transformation is now a household term, taking over industries by storm. The consumer research community is not spared, either. If there is anyone who thinks consumer research can do without technology, buckle up. It’s time to automate consumer research efforts lest you face deterioration wrapped in traditional methods.
This year’s GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) report outlined technology as the largest unmet need reported by insight buyers. Insights buyers are looking for suppliers who have adopted technology in their consumer research activities – helping the buyers with error-free insights and improved visibility into research processes.
Tradition Is Holding You Back
Adapting to different workflows and technology is tricky and may sometimes seem unwarranted. Let us tell you why you need to jump on the technology bandwagon when conducting consumer research ASAP.
Markets tend to shift in a matter of months or weeks, and brands cannot afford the usual traditional 4–6-month insights window. The absence of technology reflects as slow insights, which then results in brand campaigns falling flat and their competition pulling ahead.
Poor Insight Quality
Lack of technology adoption results in poor consumer research data analysis algorithms leading to poor insights quality. When insights are incorrect, the decisions that are presumably “data-driven” will not be so. Consumer-facing campaigns will fail to perform, nudging budgets down the drain.
Unable to Match Consumer Needs and Wants
Since the insight quality is not up to the mark, consumer-facing campaigns derived from it do not match consumer requirements. Brands that fail to match consumer needs and wants will lose out on their consumer’s interest, which will soon latch onto the competition.
Lack of Actionability
Reporting is an essential part of executing consumer insight analysis. However, data is often visualized poorly, leading to marketers being unable to grasp the actionability of the report.
That being said, without technology, it is quite an impossible task to aggregate and segregate consumer data the right way, much less visualize it. Without clarity on the call to action within the report, marketers end up making the wrong decisions.
Technology Makes Everything Better
Incorporating technology makes processes faster, stronger, and sharper. Now, we know what pitfalls researchers and marketers face when technology is absent. Let us look at the advantages their stand to gain from adopting technology and embracing digital transformation.
Automate or Deteriorate
The third industrial revolution, back in the 1970s, brought forth electronics, computers, and along with it – automation. Since then, organizations across industries have been able to carry out tasks with fewer and fewer human interventions.
In the case of consumer research, tasks such as handing out questionnaires, collecting consumer data, segmenting it, and analyzing it – will all be automated. Automation grants researchers and marketers speedy insights, in a matter of 2-4 weeks, instead of months. These insights are also accurate and of good quality thanks to intelligent algorithms that keep improving every cycle owing to machine learning.
Expand Your Reach
Thanks to the democratization of technology, consumer touchpoints have gone up. Consumer feedback can be collected from PCs, phones, tablets, watches, etc., and multiple platforms – such as social, e-mails, ads, etc. That being said, the same technology enables researchers to connect with consumers across these devices and platforms.
Nowadays, there are integrated research platforms that adapt your questionnaires and make them responsive across devices, thereby collecting data from multiple touchpoints. These platforms make it easier to gather consumer data and reach a larger audience – making consumer insights more accurate.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced people indoors, and #remotework was normalized. Consumers expected services at the palm of their hands as brands struggled to scale digitally. Right around this time, researchers could not hold in-person surveys, in-depth interviews (IDI), focus group discussions (FGD), and so on.
Through video conferencing, researchers can conduct in-person surveys, IDIs, and FGDs online. Technology allows for remote collaboration, enabling researchers and marketers to conduct consumer research with consumers across the globe from the comforts of wherever they are.
Artificial Intelligence in Consumer Research
Remote collaboration is possible thanks to cameras built into most devices. AI has come so far that all researchers need are respondents with access to webcams, and behavioral AI algorithms can decode the deeper layers of consumer responses.
Behavioral AI algorithms help with facial coding, eye tracking, and voice AI – enabling researchers to really understand a consumer’s response. Facial coding can gauge facial expressions and help researchers understand the genuineness of their responses. Eye tracking can follow eye movements and gaze, while voice AI dissects the intent behind consumers’ vocal responses.
Integrated Research Platforms
Technology has infiltrated the consumer research industry, as it should, and made it easier for marketers and brands to ideate and execute consumer-facing campaigns.
The industry is moving toward automation with DIY integrated research platforms. DIY platforms are currently considered efficient and preferred over third-party research partnerships. Researchers and marketers alike can use these platforms to help improve efficiency at a reduced cost. With the aid of integrated research platforms, there is also
- Faster access to good quality consumer insights that have clear actionability
- Improved visibility and transparency into research processes for all stakeholders
- Customizable dashboards and industry benchmarking to enable accurate decision-making