I’ve been involved in market research for so long that Palm Pilots were the hot giveaway at the first customer relationship management conferences I attended! Nobody would disagree that the internet, mobile devices, and connected technologies have changed marketing research.
There are fewer in-person focus groups. The ability of technology to cut corporate costs is also convenient for participants. Why bring everyone together in the same room when you can use Google Hangouts? Or get everyone together for a video call? Some companies even believe that online tools, like Survey Monkey, are as effective as hiring outside research firms. They likely do not realize the importance of
- how to phrase questions
- how many questions to ask
- the sequence in which to ask questions
“The State of Internet Marketing Research: A Review of the Literature and Future Research Directions,” is worth looking at from 2007. It predicted consumer usage and trust in the internet would impact integrated marketing research strategies. Years later, I would have to agree. Technology and the internet have improved and changed marketing research in amazing ways. Here are some exciting trends.
- Internet marketing research continues to accelerate as consumer-facing industries rely on customer experience metrics to quickly adapt product specifications and go-to-market strategies.
- Data analytics is changing the entire marketing research landscape. It’s elevating importance to the point where demand for data scientists is far higher than talent availability.
- In the past, marketing departments were given budgets that made it difficult to measure impact and reach on a real-time basis. Results were delayed by weeks as marketing professionals waited for collateral to arrive in specific markets. Then, they had to wait for sales data and hope their customer service departments were accurately capturing codes. Unless companies conducted focus groups or administered questionnaires, gaining insight into why a campaign was working (or not) was difficult. Technology has changed that.
Presently, marketing research is about customer segmentation, learning preferences, and behavior drivers in a condensed timeframe. It will be exciting to see how companies use cross-channel promotion in the future to create live brand experiences, particularly as experiential marketing integrates into broader campaigns.