What’s New In Market Research? Five Emerging Technologies We’re Watching

on Saturday, 31 October 2015. Posted in Research

Not that long ago survey meant phone interviews and focus group meant one-way mirrored rooms. Today, market research is being transformed by new ways to hear the voice of the customer.

Last month we attended the 2015 ESOMAR World Congress of Market Research with the goal of seeing what new technologies we should be incorporating into our work. We were especially excited by the potential of five technologies to bring insights to life for our clients.

1. Video Answers to Survey Questions

“What, if anything, do you like about this idea? Is there anything you don’t like?” Type your answer or click here to record your response using your smartphone or computer webcam.

Video open ends can literally bring the voice of customers and prospects to life in a way that mere verbatims do not. In some cases, they may save money by eliminating the need for a follow on qualitative study.  A widget plugged into survey platform presents survey takers with the option of speaking their answers into their webcams, shortening survey taking time and providing greater richness of response. The captured videos are transcribed, coded for themes and sentiment and uploaded to an analytic portal for easy searching and exporting into client-facing reports. 

2. Video Interviews at Scale

“Take a moment and introduce yourself, what do you do? Who lives with you?”

The near ubiquity of computer and mobile webcams has made video interviews a compelling alternative to in-person qualitative interviews. New tools make coding and analyzing hours of video, including facial expressions and gestures, easy.  

The video is transcribed and tagged allowing content to be sorted, searched and complied with just a few clicks, providing clients the richness of video at a fraction of the time and cost of live interviews. While this technology is not likely to fully replace ‘live’ qualitative sessions, we’re excited to offer our clients the opportunity to collect rich video content on faster timelines and smaller budgets.

3. Passive Data Collection

“Which of these online retail sites have you shopped in the past week? Where did you buy?”

Passive data collection tools help remove the guesswork inherent in these types of questions by tracking and collecting actual consumer behavior via a smartphone app. This not only makes behavioral data around shopping or media use far more accurate, and also free up precious respondent time for attitudinal questions that cannot be passively collected. For our clients, passive data collection technology provides an opportunity to more accurately segment audiences (e.g., defining heavy or lapsed users based on actual behavior) and the opportunity to uncover insights that exist in the gaps between a consumer’s memory and their behavior.

4. Random Domain Intercepts (RDIT)

“Thank you for taking our survey!”

RDIT technology skims off a random sample of Internet traffic from mistyped URL’s (e.g., when you accidentally type AmazoM.com), and invites a random sample of these Internet users to take surveys. This technology has the potential to dramatically improve the ability to find low incidence or geographically precise populations that can be hard (and expensive) to reach via commercial panels, saving our clients both time and money. For normal ‘gen pop’ samples, it can help alleviate concerns whether survey takers are doing it just for the money. While unconventional, the company’s research on this approach suggests the resulting data is of comparable quality to commercial panels and also more broadly representative of consumer population at large.

5. Automated Infographic Reporting Tools

New software platforms integrate with survey hosting platforms to allow even design challenged market researchers to create beautiful graphics on the fly. These technologies have the potential to transform those 100-page PowerPoint decks that begin to collect dust after presentation to shorter and more visually engaging presentations that function as living resources our clients will return to again and again.

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