The Impact of Technology on Market Research
Market Researchers have successfully incorporated technology to improve the procedure of collecting, analysing and presenting the data
Once characterized by traditional methods, Market Research in India is slowly giving way to evolved technologies like social media, improved data collection software, advanced analytics etc. in the last few years. No surprise that the advent of technology in market research is impacting modern-day marketing considerably. This segment has today, moved from merely identifying multiple groups of people for discussions to engaging respondents through wearables and video streaming, as the situation demands. This has, in turn, revolutionised the pace at which data is being collated.
With the help of panels across the globe, companies can today mine and analyse data at the blink of an eye. Picture this; a leading international bank needs to monitor and study the impact of a policy announcement such as Demonetisation in India. This can be done not just in India but even among Indian diaspora across the globe within a matter of a few hours. All of this has become possible with the help of technology. Live panels present across the world respond to questionnaires within set deadlines from the comfort of their homes and in a leisurely manner to not influence or rush their responses. Once the data is collated, the team at the hub goes about deploying analysis tools to make sense of the swathe of information. Within a few hours, trends and outcomes are mapped and deciphered from the exhaustive amounts of data.
What is driving this phenomenal change?
If you look at the smorgasbord of technology that is making market research faster and more effective, mobility is probably the most crucial. Thanks to the mobility, this sector now has faster, better and easier access to target consumers. Other technologies that are also driving this change include cloud, analytics, and social media.
The fundamental reason for this is the fact that a vast majority of people are today connected round the clock through mobile devices. What this means for market research is that they can connect with and collate information anytime and from just about anyone.
Let us now look at some of the key factors driving change in the market research industry.
Analysing the data is as important as collecting the data. With increased avenues of data collection, it is crucial for agencies to be able to analyse data methodically. Technological advancements have made the analysis of data today real quick and easy. Agencies can now strengthen customer relationships and maintain communication with advanced analytics which can further result in customer retention. Companies on their part develop in-house modules to make sense of mountains of data to then convert it into meaningful reports.
Social media is transforming the interaction and communication between individuals throughout the world at the same time it is impacting business and communication tremendously. Market research is no exception and is witnessing an expansion of the landscape from the time social media has stepped in. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. are helping in transforming this sector big-time. Social media is extremely engaging for users and has evolved to become a genuine and transparent platform for data. Without compromising on the user privacy and other confidentiality requirements market research can collate valuable data that could go a long way in helping brands and companies in understanding their customers better.
New age software enables researchers to be more specific and focused in measuring data and feedback, making the process of interaction and operation effortless and uncomplicated. It is a substantial tool for any business to collate insights and to learn more about their consumers.
The best part of technology in market research is mobility. Whether in the office, out in the most remote areas or on-the-go, the advanced software can collect feedback and consumer insights and engage both the consumer and the researcher more effectively.
Creation of new research roles
Evolution of technology is resulting in the creation of new roles. These technological advances are a godsend for those who are unemployed and wish to build a career. For some departments to adapt to the changes is very difficult as they are used to working in a certain manner. Therefore, new roles to strategize as well as process the vast data from social media and mobile data and to further ensure that this data is translated efficiently is vital.
Technology has taken over our lives and every industry that we operate in. It has made our day to day operations a lot easier. Market Research has also witnessed the same. It has successfully incorporated various applications of technology to improve the procedure of collecting, analysing and presenting the data in a simpler format.
But marketing pundits say that this is only the tip of the iceberg and the coming years will witness more upheavals in market research with the growth of technology while shrinking the world further into a microcosm.
Jasal Shah is the MD/CEO of Markelytics Solutions. He is an MBA graduate from the Institute for Technology and Management and has worked with leading agencies like IDC (International Data Corporation) and IMRB International (Part of the Kantar Group, WPP's information, insight and consultancy division). He specializes in technology related market research. He was recently felicitated with the Leadership Award by World Marketing Congress endorsed by CMO Asia for his contribution to Market Research Industry.
He has also served as the council member of most prestigious global market research association – ESOMAR.
Markelytics is a global market research company and leading provider of Global Project Management, MR Outsourcing solutions, Full-Service Research and Online Panel Services. They work on the principle of data driven decision making and are the pioneers of Off-Shore Outsourcing model and Online Market Research in India.