Using Automation in Market Research

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Posted Jul 31, 2018

“Better, faster, cheaper.”It’s an expression that has made its way through the market research industry and often a standard for end users. Much like the rest of the global economy, market research is evolving and reinventing itself to cater to the demands of clients that need strategic insights fast. While folks in the market research industry have focused on meeting ever-growing client demands, new technologies have emerged to automate research activities and revolutionize the approach to market research entirely.

Market research and automation are very much intertwined and there are loads of examples regarding automating market research technology. Some forms include mechanisms that allow businesses to monitor unsolicited consumer feedback or utilize self-service platforms that provide panelists and market research tools under a single platform. Modern automation tools are being developed to bring an abundance of benefits, not just to end clients, but to research organizations alike.

DIY Solutions

Much like advancement of technology that has occurred on the AYTM platform, automation is driving organizations to construct “do-it-yourself” research tools. Self- service platforms that allow researchers to define their audience, build their surveys, and access reporting tools within a single website are transforming the market research industry. Not only will DIY solutions shorten timelines, but they also simplify sharing results and conducting analysis through easy-access dashboards. Clients are in need of quick insights that often differ in objectives. Sometimes there’s a need to focus on questions that get to the heart of their issue most quickly and in other scenarios more advanced research needs to be conducted. With automation tools to support this way of working, market research clients are able to easily access the information they need in a short amount of time.

Advances in market research automation are moving the industry towards a cross model of research, where the clients needs are being met whatever level of research they require and, moreover, can be delivered in the time-frames and formats most suited to each individual project.

Mobile Technology

With about 77% of the world’s population owning smartphones of some kind, mobile technology is a fundamental space where market research organizations should focus on optimizing their offerings. The production of conducting market research via mobile devices enables and enriches research findings. Through mobile technology, researchers can easily harness and increase consumer engagement to capture feedback and opinions that are given almost instantaneously.

In addition to faster feedback, a variety of other research objectives can be met and surpassed by uniting research automation and mobile technology. A few instances where mobile technology is changing and evolving the standard market research techniques include:

  • Photo and Video Capabilities – Nowadays mobile phone can do more than just capture a picture! Most mobile phones allow users to record video, audio, and so much more. Tapping into such developments will allow researchers to utilize these features to collect valuable input from survey respondents. Despite limitations due to participants inability or unwillingness to use such functions, the possibilities for specific types of research, like ethnography, could be extraordinary.
  • Changing How We Engage – With clients needing their data faster, push notifications are creating a simple way to engage with consumers and get them to participate in surveys from almost any location. Through SMS messages and push notifications, researchers are able to easily connect with survey respondents, and vice versa, the more survey respondents interact with these types of notifications, the more likely it is for participation rates to increase.
  • Altering the Landscape of Participant Recruitment – Because of the relationship people have with their mobile devices, contact has become easier. Whether it’s reaching a busy CEO on a Monday morning to participate in a B2B survey or using mobile notifications to recruit participants for a B2C study, mobile devices have made connecting to broader sets of participants more accessible than ever. As the percentage of smartphone owners increases the recruitment of panelists will become more streamlined and make it possible for researchers to field cost-effective surveys with rapid data collection.  

As mobile devices continue to progress, new features are going to create opportunities to reach consumers and increase researcher’s ability to access profound and relevant insights.

Social Listening

Social media has hugely impacted billions of people’s day-to-day lives. Consumers are constantly communicating and sharing opinions through social media outlets, so it is essential for businesses to be aware of the social buzz that is being shared about their brand across all social channels. Social listening tools can give clients insight on trending language that is being used by customers to describe their brands, and as a result brands can use this language to improve their business operations to cater to the wants and needs of their consumers. Utilizing automated analysis tools that provide a broader view into key social performance indicators (such as followers and likes) or consumer reactions is a priceless source of information. Due to these tools, organizations can easily analyze voluntary feedback without manually monitoring review sites, forums, discussion boards, and blogs.

The Takeaway

Whether we like it or not, automation is here to stay; there will always be a need to deliver results faster and more effectively. While there is still a lot of opportunity for automation to evolve, it is clear that it is firmly rooted in the ever-changing world of market research. Despite the progression of automated research technology over the recent years, it is important to remain modest in the fact that automated processes can never fully replace the work carried out by a human. However, automation and the human touch should not be viewed as incompatible, but rather a synergy between the two that will meet clients demands more successfully than ever.  

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