The Latest and Greatest in Market Research

As I was checking my RSS feeds this morning, I was struck by the variety of subjects that fall into the market research space. Like many other industries, technology has allowed for the basic functions to shift into a DIY space.  In the world of marketing in general you can publish, do videos and design effortlessly from your desktop or mobile device!  So, it’s no surprise that market research has had its own form of transformation.  Anyone can do high level surveys and analysis with the tools we have available.  And a few years back, professional researchers were railing against the DIY movement.  But that doesn’t mean that market research pros have been standing still or putting their heads in the sand.  Just take a look at the kind of insights that market research has stepped into recently:brain weights

  1. The Magic of the Continuous Improvement Cycle: Research Access gets this conversation started in this article about the impact of Big Data on market research.  Like with all new technologies, we thought Big Data was going to be the demise of traditional research, and like with all new technologies, we see how it’s actually added a new dimension to how we gather and process data.
  2. Sample Quality is Everyone’s Responsibility: Another space that’s been evolving in the world of market research is panels and sample.  While the same old issues of intentional “Fraudsters” and mechanical bots are still with us, survey panels are undergoing a transformation as well.  There is a movement toward developing subject specific panels that are engaged communities rather than data points in a database.  One such example is the SmallBizOpinions panel that is a collection of small business owners.  Recently, QuestionPro was a sponsor for a virtual event for this community called Bizapalooza.  By creatively engaging with a community and generating conversations that are relevant to them, we can minimize the challenges that come with online sample.
  3. Exploring System 1 a Little Deeper: The Greenbook Blog had an interesting article about how our brains work to make decisions.  Paul Conner explores four ways that can impact how shoppers make decisions: Unconscious Operation, Emotional Influence, Incidental Cues and Non-Rational Decisions.  He explains each area clearly and gives research take-aways that will help you structure a more robust study.
  4. What Market Research Can Borrow From Behavioral Economics: You don’t have to have a PhD in market research to realize that social media has given us an inside peek into the personal lives of consumers.  We know what they are doing and when they are doing it.  In this article Joel Rubinson explores how important it is to dig inside of what makes consumers choose.  I was struck by his saying that there is no neutral way to phrase a question — and that by simply rearranging things or stating things slightly differently, you can radically change consumer behavior.
  5. I Hate Social Media Research Because;  I’m a sucker for “anti” articles.  Since I just mentioned social media as an insight to consumer behavior, I thought this article by And Annie Pettit would be the perfect follow up. It lays out a killer case for why social media is NOT a great market research tool: No demographics, not a representative sample, doesn’t measure awareness or incidence, no insights and “it doesn’t do anything I can’t do better”.

So these are just a few of the articles that are in my RSS feed that influence how I view the world of market research.  What are some of the articles and insights you’ve seen lately that have impacted how you look at market research?

Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers and the President of Third Force, a strategic marketing firm. She's the marketing expert and book editor for Small Business Trends and a frequent contributor to AMEX Open Forum.

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