Disrupting Traditional Market Research

Filed Under: Best Practices, Market Research


Jim Farina

Logistics Director, Administration & Project Support

One of the most dreaded tasks for a market researcher is the prospect of having to break bad news to a client and their invested stakeholders. For a good researcher, this goes along with the territory. And if you’ve been in the industry as a researcher for any length of time, sharing a not-so-welcome report of findings to a client is inevitable. It’s also necessary to make refinements or put a new strategy into place.

Some companies such as Netflix and Johnson & Johnson have discovered the importance of including a consumer video in order to “round out” the data when reporting to their internal stakeholders. Netflix says this is an especially useful storytelling tool when a product, concept or service needs an adjustment. Consumers can break the bad news to the stakeholders better than the Researcher. And if it’s good news being conveyed through consumer video, all the better. This was just one of many thought-provoking takeaways gleaned from the Market Research in the Mobile World (MRMW) conference, recently held in Chicago. C+R Research has been delivering consumer insight reels to its clients for more than a decade now, to providing clients/stakeholders with the opportunity to see actual consumers sharing their experiences and perspectives about our clients’ products and/or services. More recently, C+R has been incorporating VoxPopMe video software tools on qualitative as well as quantitative projects to bring context to the data, and help bring the findings to life.

Watch Me Think and Big Sofa are other players in this arena.

Incorporating consumers into the strategy process

If there was one reoccurring theme on the stage at the MRMW conference, it was the notion of agile research. Walmart’s head of Behavioral Science department presented their own agile research model: Rapid Prototyping, which involves a 6 step strategy. Companies are using combinations of many elements to design and build new products and innovations including:

  • Extensive literature reviews
  • Innovation/strategy sessions
  • Data science modeling
  • Continuous experiments of prototypes

While C+R Research would not necessarily need to create a prototyping lab situation for a client, we are well-equipped and experienced in offering agile solutions, often focused on testing new ideas, concepts, and early-stage creative.

Bridging the gaps between attitudes and behavior

Often market researchers find ourselves challenged when a clear disconnect is identified between perception and inconsistent behavior amongst consumers. Verizon held an inspiring session at the MRMW. They’ve piloted a method of collecting real-time data within retail stores, using mobile surveys. Verizon then compared the current data to a follow-up survey using the same participants three months later. They discovered that recall of their initial experience was measurably more negative in the subsequent survey.

Porsche discovered that people generally underestimate their driving usage when asked in a self-reported survey. Porsche’s solution to get to the real answers is by the use of data collection via a mobile location tracking device. Fourscore discussed a similar means of tracking by using “check-in” data over the past decade to determine location behavior and shopping patterns of consumers. Long-story-short–Consumer behavior does not always correlate with recall.

C+R Research is always keeping a close eye on the ever-changing technology. We have been incorporating and exploring the capabilities of such tools as mobile devices, tablets, cameras, scanners to creatively collect and assimilate valuable data in real-life (in the moment) situations. In addition, we are starting to incorporate purchase receipt data so that we have actual purchase data, with less reliance on consumer recall.

VR/AR–the next frontier?

Though the role of virtual and augmented reality technology is unclear in its applications in the context of market research, we are keeping a close eye on these explosive trends. Automation is also making waves as an emerging technology. Some powerful text analytics tools are a testament to this. Prelytics and Glipzit are prime examples. Our experience with automation technology has allowed us to gain efficiencies in transcripts and reporting.

As clients ride along with us into an accelerating, consumer-centric world, this notion to disrupt marketing research in the traditional sense is a welcomed interest to most clients . As long as our clients are open and willing to embrace alternate methods and emerging technologies to better understand their consumers, C+R will continue to keep a step or two ahead and continue to meet those needs, while also providing creative, behavioral data solutions.

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