A few decades ago, there were a selection of market research tools, quantitative and qualitative, that were used on a daily basis to measure the success of businesses across all industries. Then, technology evolved, and innovations erupted onto the scene faster than the industry could blink and with new technology comes new methodologies, new practices and new staple tools.
|When choosing new tools to power new research experiences, it's hard not to get distracted by the sheer range available to insight experts.|
When choosing new tools to power insight experiences, with the significant amount of tools competing for the attention of insight experts, it’s hard not to get distracted or paralysed by the options available to them at a moment’s notice. So how do insight teams choose the right tools for them?
So, you have to choose some new tools to work some market research magic? Maybe you are creating an entirely new research technology stack from scratch, or maybe you are just adding new tools to an existing toolkit, but either way new tools are needed and the dilemma appears – out of the huge catalogue available, which specific tools are right for the job?
The best way to narrow down your options, is to match tools to the objectives in front of you, both business and research. The type of insights needed to inform the business and research objectives will determine which types of tools you’ll need.
Budget, Time and Speed
Now that the objectives have narrowed down the types of tools you need, there are other factors that determine which specific tools will be best for your toolkit. Budget, time and speed are three of the main limitations that determine which of the tools available to you are truly right for the research experiences you will be conducting. Speed in particular is a key determinant.
How fast do your stakeholders need insights? How quick do you need to set up the task? Or can you take your time and take surer and steadier steps towards insight generation? Quick research allows stakeholders to make decisions at the speed of business, something that is frequently demanded by stakeholders as they want to keep ahead of competitors, or they maybe believe that their business will only stay afloat with quick insights rather than taking the time to make sure they get the relevant consumer contexts along with those statistics.
Because, while speed is a particularly sought-after aspect in market research, depth is also crucial for generating positively impactful insights.
Depth and Moderation
Depth is mostly attained through slower research projects with tools such as asynchronous focus groups, a diary study or a series of surveys that track experiences or allow researchers to use moderation techniques to dig in deeper. This slower, deeper research allows for a co-creative approach to market research, product and strategy development, with stakeholders allowing for customers to have a direct impact on the more intimate details of the customer and brand experience.
But to get good deep insights, no matter the tool you use, we need moderation in order for it to generate impactful insights.
While moderation might not immediately seem like it would have an impact on the tools chosen for a market research technology stack, it actually plays a larger part than most people realise.
|Once a tool doesn’t get used as much and becomes a drain on resources, then it is time to have a look to see if there is another tool that adds more value to the research experience.|
Moderation, while necessary for deep insights, is a time-consuming task that will need the time and manpower dedicated to it in order for it to be impactful – if the insight team has the skills and the resources available, then they can choose tools like this without many qualms. However, if they don’t currently have the time or effort available to moderate effectively, then they would be best choosing tools that don’t require too much involvement after the task goes live.
Making the Right Choices for Your Team
When choosing the right tools, we need to determine how frequently they will be used and if they will be worth the investment – because that is what they are, an investment. Once a tool has been chosen, insight teams have that tool in their technology stack for as many research experiences as you need until your license runs out. There will be many tools that insight experts use on a daily basis, typically the communication tools, are the most used, followed by the rest of the tools in research design, data collection/analysis and then the insight reporting and activation.
Once a tool doesn’t get used quite as frequently and starts to become a drain on the insight team’s resources, then that is the time to have a look at it’s worth, and see if there is another tool that adds more value to the research experience.