There is a catalogue of market research tools the size of the old-school yellow pages available to insight experts, and these tools cover the entire spectrum of stages throughout the market research process. From the staples of surveys and focus groups to the more specific tools like predictive analysis and process mapping, there are tools that insight teams can’t live without and tools that only add to the quality of the experience when implemented in the right way.
However, in both categories, there are some tools that are more impactful than the rest. Innovative tools that help jump-start great research, that carries insight teams through to the desired end result with minimal fuss, and increase stakeholder and participant engagement in the research, and add value to the research experience and results in more ways than one.
Video Research Tools
This innovation is centred around the evolution of online research, but with the aim to keep the benefits of in-person research intact. In-person research is famous for face-to-face connection, and the initial move to online research meant that that deeper connection was lost in part - as much as insight experts tried to make up for that deeper connection, there is a form of authenticity that can only be achieved through direct visual connection.
Video has been an impactful tool, especially in the past few years, that allows insight experts and stakeholders to directly, and visually connect to their participants. Video capabilities in market research have advanced exponentially with the strides taken in research technology, and the video research tools that have exploded onto the scene because of this span all parts of the research process from data collection to insights activation.
|There is a large catalogue of tools ready and waiting to be used by market researchers, but which of the most innovative ones will help insight teams and stakeholders get ahead?|
Video data collection has been the most seen version of video research for all parties involved: researchers and respondents see it regularly when using it to collect data; researchers also work with great video analysis tools to help understand the in-depth insights lurking within the data; stakeholders see the video tools in the data collection stage as real-time observers, or in the reporting stage where they can view participant videos to connect through verbatim quotes.
Automation is a widely discussed topic in the insights industry, with a lot of innovation resources dedicated to its progression within the insights industry. Automation innovation in market research is primarily focused on trying to help insight experts focus on the important stuff; taking over the mundane, everyday tasks that take up time that could be better spent digging through research data on the hunt for deep actionable insights.
Automation tools are prevalent in data collection, analysis and reporting stages, as that’s where a lot of the hard work is contained for researchers. Automating processes like sourcing the sample, participant communication and data cleaning simultaneously unload pressure from insight experts’ to-do lists and maximises the efficiency of the market research process.
From video auto-transcription tools to image and text analysis, automation continues to work its way deeper into the market research experience, however, there are cautions that come with every use of automation. The algorithms that drive automation in market research work from datasets fed to it by researchers themselves, but there are biases that will always be present and will need researchers to take a look over the results they generate. Identifying the biases and allocating a little time to verify the output still saves a lot of time in the grand scheme of the research experience and ensures the insights generated are top-notch.
When we think about the market research experience, most of the time it stops at reporting; however, more often stakeholders are coming to realise that the research experience extends far past the reporting stage, into insight activation. It’s not enough to simply collect and analyse data, we need to successfully inspire change by sharing the insights in the best way, to aid communication and activation efforts on the stakeholder side of the equation.
Because of this rise in awareness and activation, there have been numerous innovations in how insight experts store, visualise, and communicate important insights. With tools like data stores and dashboards, visualisation and reporting software, and new dedicated insight activation tools such as ActivateMR, insight experts and stakeholders have never had so many opportunities to activate high-quality insights.
But there are simpler tools that insight experts can start off with, before graduating to the more newly innovated tools, and using these simpler tools can be a step towards innovation within their organisation. Using instant messaging platforms allows for easier, direct connection with stakeholders, and provides different opportunities and ways to share insights to make sure stakeholders sit up and listen - from newsletters and infographics to video montages and dedicated insight channels.
|Innovation is a continuously evolving beast, showering insight experts everywhere with possibilities - but which innovations are currently the most impactful?|
Competitive and Collaborative Innovation
Innovation is a continuously evolving beast, showering experts everywhere with glorious possibilities and risky ventures. As such, while video research tools, automation, and activation tools might be among the best innovations in market research at this moment, tomorrow there will be new players on the scene fighting for their chance to transform the industry for the better.
There are many future innovations that are needed to add value to the market research process. As much as we believe we are working with the best technology and the best methodologies to create the most impactful data possible, there are opportunities being worked on by experts to revolutionise one of the stages or more specific aspects of market research.
Competition is one of the main drivers for this innovation, the need to be better than the rest, and the pressure from stakeholder brands for even better insights generated at a faster rate than anyone else. But collaboration is the way to create this next big innovation, learning from each other, our challenges, mistakes and breakthroughs will light to way to better research and insights.