The market research world has undergone some serious advances over the past 20 years, with new technology in market research allowing for more efficient and meaningful data collection than ever before. The shift to online surveys in the 90s was the first of these changes to rock the industry, and since then they’ve been coming thick and fast, from smartphones and big data to social media and now artificial intelligence. But what do all of these changes mean? Well, basically, it means that companies can make faster, more informed decisions whilst still keeping customers at the heart of everything they do. Let’s take a look at the changes in a bit more detail…
Multiple data sources
One result of new technology in market research is that researchers can now collect a more rounded view of respondents. Researchers today aren’t just limited to emotional data anymore; they can also collect passive data, behavioural data and attitudinal data too. These multiple data sources give deeper, more meaningful insights to data collection as well as a more holistic view of a person or situation, allowing businesses to make more informed decisions. Not only that, but thanks to video analysis and social media monitoring, brands can also get a better understanding of how their customers really think and feel about different products and services so their decisions are truly customer-centric.
New technology in market research is also making the world smaller - meaning accessing new participants, even globally, is easier than ever before. Not only does this open up the possibility of choice for how, when and where to conduct research, but it also means respondents can take part wherever they are, whenever they want, allowing researchers to peek inside participants’ lives more clearly than ever before too. This means businesses can now reach out to previously hard-to-reach demographics and fight declining response rates by implementing the right technology for each study. For example, mobile ethnography allows participants to be much more flexible when taking part in market research, which in turn appeals to a much bigger audience.
Data collection improvements
Due to improvements in data collection and new methodologies such as market research online communities and mobile ethnography, respondents can now give detailed feedback more easily than ever before. This new, agile market research gives brands access to in-depth insights in just minutes, but it doesn't stop there. Thanks to advances such as wearable technology, researchers can now track things such as heart rate, blood pressure and even skin temperature, allowing unbeatable insights into respondents’ moods and resulting in a much fuller understanding of the whole customer experience.
In conclusion, qualitative market research is now firmly in the technology era. Data is everywhere, and we’ve got more access to it than ever before - and as both researchers and respondents become savvier and more open to the use of new technology in market research, the future of data collection is changing forever. Brands can now get a more holistic view of customers, and because they can truly get to know their customers’ thoughts and feelings, the way businesses are communicating with their customers is continuing to change as well.
If you're intrigued about the advance on technology in qualitative market research and would like to find out more on the subject, why not check out some of our blogs?