Market research is changing. In today’s digital world, simple questions such as “do my customers like my product?” are no longer enough when it comes to qualitative market research. Clients today want more detailed insights than ever before - which means that market research needs to deliver informative insights so that they can make more educated decisions and stay ahead of the competition. In this digital world, it’s no longer just about perceptions, but also thought processes and stories that resonate with target audiences and drive change. But what exactly does all this mean for qualitative market research?
Technology and market research
Technology is opening up options and making the world a smaller, more accessible place - and this applies to qualitative market research too. In today’s digital world, thanks to the growth of online methodologies such as market research online communities, insights can now be collected and processed instantaneously. Research projects that once took weeks or months to conduct now take days or even hours, allowing businesses to make faster decisions than ever before.
Not only that, but because mobile-enabled methodologies such as MROCs and mobile ethnography can be utilised anytime, anywhere, researchers can now see inside the lives of respondents in real-time. That means there’s no longer geographical restrictions as respondents can be accessed globally, helping researchers fend off long-running issues such as hard-to-reach demographics in qualitative MR. Finally, as technology continues to advance, research is becoming more engaging and easy to fit in around respondents’ lives, helping to tackle declining response rates too.
Qual and quant together means better data
The rise of technology means there’s more types of insight than ever before too, for example biometric data from wearable devices or smartphones and video market research that allows respondents to give genuine feedback faster than ever before. Technological advances mean that instead of qualitative or quantitative research, these two worlds will now collide as qual and quant work together simultaneously to deliver unbeatable insights faster than ever before.
Previously, businesses either relied on imperfect or biased memories by asking consumers to take a survey or answer a questionnaire after something had taken place, or they had to shell out a ton of money to directly observe participants as events were happening. Not anymore, though. The growth of mobile methodologies such as market research online communities are allowing researchers to capture customer reactions immediately and without intruding - eliminating bias and allowing researchers to access customers in relatively large numbers, putting the qual into quantitative research.
And that’s not all. As multiple data sources work together, researchers will be able to benefit from a completely holistic view of people or situations, with behavioural and attitudinal data and advanced analytics working together to help brands make more strategic decisions in a shorter space of time. The result? Research that is faster, deeper and more insightful than ever before, so businesses can uncover true customer stories and deliver results that drive change.
Informing entire organisations
As qualitative market research continues to advance, it’s no longer just about potential products. Previously market research was often only a nice-to-have, but it’s now becoming a must-have for businesses who want to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition. Today, market research aligns with and shapes companies’ strategic direction and can be used across entire organisations to drive change and add value.
From product development to informing market campaigns and customer service right through to HR, the function of market research has now been elevated all the way to the C-Suite. In today’s world, qualitative market research delivers deeper insights and provides strategic direction as well as measurable benchmarks for organisations.
In today’s digital age, market research is no longer just a task to be ticked off the list. As technology continues to improve, so does the means of data collection and the way we analyse it, resulting in in-depth insights that allows businesses to triumph over their competition.
If you’d like to find out more about how methodologies such as MROCs can transform your next qualitative market research project, download our guide here.