From checking e-mails, to editing a business presentation, technology has changed how we go about our day. Additionally, technology has changed market research. Advancements are helping us become more efficient and agile. In terms of market research, technology has carved out new opportunities as well as pitfalls for obtaining useful business intelligence.
In some respects, technology has made a market researchers job a little easier. Although there are mistakes that must be avoided, here are the five ways that technology has changed market research:
1. Social media joined the party
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ have expanded the landscape in which market research is conducted. Social media is transforming market research in exciting new ways. It is also requiring a skill set that didn't exist before. Social media is creating an environment that yields unfiltered feedback. Great for reputation management and brand awareness, market researchers can take advantage of the advanced capabilities inherent in social media. Learning to master social media for market research will enhance the knowledge obtained about your target market.
2. Data collection improvements
There is a constant stream of new software to collect data. Beyond the traditional methods such as paper surveys, interviews, and focus groups, technology enables researchers to be much more targeted in what they measure and how quickly feedback can be received. For instance, there is a mood-sensing retail device that's personalizing the shopping experience. It is a powerful tool for any retail business looking to increase market share and learn more about customers.
3. Enhanced data analysis
With increased streams of data to collect, the ability to analyze that data is equally as important. Technology is making data analytics easier and more sophisticated. With better analytics, you can parlay that into strengthening customer relationship management. Mobile communications giant, O2, uses advanced analytics to power customer retention and improve long-term loyalty. With an ever-increasing importance being placed on clearly defining KPIs with advanced data, the options you have available will put you in a good position to determine the best next steps for your organization.
4. Creation of new research roles
Advances in technology inevitably require new skills. In some cases, it will call for the creation of new roles that specialize in those particular areas. With customers engaging with the world and multitasking on mobile devices, organizational departments are forced to adapt to these behavioral changes and strategize ways to approach them. New roles are being created to ensure that data obtained from social media and mobile devices is translated effectively and efficiently. For example, the analytical CPO is responsible for taking a data-driven approach to business decisions. While there's room for instinctual judgments, the role must rely on advanced analytics to recommend the right course of action for the organization.
5. Big data informs research
Simply put, the large amount of data coming in from online and offline methods provide market researchers with a large pool to analyze and formulate strategies with accuracy. There will be an increased need to sift through the data and discard the irrelevant parts, but you can feel more confident knowing that you're conducting market research with a solid data warehouse.
Technology has had a major impact on how to approach market research with advanced capabilities and an evolved approach to data. At this point, the sky is the limit for what's next to come. Ultimately, it's about getting to know customers better. Technology is making that possible.
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