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 Market Research Is Evolving – It's Time To Shift Your Perspective


We've learned a lot from 2020 — including becoming more thankful about stuff like families, friends, and health — to think more about our environment and help promote small businesses.


So, what did we learn in the market research world?


By lockdowns and stringent measures, we have seen market research come to a total standstill for those who still depend entirely on conventional approaches.


This is a huge challenge for advertisers urgently finding customer feedback to form their campaigns.


The big problem of relying on traditional research only


Phone, mail, and in-person surveying have been going on forever – and yes, these methods still have their uses.


Focus groups can be held digitally, but no technical expertise can equal the normal and spontaneous interactions in person.


There are also countries where Internet adoption is still at a pace that means that face-to-face or CATI methods are crucial to capturing the general public's opinions rather than digital ones only.


That said, a massive amount of market analysis can and should be done online, as dated approaches face a range of challenges:


1. They are hard to manage.


In a world with lockdowns, limits, and social distances, in-person interviews obviously cannot take place on the same scale as they used to. Those that have focused on this to date (or variations of in-person and mail surveys) have found that completion rates have plunged.


2. There is space for mistake and implicit bias


Whose brand are you favoring? Who are you following on social media? How long have you been playing games? It's not hard to see how you would be able to react differently to questions like this with a person standing in front of you versus an online sample.



Whether one-on-one or over the phone, the person's responses would inevitably entail a degree of conscious or unconscious framing. The failure to interview people in the same manner, at the same time, with the very same questions also means that there is space for error:


Other variables may have influenced their responses, so you can't be sure.


3. They're unpredictably time-consuming


Respondents in mailed surveys must read every page to determine whether or not anything is important to them. This means there's no easy way to "jump to the good stuff," as it were. Fatigue and frustration set in with uninteresting formats and encounters like these, resulting in lower-quality responses.


It is possible to do better research, but it will take more time and effort.


The Global Web Index has been attempting to close this gap since 2009 by introducing far more credible and consumer-centric surveys to market.


Since it is the fastest way to take the pulse of customers at scale, they perform all of their research entirely online.


But that’s not the only reason:


There isn't any space for error. It ensures that the right people are being polled in the same way, at the same time, and with the same questions.


It revolves around customers. They can complete research whenever, wherever, and wherever they want: on their laptops on the sofa, tablets in bed, cell phones during their commute... It suits their routines rather than interrupting them, which is more in line with how we live and work today.



It's user-friendly, interesting, and timely. The questions in online surveys are modified, filtered, and routed so that people only answer questions relevant to them. Their order can also be rotated and randomized automatically, eliminating the biases and skews that often occur when questions are asked in the same order (as they inevitably do in printed versions).


Except in times of crisis, it is dependable. Throughout the pandemic, online surveying has been able to run at maximum capacity. It has found a place in respondents' new normal lives because they have full control of when and how they complete them.


Conclusion


According to an ESOMAR study, face-to-face, phone, and mailed surveys still account for 27% of market research spending despite these obstacles. That number isn't far off from the 35 percent figure for online surveys.


Many vendors have discovered that many of their questions are incompatible with online formats as they try to make the fast transition to online testing. This has given them a major headache because it means much more disruption to the data and trends; they've had to manipulate and ascribe the data in ways they've never done before.

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