Market research technology has come a long way. Today, it can make our lives easier, get us consumer insights faster, and enable teams to understand their customers better.
Of course, technology continuously evolves. It also helps to centralize your data, implement customer-led strategies and have the right levels of buy-in of customer insights strategies across the organization.
In this article, let’s dive into how market research technology can help us understand our customers and create great experiences for them.
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For years, Fortune 500 executives have overwhelmingly said that customer insights are important. But few of those executives said they were happy with their current customer insights, said Rick Kelly, chief product officer at Fuel Cycle, a Voxpopme partner.
“It’s on insights professionals to change the delivery model,” Rick said on an episode of “Reel Talk: The Customer Insights Show.” “It’s a huge priority and hasn’t always been delivered the way it ought to be.”
What is market research technology?
Market research tech (sometimes called ResTech) are the software solutions that companies can use to enable them to do market research quicker, differently, and more efficiently. Examples include:
- Remote research
- Online focus groups
- Video surveys
- Use of newer technologies like Natural Language Processing, augmented reality and artificial intelligence
- And more
How can market research technology help brands understand customers?
Even before the pandemic, there was rapid change and it’s continuing, Rick said. Consumers have a ton of choices — especially in competitive verticals. Some even say that loyal shoppers exist less and less.
“It’s been really disruptive to a lot of legacy organizations,” Rick said.
That makes understanding our customers even more important. But the insights profession has grown much more slowly, he said, adding, “That doesn’t make any sense, and market research hasn’t done the job it needs to do.”
Using the most cohesive technology can help insights professionals move quickly and show impact.
“Our market research cloud allows our customers to be in constant connection with their customers, prospects, and users through solutions that allow them to accelerate decision-making,” Rick said.
Market research technology can help through:
Let’s look at each of these.
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Automation of analysis
Traditionally, Rick said, companies wouldn’t naturally “marry” approaches. And there certainly is enough data in many organizations. But how do you make the analysis easier?
One way is to have one place for the data and use machine learning and other technology to make processes easier. Keep in mind that some processes that once worked no longer work in a “data-abundant world,” Rick said.
“There are limits to human scale and to comb through data,” Rick said.
Market research technology can help make that possible.
“There’s no reason that qualitative research, once it’s been processed, can’t be used as structured data,” he said. “We ask survey questions to get structured data from unstructured thoughts.”
It’s data overload right now. And if we can get that right, how do we marry it all together. A mountain of data isn’t useful on its own. It’s useful when you can summarize some new insight into one sentence to say, ‘This is what this means to our business, our customer.’ That’s where the insights team can shine.
And then use the new processing capabilities of market research technology to turn insights into action, Rick added. With the help of technology, we can get the results, not in six weeks or even six days, but in six minutes, Rick said.
And still, be accurate.
The Voxpopme platform, for example:
- Automatically transcribes all video feedback answers.
- Categorizes answers and sentiment.
Market research technology — Voxpopme’s platform, for example — can provide feedback fast. On a Valentine’s Day project, I was able to get 100 responses in just a few hours. They were automatically analyzed for sentiment and topics. I could quickly skim through machine-generated scripts.
The same applies to other areas of the business as well, like advertising or marketing campaigns.
“Even smaller companies are now equipped with the tools to innovate on product and go-to-market strategy, just as fast or faster as enterprises are,” he said. “Market research needs to accelerate timelines and get user feedback to stakeholders in a much more user-friendly way than is done today.”
The evolution of market research technology
Rick predicts that market research technology will move to additional roles — like UX designer, marketers, and others. Those people then can push buttons and quickly get the insights they need to make decisions in real-time or near real-time.
Access can be seen as a threat by an insights team or an opportunity to offer even more value to help the company use customer insights in the best way possible. But democratizing research and ResTech can be a real business differentiator.
“It’s really an opportunity to level up the approach,” Rick added. “Having strategic advisors and putting tools into their hands is an opportunity.”
Market research technology is giving stakeholders direct access, adding that when market research technology is easy to use, stakeholders are more likely to use it.
“It’s like when you get a lot of good reinforcement for posting a picture on Instagram, you’ll post more,” he said. “It’s just like that.”
As the barriers to user adoption are removed, more research can get done.
“Of course, that’s a high hill to climb,” Rick said, adding that data cleanup and other integrations are involved.
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Companies often use dozens of different technologies. Using an integrated system also can simplify operations and privacy concerns, Rick said.
“Chief information officers are trying to reduce the surface areas where customer data is stored,” Rick said.
Different platforms working together also is important. For example, Voxpopme has an extensive partner network that includes Fuel Cycle.
Integration of different software solutions is an ongoing process.
For example, some Voxpopme customers also use Zoom to gather customer feedback — in addition to the Voxpopme platform. So we’ve built an integration that allows for easy uploads of Zoom videos. Once the video feedback has been imported, our platform automatically:
- Transcribes it.
- Analyses it.
- Makes it searchable with all of a brand’s other research projects.
Final thoughts on market research technology
Market research technology — like all technology — continues to evolve. It should make life easier for insights professionals and others who are trying to understand their customers.
That’s how we started Voxpopme and how we are continuing our journey — with our customers, partners, and the customer experience community — to use market research technology to create better experiences for our customers.