In the early days of market research, there would be one or two agents who would make a few telephone calls from some poorly-lit office, flipping through a phone book and making calls to random people. And people would gladly take up those calls and answer any questions they were being asked.
Some 20-25 years later, everyone hates those calls since they have become so common that they cannot but make people angry. Robocalls. Who hasn’t received those? That’s the reason why more and more people are requesting to be included in the National Do Not Call Registry.
Then, online surveys hit the Internet and became a brand new way of collecting survey data. There was a time when paid surveys would thrill people. The respondents could earn extra cash by simply answering questions and also because they could do that at their own pace, whenever they wanted to.
But do you think paid survey data is reliable enough?
The more you think about paid survey data, the more you can observe that the data you get through them is “dirty.” Why so? Mainly because people often get bored of answering survey questions. They just answer them for the sake of answering and being paid. Sometimes, they get over-positive about a brand or a company just because they know those answers are going to be used by marketers.
Changes in the market: Gen Z’s influence is expanding
Hence, the market is changing. The old-school methods of doing market research are giving way to new market research trends. This shift is partly influenced by the behavior and the habits of new generations. Just a few years ago, brands and businesses were focusing their attention mainly on the Millennials. However, Gen Z’s purchasing power is increasing, and these guys start taking over.
Gen Z are loosely people born from 1995 to 2010. They are true digital natives since, from an early age, they have been exposed to the internet, social networks, and mobile devices.
An important remark about Gen Zers is that they have become a solid influence on people of all ages and incomes, as well as on the way those people interact with brands.
However, unlike Millennials that are also called “me generation” (since they are considered to be self-centered to an extent), Gen Zers value individual expression, they avoid labels, they care for various causes. They believe profoundly in the efficiency of dialogue to resolve conflicts and make the world a better place. And finally, these people have a very analytical mindset.
Millennials and Gen Z are currently flooding the market with trillions of dollars in spending power, and it’s just the right time for brands to start digging deep into the driving factors of Gen Z behavior in particular. But with all this in mind, it’s also hard to reach Gen Z for survey data. Considering that the previous generation (aka Millennials) are known for rejecting to participate in anything they consider motiveless, it would be helpful to start finding more innovative ways to reach these audiences for honest opinions.
Lucky for us all, the market research industry is transforming rapidly. Remember the year 2016, which made way to wearable tech, big data, mobile research, and more innovative market research trends? 2018 and 2019 saw these trends grow and expand more. In other words, current technological advancements allow for more disruptive methods to get real data.
Following are a few more trends we will observe in 2020:
The demand for automated research will increase
The demand for data delivery directly to the decision-makers’ laptops is increasing day by day. This, in turn, brings about the need for research automation. Instead of spending too much time and resources on designing and conducting research, market researchers will need to have ready insights to put on the leadership’s table. Does this also mean the democratization of insights? Well, yes, because more people are going to access them.
Market researchers are going to need better software
Decision-makers, brand leadership, and market research executives all need smarter market research capabilities. This brings to the demand for better software. Just like the content management system and website building market was transformed due to WordPress and Shopify and similar products, the market research industry is going to be disrupted with tech companies that will make accessing data as easy as building a website with a drag and drop capability.
AI will take the lead in market research
The use of AI in market research is going to be one of the hottest market research trends. Around 80% of market researchers feel AI will have a positive impact on the current methods of market research. Here is why:
- AI-based market research tools can deliver results nearly real time. They can select the target audience and automatically classify text for primary insights. AI can help do this all within just a few hours or a day.
- AI-based market research tools allow creating interactive surveys. Unlike traditional surveys, such surveys can change dynamically depending on the respondent’s answers.
- Results generated through AI-based tools are usually more accurate and free of errors or biases.
Market research insights will be more accessible and controllable
Executives will become more of a part of decision making. Instead of only hearing from the research department a few times a year, the current solutions allow taking the lead of the decision making process.
- QualSights – Bringing the customer experience observations to your laptop as a live broadcast.
- TruePublic – Making surveys fun and accessible for young people. Making survey data well balanced, honest, and transparent.
Another benefit of tools like these is that they allow collecting real-time insights as opposed to slow quarterly reports. The ease of information flow, viral news, and trends, and much more lead to new factors affecting the market in a matter of minutes. Paying large sums of money for getting quarterly reports that are being executed on the same panels becomes very old-school. Tools like TruePublic allow collecting the insights within hours and keep your hand on the pulse of the market through tracking each change with each news.
NPS is going to evolve into RAP
We all know our old pal NPS (Net Promoter Score), right? The problem with it, though, is that it measures intention, not action. People say, yes, I would 100% recommend this company/service/product to someone I know, but you will never know if they will really do so or not. That’s why Forbes has come up with a new term RAP (Referrals And Purchases) which is going to track whether people actually promote a brand to their peers.
Putting this all together
Considering the market research trends for the year 2020, it is going to be an interesting year for market researchers and market research departments in larger brands. Does this mean that they will be looking for more innovative ways of getting consumer insights? It definitely does!
At TruePublic, we are building a solution that will turn our mobile app data into an easy plug-and-play dashboard for brands that don’t have time to waste on low-quality paid survey data or hundreds of sheets of raw data. We understand that in 2020, decision-making should be quick and effective, and we are working on creating an environment where market researchers can nail it.