By 2020, Gartner predicts 100 million consumers will shop in augmented reality. By the same year, Google estimates 90% of vehicles will be connected to the internet. Forbes reports the wearable tech market will double by 2021 from its 125.5 million devices shipped currently.
We live in a digitally-charged world. While thinking about this guest blog post, I was scrolling through Twitter, Instagram and all of the other social media platforms I have for my own blog; I was watching television at the same time. And I can’t multi-task! I am in a generation where I am hooked to my phone, the capabilities of the device making day-to-day tasks very easy. But, this got me thinking:
With so much emerging tech in the world, how are brands evolving to meet changes in consumer demands and behaviors, the business ecosystem, and society at large?
Before the iPhone was released, did you know you’d need and want all your text messages, photos, music, videos, calendar, apps, and games on one device? What about your internet connection, banking, credit cards, home security systems, even home settings? Emerging technology is transforming our daily lives as consumers, and our business lives as market researchers.
So, what is emerging technology for a market researcher? Here are a few examples, I’m sure one will relate to you!
2nd screen addicts
If you are a mobile addict, then you are possibly like me!
You start watching your favorite television program, but then you also start texting, going on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out the latest gossip, among a variety of other activities. This has been a natural change in consumer behaviors as well as technology. Traditional channels have dominated for several years, but now, online streaming and on-demand services are ahead of the curve. On top of online viewership, social media channels such as Twitter also ensure consumers can access products, services and even live streams of information.
Wouldn’t everyone like to sit on the sofa and just tell a smart home system to switch off a light, change the television channel or even change the thermostat during these Winter months?
Technology has advanced, and everything in relation to smarter homes. Consumers can pick when they would like their lights switched on and even when they would like the heating to be turned on. With more technology becoming apparent in this space, customer engagement and loyalty is key.
There are mixed opinions when you ask a market researcher about AI. Some think it will help our roles and let us complete tasks much more efficiently. Others think it could be a detriment to our jobs. However, from a consumer opinion, artificial intelligence offers everyone freedom, it offers consumers freedom of speech and much more control.
Banking and FinTech
Whether you are walking through a small town or a big city like London, you see someone on their phone, someone who uses every app possible to make their lives easier. Now, users can make payments at a touch of a button on their phones. Mobile payments and online banking have accelerated with the use of emerging technology and FinTech startups. They’re revolutionizing the banking sector, making the methods of old like local branch visits obsolete.
Are you one to check how many steps you have walked in a day? Or how many calories you’ve burnt while traveling to work or at the gym?
Wearable technology is another concept seeing significant growth in recent years. Companies are tapping into consumer behaviors and their need to know about their health.
How is this shaping the market research industry?
Whether you are a 2nd screen addict or someone who lives by their Fitbit, all of these products have the same things in common:
- They offer consumer convenience.
- They are cost effective.
- They deliver a seamless customer journey.
These characteristics, and the tech that embodies them, have taken the market by storm. Not only have they shaped what consumers demand and desire, they’ve done so at record speeds. Today, agility, on-demand consumer insights and data-driven decisions are more important than ever before. And that means brands need to reconsider how they approach market research.
What do brands need in today’s ever-changing environment?
Customers now demand more and expect more each time they shop. And your competitors are keen to offer whatever you’re lacking. At the same time, listening to customer feedback, merely removing their pain points and then building upon your strengths is simply not good enough to stay ahead of the game.
Companies need to listen—continuously. They must be able to analyze and interpret data quickly, efficiently and accurately, combining quantitative and qualitative data. Organizations that fail to evolve and embrace people-powered insight will simply hit a growth ceiling and quickly lose market share and customer loyalty if they don’t continually innovate. To do this, companies in an end-to-end platform.
If you had an all-in-one solution, you can build customer loyalty in many ways. To that, you need to use a system that enables you to look at data and customer satisfaction in such a granular way that it helps you to understand:
- What customers mean by their feedback
- Why customers gave the feedback they gave
- Where the intersections between ‘what’ and ‘why’ lie
Panel management and communities are essential to building a superior customer experience, increase their loyalty and retention and jumpstart your innovation. To really understand what customers’ require to be a ‘brand or product ambassador,’ you need to leverage both qualitative and quantitative research. This insight is invaluable in today’s hyper-competitive ecosystem.
I hear you ask, “Why?” Let’s look at a few examples:
Example #1: Snapchat – Instagram – YouTube – Twitter – Facebook
What do the above 5 platforms have in common?
They all have the potential for consumers to share videos whether short or long about their opinions. So, while you could pay for an online focus group, brands can now socially listen to their audiences online to understand the sentiment of their brand and image. Ultimately, this can provide a positive, neutral or negative sentiment towards a brand. Armed with that intelligence, an organization can leverage their strengths or address their weaknesses, without any customer complaints!
Example #2: Now, you are multi-dimensional
Using both quantitative and qualitative research means you are thinking holistically about the bigger picture. Where you can understand key metrics and results from a quantitative survey, you can then delve into and explore those results using a qualitative methodology. Today, it’s not enough to know “what” consumers do, say or want, we must understand “why” it’s there in the first place.
Example #3: Automation!
Now more than ever, large parts of the complex mix of quantitative and qualitative research can be pulled together using one system. One system that analyzes and reports on results for you!
Automation reduces administrative and mundane tasks, enabling market researchers to focus on what they do best—data! Embrace it. There will always need to be a humanistic approach when working with automation and data as it takes human interaction to make sure there are outcomes from using the research and a return on investment from the research conducted. Today, automation facilitates a more agile, expansive and innovative market research industry.
Embracing emerging technology in market research
Market research, like many other industries, is being transformed by technology and consumers feverish adoption of the latest and greatest. It’s time we too leverage new tech and innovation to better compete for our consumer’s attention, gather their insight and make a difference for organizations and consumers everywhere. It’s time we understand the “why” behind the “what” of our consumer’s mind. And with Questback, that technology is here and the time is now.
Learn more about driving innovative market research in the upcoming Quirk’s webinar.