That publishers of websites, apps and technology platforms have been collecting data from us is not news to anyone. Today’s tech savvy consumer knows about cookies, retargeting and how those Facebook ads pop up in their newsfeed. But what they don’t necessarily know is the extent to which their data is being collected and used.
“How people buy things has changed profoundly — yet the fundamental thinking about consumer decision making and marketing has not.” Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen, Absolute Value
Today’s marketing model hasn’t changed all that much in recent years.
It looks different compared to, say, the 1970s, but it has largely been frankensteined as marketers try to bring together long established practices and technological advances.
“In our brave new mobile culture, the idea that a 30+ minute PC-based survey is going to be viable even three years from now is an increasingly absurd belief.” Greg Heist, GreenBook
Research providers must be willing to meet respondents in the most convenient place if they want them to engage in their spare time -– increasingly, on their smartphones with shorter surveys optimised across all devices. Such trends are simply ubiquitous in today’s digital landscape, and market research is no different.
But brand expectations of research are becoming more advanced than that, making the issue of ensuring sample quality and obtaining meaningful insights something that can no longer be ignored. Research approaches must evolve to attract the real people who care about the products and services we are trying to shape and market.
So if the traditional survey is on the decline, where does this leave us? What is the experience we need to be cultivating to gather true and meaningful insights?
Big data doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Instead of crunching numbers and staring at multiple data sources until we can’t see straight, try a simpler strategy: ask your customers. Sixty-five percent of senior execs say their management decisions are based on hard analytics.
But while data can tell us tons about our existing business, no one can help you identify market opportunities more than your customers themselves.