person Guy Potter access_time February 14, 2018
Research Must Embrace The Benefits Of Technology

Many market researchers hate this fact, but it is indisputable, technology is changing research faster than ever.  CATI changed the way telephone research was conducted, CAPI did the same for face to face and the Internet, with its ubiquity, is doing the same for interviewing respondents.  Ask yourself would you prefer to do an interview via a landline or via a browser?  I don’t even have my landline plugged in right now, it’s usually a PPI call anyway.

So shouldn’t we embrace all that technology can do for us?  From finding the right respondents to producing a report to enabling me to download the data in the correct format to….

Omnibus should be top of the list to change.  They have become more frequent in recent years, but not a great deal else has flexed.    Shouldn’t we offer clients the ability of do a Nat Rep sample of 800 respondents (if that is what is required), or 200 respondents with dogs (or cats) or who shop at Asda etc?  And shouldn’t we put this ability in the hands of researchers at client organisations, because, let’s be honest, how many omnibus questions need an expert’s assistance?  Some yes, but let’s face it, not that many.

So technology is here and stay it will and yes, while market research caches up and finds its feet there will be some growing pains, there will be a need to find employees with a completely different skill set, but, and I say it in a whisper, it will benefit market research in the long run.  After the creaks and sprains a new look market research that can help clients, more speedily with more and different types of research will emerge.

So what will the research firm of the future look like?  When I started there were no “tech guys”, tech was barely invented there were just researchers, coding and DP.  Now tech can help achieve what took months in a matter of minutes.  Renting a room has changed, buying food has, getting direction has, research is next.

I would add just one caveat, both researchers and “tech guys” need to sit in the same room and work out want is possible and will work best for clients, their data and the insights they need.  If you want to see this in action drop us a line and well show you how we at Maru/Usurv approach this intersection.

Guy Potter is maru / usurv's head of research and clients.
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