The 3 golden rules of market research
The fact that things are moving again in the realm of market research is satisfying. Because in our fast-paced, fleeting digital world we need any suitable tool that provides good, timely support for our decision making. But ‘agile’ does not just mean ‘fast’. It also has to be flexible and intelligent.
Because ‘fast’ is something we’ve been able to do for a long time now. Also, traditional market research does not have to be slow. In most cases, it is only the institutions that have not adjusted to the times and use monstrous processes for even the most simple routines.
At the Bloom advertising agency, we perform the majority of our required research ourselves and, in this process, our experience has been that most data today can be made available very quickly – if you want it.
Market research has to be intelligent to ensure that it’s
a) clean and
b) able to be linked with high-quality data.
The current discussion about the validity of performance figures in the online advertising business shows that there is still a significant backlog demand on this side of things.
My prediction: I’m certain that the last word on this issue has yet to be spoken.
We’ve already become flexible! Intelligent market research tools have grown out of their infancy and now give you and I the ability to launch studies on our own and also directly evaluate them.
But at this point we can already see: ‘agile’ market research must be drawn from the underlying conditions surrounding collection of the data. This is less about what we are collecting and more about what we do with it.
This very strongly affects the cooperation between service providers and customers. And many customers have to put their own houses in order because agile market research requires
a) a high degree of participation in the process and
b) a close relationship with the service provider.
Over the past few years, far too much focus has been placed on ‘fast’ and ‘cheap’ instead of dealing with the actual problem, also from the client’s perspective.
A good example of this is companies’ limited willingness to invest money in research in the online environment, despite the fact that huge portions of their media activities take place there. They prefer to stick with technologically determined trial and error with actual data. No wonder: The ‘is’ is usually easier to understand than the ‘why’.
Market research has to be reorganised and agile market research is a first step in this direction.
But, as before, the great challenge is this: How do I optimally combine technology and creativity or the quantitative ‘is with the qualitative ‘why’?
This issue permeates all areas. Because although ‘agile’ sounds great, it cannot answer the basic question of market research, which is ‘why, even if many hypotheses can be checked thanks to access to all sorts of real-time data with lightning speed. Without the qualitative side, we simply remain spectators and will never become drivers.
Careful! The golden rules of market research still apply:
- it doesn’t matter at which POINT IN TIME I collect the data, it ALWAYS reflects the past.
- I can only target the application of my data if I know the precise origin and significance of the data.
- The best data is useless if I only interpret it unilaterally.