Written by: Larry Goodfellow
As we look forward to a new year, it’s good to look at the changes we have been seeing within the market research industry in the past five years and surmise at what will come in the future. The evidence is clear, with shrinking budgets and more DIY style research that the landscape is changing fast. So while things are changing we must look at the underlying factors that are staying the same, so we can keep up with change, and not just follow fads.
Market researchers have an important job, as they are looked at to stay ahead of trends, and predict the future of what the company needs to prepare for, while the budgets and tools for this may change the role itself is intact and will be well into the future.
The tools are in Market Research Online Communities
Trying to stick with the tools that you have used in the past, with the timelines you may have used before are no longer viable. Technology has sped up the need for fast results. Focus groups and traditional surveys are not going to cut it in the future. Market research online community tools are great because you can conduct quick surveys, and polls and create online style discussions instantly. MROC’s provide the new tools. Get good at learning the features offered in MROC’s because change is here to stay so the best thing you can do is adapt. The marketing managers in your office that do DIY projects, do them for a reason. Your traditional surveys probably took too long to get the information they were looking for. They will like these new tools in community software, so teach them how to use them as well.
Stick to the spirit of research
The spirit behind any good market research is not found in the rules. The true spirit is one of intense curiosity, and wanting to understand what your research participants are thinking, what new behaviours they are partaking in, and what is fueling these new behaviors and patterns. You get paid to be curious and find out what emerging trend is in the distant, or not so distant future. Stick with the spirit of curiosity in whatever new tools you use. True, sound research guides are important but they are just the sign posts on your adventure.
Your Budget will Expand as Your Bring Better Insights
The idea that a company should have a bigger budget for research does not become a reality just because you think it should. It comes as you continue to bring valuable insights to the meetings that can help inform the marketing team with their campaigns and strategies. Showing up at meetings with reports generated from your discussion boards that you use in your MROC are perfect for highlighting what your participants think is important. Quick, easy access to reports will gain you a seat at the table and a voice to weigh in on new strategies.